Dental assisting is a career that offers something for everyone: whether you’re interested in business administration, clinical aspects or becoming a dental assisting educator, education is the best avenue to create a fulfilling and successful career as a dental professional. Completing one’s education requires time, dedication and the ability to persevere in the face of challenges. Not only is ADAA is dedicated to supporting dental assistants in their pursuit of education as a means of benefiting one’s career path, the association also strives to recognize dental assistants for their hard work and passion.
I commend you for your efforts in applying for these prestigious awards and scholarship programs – you deserve to have your hard work and dedication to your chosen field recognized. Dental assistant professionals understand that education is a key component to a successful career. With a solid educational foundation, you’ll be able to help others by sharing your knowledge, encouraging better oral health care, and having a positive effect on people’s lives.
Dental assisting students understand how important it is to motivate patients to brush thoroughly using proper technique. Use of mobile technology to strengthen and encourage the development of better habits and organization is a growing trend in the industry. Students would benefit from being knowledgeable about these trends so they can educate their patients in turn, and recommend best practices to help patients develop better oral care habits and practices. As part of this emerging technological trend, Oral-B has developed three patient education apps to help your pediatric and adult patients brush longer and better.
1. Disney Magic Timer App by Oral-B®, powered by DREAMPLAY™
As students know, early adoption of regular brushing habits is important to establishing long-term practices. Parents can help their children develop good brushing habits using this child-friendly and free app. It simply requires three easy steps to utilize:
Scan any Pro-Health Stages products (compatible with any character products)
Watch the characters come to life
The two-minute timer reveals images every time the patient brushes to keep the child interested. The tracking chart records how often the patient brushes for two minutes, which will help parents keep track of their children’s brushing habits and identify areas for improvement.
2. Oral-B App: Your Personal Brushing Assistant
Adults can also benefit from mobile technology's application to patients' oral health care routines. This Oral-B app is designed to work with Oral-B power toothbrushes. It features a quadrant timer, brushing stats, brush head replacement alert, and oral care tips, as well as news, appointments and weather. The app uses the microphone in your patient's iPhone or iPodtouch to detect the sound frequency of the Oral-B power brush.
The read-outs and displays can provide patients with real-time, easy-to-track information about their individual brushing habits. These aspects of the app can help patients by showing them where they need to improve their oral health routines, and also provide dental professionals with additional information about their patients' routines and oral health needs.
3. Oral-B SmartSeries Bluetooth toothbrush(U.S. product release Fall 2014)
Oral-B recently introduced the first power toothbrush with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. The brush will be available in the United States this fall and will work with an upgrade to the Oral-B app. The new interactive toothbrush utilizes new features to encourage improvements in patients' oral health care practices, such as:
Two-Way Communication: Not only does the app recieve patients' brushing data and report it back, but the app can be programmed so that it communicates with the brush for personalized brushing as well. Patients can use their SmartPhone as a "remote control" to customize the brush to their needs, including their target session length and preferred modes. If the patient forgets to bring their SmartPhone into the bathroom while brushing, the Oral-B interactive electric toothbrush handle can store up to 20 brushing sessions. The data is transferred the next time the app is connected to the toothbrush, updating records.
Expert Guidance with Focused Care: Oral health professionals can program patients' brushing routines in the app to help improve their brushing behavior and focus on problem zones within the month.
Fosters Better Brushing: The app and interactive electric toothbrush help drive patient compliance, which determines a large part of the success of dental appointments.
Helps Patients Stay Informed: The app helps maintain patients' attention and motivation while brushing by providing news, weather, and oral care tips.
Given the popularity of mobile app usage among the general public, understanding how apps can be used to help patients achieve better oral health practices and brushing habits is valuable knowledge for students about to enter the dental assisting field. The more aware students are of these emerging technologies and how they work, the better they'll be able to inform their future patients.
by Marina Cooke, CDA, ADAA Student Trustee 2013-2014
Fellow Student Chapter Members and Dental Assisting Educators, I wanted to take a moment to remind you that it is not too late to submit an application for ADAA Student Scholarships. The application process can easily be done online and is a great way for students to honor their hard work in becoming future dental assisting professionals.
