04/05/11-NC CHAMP: Impact of Oral Health on School Attendance and Performance

11/23/10-On Behalf of the Entire ADAA Family

11/02/10-ADAA Introduces the 2010-2011 ADAA President

10/26/10-Farewell Address from ADAA's 85th President Angela M. Swatts, CDA, EFDA

08/10/10-"Cyberchondriacs" on the Rise?

08/03/10-Registration Opens for the 2010 ADA Annual Session in Orlando

06/15/10-President Swatts Announces Newest Military Project

06/08/10-HIPPA Update: The Red Flag Rules

06/01/10-Become an ADAA Member Director to the ADAA Foundation: Make a Difference

05/25/10-ADAA Participates in Bike Week

05/11/10-Wanted: ADAA Members Who Go Above & Beyond

05/11/10-CDA's Anaheim Meeting-The Art of Science and Dentistry

05/11/10-Greater Houston Dental Assistants Association makes big splash at 2010 Star of the South Dental Meeting

05/04/10-Sonja Lauren Foundation - Offering hope and a healthy smile.

04/06/10-San Fernando Valley DAS: Bridging the Gap

03/30/10-Dental Bib Chain Contamination

03/23/10-E-Membership Has Officially Launched




NC CHAMP: Impact of Oral Health on School Attendance and Performance


A recent publication based on North Carolina Child Health Assessment and Monitoring Program (NC CHAMP) 2008 data is now available:
Impact of Poor Oral Health on Children’s School Attendance and Performance

Jackson SL, Vann WF, Kotch JB, Pahel BT, Lee JY.

Objectives. We examined school days missed for routine dental care versus dental pain or infection to determine the relationship between children’s oral health status and school attendance and performance.

. We used 2008 data from the North Carolina Child Health Assessment and Monitoring Program. The study sample, weighted to reflect the state’s population, included 2183 schoolchildren. Variables assessed included school absences and performance, oral health status, parental education, health insurance coverage, race, and gender.  

. Children with poor oral health status were nearly 3 times more likely (odds ratio=3.89; 95% confidence interval=1.96, 7.75) than were their counterparts to miss school as a result of dental pain. Absences caused by pain were associated with poorer school performance (P<.05), but absences for routine care were not. Mediation analyses revealed that oral health status was associated with performance independent of absence for pain.

. Children with poorer oral health status were more likely to experience dental pain, miss school, and perform poorly in school. These findings suggest that improving children’s oral health status may be a vehicle to enhancing their educational experience.
AmJ Public Health. Published online ahead of print February 17, 2011: e1–e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2010.200915

For further information about NC CHAMP, please visit www.schs.state.nc.us/SCHS/champ.

Back to top





On Behalf of the Entire ADAA Family




On behalf of the entire ADAA family, we wish you all a very safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. We certainly have much for which to be thankful.  Today, due in no small measure to the dedication of brave men and women in our Armed Forces, our nation - indeed the world - is a safer place to live.

That service, of course, can and does demand the highest of sacrifices. We should be especially mindful this year of those families who will have one less chair at the table, as well as those who have no chair at all, much less a home in which to celebrate it. Theirs will be a particularly sadden holiday, and I ask you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.


The Warrior Family Support Center in San Antonio Texas will have a grand dinner for the families and brave Americans far from home.  Because of your generosity Parents, Children, Spouses and loved ones will have a place to spend Thanksgiving dinner with their wounded warriors.   The Center will serve dinner to over 500 families during Thanksgiving week. 


Thank you for what you do each and every day for our Service members.  When we are needed we were there. We were there supporting our troops during every conflict since the birth of our organization.  Please visit the ADAA home page and make a donation today and continue our rich history with our Troops.


We are closing in on our goal of $10,000.00 for the Warrior Center. I thank each of you for your generosity during our annual conference.  We will present our check to the Center during Christmas week from the entire ADAA family.   If every member donates $1.00 we will exceed our goal by 50 %.


