We recently spoke with Dejan Ivošević, technology and sales director at COMMEX company which ‚‚1stand behind B&B Dental SEE. The reason for this conversation was his departure to Los Angeles at a symposium organized by the Dental Influencers Alliance – DIA. What was all that about and what can be seen and learned at this symposium, whose name suggests modern concepts, read through the interview.
You were recently in Los Angeles, at the Dental Influencers Alliance symposium. Tell us who invited you and what exactly does this symposium represent? What is the role of the association that is the organizer of this event?
– My professional activities have been associated with cutting-edge solutions in the field of dentistry for years. For this reason, I intensively communicate with many colleagues around the world. In the second half of 2018, I started communicating and collaborating with people behind the online platform for dental education – IMPLANTCOMPARE. As a result, at the beginning of November 2018, I received an invitation to attend the Dental Influencers Alliance – DIA, held on 7 and 8 December 2018 in Los Angeles, USA. At first, I did not have a clear picture of what the organizer’s basic idea was, but on the list of lecturers I saw many names whose work I’ve been tracking on Instagram for some time. For this reason, I gladly accepted the invitation.
Coming to Los Angeles, things began to become clearer. Ideal creators and organizers are a group of young people, experts from different fields (dentistry, technology, marketing) who want to start things in a slightly different direction. The founder is Blake MacLellan @implantcompare along with several other friends and associates, Dr Sinada Naif @drsinada, Dr Peyman Raissi @drpeyray, Ben Johnson @pnwoms, Dr Brian Baliwas @sfdentalnerd.
What is their guiding idea? What are the goals in front of Dental Influencers Aliance?
– High technology is now easily accessible to a wide range of people. The most popular examples are social networks that almost everyone uses. Unfortunately, social networks are in most cases used in an extremely unproductive way, for entertainment, or just wasting time. The idea of the Dental Influencers Alliance is to take advantage of the opportunities offered by social networks and to use them as a new channel for disseminating and acquiring knowledge by interconnecting experts from different parts of the world! So the idea is to put generally accepted and accessible technology into the function of education.
There is a concept – learning through exchange of experiences and interaction!
Need for „digitizing the experience“ is absolutely understandable but the name itself seems to lead us in the sphere of marketing, rather than on professional dental practice? How do the DIA bridle that gap?
– The name „influencer“ sounds pretentious and can even provoke repulsion at the very first moment. However, the essence and main idea is interaction. Influenser is, for example, the one who has tens of thousands of followers on Instagram (tens of thousands of dentist followers are the equivalent of millions of followers in the general population), but each of his following companions is influencer because he can respond with his knowledge, experience, the idea of impacting back on this first one. And that’s the essence. Knowledge and sources of knowledge to become closer to consumers; with the possibility of critical approach and upgrading. Knowledge, especially in areas such as dentistry, is not static, it already provides plenty of room for expansion and association with new technologies.
There is reason why there is a suspicion that some influencer could abuse his influence and put the followers on the wrong path! Fortunately, the concept of interaction, which is provided by social networks like Instagram, makes it a powerful self-regulatory factor. Namely, if the influencer forces the wrong ideas and conclusions, the community of professionals that follows him will react and crush his attitudes, which will consequently diminish his influence.
The positive side is a faster exchange of ideas and knowledge, easier access, and the like.
Now you could reprezent us some of the details of the symposium itself. What are your first impressions?
– The congress took place in three halls, one large and two smaller. In smaller halls, workshops were held in groups of up to 50 people. During the workshops, topics such as solving complex implant-prosthetic situations, possibilities offered by guided surgery, patient negotiation techniques, development of artificial intelligence and its application in dentistry, digital photography, branding and the similar were covered.
Lectures in main hall were time-limited for 20 minutes, very concise and concrete, which contributed to the dynamics of the whole congress. This allowed visitors to more easily maintain the required concentration.
