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ASDA elects 2015-16 executive committee, House speaker

Boston — The American Student Dental Association House of Delegates elected its 2015-16 national president, vice presidents and speaker of the House of Delegates at its Feb. 21 annual session.

ASDA Christian Piers, of University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, was elected president. Mr. Piers previously served as ASDA’s 2014-15 editor-in-chief and ex-officio member of ASDA’s Board of Trustees and also as Colorado ASDA chapter president. He is an ASDA liaison to the American Dental Association Council on Communications.

ASDA’s 2015-16 vice presidents are Adrien Lewis, of University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, and Niveditha Rajagopalan, of Midwestern University, College of Dental Medicine-Illinois.

Ms. Lewis had served as president of the Baylor University Predental Club. She helped launch the first National Predental Week as associate and then chair of ASDA’s Council on Membership.

Ms. Rajagopalan served as ASDA’s 2014-15 speaker of the House of Delegates. She is also the ASDA liaison to the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs.

Paula Cohen, of University of Florida College of Dentistry, was elected speaker of the House of Delegates. Ms. Cohen is the ASDA District 5 legislative chair and serves as her chapter’s vice president-elect, Professionalism Committee chair and legislative and advocacy liaison.

Nominations sought for 2015 Golden Apple awards

Showcase your dental society or state association’s outstanding programs and initiatives, and the team behind each activity, by nominating them for the 2015 Golden Apple Award. Entries are submitted May 1 through June 1.

Golden AppleThe Golden Apple Awards program recognizes excellence in leadership and dental society activities and programs produced between June 1, 2014, and May 31.

Now in its 27th year, the Golden Apple Awards program has 14 entry categories, including two new categories: Excellence in Interprofessional Education; and Excellence in Interprofessional Relations.

In addition, the Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion of Dental Ethics has been renamed as the Dr. David H. McCarley Golden Apple Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Dental Ethics. It’s named after the late Dr. McCarley who served on the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs from 2008-12 and was a member of the Texas Dental Association’s Council on Constitution and Bylaws from 2006-14. He was the president of the Texas Dental Association at the time of his passing on Jan. 4.

Entries for a specific program or activity can be submitted in only one category. The categories are:

  • Legislative Achievement.
  • Excellence in Membership Recruitment and Retention Activity.
  • Excellence in Dental health Promotion to the Public.
  • Excellence in Member-Related Services/Benefits.
  • Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion of Dental Ethics.
  • Achievement in Dental School/Student Involvement in Organized Dentistry.
  • Excellence in Science Fair Program Support and Promotion.
  • Excellence in Dentist Well-Being Activities.
  • Excellence in Interprofessional Education.
  • Excellence in Interprofessional Relations
  • Open Category (where dental societies can enter innovative and successful programs that do not fit any other categories).
  • Excellence in Access to Dental Care Programs.
  • The Green Apple—Excellence in Environmentally Sustainable Programs and Education.
  • Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion.

For more information on the categories and to download entry forms, visit ADA.org/GoldenApple.

Dental groups urge Congress to prioritize student debt

According to ADA News, the ADA, American Dental Education Association and American Student Dental Association urged Congress to prioritize student debt as the Senate education committee opened hearings on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

dental student infographic “We are extremely concerned about the alarming levels of educational debt that dental students face at graduation,” the dental education, professional and student organizations told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in a letter.

“The cost of dental education should not be a prohibitive factor for those wanting to enter the profession,” the organizations’ volunteer and staff leaders said. “The cost of dental education should not be a prohibitive factor for those wanting to enter the profession. For that reason, we urge you to prioritize the following when reauthorizing the HEA and considering other student loan legislation.”

  • Lower federal graduate student loan interest rate(s) and the total amount of interest that can accrue on federal graduate student loans.
  • Enable federal graduate student loans to be refinanced more than once to take advantage of lower interest rates and better economic conditions.
  • Extend the period of deferment for repaying federal graduate student loans to the maximum extent practicable.
  • Simplify and add more transparency to the federal graduate student loan application process.
  • Remove the barriers that prohibit those with private graduate student loans from taking advantage of federal student loan forgiveness/service payback programs.