 We want to give special thanks to these true heroes our ADAA members who are serving our country right now. We are blessed to have brave men and women who have sacrificed and who are sacrificing themselves; so that we can enjoy our families in peace.


Please take a few minutes to watch a small video clip to see how our donation helps.


May God bless you, your family during the holidays and continue to bless all service members through out the world.


Stephen E. Spadaro
Military Programs, ADAA


As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Back to top




ADAA introduces the 2010-2011 ADAA President



Greetings! Allow me to introduce myself – my name is Natalie Kaweckyj and I am the newly installed President of the American Dental Assistants Association having been installed just a few weeks ago at our annual meeting in sunny Orlando Florida. One of the benefits of being president is traveling nationwide to meet with friends of the ADAA, exchanging of ideas and meeting members I have not had a chance to meet yet. I look forward to meeting many new friends through my activities and encourage you to bring along a friend or colleague who may not yet be a member to an ADAA associated event or meeting.


I tip my hat off to my friend and Immediate Past President Angie Swatts, who led the ADAA into uncharted territory earlier this year with the launching of the new E-Membership initiative at the Chicago Mid Winter meeting. E-Membership has been a tremendous hit for many in getting their feet “wet” with the working of the ADAA. I encourage any dental assistant who is currently not a member of ADAA, to join as an E-Member to stay on the cutting edge of information affecting our profession. Many E-Members have converted over to active membership to gain even additional benefits only offered to full active members of the ADAA.  Networking is the prime source of career information and job leads for many, and the ADAA provides a wonderful opportunity for networking. For more information on the ADAA, please visit the website at dentalassistant.org   As they say, "membership has its privileges."


Every year the president selects various projects to have the councils and committees work on. This year will be another busy year as we continue what was started by my predecessor and work on new initiatives to enhance our Association. I welcome into the ADAA leadership Claudia Pohl (CA), President Elect; Susan Rexroat (FL), Vice President; and Bonnie Marshall (WA), Secretary. I also welcome new to the ADAA Board of Trustees - Claudia Gauthier (MA) as 1st District Trustee and Heidi Denson (UT) as 11th District Trustee. I look forward to working with the continuing trustees on the board as we continue to move the ADAA and its membership in a positive and proactive direction…full steam ahead!



Back to top




Farewell Address from

ADAA's 85th President

Angela M. Swatts, CDA, EFDA



WOW!  Has it been an entire year since I first addressed you as President of the American Dental Assistants Association?  It has indeed been a year, and what a wonderful year it has been.  ADAA ventured into cyberspace this year with Twitter and Facebook and has reached out to dental professionals everywhere via this awesome 24/7 electronic newsletter.

It has been quite the journey this past year, a journey of hard work, and success.  We launched a new membership category in 2010; E-Membership.  We now have over 7000 E- Members and are on target to have over 10,000 by year’s end.  Soon, ADAA will be known internationally with E-Members from several different countries. We have welcomed thousands of dental professionals to this form of membership and we hope they continue their affiliation with ADAA.   We continue to invite those of you who haven’t joined us, to take the time to log on to www.dentalassistant.org and click on the E-Member tab in the upper right hand corner of the home page. E-Membership has opened up a new dimension of the ADAA to a whole new group of dental professionals and I am proud to have played a role in its development.


The ADAA is about networking and just as you can build your professional and social network with ADAA membership, the leadership of the ADAA is building relationships with those who help to enhance the practice of dental assisting. Throughout the past year, we have strengthened our relations with national and international dental organizations, branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and very importantly, with America’s corporate leaders in the dental field.


Through my travels this year, I have had the privilege to meet the grass root members of this association who generously volunteer their time and talent to make a difference in their chosen profession.  I am still in awe at the undying commitment of our members who spread the word of ADAA.  From coast to coast, I have met numerous members that share one common goal, the love of dental assisting and pride in their professional association, the ADAA.  Words can not express my thanks to each and every one of you. 

