Chicago, IL-The dental community waited with bated breath, all eyes fixed on the tiny chimney perched atop the American Dental Association headquarters building on the Near North Side of Chicago.
A contingent of hundreds lined the streets around the headquarters eagerly waiting a sign from the conclave of the House of Delegates of the ADA. Dr. Perry Coronitis traveled from Pocatello, Idaho in his Toyota Sienna minivan to witness firsthand one of the most sacred events in all of dentistry. “Since I joined the ranks of organized dentistry in 1997, when I graduated from dental school, I’ve longed to be present for one of these. To feel the camaraderie of rubbing shoulders with fellow believers and to feel the confirmation of the ghost of G.V. Black testifying that inspired leadership will continue!”
For 4 votes, the smoke spewed out of the chimney in thick black billows, indicating a new president had yet to be selected. Then suddenly at 6:27 PM Central Time, the smoke again appeared…it was white! A collective gasp and squeals of joy and gratitude erupted from the dental professionals in the gathered throng. Church bells in joyous noise rang out from atop the ADA headquarters building. A new president of the American Dental Association had been elected!
As an interesting aside, the smoke that comes from the chimney has beautiful ties to organized dentistry. The black smoke is created by a group of young aspiring dentists, members of the American Student Dental Association. A group of 20 students hover next to a large vent hood as they use high speed handpieces with no water and grind mercilessly into plastic teeth. The white “smoke” is created by volunteers from Delta Dental, shredding thousands of paper dental insurance claims into a fine powder and shooting them out the chimney.