To read the full story, click here.

Former ADA president receives ASDA’s 2015 Paragon Award

Dr. Calnon accepts this year's Paragon Award Feb. 20 in Boston.

Dr. Calnon (left) accepts this year’s Paragon Award from ASDA past president Kristopher Mendoza Feb. 20 in Boston. Photo by Caught in the Moment

The American Student Dental Association named Dr. William Calnon, the 2011-12 ADA president, as this year’s recipient of the Paragon Award, the highest and most notable award given by ASDA.

Dr. Calnon received the award, which recognizes an individual who has significantly contributed to the advancement of the rights, interests and welfare of dental students, at ASDA’s annual session Feb. 20 in Boston.

“Dr. Calnon has been an excellent mentor for dental students both in New York and across the country throughout his career in organized dentistry,” said Greg Shank, ASDA District 2 trustee.

Dr. Calnon, of Rochester, New York, has served as past president of the New York State Dental Association, the 7th District Dental Society and Monroe County Dental Society. He served four years on the ADA Board of Trustees before becoming ADA president. He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He serves as the current president of the Eastman Dental Center Foundation.

“Over the last few years, I have witnessed a tremendous increase in involvement of more and more dental students in the issues facing the profession,” said Dr. Calnon. “I am receiving this wonderful award, but you have been giving me my rewards for years. I take great pleasure in watching student leaders impact audiences, whether it be at the ADA House of Delegates, a reference committee or a state legislature.”

Learn how to help law enforcement through dental coding workshop

Registration is open for FBI-sponsored National Crime Information Center Dental Coding workshop in Sacramento, California, March 28-29.

The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division organizes these weekend workshops across the country. The training sessions are designed to provide NCIC dental coding and National Dental Image Repository instruction to forensic odontologists and licensed dentists who wish to provide assistance to law enforcement in identifying missing and unidentified persons cases.

The workshop is set for 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade. Participants will receive a certification for 16 hours of training at the end of the course, but they should also check the continuing education unit requirements for their organization or association to determine whether the credit is accepted.

The FBI will conduct a criminal history background check on everyone who registers, and a felony conviction will disqualify a person from participating. The FBI also asks that those who have attended a workshop before not register to allow others to participate.

The training is free, but attendees must pay for their own travel and lodging. Those who choose to stay at the Embassy Suites should reference “dental coding workshop” when booking their reservation.

There are 50 slots available, and registrations will be accepted first-come, first-served. Registrants must be licensed dentists. For a registration form, email Kathleen Oldaker at kathleen.oldaker@leo.gov.

RWJF seeks research award applications

Are you interested becoming a dental faculty member and from a historically disadvantaged background?

signing a documentThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is seeking applications, due March 18, for the 2015 Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program.

RWJF created the program, named after the first African-American to chair a department at Harvard University’s medical school, to help increase the number of underrepresented minorities on medical faculties.

The program offers four-year postdoctoral research awards to increase the number of faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who can achieve senior rank in academic medicine and dentistry, and who will encourage and foster the development of succeeding classes of such dentists and physicians.

The program will fund up to 10 four-year awards. Scholars will received an annual stipend of up to $75,000 each, complemented by a $30,000 annual grant to support research activities.

For more information, including key dates and eligibility and selection criteria, click here.

New dentist wins ADA monthly free management course giveaway

Congratulations to Dr. Radip Uprety, of Bucksport, Maine, for being the February winner of the monthly giveaway for a free ADA Executive Program in Dental Practice Management class.

Clinical and BusinessThe ADA Executive Program in Dental Practice Management is a video-based, e-learning certificate program offered through the ADA Center for Professional Success that takes on the tough practice management challenges today’s dentists must master. This includes reducing costs, enhancing marketing strategies and practicing amid increased regulation.

These six online courses help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry:

  • Legal and ethical issues in dental practice.
  • Negotiation and conflict management.
  • Understanding leadership.
  • Business strategy and systems.
  • Dental team management.
  • Financial management.