I’d like to leave you with one final thought: ADAA is the organization that makes dental assisting a profession and it functions and grows because of those of you that support it.  My many thanks go out to those who do and my heartfelt invitation to join us goes to those who haven’t done so already.  

I bid you all farewell and leave you in the good hands of our new President.  Thank you to one and all. It’s truly been an honor to serve as President of the American Dental Assistants Association.


Back to top


"Cyberchondriacs" on the Rise?

Those who go online for healthcare information continues to increase


New York, N.Y. - August 4, 2010 - The latest Harris Poll, measuring how many people use the Internet to look for information about health topics, finds that the numbers continue to increase. The Harris Poll first used the word Cyberchondriacs to describe these people in 1998, when just over 50 million American adults had ever gone online to look for health information.  By 2005, that number had risen to 117 million.  In the new poll, the number of Cyberchondriacs has jumped to 175 million from 154 million last year, possibly as a result of the health care reform debate.  Furthermore, frequency of usage has also increased.  Fully 32% of all adults who are online say they look for health information "often," compared to 22% last year. These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 1,066 adults surveyed by telephone between July 13 and 18, 2010 by Harris Interactive.


Other findings in the new Harris Poll include:

  • While the percentage of adults who go online (79%) has not changed significantly for several years, the proportion of those who are online and have ever used the Internet to look for health information has increased to 88% this year, the highest number ever.
  • Fully 81% of all Cyberchondriacs have looked for health information online in the last month. And 17% have gone online to look for health information ten or more times in the last month.  On average, Cyberchondriacs do this about 6 times a month.
  • Very few Cyberchondriacs are dissatisfied with their ability to find what they want online.  Only 9% report that they were somewhat (6%) or very (3%) unsuccessful.  And only 8% believe that the information they found was unreliable.
  • Just over half (53%) of all Cyberchondriacs report that they have discussed information they found online with their doctors.
  • Half (51%) of all Cyberchondriacs say they have searched for information on the Internet based on discussions with their doctors.

So what? These findings show that, with every passing year, more and more people are using the Internet to look for health information and that the overwhelming majority of these Cyberchondriacs are finding what they want online. Methodology This Harris Poll® was conducted by telephone within the United States between July 13 and 18, 2010 among 1,066 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, number of adults in the household, number of phone lines in the household were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal. The full data tables associated with this release can be found here.


These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.


About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next.

Harris Poll Wrap Up: Little Ways Americans are Saving Money


Back to top


ADA Orlando

Registration Opens for the 2010 ADA Annual Session in Orlando

151st Annual Session to be held at the Orange County Convention Center, Oct. 9-12



CHICAGO, April 7, 2010 – Dentists and dental professionals can now register for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) 151st Annual Session and World Marketplace Exhibition, to be held in Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center from Oct. 9-12.


The ADA Annual Session brings together leaders in dental practice, research, academics and industry to present hundreds of continuing education courses over four days. It features hundreds of exhibitors, its “2010 Distinguished Speaker,” and excellent recreational opportunities over this Columbus Day weekend. Visit www.ada.org/goto/session for more information.

“We look forward to welcoming professionals from every part of dentistry to the ADA meeting this fall,” said Dr. Steven Carstensen, 2010 chair of the Council on ADA Sessions. “We’ve all worked hard to bring you the best dental meeting ever, set in convenient and exciting Orlando. Bring your family and enjoy the best the ADA has to offer in a fantastic, family friendly location. There’s no better way to make your dental future better than meeting with us this October!”


The ADA Annual Session offers attendees the choice of more than 245 relevant and topical continuing education courses, with more than 50% of lecture courses offered free with registration; entrance into the World Marketplace Exhibition, featuring hundreds of leading suppliers of dental products and services; entrance into the acclaimed “Opening General Session and Distinguished Speaker Series;” and access to housing and travel discounts.


