ADAA Student Talk Newsletter
By Claudia Pohl, CDA, RDA, FADAA, BVEd, ADAA President 2011-2012
I imagine that this will find you enjoying a bit of summer weather with fall close behind. Perhaps with all the hot weather across the country, that will be a good thing!
Some of you are back to school and preparing to finish your dental assisting education while others of you have graduated and are either on or preparing for your first job. Now that you are on the cusp of your new career, have you thought about how to make the most of it?
When you no longer have a test to study for or a competency or skill to practice for, how will you challenge yourself? What will keep your skills sharp? How will you know if you have the right information or the newest materials?
Not only that, but is there anything about the career that you’d like to see change? Do you want to see more continuing education required for dental assistants? Do you think the patients are protected adequately? Does everyone in your community have equal access to dental care? Is enough being done to prevent the spread of caries in children?
You’re getting this newsletter because you are a student member in the ADAA, which already shows that you are a leader and someone who values the career you’ve chosen enough to invest in it. When it comes time to renew your membership, I trust that you will continue to grow as a leader and continue to be a part of your professional organization. It benefits both you and your patients - the continuing education and access to the latest information will keep you on the cutting edge of the field.
I also hope that you will get involved on some level with your ideas and thoughts about how to move the profession of dental assisting forward. By doing this, you help to shape your own future – and you won’t regret it!
I wish you each the best as you begin your dental assisting career.
by Jennifer Broyles, ADAA Student Trustee
We at ADAA want to hear from dental assisting students – share your ideas with us! Tell us what you think about the student membership, how it already works and what we can do to make it better!
There are many ways to get involved with the ADAA, one of which is to apply for a position on the Council on Student Relations. The council is made up of five students and two educators and is there to help put into effect policies and procedures that will advocate for and assist with all aspects of the student memberships. The council is a great way to start getting involved and to meet different members of the ADAA. All council work is generally done through e-mails. The council is given directives each year by the president. The Student Trustee is the chair of the council and helps direct the council in generating initiatives and how to make these ideas come to life. It is a great opportunity to be involved with ADAA and to contribute your perspective on dental assisting as well. I encourage anyone who is interested to apply; it would be a great experience for anyone. We need student voices to make that all happen. The applications for a position on the council or for the position of ADAA Student Trustee can be downloaded directly by clicking on these links, or going to "Forms" and "Trustee/Officer Forms."
The Juliette A. Southard/Oral-B Scholarship, named for the founder of the ADAA, identifies 10 students who are selected to receive the scholarship, which is underwritten by Oral-B, ADAA and volunteer donations. The ADAA Student Achievement Award is awarded to one student member and for 2013 will once again be funded by a generous donation from the Mihok family in memory of ADAA member Regina V. Mihok, CDA. Every year the deadline for both the JAS/Oral-B Scholarships and ADAA Student Achievement Award is March 15.
We love to recognize students who work hard and want to make a difference in and improve the dental field. As a winner of both the JAS/Oral-B Scholarship and ADAA Student Achievement Award, I felt very proud and honored to have been selected. It was not hard to write the essays, or get the application filled out. I needed two letters of recommendation and parts of the application had to be completed by my program director. The awards got my name out there and now I’m the Student Trustee. You can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it.
We also have another award, the ADAA/Hu-Friedy Merit Award. The deadline for this award is also March 15. This is a new award and we are excited that Hu-Friedy wanted to be a part of it. While it does not offer a monetary prize, it is still an honor to receive this award. The applications for this award will be available on the website under "Forms & Awards" beginning December 1st.
The applications and rules for the student scholarships and awards can be found on the ADAA website here. We would love to hear how you plan on making an impact in the dental field, so please apply!
by Lisa Sagel, MA, BS, P&G Oral Care Publications Manager
Dental plaque – a sticky, biofilm of diverse microbial agents that forms on the tooth surface – is implicated in numerous oral conditions. One common plaque-related condition is gingivitis, the earliest form of periodontal disease characterized by gingival inflammation and bleeding. Since gingivitis is reversible with proper treatment, which includes effective daily oral hygiene, it will be important for you to counsel patients on methods to control plaque.
