A competition to sink their teeth into

2014-01-17T15:00:00Z 2014-01-18T15:43:14Z A competition to sink their teeth intoLesly Bailey Times correspondent nwitimes.com
January 17, 2014 3:00 pm  • 

Members of the Dental Study Club of Northwest Indiana will test their knowledge and skills at the inaugral World Team Treatment Planning Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz., next week.

Drs. James Lipton, Gene Ranieri, Eric Pulver, Michael Drone and Michael Koufos will be competing against nearly 100 other dentists from around the world as part of the event hosted by parent organization Seattle Study Club, which is a continuing education group for dental professionals.

“The symposium is centered around competition between clubs. Out of 300 clubs from across the world, they choose 12 to compete,” Ranieri said. “They have seen that we are adept in this type of skill. The Seattle Study Club is one of the most elite dental groups in the country, so for us to be asked shows their confidence in our abilities.”

The team will be judged by their peers when the audience of more than 400 dental professionals votes on the first round of the single-elimination tournament. If they make it to the second round, they will be against the clock having 15 minutes to review a situation and solve it, and 15 minutes to present it.

“They give us a case and all documentation and we have to analyze the case and how we would sequence it and the patient’s options,” Ranieri said. “Basically, we are using an algorithm combined with our clinical experience.”

The winning team will be featured on the cover of the organization’s peer review journal and its individual club will receive $10,000 to help fund programming in the future.

The Northwest Indiana group has been together 10 years with 50 members who represent specialties as well as general dentistry. Focused on lifelong learning, the group helps members stay on top of the latest developments, treatment options and techniques.

“Technology changes rapidly in dentistry. By sharing information, it’s easier to keep abreast. It allows for our interactions to be more compelling,” Ranieri said.

He said the group benefits from continuing education not only through peer interaction but also expert speakers in a more intimate setting.

“We usually pick a topic every year and bring in the best speakers. We bring in three to four experts to Northwest Indiana to speak to us,” he said. “It is a private, intimate interaction rather than going to an event with a big audience. We can ask questions and meet with the speakers.”

The group helps promote collaboration between specialists and dentists.

“It makes us all better and helps us deliver a higher quality of dentistry to our patients and that really is the bottom line,” Ranieri said.

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