Opening General Session features best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell
The ADA’s Opening General Session will take place on Saturday, October 9 at 8:00 a.m., on the exhibit floor at the Orange County Convention Center. Celebrated author Malcolm Gladwell will be the “2010 Distinguished Speaker.”
Mr. Gladwell is known for his incomparable gift for interpreting new ideas in the social sciences and making them understandable, practical and valuable to business and general audiences. Author of three New York Times #1 bestsellers including The Tipping Point, Blink, and now Outliers, he was named by Time magazine in 2005 as one of its 100 Most Influential People.


“ADA Night at Universal’s Islands of Adventure”

The 2010 Annual Session special event, “ADA Night at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®,” will take place on Sunday evening, Oct. 10 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ADA attendees will have exclusive access to the theme park and each of the unique islands including Jurassic Park, Lost Continent, Marvel Super Hero Island, Seuss Landing, Toon Lagoon, and the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, set to open in spring 2010. The ticket price of $70 for adults and $55 for children (before Sept. 10) includes access to all of the unique islands within the park, a $10 concession coupon for use during the event, and other amenities.


ADA offers discounts on housing, travel, entertainment and more
The ADA offers discounts on housing at more than 30 official ADA hotels in the vicinity of the Orange County Convention Center and Disney World®, in addition to discounts on air travel, ground transportation and rental cars. Discounts are also available to Annual Session attendees for theme park tickets and Orlando-area tours. Visit www.ada.org/goto/session
for more information.


Press release provided by ADA


Back to top












It is my absolute pleasure to introduce our newest Military Project!!! We will be working on behalf of the “The Warrior and Family Support Center” in San Antonio, Texas.  This is an incredible opportunity for ADAA and our generous members to give back to our wounded Veterans.


You have probably seen the article about the WFSC in the March/April ADAA Journal and in 24/7.   Please take a few minutes to go to their website and learn more about what WFSC does for our wounded soldiers from all branches of the Armed Forces.
No amount is too small or too large.  You can donate as a local or state association or as an individual.  You can seek outside donations from your employer, co workers, students friends or families. Let’s show our appreciation for the sacrifices these men and women of our Armed Forces have made for our freedom.  We can make a difference for the WFSC.  Thank you in advance for all your donations and support of this ADAA project. 


All donations must be received by Dec 20 and will be presented to the WFSC during the Christmas holiday. 

To show your support, donations can be made directly to ADAA via phone, fax or mail.

Donations can be made via credit card by phone to ADAA at (877) 874-3785

Please make checks out to ADAA*. 














Back to top




HIPAA Update: The Red Flag Rules

By Kimberly Arny, CDA, CODA


HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) has made our lives easier in some areas, harder in others.  The American Dental Association’s lobbyists have recently been successful in exempting dental offices from the Red Flag Rules component of HIPAA.  If they had not won their arguments against the implementation by the dental community, our offices would have been required to comply by June 1.

It’s hard for me to understand why there was so much resistance.  If your office does not already have safeguards in place to protect our patients against identity theft, you could easily leave the office vulnerable to civil suits.  HIPAA fines through the Health and Human Services Department are steep.


There are easy steps you can take to “amp up” your daily procedures to limit access to your patient’s data. Some of these include:

  • Shredding routing slips that contain social security numbers and birth dates.
  • Use password protection for all access to your dental software programs.  Change the password if there is a change in staff.
  • Periodically change online insurance website passwords. 
  • Secure all password information.  Make sure the dentist has a secure copy offsite.  Protection is great, but if anything happens to the office manager, how can they access the information?  The dentist should and must have access to all files and records for his own protection against theft and fraud.
  • Copy insurance cards to confirm accuracy. 
  • Secure patient charts in locking file cabinets.
  • Copy driver’s license to confirm identity.  (These can be helpful with collection efforts also.)
  • Confirm and document employee knowledge of HIPAA guidelines and your specific office practices to conform to those policies.  Outline penalties if employee guidelines are not followed.
  • Secure, regular backup procedures should be implemented.  These will limit your vulnerability to hackers, and give you the ability to recover from catastrophic events (i.e. fire, tornado, etc.).
  • For more information on putting together a program for your office, please visit www.dentalmanagers.com/RedFlagRules.  (This website information courtesy of Allen M. Schiff, CPA, CFE)

Back to top







Become an ADAA Member Director to the ADAA Foundation

Make a Difference!


