It's November 2 and I'm sitting in Indian Wells, Calif., waiting on the opening dinner to signal the beginning of the Dental Trade Alliance's annual meeting. I am writing this editor's note on the evening of historic elections in the United States. One of our most precious rights as American citizens is the right to vote and let our individual voices be heard. Today, across our nation, people have exercised that right.
Whether you're Republican, Democrat, Independent, Tea Party supporter, or "none of the above" (which actually was a candidate on the ballot in the Nevada senate race), you must admit that today's elections will have an effect on our country over the next two years. Accordingly, it will also have an impact on the dental industry. As we all know, the attitudes of the American public eventually funnel their way into the dental practice ... and into the orders that are placed by the dental team. We've stood by for months and watched to see how the recession would affect the dental industry. Now we'll wait to see how today's elections translate into dollars coming from dental practices.
The DTA meeting and its predecessors have seemingly always had interesting timing when it came to elections. I remember being in Florida in 2000 for the American Dental Trade Association meeting when the infamous "hanging chad" threw the Sunshine State and the presidential election into a tizzy. Now, 10 years later, I'm on the other side of the country at another gathering of dental industry leaders on another key date.
While I called the timing "interesting" in the paragraph above, I should actually call it "perfect." Being here with many of the men and women who shape the future of our industry gave me the perfect opportunity to ask 10 of them what they believe the next two years will hold for dentistry. You can find the entire set of answers in the November Proofs e-newsletter (which, I'm sure, you saw ... since you subscribe, right? If you don't, it's free and the best way to get timely information from THE magazine of the dental industry. Just go to dentistryIQ.com and click on "subscribe" to sign up today). Below is one of the answers. To find the entire article on dentistryIQ.com, just search for "10 predictions."
"Technology and innovation will have to become mainstream in 2011. Dentists are learning that the bricks and mortar they grew up with don't exist any more. Technology that provides consistent results and saves the dental practices time will be embraced. I think this year and decade will be about adaptation." — Diana P. Friedman, CEO, Sesame Communications.
Speaking of dentistryIQ.com, that's the online home for Proofs magazine, including the U.S. dealer and manufacturer directories that have for many, many years been a part of this and the January issues of Proofs. This year, I decided to make a change and move the directories completely online. Why? I wanted to maximize the space in each issue of Proofs. Previous directories have taken 70 to 80 pages of the magazine. The sheer size of it has overwhelmed other editorial in the past, and I believe it's time that Proofs takes a step into the future by putting the biggest directories online.
Additionally, we now have almost 8,000 electronic subscribers to Proofs and the monthly e-newsletter. I know people are hungry to find information online, and dentistryIQ.com is the perfect place to do that. Just go to the industry tab at the top of the page and pull down for dealers or manufacturers.
Some of the space that would've been devoted to the directory in this issue was used for a special 12-page supplement that I referred to as the "crystal ball" when it was being planned. I've asked some excellent authors to tell us what to expect in 2011 and how to get a jump on your competition. You'll find the section running from pages 33 to 44.
Tonight (and every night) I am excited about the future of our industry. Change (in politics or publications) is a certainty of life. I think the changes we've made in Proofs will benefit you. We'll see how the changes in Washington pan out.
Read on ... this is your magazine.