The three scholarship and award opportunities available are as follows:
The Juliette A. Southard Scholarship/Oral-B Scholarship Program: Named for the founder of the American Dental Assistants Association, this scholarship program is underwritten by Oral-B, ADAA and volunteer donations. Established in 1929, the program awards scholarships to dental assisting students and dental assistants interested in furthering their education in the field of dental assisting. This scholarship program is available to students who are enrolled in a dental assisting program or applicable courses aimed at furthering a career in dental assisting. Applicants must be members of ADAA or ADAA student members.
ADAA Student Achievement Award: This monetary award is presented to the ADAA student member who has shown the most outstanding achievement as a dental assisting student. The award may be presented annually to one (1) student member at a dental assisting school. In order to apply for this award, you must be a current student member of the ADAA and enrolled in a dental assisting program.
ADAA/Hu-Friedy Merit Scholarship Award: ADAA is proud to partner with Hu-Friedy to honor those dental assisting students who exhibit proficiency in four-handed dentistry and exemplify the critical contribution an educated dental assistant makes to the success of clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and improved office efficiency. This monetary award also includes one year of free ADAA membership. (This award is available to students at CODA-affiliated programs only.)
As your ADAA Student Trustee and student affairs liaison, I would like to applaud your efforts and hard work throughout the academic year. I wish you best of luck in your applications for these prestigious scholarships and awards. Don't forget, the applications must be submitted electronically. Application forms, along with detailed guidelines for these scholarship and award opportunities, are located under the "Forms & Awards" tab as "Student Awards/Scholarships."
If you should have any questions regarding the application process, I would be happy to assist you, so please feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com. Good luck to everyone!
The Dental Assistant, the official Journal of ADAA, wants to know what you did to celebrate DARW! Simply send in the DARW activities form from your DARW kit, along with any pictures (including captions) you took during your celebrations. Entries will appear in the Journal before the end of the year. Materials may be emailed to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for sharing, and we hope you had a wonderful week celebrating the contributions dental assistants make to their dental teams!
Seasons greetings and salutations! Congratulations on deciding to join the ranks of the professional dental assistant! By making the choice to attend a program dedicated to educating dental assistants, you have taken the first step to elevating yourself in the profession of dental assisting and the field of dentistry. You have entered into a profession and not just a job. For those of you just beginning your program, it’s likely been a long semester of work and adjustment, but you will find your rhythm as your studies continue and there’s much more to look forward to. If you’re now partially finished with your program, you’re almost there to becoming a dental assistant!
Entering an educational program can be an overall benefit to your career path, but it’s not always an easy one to follow. Many students have families and are often working while attending school. It can be a difficult journey, so ADAA has resources to help dental assisting students complete their studies so they can move on to beginning their professional lives. ADAA now offers four scholarship/award programs for people furthering their dental assisting education:
•The Juliette A. Southard/Oral-B Education Scholarship Program is named for the founder of the American Dental Assistants Association and is underwritten by Oral-B, ADAA and volunteer donations. This program awards scholarships to dental assisting students and dental assistants interested in furthering their education in the field of dental assisting and is available to students who are enrolled in a dental assisting program or applicable courses aimed at furthering a career in dental assisting.
•The ADAA Student Achievement Award is presented to the ADAA Student member who has shown the most outstanding achievement as a dental assisting student. This award is presented annually to one student member at a dental assisting school. Applicants for this award must be current student members of ADAA and enrolled in a dental assisting program.
•The ADAA/Hu-Friedy Merit Scholarship honors dental assisting students who exhibit proficiency in four-handed dentistry and exemplify the critical contribution an educated dental assistant makes to the success of clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and improved office efficiency.
•The ADAA/DANB Scholarship is awarded to dental assistants who demonstrate a strong commitment to career growth and lifelong learning. The scholarship funds may be used for professional activities such as continuing dental education, DANB exams or certification, some expenses associated with ADAA Fellowship or Mastership, or registration for a dental conference, among other possible activities.
Details and applications for these awards and scholarships may be found by clicking the links above.
The application deadlines for the Juliette A. Southard/Oral-B Scholarship, ADAA Student Achievement Award and ADAA/Hu-Friedy Merit Scholarship is March 15, 2014. The application deadline for the ADAA/DANB Scholarship is August 31, 2014.
I encourage you to apply for these awards and scholarship programs – completing a dental assisting education program takes dedication and hard work that deserves to be recognized. You have all winter break to work on your applications, so don’t let these deadlines sneak up on you!