The ADAA Foundation is now accepting applications for an active ADAA Member to serve as an ADAA Member Director to the ADAAF. The deadline for submitting your application and commitment to serve is August 1, 2010. Please see the notice concerning the requirements for serving as a Foundation Director and the application for the Foundation Member Director position online at our website. The term would begin at the February 2011 Midwinter ADAA Foundation meeting.


ADAA Member Directors attend two Foundation meetings per year and facilitate the ADAAF Silent and Live Auctions at the ADAA Annual Conference. Being an ADAA Member Director allows you to work with our members and corporate sponsor directors to raise money for our Foundation and express our gratitude to those who contribute to the Foundation. Many of our members make memorial contributions for family and friends, and also often include the Foundation in estate planning. It is a way to remember dental assistants while helping other dental assistants.


As an ADAA Member Director, I have been privileged to attend the American Dental Assistants Association Foundation meetings and see firsthand how our Foundation works for dental assistants. The ADAA Foundation is committed to its mission: “Enhancing the profession of dental assisting, promoting education and research relevant to the industry, and complementing the efforts of the American Dental Assistants Association.”


The ADAA Foundation has grown substantially over the years and continues to contribute to the educational programs and scholarships of the ADAA. Please join your fellow members, and state and locals components in making a contribution to the ADAA Foundation.  The ADAA Foundation is all about you—the dental assistant.


— Cathy J. Roberts, CDA, EFDA, COA, CDPMA, MADAA


Back to top




ADAA participates in "Bike to Work Week"


ADAA Bike Week

"ADAA staff members Nicole Netzel and Michi Trota will represent ADAA during the Chicagoland "Bike to Work Week" June 12-18, 2010, sponsored by the Active Transportation Alliance. Nearly 330 Chicagoland businesses and organizations, including ADAA, the American Dental Association and the American Dental Hygienists Association, have taken up the ATA's challenge to compete for the highest percentage of employees commuting the most miles to work via bicycle for the week. For more information, visit http://www.activetrans.org/biketoworkweek."


Back to top





Wanted: ADAA Members Who Go Above & Beyond



An award: Something given to a person or group in recognition of excellence in a certain field.

Each year the American Dental Assistants Association gives its members the opportunity to nominate an ADAA member who has done something extraordinary in the profession of dental assisting for an award recognizing their excellence.

Perhaps this person has influenced a student, volunteered to help the underserved, reignited your local dental assisting association, organized continuing education courses or initiated legislation for dental assistants.
We know these people. They are the unsung heroes, those who reach out to their students, colleagues and patients because they have a passion for their profession and want to share, and perhaps inspire, that passion in others.
ADAA’s founder, Juliette A. Southard, wrote the following “Creed for Dental Assistants”:
To be loyal to my employer, my calling and myself.
To develop initiative—having the courage to assume responsibility and the imagination to create ideas and develop them.
To be prepared to visualize, take advantage of, and fulfill the opportunities of my calling.
To be a co–worker—creating a spirit of cooperation and friendliness rather than one of fault-finding and criticism.
To be enthusiastic—for therein lies the easiest way to accomplishment.
To be generous, not alone of my name but of my praise and my time.
To be tolerant with my associates, for at times I, too, make mistakes.
To be friendly, realizing that friendship bestows and receives happiness.
To be respectful of the other person’s viewpoint and condition.
To be systematic, believing that system makes for efficiency.
To know the value of time for both my employer and myself.
To safeguard my health, for good health is necessary for the achievement of a successful career.
To be tactful—always doing the right thing at the right time.
To be courteous—for this is the badge of good breeding.
To walk on the sunny side of the street, seeing the beautiful things in life rather than fearing the shadows.
To keep smiling always.
—Juliette A. Southard

Do you know any dental assistants who emulate this creed? Acknowledge their achievements by nominating them for an award. There are several awards recognizing loyalty as an employee, new member involvement, clinical or business excellence, achievement as an educator or excellence in the Federal Services.  Please Note: ADAA Federal members are now eligible for individual awards, with the exception of the Loyal Assistant Award and Distinguished Corporate Award.

