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Celebrate Healthy Smiles during World Oral Health Day on March 20, 2014

World Oral Health Day logoMark your calendar and make plans to join more than 125 countries taking part in World Oral Health Day on March 20. The theme for 2014 is Celebrating Healthy Smiles. Find a toolkit of resources including logos, web banners, and resource guides all in multiple languages.

World Oral Health Day is organized by the FDI World Dental Federation in collaboration with the ADA and sponsors.

Is it ethical to date a patient?

ETHICS rubricPrinciple 2 of the ADA Code of Ethics relates to nonmaleficience – that is, do no harm.  Section 2G specifically states that dentists should avoid interpersonal relationships that could impair their professional judgment or risk the possibility of exploiting the confidence placed in them by a patient.

So, while the Code does not specifically state that dating a patient is unethical, it does raise some questions to consider.

The ADA ethics hotline is an easy, confidential way for ADA members to get some advice on next steps when navigating an ethical dilemma.

The hotline doesn’t provide legal guidance. Instead it provides a fresh perspective through a consultation with a member of the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA.)

To access this ADA member benefit, call the toll-free number on your ADA member card and request the ethics hotline. After confirming your membership, you’ll be transferred to a voicemail system and asked to provide some information about your issue.

You’ll receive a personal telephone call from a member of CEBJA. This dentist will then discuss the application of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct to your situation. The goal is for you to receive a response within two or three days. However, if you request a rapid response, volunteers and staff will work to accommodate your request.

And you are encouraged to familiarize yourself ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.

One simple trick to improve your experience at networking events

LeadershipWe are well underway with plans for the ADA 28th New Dentist Conference taking place in Kansas City, Missouri July 17-19, 2014 at Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center (registration is open now!)

One of the great benefits of the conference is the ability to network with new dentists from across the country, as well as with key ADA leaders. But we know that not everyone is immediately comfortable in a networking environment.

We came across this great list at The Daily Muse of 21 Ways to Make Networking Less Scary and More Fun. Here’s one tip that stood out for us:

Approach Pairs, Not Singles

“If you see a pair of people talking, the chances are that they arrived together and know they should be mingling. Or else they’ve just met and are, in the back of their minds, worried that they’re going to end up talking to this one person all night. (You’ve just made it easier for one of them to exit.) Either way, they’re relieved to see you. And your chances of having a decent conversation are better, because now you’re talking to two people, not just one.”

What about you — do you have any strategies that work well in a networking event? Leave your answers in the comments.

Dental Student Loan Repayment and FQHCs

Couple discusses moneyWe’re hard at work on the next issue of ADA New Dentist News, including a piece about FQHCs and dental student loan repayment.

An FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) is part of the dental safety net — these centers serve locations or populations with limited access to care. They may be located in urban or rural areas. An FQHC is often an integrated medical facility, where a patient has a single chart encompassing all care, including medical, dental and behavioral health.

Some dentists work full-time at a FQHC, while others devote part of their schedules to working for one of these centers. Loan repayment is available for a combined commitment that includes both a minimum number of 20 hours per week, and a minimum number of years of service.

Find out more at this link.

Have you worked at an FQHC? Share your experience in the comments.

Procrastinating online? Try this tip

Pocket watches in a bunchEver had the experience of avoiding something you know you should be doing in favor of refreshing your newsfeed or checking your email?

Emily Schwartz, author of The Time Diet: Digestible Time Management, feels your pain. And over at the Fast Company blog she offers a simple suggestion to triumph over those distractions:

Log out of the game/network/email/whatever before you start your important task.

“The extra step of having to enter in your password will buy you enough time to realize that you’re distracting yourself and shouldn’t,” she says. “Distracted work takes far longer than focused work.”

What about you—what’s your secret for keeping yourself focused when it counts? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Let us now consider dental patient napkin holders

open mouthDental patient napkins used during routine dental procedures are often disposable, but napkin holders typically are reusable, although they can be tough to disinfect.

There are both disposable napkin holders and disposable napkins that don’t require a separate holder on the market. Dentists need to make informed decisions on whether to use disposable or reusable products for patient protection in their practices.

The ADA Professional Product Review analyzed six disposable products and compared them to reusable products. Each product was evaluated using seven criteria including ease of use and moisture protection.

Considering disposables? You might be surprised to find out what the evaluators had to say!

ADA members have access to the full online archives of The ADA Professional Product Review. From digital radiography systems to water quality monitoring kits, find the complete resources to help you make informed decisions about professional products.

Minimize Canceled Appointments

The ADA Center for Professional SuccessCanceled appointments are part of operating a dental practice, but they can be managed to minimize their effect on your bottom line.

The ADA Center for Professional Success has an article about minimizing cancelled appointments that includes:

  • What to say (and avoid saying) when leaving a reminder on a patient’s voicemail
  • How to handle changes to dates or times
  • Providing a constructive response when a patient has changed his mind about treatment

The ADA Center for Professional Success is a member-only resource. While you are there, check out the other resources including Be a Great Boss, Checklist for Terminating an Employee and Using Flexible Benefit Plans in your Practice.

Encourage a fellow dentist to join the ADA and get a $100 gift card!

ADA Member Get a MemberThe American Dental Association is the #1 organization representing all dentists. Most members say they are likely to refer membership to their colleagues — is that true for you?

As an active member, you know first-hand the value your membership provides. ADA Member-Get-A-Member is the ideal opportunity to share this success by encouraging your nonmember colleagues to join.

You will be rewarded with a $100 gift card for each new, active member you recruit (up to five members or $500 in gift cards!) Or you may decline the incentive and ADA will contribute $100 to the ADA Foundation. Please see Campaign Rules for full details.

The ADA Member-Get-A-Member campaign runs through Sep. 30, 2014. Only new member applications received between Jan. 1, 2014 and Sep. 30, 2014 will be eligible.

Stop the Conversation Hogs at your Next Meeting by Using Brainwriting

checklistAt some meetings it seems like a minority of the participants do a majority of the talking. But urging the chatterboxes to shut up or coaxing the wallflowers to speak up is unlikely to solve the problem.

Leigh Thompson, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management and a team consultant offers three techniques to ensure broader participation by meeting attendees. One approach caught our attention–instead of brainstorming, try brainwriting. We’re partial to the description Debra Kaye put together over at the Build Network:

Step 1: Write just one sentence each. For the first five or 10 minutes of your next idea-generation meeting, every team member writes down one good idea or one proposed solution on, say, each of a small stack of index cards.

Step 2: Consider the idea, not the source. When the timer goes off, all cards are submitted anonymously and taped or thumbtacked to a wall for the whole team’s consideration.

Step 3: Put it to a blind vote. Team members signal their interest in an idea by marking it with a sticker or a Post-it note. Everyone gets a limited number of stickers and, if done right, the best ideas emerge quickly

What about you—what has been an effective tactic to ensure that everyone in a meeting is heard? Leave your answers in the comments

What do the Birthday Rule, Malocclusion and Xerostomia have in Common?

Birthday CandlesThey are all terms found on the Glossary of Dental Clinical and Administrative Terms. There are many terms used daily by dentists and their teams in the course of delivering care to patients, maintaining patient records and preparing claims. New dentists and new team members may not be as familiar with some terms. From abscess to zygomatic bone, the Glossary has the definitions to get everyone up to speed and on the same page.

Questions? ADA members can call the number shown on your ADA member card, or send an email to dentalcode@ada.org.