I have a soft spot for dental assistants

I am on a plane returning from New York City, where I was a speaker for two days for the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) at its annual meeting.

I am on a plane returning from New York City, where I was a speaker for two days for the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) at its annual meeting. I presented two half-day courses for the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA). I have a real soft spot in my heart for clinical dental assistants. As a group, they are so very undervalued by dentists.

We need to treat them as professionals and give them the respect that is due them. If my chairside is sick, I cancel appointments for the day and go home. I do not care to see patients without Rhonda or Barb sitting across the chair from me. If we are to have adequate manpower in the future, we need to help the ADAA elevate the professional status of the dental assistant so that adequate numbers of gifted people are attracted to dentistry. Be sure to tell all of your team members how much you appreciate them and help them get involved in the ADAA.

The workshops for the AGD were great! Both the provisional workshops and the bleaching workshops were very well-attended. The bleaching workshop included some lively discussions about BriteSmile Associated Centers and some similar products that probably will be available toward the end of the year. The AGD support staff was terrific in providing everything that was needed for the workshops. Erin Berggren was particularly helpful with his "can do" attitude and ever-present smile. Thanks, Erin!

Congratulations to the many dentists who were honored as Fellows and Masters of the Academy of General Dentistry. The road begins with a very real commitment to continuing education and ends when these dentists undergo a rigorous examination. I saw many future Fellows with smiles on their faces after the test on Friday. These AGD members will be honored in Hawaii at the next annual AGD meeting.

Plan now to attend the Cosmetic Dentistry 2002 meeting in Las Vegas February 14-15. This annual two-day meeting, sponsored by Dental Economics and RDH magazines, is packed with opportunities to learn from some of the very best teachers in dentistry. If you have not been presenting and treating cosmetic cases in your practice, this conference is designed to get your dental practice moving into the aesthetic revolution.

This year, we have greatly expanded the hands-on workshop opportunities. At least 10 hands-on workshops will cover such topics as veneer preparations, direct and indirect posterior restorations, photography, communication, and how to plan for your financial future. In addition, we will continue to offer the excellent learning tracks for doctors, hygienists, and assistants. Give yourself and your team a great Valentine's Day gift by joining us for CD 2002 at the Las Vegas Hilton!

I have just finished reading a great book by Dr. Phillip McGraw titled, "LIFE Strategies." I found it to be fascinating and very helpful. Dr. McGraw teaches how to do what works and how to do what matters in your life. He has developed "Ten Laws of Life" and the matching strategy to deal with these laws. Most of the laws seemed like they were written just for me:

  • Life Law #1 — "You either get it, or you don't"
  • Life Law #3 — "People do what works"
  • Life Law #6 — "There is no reality, only perception"
  • Life Law #8 — "We teach people how to treat us"

I recommend that you obtain your own copy of this great best seller and find out how the "Ten Laws of Life" impact you.

Mark your calendar for the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration meeting Feb. 28—March 3 at the beautiful Westin LaPaloma Resort in Tucson, Ariz. This meeting has a terrific program and is one of the best-kept secrets in dentistry.

Read every page of this issue! It is packed with terrific information!

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor — e-mail: joeb@pennwell.com

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