Always remember, dental assistant professionals realize that this is a vocation that requires education. You will be educating others, creating smiles, impacting people’s lives and making a difference.
Fluoride dentifrices have resulted in significant oral health improvements for the general population globally over the last 50 years. Until recently, the effect of fluoride on oral health was restricted to dental caries. Thanks to a series of innovations in dentifrice formulation, a unique stabilized stannous fluoride dentifrice (Crest Pro-Health) now offers a broad range of therapeutic and cosmetic benefits, including reducing caries, plaque, gingivitis, sensitivity, calculus, extrinsic stain and bad breath.
In the 1950s, Procter & Gamble collaborated with Indiana University researchers to introduce the first fluoride dentifrice clinically proven to prevent dental caries, under the brand Crest. The original Crest contained “Fluoristan” (Stannous Fluoride) with the primary intent to prevent dental caries. You may recall those initial commercials, “Look Mom - No Cavities!” The other beneficial effects of stannous fluoride were not yet realized as the stannous fluoride was not stabilized in this formulation.
Research and development on dentifrices continued well into the late 1980s and 1990s at Procter & Gamble, with a focus on stannous fluoride systems. There was more interest from dental professionals on increasing the efficacy of stannous fluoride dentifrice for plaque and gingivitis control; stannous fluoride was also a known desensitizer. By the early 1990s, working with external researchers, the stannous fluoride systems were re-designed with new abrasive systems and stabilized in the formulation. There was a delicate balance of chemistry necessary to manage formulation efficacy, aesthetics, production suitability and cosmetic side effects such as tooth stain.
The new toothpaste, launched in the 1990s, was very effective at controlling plaque and gingivitis, in addition to the prevention of caries. There were, however, drawbacks because the formulation had no anti-calculus effect and in a number of users some transient extrinsic staining occurred. So, the researchers had a new issue to address: how to provide therapeutic benefits against caries, plaque /gingivitis and sensitivity without the staining effect.
This issue was solved in the early 2000s, with the addition of a powerful cleaning and anti-tartar agent, sodium hexametaphosphate, to the stabilized stannous fluoride formulation. Sodium hexametaphosphate adsorbs to multiple sites on the tooth surface, helping to inhibit calculus and extrinsic stain formation, as well as reduce existing stain. This solution provided the best of all worlds because it was finally possible to deliver all the therapeutic effects of stannous fluoride with the cosmetic benefits of extrinsic stain and calculus control.
This unique chemistry – stabilized stannous fluoride and sodium hexametaphosphate – is the basis for Crest Pro-Health dentifrice, launched in 2005. More than 90 publications and research presentations support the full range of benefits of this formulation. Now and in the future, a multi-benefit dentifrice will be increasingly recommended as an excellent option for patients to realize multiple, noticeable improvements in their oral health.
For more information about stabilized stannous fluoride and Crest Pro-Health toothpaste, visit dentalcare.com.
Pat Walters, RDH, MSDH, MSOB. Ms. Walters developed this article from an interview with Dr. Don White published in Premium Practice Dentistry, July 2013. Ms. Walters does consulting and medical writing in the oral health field with Cincinnati Consulting, Inc. She is a retired Senior Scientist from Procter & Gamble. She holds MS degrees in Oral Biology and Dental Hygiene Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
I am graduating and looking for a job. How much should I be making?
DentalWorkers.com gets asked this question all of the time. As you post resumés and view employer job ads for dental assistant job opportunities on DentalWorkers.com, we also recommend that you visit our "Dental Salaries" link. Wage questions are answered. You can search by city/postal code along with the dental assistant job title in order to view the mean wages for your city. As an example, here is a copy of the top five states that have the highest employment level for dental assisting jobs in the US. You can additionally search city results on DentalWorkers.com.
When you determine an hourly wage for your new job, factor in any benefits and perks that are part of your dental job offer. Be aware that a high hourly wage does not always translate to a fulfilling career. The right package of benefits can be a big factor in determining job satisfaction.
DentalWorkers.com recommends you think outside the box. Before your interview, think about and write down what is important and works best for you. There's a lot to consider. Examples include a public transit pass, insurance, vacation time, gym pass, gas card, continuing education, annual bonuses, a sign-on bonus, housing, moving expenses or profit sharing. For instance, during an interview, when a dental employer opens a discussion and asks about what is important to you, know ahead of time how you will answer. This is one of many good employment practices. Recognize that if an employer is interested in your priorities, you've probably found a place where your work will be valued.