The Role of Plaque in Gingivitis
Plaque biofilm is composed of an organized system containing microorganisms, cells and salivary proteins attached to pellicle-coated tooth surfaces (See Figure 1, right). Over time, if plaque is not adequately removed, the biofilm matrix matures and more anaerobic, gram-negative bacteria become present. These bacteria convert dietary nutrients into energy and byproducts, including inflammatory toxins, through metabolic activity. In turn, the toxins contribute to inflammation of the gingival tissue and bleeding. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more advanced periodontal disease.
The primary method used for plaque control is by the mechanical removal of plaque during brushing and flossing. Adding a chemotherapeutic dentifrice and rinse to oral hygiene can further extend low levels of plaque by inhibiting its regrowth (See Figure 2, left). These products can be easily and cost-efficiently incorporated into patients’ oral hygiene routine to ensure that not only is plaque removed, but its regrowth is inhibited. Two popular anti-plaque agents are stannous fluoride and cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC).
Stannous Fluoride Dentifrice
Stannous fluoride, the only anti-microbial fluoride marketed in the U.S., is an effective plaque inhibitor. Not only does it have bactericidal activity, killing bacteria, but it also inhibits the metabolic processes of bacteria. Thus, plaque levels and gingival health are improved because fewer bacteria are present and metabolic inflammatory toxin production is reduced. In 2005, a unique stannous fluoride dentifrice with sodium hexametaphosphate was introduced (Crest Pro-Health), a formulation that not only improves plaque/gingivitis but also prevents caries and calculus and reduces sensitivity, extrinsic stains and breath malodor. Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated the anti-plaque effectiveness of this stannous fluoride dentifrice against negative and positive controls.1,2 The most recent addition to the Crest Pro-Health line-up is Crest Pro-Health Clinical Plaque Control, which both reduces plaque and is clinically proven to help keep plaque from coming back.
CPC is a broad-spectrum anti-bacterial agent that works by penetrating the cell membrane of bacteria, causing cell components to leak. This ultimately leads to cell death. The concept is similar to puncturing a water balloon. In 2005, an alcohol-free CPC rinse was developed with clinically demonstrated anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis efficacy (Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Rinse).3,4 This product is particularly appealing to patients who have difficulty tolerating the burn associated with alcohol in many over-the-counter oral rinses. Earlier this year, Crest introduced its most advanced anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis CPC rinse, Crest Pro-Health Clinical Rinse.
For more information about plaque biofilm and agents for plaque control, please visit dentalcare.com. Special pricing on products is always available for dental assisting students and dental assistants.
1White DJ et al. J Contemp Dent Pract 2006;July (7)3:001-011.
2Mankodi S et al. J Clin Periodontol 2005;32:75-80.
3Witt JJ et al. J Contemp Dent Pract 2005;(6)1:1-9.
4Mankodi S et al. Am J Dent 2005;18:9A-14A.
By Claudia Pohl, CDA, RDA, FADAA, BVEd, ADAA President 2011-2012
Interesting thought, isn’t it? Is it one you’ve thought about? It’s natural to think that all dental offices will be the “same.” The reality though is that not all offices are created equal. Some offices are small, single-doctor, and fee-for-service while others are larger, multi-doctor, HMO practices. Additionally, each dentist will have his/her own philosophy, values and style that will affect the practice and how dentistry is delivered.
I remember early in my career when I was doing some temporary work and I worked in many different offices. It was an eye-opening experience for me. I realized then how different dental offices really could be. I had made an assumption that all offices were like the first one I had worked in, but was I wrong. Not only was each office physically set up differently, they each had a different personality, management style, value system and philosophy as well. I quickly realized what kind of practice I was comfortable in – and in what kind of practice I couldn’t work.