Visit www.dentalassistant.org and click on the “ADAA Awards” tab for easy online access to view a complete list of awards, detailed lists of qualifications and rules for each award and for award nomination forms.
As Council on Awards and Scholarships Chair, please feel free to contact me with any questions concerning awards at ginnyc@fullchannel.net.

Virginia Cairrao, CDA, FADAA has been a certified dental assistant for twenty–seven years. She graduated from The Community College of Rhode Island with a certificate in dental assisting and received the Helen Searles Award for clinical excellence. She achieved her ADAA Fellowship in 2007 and is a Life Member of ADAA. Virginia has been employed by Dr. Philip Barr for twenty–seven years. She worked with Dr. Barr as a chairside assistant for twenty–three years and most recently as office manager. She is an active member of the Rhode Island Dental Assistants Association, currently serving as Corresponding Secretary and is also serving her second term as ADAA First District Trustee.


For a complete list of ADAA Awards click here.


Back to top



CDA's Anaheim Meeting-The Art of Science and Dentistry


The California Dental Association (CDA) will be holding its Anaheim meeting, The Art of Science and Dentistry, May 13-16, 2010.  The education programs will run Thursday through Sunday and include lectures and workshops.  The exhibition hall will host hundreds of vendors showing the latest and greatest in dental equipment and materials.  CDA will also sponsor table clinics specifically for dental assisting on Friday.  There are scholarship and cash awards given for the winning table clinics.


As a part of the event, the California Dental Assistants Association (CDAA) will also participate with a student recognition day event to be held on May 14, hosted by CDAA President Kristy Borquez, CDA, RDAEF, FADAA.  The program will include a special guest speaker, Shelly Sorenson, CDPMA, RDA, presenting “Employment Strategies: How to present yourself before, during and after an interview.”  There will also be a raffle and door prizes geared specifically toward students.  Lastly, CDAA will be hosting a membership table in the exhibit hall to encourage ADAA membership and educate professionals about the association. 


Submitted by Shari L. Becker, CDA, RDA, FADAA
12th District Trustee


Back to top



Greater Houston Dental Assistants Association makes big splash at 2010 Star of the South Dental Meeting

The Greater Houston Dental Assistants Society made a BIG SPLASH with COLD HARD CASH at the 2010 Star of the South Dental Meeting held in Houston Texas, April 15-17, 2010.  Through a partnership between GHDAS and Dr. Raymond McLendon DDS, Clear Choice Orthodontic Associates in Houston Texas, dental assistants were given the opportunity to “SPIN TO WIN” the cash wheel after completing a survey. The survey required information such as: name, email address, office information and valuable feedback regarding the desire for continuing education courses.  The response was overwhelming with 361 completed surveys and dental assistants winning over $1,000 cold hard cash to spend.  Personal gift items such as:  koozies, pens, coffee thermoses and hand sanitizers were also given away.   Participants received ADAA membership/benefit information along with local meeting information.


  Deep gratitude goes to Dr. Raymond McLendon and the team of Clear Choice Orthodontic Associates for their investment in the Greater Houston Dental Assistants Society and the advancement of dental assistants in the Houston area.















Back to top





Sonja Lauren Foundation - Offering hope and a healthy smile.


