Welcome back! The 16th year of RDH Under One Roof returns to a familiar setting. The conference, which has often stopped in Chicago during its summer treks, will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency on Aug. 10-12.
The Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago last served as the host in 2014. Since then, "UOR" has traveled to Las Vegas (2015) and Maryland (2016).
Many updates about the courses and events at the upcoming conference will be provided at RDHUnderOneRoof.com.
At 8 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 10, four "general sessions" will get the conference underway. Renee Acosta, RDH, will be addressing "retraining the brain" in regard to sugar content in foods. Samantha Meltzer-Wendell, RDH, will talk about the oral health of Gen Z teenagers in her seminar. Catherine Draper, RDH, will provide an infection control update. The fourth seminar in the opening hours on Thursday morning will be led by Angie Stone, RDH, who will advocate for "disappearing" elderly patients.
The conference will conclude with a "wrap-up" general session starting at 3 p.m on Saturday, Aug. 12.
In between the beginning and the end are dozens of other general sessions, hands-on workshops, keynote, and mega-sessions. A very ambitious dental hygienist can earn up to 20 CE credits from her participation in the conference.
The general sessions are conducted in large rooms capable of seating more than 100 dental hygienists. The hands-on workshops are hosted in smaller rooms, offering more individualized attention from a speaker. The mega-sessions and the keynote session are hosted in a more auditorium-like setting where everyone attending the conference can go.
Additional registration is required for the hands-on workshops (see registration information below). Registered attendees can attend any general sessions, keynote address, and mega-sessions.
Scott Christopher, the author of "The Levity Effect: Why It Pays to Lighten Up" and a frequent television commentator, is the keynote speaker.
Outside of the classroom
RDH Under One Roof is also well known for other opportunities for attendees. Most dental conferences, of course, devote space to exhibitors. But UOR's exhibitors come prepared only for dental hygiene shoppers. They hand out samples and listen to the everyday practice concerns of dental hygienists.
The RDH Under One Roof exhibit hall will be open during these hours:
- Thursday, Aug. 10-5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, Aug. 11-10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 12-10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Dental hygienists also network with peers in the exhibit hall, which serves as the site of two lunches that are included with the full conference tuition. In addition, the conference will host evening receptions for dental hygienists on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
The conference's website, RDHUnderOneRoof.com, has four main tabs for visitors to use. "Event Info" contains a section devoted to arranging accommodations at the Hyatt Regency. But there's also general information for first-time tourists in Chicago.
The "exhibit hall" tab allows attendees to plot out a strategy for visiting specific booths. However, RDH Under One Roof also has an app that allows the same sort of planning to be accomplished on a smartphone.
The "conference" tab provides course descriptions and speaker biographical information, which can assist attendees in choosing which courses to attend. Finally, the "register" tab provides a variety of sections to expedite the registration process for dental hygienists.
For the UOR alumni, we proclaim, "Welcome back!" We look forward to seeing our friends again at the Hyatt Regency. For first-time attendees, we say, "Welcome! We're so glad you're here and delighted to make your acquaintance." RDH
Angie Lehman, RDH, COM is the owner of Oral Myofunctional Therapy of York in York, Pa. A 1999 graduate from Pennsylvania College of Technology, Lehman used her dental hygiene degree and experience as a stepping stone to orofacial myology.
"During my years of practicing clinical dental hygiene, I kept noticing that the kids with large tonsils and adenoids, or chronically stuffy noses, all had a few things in common: crowded teeth, high, narrow palates, and long faces. I also noticed that even though braces could straighten the teeth, the facial profile of these kids was rarely corrected through traditional orthodontics. When I discovered the field of orofacial myology, I was blown away"
She attended the 2016 RDH Under One Roof conference at the National Harbor in Maryland. Here is her takeaway from the conference:
"I love that conference really focused on overall health of not just our patients, but ourselves as clinicians. I think that sometimes in dentistry, we get so focused on treating the teeth and gums that we forget that there is a whole person attached to that mouth. The conference seemed to have an underlying theme of caring for our patients' total health as well as focusing on our own health and well-being. We all need to be reminded from time to time that we can't pour from an empty cup. We need to focus on our own health so we are in the best position to care for the needs of others."
Cathy Hendrickson, RDH is a resident of Greeley, Colo., where she practices in the office of Dr. Richard Boyes. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1978, but stepped away from the profession for 16 years. She has now been licensed in Colorado for more than 20 years.
She was challenged by a co-worker to attend RDH Under One Roof. Here is her takeaway from the 2016 conference:
"There were so many things, but the one thing is that dental hygiene is multi-faceted. There is so much to continue to learn and to put into practice. Also, because this was a conference for hygienists, we were the focus-not the doctor, not the assistants, not the front office staff. The challenges of being a hygienist were addressed."
Shannon Benjamin, RDH who practices in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, first started attending RDH Under One Roof conferences in 2013. She is a 2008 graduate of Southern University in Louisiana and remains very excited by her career.
"I love to educate my patients and see them excited about results upon returning. I had an elderly patient who is very healthy, has all of her teeth, but thought it was pointless to invest in periodontal therapy. After her SCRP and Arestin, purchasing a Sonicare, and being diligent with follow-ups, she had amazing tissue response and was very happy. She now listens during probing and is excited to point out her improvements!"
Her takeaway from RDH Under One Roof is:
"After my first experience, I realized what an awesome conference it is and that it just pours into us. It's a great way to network and learn. I can't afford to miss out in this wealth of knowledge that helps me be better as a clinician!"