What happens if you are in an office that’s not right for you? If you are in an office that doesn’t align with your own philosophy, values and style, you will not be comfortable or happy – you will have internal conflict. What I see with my graduates is that if their first dental office is not a good match for them, they jump to the conclusion that dental assisting isn’t the right career for them. While that might indeed be the case, it’s more likely that they are in the wrong practice for them.
A few years later, when I was working part-time as a clinical assistant, I worked in two different periodontal offices. One was a single-doctor fee-for-service practice and the other was a large, multi-doctor HMO practice. They were very different offices with very different philosophies. It became evident that the philosophy of larger, multi-doctor HMO practice was in direct conflict with my own and I wouldn’t be able to stay there. I couldn’t be myself in the practice.
A graduate with whom I talked recently said she had been in her first office for about a year and she was thinking about looking for a new position in a different office. Based on what she said, it sounded like the right choice for the right reason. However, when we talked again a couple months later, she hadn’t taken any action. Why? She was “comfortable” in her current position and afraid of making the change. Fast forward... she accepted a new position in another office and was so happy that she did. Not only is she earning more, but more importantly, she is in an office that more closely reflects her own values and philosophy and she is more content.
So, when you’re doing your internships, use that time as an opportunity to find out what kind of an office you find most comfortable. Then when you are interviewing for your first position, you can look for some of the qualities that you want in an office and increase your chances of getting in the right office the first time.
It’s not a matter of a right or wrong here, it’s just a matter of putting yourself in an environment that closely aligns with who you are. If you find yourself in an office that isn’t right for you, just learn from the experience, face any fears that might hold you back from making a change and take the action necessary that will put you into an office where you can truly contribute and be free to be who you are in the practice.
Did you know that the ADAA has a special dues structure for students and recent graduates? As students, you are given full privileges of membership in the ADAA with a greatly reduced dues structure ($35/$45 w/ liability). In addition, to make your transition to your new career as easy as possible, the ADAA has a graduated dues structure available to you. Instead of an increase to full active dues your first year (to an average of $145), you are given the opportunity to reach the full active dues over the next three years without any penalty or loss of member benefits. Isn’t that great?
So, like all membership organizations you will receive an invoice for your dues renewal. If you are still a dental assisting student, you can renew as a student for $35 ($45 includes liability insurance) – just have your instructor verify your student status on the renewal form.
If you have graduated, then you will pay the first graduated dues of $50 plus state/local dues, plus $10 for liability, which is designated as an A1 (Active member 1). Please note that you must pay the graduated dues amount consistently within the three-year grace period; a missed annual dues payment within this time frame will result in your being charged the full dues amount in order to reinstate membership.
It’s that simple – and you have all the benefits of a full active member. Some of the benefits include: the ADAA Student Facebook group; free, unlimited online continuing education; and the ADAA Career Center, powered by Dentalworkers.com. All the benefits can be found on our website here.
We would love to see student members at our Annual Session in San Francisco this year! ADAA is hosting a Student Forum just for you, the ADAA Student Member. ADAA Past President Cindy Bradley will be giving a presentation on resumé writing. We will also have a presentation on interviewing techniques and a Student Networking Session.
At the end of the Student Forum, we want to hear from you, the students, on what you would like out of your membership. There will be door prizes, a raffle of one Coach item, and light refreshments and snacks. Come prepared to meet new people and learn some great techniques for landing your first job in the dental field!
Registration for the 2012 ADAA Annual Session is FREE for students! There is no additional registration fee for the ADAA Student Forum, but you must have a registration badge for the ADA/ADAA Annual Session in order to attend. The American Dental Association (ADA) handles all registration for Annual Session via ADA.org/session.
The ADAA Board of Trustees and membership wish to acknowledge and thank P&G Professional Oral Health–Crest Oral-B for its generous sponsorship of the ADAA Student Talk Newsletter.