DIA was opened by lecture by Dr. Miguel A. Ortiz (@dr_miguel_ortiz) on the meaning of the word “influencer” and the modern possibilities and ways of spreading knowledge. Then there were lecturers Dr. Armand Bedrossian (@dr_bedrossian), Dr Sinada Naif (@drsinada), Dr Matt Nejad (@dr_mattnejad), Dr Peyman Raissi (@drpeyray), Dr Andi-Jean Miro (@aestheticsbyandi), Zach Hanson (@zachhanson9057), dr Dovi Prero (@preroorthodontics), dr Todd Snyder (@toddsnyderdds), Dr Chris Strandburg (@chrisstrandburg), Dr Ivan Chicchon (@implant_ninja), Dr Parag Kachalia (@techdds), Dr Paresh Shah (@drpareshshah), Dr Randold Binns (@dr.randold_binns), Dr Martin Lindstrom (@drlindstrom), and others.
I would recommend to your readers to start following on Instagram the above-mentioned lecturers, since many of them (led by Dr. Miguel Ortiz) publish practical clinical problems from practice corroborated by studies and their experience almost everyday.
Does this symposium have some advantages over other conferences? How would you characterize it and approach our readers in a few sentences?
An important feature of the DIA is that the lecturers were present throughout the entire duration and were socializing and talking to all participants. So, not only after his lecture, but the next day, from the beginning to the end of the congress! This is a significant feature that the DIA stands out from all other congresses and symposiums with a large number of speakers. In addition, the companies that sponsored this symposium were also integrated with other participants, which contributed to their better interaction with potential clients. So the sponsors expressed their great satisfaction with the congress. I can conclude that the DIA has managed to solve two important hardships of all congresses: the ease of interaction of the participants with the lecturers and the easy interaction of the sponsors with the participants!
There was no separation or redistribution of significant and less significant participants, which, as we know, is a common case in many professional congresses.
Who were the visitors of this symposium? When we were preparing this interview, you told me that you were among the oldest participants.
The visitors were mainly younger doctors, who are extremely interested in applying the latest technologies in everyday practice. They represent the present and future of digital dentistry.
Regardless of whether it was a student or a doctor with many years of experience in practice, they all had the opportunity to get answers to all questions regarding areas covered by lectures.
Those who did not know each other, exchanged contacts on Instagram and thus started interaction. For two days of DIA, people interacted very well and created strong basics for further education through interaction.
If the reader of these lines would not get the wrong impression that this is just a frivolous group of enthusiasts, I have to mention that the DIA is certified as part of a continuing education program by the American Health Board.
The general impression of the participants after the end of the congress is that they can hardly wait for the DIA 2019! I think this speaks for itself only.
How would you rate where we are currently in relation to the most up-to-date global technical and technological solutions in the field of digital dentistry with an emphasis on guided surgery?
As you know, four years ago, in cooperation with prof. Dr. Zoran Lazić and his expert team with the VMA (Military Medicine Academy, Belgrade), launched a project for the introduction of guided surgery in Serbia. In the past period we have done a lot of cases, and we have successfully adopted the complete technology necessary for these modern procedures. During work, solving very demanding cases, we were forced to make certain innovations and protocol improvements that provided us with a high percentage of success. Over the past four years, apart from Serbia, we have provided services related to guided surgery to numerous doctors in the region, primarily in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During my stay at the DIA Congress in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to aknowledge experts form DIA with our achievements, as well as the protocols and software we use. This has caused great interest and positive reactions from the present doctors, which confirms that we are on the right track and that we can be satisfied with our degree of implementation of the latest technologies. Of course, we continue and prepare some news in 2019.
Would you at the end of this conversation be able to give some conclusions to our portal? Are we on the trail of some potentially great stories for the future of the dental?
I am honored to be part of creating something completely new and that I had the opportunity, during the panel discussion of all participants and organizers, to put forward proposals for the continuation and improvement of the DIA, which were accepted by most of the participants.
Also, I consider that we can all be proud of the fact that Serbia, and therefore our entire region, were present at this event and involved in the most contemporary world movements in the field of dentistry and dental education.
I note that this is just the beginning and I invite all people of the free spirit, wanting new knowledge and the ability to share their knowledge with others, to join us! At he end, Let’s take chance and announce DENTAL INFLUENCERS ALLIANCE 2019, Which will take place at Double Tree Resort by Hilton, Scottsdale, Arizona, December 6th and 7th 2019! All interested people can contact me directly for further information and via the Instagram account @dejan.ivosevic.