Sonja LaurenOffering Hope and a Healthy Smile: A Message from the President of the Sonja Lauren Foundation Inc. and Author of The Covered Smile:


As author of The Covered Smile and President of the Sonja Lauren Foundation Inc., I recently attended a book faire in my West Virginia hometown, where a dental assistant asked me to autograph her copy of my book. Smiling, I asked her, “What do you do?” Clearly flustered, she replied, “Me? I am only a dental assistant.” Unable to conceal my frown, I quickly responded, “Please never again say ‘only a dental assistant.’ Do you have any idea how very important your position is?” I shared my sincere respect for dental assistants, their compassion and their genuine wish to help others.  Then, I reminded her that without dental assistants there would be no dental practices and proudly revealed that my own daughter, a former dental assistant, is now an oral surgeon’s assistant and educational adviser for the SLF.

Honestly, dental assistants and students are my favorite audiences; they exhibit such strength, compassion, desire and willingness to help others.  Quite frankly, they change lives much like SLF is destined to do – one smile at a time.


At twelve years old, a dentist wrote “situation hopeless” on my chart and then performed a full mouth extraction, sentencing me to a life of dentures at the age of thirteen. SLF plans to prevent this tragedy from happening to anyone else because of lack of funding or education (our education program will show photos of mouths). We are committed to raising funds to provide dental care to children and young adults who do not have Medicaid or standard dental insurance, and to the millions stuck in the middle – where I once was.


Our motto, “Offering Hope and a Healthy Smile,” echoes our belief that being able to eat, speak and smile is not a privilege but a birthright!
With the amazing Mrs. Lisa Thweatt as Vice President and our dedicated, knowledgeable board of directors and advisers by my side, SLF is moving at a pace beyond our expectations. We thank all those who supported or attended our first grand gala in February, where we launched our campaign to stop the unnecessary pain, shame and suffering.


Please contact us if you would like to offer your time, talents, or fundraising expertise to SLF and share in the joy of helping others. We invite you to attend our second grand gala in April 2011, and will be happy to add you to our contact list if you provide your contact information. “Only a dental assistant” are words to remove from your vocabulary forever because together we can offer hope and a healthy smile to so many…


Want to know more? Visit SLF’s website at www.sonjalaurenfoundation.org or The Covered Smile website at www.thecoveredsmile.com to view my catastrophic dental history. You may also e-mail me personally at

sonjl36@msn.com. Thanks for all that you do to keep others smiling!

Most Sincerely,

Sonja Lauren


Back to top



K. Borquez

California Dental Assistants Association President’s Message
Kristy S. Borquez, CDA, RDAEF, FADAA
SFVDAS President/Editor


I would like to remind you all of the upcoming California Dental Assistants
Association Annual Session that will take place April 10, 2010. Details
and registration information is listed on page 2. This event is open to
all members of the dental team and is not restricted to members only. Assistants, hygienists, dentists and students of any dental profession are welcome to attend. We are very pleased that the meeting is once again being held in the San Fernando Valley. I would like to acknowledge and thank Ken Sartin of Patterson Dental for securing the speakers for this occasion. We are very excited to have the participation of several exhibitors again this year. We will have a special cash raffle as well as a raffle of an ADAA membership for a new or renewing member. This event includes not only CE, but also a luncheon that acknowledges the past presidents of CDAA and provides an excellent opportunity for networking with others in your profession.


After lunch we will hold the General Assembly of the CDAA where we discuss the business aspects of the organization. All CDAA members are encouraged to attend and guests are welcome. I am proud to say I am running for president of the CDAA for another term and would especially appreciate the support of my local society members and encourage your attendance. We are lucky to have ADAA president, Angie Swatt, in attendance to address the assembly. Whether you are a CDAA member who is interested in the business aspects of the association, or a dental professional looking for an interesting venue to receive CEUs, I hope you will consider attending this event.

Thank you.


Click here to download the full newsletter. (.pdf format)

If you encounter any issues viewing a .pdf, please install the latest Acrobat Reader FREE from here.