DentalWorkers.com provides online employment services with dental job ads and resumés throughout the US and Canada. We target job ads by matching them to worker's resumés by city/state and job title.
Cathy Allenowns DentalWorkers.com, DentalJobs.com, DentalJobs.ca, DentalWorkersClassifieds.com, FindDentalJobs.com and other dental related websites. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from Marquette University and music degree from DePaul University. After her thirteen year career as a hygienist, entrepreneur, teacher and gig musician, Ms. Allen decided it was time for a change and moved west to sunny Los Angeles. She created DentalWorkers.com that has been providing online matching services between dental employers and dental workers for the last thirteen years. Ms. Allen currently resides in Las Vegas, NV, with her husband, Ward. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
For many students, entering the job market and finding employment are of paramount concern. Understanding the importance of maintaining an online profile and how to do so in a way that will be attractive to potential employers can help students prepare for finding their dream jobs. While a paper resumé is still a primary marketing tool for job seekers, a growing number of employers are asking candidates to submit links to their social profiles, aka their “social resumé.”
Your social resumé matters when seeking employment for the following reasons:
1. It's a complete picture of who you are. If your paper resumé is what you do, then your social resumé is who you are. Employers want to know that you will fit into their culture and office environment. Since activity on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter are clues to your personality, it just makes sense that they want to see those streams to get a better sense of your character.
2. It lets you standout. Blogging, tweeting, liking & engaging others are perhaps the best way to stand out in a crowded job market. By showcasing your writing skills and passion for the industry you want to work in, you can make a name for yourself. You can engage in meaningful conversations on sites like twitter and actually use it to enhance your professional image.
3. It makes you more available. The entire social web has become a giant resumé database. By having multiple social media profiles that identify your skills with the right keywords, you can be found. Recruiters are increasingly searching all social media sites from Twitter to Facebook to Pinterest to source talent. The more sites you are active on will only increase your chances of being discovered.
"Social profiles are making talent more findable than ever," says Chris Russell, CEO of CareerCloud. "Smart candidates are realizing they can use it to get ahead and make personal connections with companies they want to work for."
Between balancing a personal life, studies and work, being a student can get a bit taxing. By taking time to connect with the needs of your mind and body, you can find ways to better manage stress and help yourself relax, which will in turn help create a better work-life-study balance.
Here are five easy ways to stay calm, relaxed and connected to the self throughout even during exams.
Breathe – It may feel silly to remind oneself to breathe, but it is so important. There are two types of breathing: shallow and deep. Taking shallow chest breaths causes the body to operate in “fight or flight” mode, which is highly stressful. Less oxygen goes to the brain and the body continues to operate on high alert. It is important to take deep abdominal breaths, which stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This optimizes digestion, relaxation and detoxification while keeping hormones balanced.
Gratitude – Remembering things to be grateful for throughout the day really does wonders for personal state of mind and for the body. Positive thinking releases chemicals that help with digestion, euphoria, relaxation and overall well-being.
Laughter – Laughter is the best medicine as the saying goes, and this is often the case. Laughing for 10 minutes a day will do amazing things. It changes the physiology of the entire body—increases circulation, releases different “happy” chemicals in the body, reduces stress, keeps everyone in a lighter frame of mind, helps the heart and can even burn calories! It’s contagious, too!
Sit in Silence – Taking 10-30 minutes to quiet the mind and clear thoughts can be so beneficial. If meditating is not preferable, spend the time visualizing goals for the day. This will put focus on personal needs, which will be relaxing later when the day starts to get stressful.
Take a 15-20 Minute Walk Outside – Sometimes all that’s needed is fresh air and sunlight. Taking a step away from the computer, the phone, the office, etc. can really help clear thoughts and be very calming.
Stress is an almost unavoidable part of being a student, but there are many ways to help yourself relax and stay healthy. Practicing these five methods is a great start.
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.
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).3,4This 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 visitdentalcare.com. Special pricing on products is always available for dental assisting students and dental assistants.
1White DJ et al.J Contemp Dent Pract2006;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.
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 practicefor 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 andafraidof 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.
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.