For each course completed, verification of potential continuing education credits will be issued. One winner will be named each month this year.

To enter the giveaway, click here.

Visit PMcertificate.Success.ADA.org or call 1.855.598.6559 to learn more about the program.

Going somewhere? Save with ADA membership

Going to Chicago or Washington D.C. for a conference? Maybe taking a vacation abroad?

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, you can save money through your ADA membership on hotels, car rental and flights.

Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C.

If you’re coming to Chicago for a conference at ADA Headquarters or just visiting the Windy City, members can save significantly at various participating Chicago hotels: Four Seasons Chicago; Hilton Suites; Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile; Loews Chicago Hotel; Ritz-Carlton; W Chicago Lakeshore; Westin Michigan Avenue.

Members can reserve for themselves or make reservations for friends, family or staff.

In Washington, D.C., you can request the American Dental Association preferred rate at Loews Madison Hotel, a luxury hotel located near various monuments and museums.

Going abroad? ADA members can save 10 percent off the Hyatt daily rate at participating Hyatt Hotels & Resorts — including Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt House and Hyatt Place — worldwide. For additional information on the Hyatt member benefit program, click here.

Those who need a car when traveling, ADA members get preferred rates from rent-a-car services such as Alamo, Enterprise and National. For more information, including full descriptions of the benefit program, click here.

Lastly, if you’re traveling for a qualified ADA-sponsored meeting, you can save money with Gant Travel and United Airlines.

For more information on the various travel benefits ADA members receive, click here.

8 tips for reducing hand pain

Dentists may experience hand pain, which include throbbing, aching and stiffness, in doing dental procedures. Although pain in the hand can originate from problems in the arm, shoulder area or neck, and from systemic diseases, pain that originates in the hand itself is frequently due to either osteoarthritis or tendonitis.

Center for Professional SuccessAs always, consult a physician for any persistent problem, but here are tips for lessening the physical demands on the hand from the ADA Center for Professional Success.

  • Use instruments that perform many of the functions the hand would ordinarily perform and so reduce movements of the hand; such instruments are those that swivel and reduce torque.
  • Use instruments that lessen the time the hand must be used, such as instruments that have variable and rapid speeds.
  • Use instruments that reduce stress on the hand, such as those that are vibration free, lightweight, and have enlarged handles
  • Use instruments that improve access to the work area, such as instruments that provide bright or intense illumination, magnification, multiple spray ports.
  • Reduce the time spent doing the same task.  For example, take a ten minute break at least once every hour from doing tasks requiring grip.
  • Use hand stabilizing techniques when doing precise hand tasks.
  • After completing a task that required intense grip, gently stretch the hand, especially the area between the thumb and first finger.
  • If pain continues to worsen, consider seeing a physician for a medical evaluation and treatment of the condition.  A splint might provide support of the hand.

For more information on reducing hand pain, including examples of hand motions that may aggravate hand pain, click here. The article is only available to ADA members.

Do you have other tips?

ADA offers resources for new dentists, dental students

Recognizing that dental students and new dentists have different needs, the ADA offers a plethora of services, resources and benefits to help them succeed in their professional and personal lives.

“As dentist, we are professionals, and the ADA is our professional organization,” said Dr. Chris Hasty, vice-chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee. “I see the ADA as the lighthouse of dentistry, guiding our profession to a safe and ethical future, and steering us away from the dangers of outside entities.  As new dentists, we have our whole career ahead of us, and the ADA is here to help and see us prosper.”

Dental students and new dentists receive benefits all other members get, including travel benefits, health and wellness information, continuing education programs and access to care initiatives. However, certain ADA products and services are tailored to their needs.

Financial planning

CalculatorAdjusted for inflation, the average dental school debt for the class of 2000 was $118,515. For the class of 2013, it was $215,145, according to the annual ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors. Now add in the cost of starting a practice, and it can get overwhelming.

The ADA provides dental students and new dentists with resources to help them stay on track for a bright financial future.