Back to top





UNC School of Dentistry Study Finds Dental Bib Chain Contamination


  • Study Highlights:
  • UNC at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry analyzed samples from 50 hygiene and dental bib chains
  • 1 out of 5 bib clips  were found to have contamination
  • Growth could be attributed to bacteria from saliva and/or dental plaque, skin,  and water lines
  • Of concern was the presence of bacterial species normally present only in the oral cavity on 14 of the 50 bib chains sampled
  • Of significant concern were overt pathogens Staphylococcus  aureus, and the enteric bacteria, Escherichia coli


A study out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry Oral Microbiology Laboratory found that dental bib clips may be potential sources of cross-contamination in a dental office.


Researchers sampled 50 bib clips from both hygiene and dental operatories. The results will make the most ardent disinfector re-think their use of a bib chain. One out of five bib clips were found to have a presence of significant microorganisms. Of most concern were the pathogenic species found: pseudomonas, S. aureus and the enteric bacteria, E. coli.  Patients with compromised immune systems or breathing disorders may be at more risk considering some of the disease-causing bacteria found have been implicated in severe respiratory infections.


Bacteria from the previous patient can stay on the clip and be passed on to the next unsuspecting patient or dental professional. UNC found that the species comprising the contamination on the clips were consistent with coming from saliva and/or dental plaque, skin or water lines.


“Finding one bib clip in this study that harbored potentially disease-causing bacteria would be a concern so the fact that close to 20% of bib clips studied showed a significant presence of microorganisms is important for dental offices to consider” remarked Dr. Roland Arnold, UNC’s Professor of Diagnostic Sciences and Director of Oral Microbiology Laboratory.


The good news is that there are ways to avoid the risk of bib chain contamination. An office can effectively sterilize chains between patients or choose a disposable bib holder that is discarded with the bib. When choosing a solution an office should consider which option reduces the risk the most and which option is easiest to implement.


Source: UNC at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, Oral Microbiology Lab

Please email any request for information to mdurda@duxdental.com

Dental Bib Chain Contamination





























Back to top








It's Official E-Membership has launched.


President, American Dental Assistants Association



Just a couple of months ago, I told you about ADAA’s new membership category, E-Membership. Since then, we have launched a full campaign in an effort to open up E-membership to all dental assistants all over the world.


We kicked off our campaign late last month at the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter meeting, by entering into Cyber Space with the introduction of our new E-Membership.  We plan to continue our recruiting efforts at the Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta, March 25-27 – booth #815


If you haven’t taken advantage of this exciting opportunity to belong to America’s oldest and largest association representing dental assistants, we want to give you another chance to join the hundreds who have already signed up as E-Members. Please stop by the ADAA booth #815 at Hinman and sign up for your FREE E-Membership and take home a free gift!  Are you already an active member of the ADAA? If so, we have a gift for you, as well. 


E-Membership is for professionals like you that turn to the internet to stay connected.   It is for those in the dental assisting field that want to learn more about the American Dental Assistants Association and the benefits we have to offer just by signing onto our new electronic level of membership. You will find information and education to get ahead in your career and stay there.  E-Membership is open to all dental assistants, as well as dental administrators, practices managers and educators; and the very best part is……….IT IS FREE!


Once you join us, we will provide you with an hour of free on-line continuing education and explain how easy it is to take advantage of some of the benefits we have to offer you.


As a E-Member of the ADAA you will have access to:

  • Discounts on Continuing Education
  • Discounts at our soon to open E-store
  • A special online edition of the Dental Assistant Journal (available soon)
  • Access to apply for our ADAA credit card
  • Discounts for car rentals and hotels
  • On-line newsletters, 24/7 and Business Beat
  • Discounted personal service programs for medical services, prescription drugs and identity theft protection
  • Access to our on-line employment service partner, “dentalworkers.com” 

I urge you to take advantage of ADAA E-Membership!! It can enhance your professional and personal life.



Not going to Hinman? Join Now……. it’s free and easy!



Back to top