Embracing Change

Laura Thill

Recent efforts to educate families on the importance of early oral care and the need to make treatment more accessible have paid off, both for pediatric patients and the pedodontists treating them. That’s good news, but it has presented a few challenges for dental professionals.

Pediatric-focused dental outreach programs for preventative dental care, such as the American Dental Foundation’s Give Kids a Smile and America’s Tooth Fairy, as well as the availability of health insurance to more families, have resulted in more children receiving higher quality oral healthcare, according to Rolando Mia, vice president of customer success at Zyris. At the same time, many dental owners are challenged with investing in newer technology and providing their teams with more and better training.

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) for caries prevention and treatment, digital X-rays, digital and laser cavity detection devices and aids, hard and soft tissue laser designed to painlessly treat cavities and decay, CAD/CAM impression technology, painless injection systems and improved isolation and retraction devices all have facilitated better care. But, as some pedodontists have noted, new technology can be disruptive. “It requires a dedicated effort, and when technology is set aside and forgotten, it’s a wasted investment,” says Mia.

Then again, some would argue that staying current on new technology and embracing change is at the essence of following best practices and providing optimal healthcare. Fortunately, a number of industry organizations – from the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) to the American Academy of Dental Group Practice (AADGP), NDC, Dentist Entrepreneur Organization (DEO), Dykema, Scaling Up and more – offer year-round educational and networking opportunities specifically geared to dental service organizations. Indeed, just as the professional culture and daily goings-on within a group practice have a huge impact on patient care, what happens outside of the practice often matters just as much.

Join us this issue for an overview of group practice dental meetings that have taken place or will do so before the end of the year. In addition, we invite you to hear what the experts have to say regarding such topics as pediatric dentistry, implantology, infection control and more.