Provided by Wells Fargo Practice Finance, and developed with dentists in mind, the Center for Professional Success provides business planning calculators, including a debt load calculator, which can help new dentists and dental students determine how much they can responsibly afford to borrow for personal and business use. Other calculators available are the loan payment calculator, which estimates monthly loan payment. The loan term calculator helps dentists see how much faster they can pay off an existing loan by adding an additional fixed amount to their monthly payments.

For students seeking financial assistance, the ADA Foundation has a scholarship program for those pursuing careers in dentistry, dental hygiene, dental assisting and dental laboratory technology. The number of ADA Foundation scholarships awarded is dependent upon available annual funds. To learn more about the ADA Foundation scholarships, visit adafoundation.org/en/how-to-apply/education. The ADA also provides information on various federally funded scholarships.

In addition, the ADA provides information on dental student loan repayment programs and resources, including federal and state programs, that offer student loan repayment assistance, often in exchange for services in a health care shortage area. To learn more, visit ADA.org/student or request more information from studentaffairs@ada.org.

Understanding licensure

Understanding LicensureDental licensure marks the transition between dental school and dental practice. The ADA provides a free guide called Understanding Licensure, a resource to help guide dental students through the licensure experience.

The guide takes new dentists through the application process, preparing for the clinical exam, notification and appeals, licensure by credentials, etc.

To view the Understanding Licensure guide, click here.

Finding a job

The ADA CareerCenter is the official online job board of the ADA, a resource for searching dental career opportunities or recruiting dental professionals.

The resource allows professionals to search or post job opportunities for dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists and other qualified professionals who specialize in dentistry. Visit the ADA CareerCenter.

Staying up-to-date

The ADA can also help new dentists and dental students stay current on the latest dentistry news as well as scientific findings and studies.

The Journal of the American Dental Association and the ADA News are free to members. These publications are available on ADA.org/publications, along with the ADA Dental Product Guide, the ADA Catalog and ADA E-Communications, which include the ADA Morning Huddle, a daily bulletin of the latest news complied exclusively for ADA members.

New Dentist NewsIn addition, new dentists and dental students receive the ADA New Dentist News, a quarterly publication distributed as an insert in the ADA News as a member resource. To read the latest ADA New Dentist News, click here.

In 2013, the ADA New Dentist Committee launched New Dentist Now, a blog where new dentists can keep up with their colleagues, stay fresh on issues in dentistry and find out about events.

For scientific findings and studies, new dentist and dental student members can access full-text articles online with instant access to over 280 journals through the ADA Library & Archives website. About 95 percent are strictly dental journals. The other 5 percent have medical-dental crossover. This includes in-house access to the New England Journal of Medicine articles going all the way back to 1812. To access the ADA Library & Archives online, click here.

Leadership and Advocacy

Comprising 17 members representing each of the ADA’s regional districts, the New Dentist Committee is a national committee of the ADA Board of Trustees. Its mission: To serve as the voice of the new dentist within the ADA. The committee advises the Board on member benefits and the member experience from a new dentist perspective, as well as, on policy affecting new dentists, among other things. Committee members also provide insight on the issues and needs of new dentists through their liaison roles on the other 11 ADA agencies.

The New Dentist Network engages new dentists, develops leaders and contributes to and influences resources that add member value. It has over 800 contacts and is comprised of new dentist committees and volunteers, ASDA leaders and society staff at all levels of the ADA.

In addition, the New Dentist Committee oversees and actively participates in the Success Dental Student Programs conducted in dental schools around the country. The Success Dental Student Programs provide the next generation of dentists with ethical and practice management information and valuable ADA resources for the transition from dental school to dental practice.

“As a new dentist it is important to be a member of the ADA because we are the future of Dentistry,” said Dr. Michael LeBlanc, New Dentist Committee chair. “In order to help set policy we must have a voice. No better place than the ADA to help set policy and the success of dentistry now and in the future.”

To get involved or for more information, call your state or local dental society, or contact the ADA New Dentist Committee office at newdentist@ada.org or 1-312-440-2386.