By Sheri Doniger, DDS, contributing writer

March 2, 2010 -- Editor's note: Sheri Doniger's column, Dental Diaries, appears regularly on the advice and opinion page, Second Opinion.

I love the Chicago Midwinter Meeting. No offense, Greater New York, but the Windy City has the best dental meeting in the U.S. I have been attending this meeting for decades and have seen its evolution, growing from the basement of the Chicago Hilton Hotel to the West Building of McCormick Place. And it just keeps getting better.

Still, I have always wanted to know who decided to have this meeting in the middle of winter in a city that has a history of erratic weather, with four seasons occasionally occurring in one day. This year, the weather was great compared to our friends on the East and West coasts. In fact, I was amazed that everyone was able to make it into Chicago on time with all the inclement weather.

One of my favorite things about Chicago Midwinter is the chance to see many of my old friends, both in the profession and the industry. This year I truly was touched by the number of associates who commented on my emotional roller coaster this past month. And of course everyone had to be shown the new baby picture. One of my favorite moments occurred after I gave a presentation at Bosworth University, when four of my former Harper College dental hygiene students (all now hygienists for many years) came up to reminisce about how they knew my children when they were still in grade school and on swim team. Time and a half sure flies by!

Among many of the new friends I met at this year's Midwinter Meeting was Kathy Kincade, editor in chief of Kathy and I had been e-communicators for almost a year (since I first talked with her about writing for, and it was a pleasure to finally meet her in person. We spent some time together visiting several booths on the show floor for a new project: I will be reviewing products in some upcoming columns for, under the heading "Sheri Suggests." In one of my past writing lives, I did some product testing, which gave me the ability to write reviews from the perspective of having used something with my own hands. I look forward to doing this again via

I also had the opportunity to sit next to Kathleen O'Loughlin, the ADA executive director, during a corporate round table event held by the American Association of Women Dentists. She has great energy and vision. It is not often that we cross paths with those of great leadership and have the opportunity to have their "ear" for even a short period of time.

The meeting's new location was also a positive. While it has been in McCormick Place for a long time, the meeting has now been moved to the new McCormick West Building. Gone are the days when we walked by the dog show over the long bridge to get into the East Building. Gone are the days when we had to walk miles from the classrooms to the exhibit hall. Now everything is so convenient. It was almost as if we were at a different meeting. The exhibit hall was brighter and had that "new hall" smell, too!

As I head back to my practice this week, I am, once again, more energized about dentistry. And yet I go back with a heavy heart. When I checked my voice mail today, I found out that my Monday 9:00 a.m. patient had to cancel. His dad had just passed away after a long battle with kidney disease. Another reminder of the circle of life.

But I hear my dad saying, "What about your clients?" as he usually did when I took time out from work to take him to the doctor or spend the day with him running errands. He would be glad to know I am looking forward to seeing my patients and getting back to doing one of the things I do best. After a few days away, it will give me a chance to catch up.

Sheri Doniger, D.D.S., practices clinical dentistry in Lincolnwood, IL. She has served as an educator in several dental and dental hygiene programs, has been a consultant for a major dental benefit company, and has written for several dental publications. Most recently, she was the editor of Woman Dentist Journal and Woman Dentist eJournal. You can reach her at donigerdental&64;

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2010


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