The History of Hinman
The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting is sponsored by the Hinman Dental Society, a non-profit organization. The first meeting was held in 1912 by Dr. Thomas P. Hinman and was considered to be the first clinic strictly for serious-minded educational purposes. The meeting developed a reputation for devotion to detail and hospitality that continued to grow through the years with every meeting. These qualities are represented in the motto: Devotion to detail is the secret of success.
Born in 1870, Thomas Hinman graduated from Southern Dental College in Atlanta with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1891. The following year, he joined the faculty of his alma mater and became Professor of Oral Surgery. Dr. Hinman held high offices in many professional organizations including the appointment by President Woodrow Wilson as the U.S. Delegate and Honorary Chairman of the Section VIII of the Fourth International Congress of Dentists in London. This nomination was considered one of the highest tributes in the dental world.
The first classes for the Atlanta Midwinter Clinic, later renamed the Hinman Dental Meeting, were initially limited to 40 dentists with strict focus on education. The attendee was honor bound to return to his state dental society and present what he had learned in a formal program.
By the late ‘20’s, the clinic was attracting national attention. Year after year, featured clinicians and attendees spread the word about the informative programs offered and the extraordinary hospitality extended to them. As the meeting grew, the location changed. The first meetings were held in the Piedmont Hotel, the Ansley Hotel, and, later, the Biltmore Hotel.
Exhibits were introduced in 1942 with 14 booths appearing in the Ballroom at the Biltmore Hotel. The meeting then moved to the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium at Courtland and Gilmer Streets in 1944 followed by the move to the new Atlanta Marriott Motor Hotel in 1966. In 1977, the meeting expanded to the Atlanta Hilton and Towers, and in 1986, it shared space between the Hilton and the new Atlanta Marriott Marquis. With the continued growth of meetings and exhibits, the Society voted to move the meeting to the Atlanta Market Center, using exhibit and meeting space in INFORUM, the Apparel Mart and the Merchandise Mart.
In 2015, nearly 22,000 dental professionals participated in the 103rd Annual Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center and Omni Hotel at CNN Center. The exhibits program included representatives from nearly 400 companies occupying more than 800 booths. Attendees were housed in 25 hotels in downtown, midtown, and Buckhead. They traveled from all 50 states and as far away as Japan and New Zealand.
Today, the focus is still on providing the best possible continuing dental education, not just for the dentists but also, the whole dental team. The program addresses the needs of the general dentists, specialists, hygienists, assistants, front office staff and students.
The Hinman Dental Society today is comprised of 800 dentist members, primarily located in metropolitan Atlanta. The membership responsibilities include service during the meeting each year. This service enables the reputation for unparalleled hospitality to continue. The combination of outstanding education and hospitality ensures the position of the Hinman Dental Meeting as one of the top dental programs in the country.
The excess revenue of the Meeting is invested and gifted in the form of scholarships to individuals and in grants to institutions that foster dental education whether at the undergraduate or post-graduate level. In 2015, the society provided more than $1,000,000 in total giving.