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Ensure you are fit at ADA 2015

September 15, 2015

By David Burger



Dr. Menke
Austin, Texas — Dentists often have to work in awkward body postures and perform similar tasks repetitively.

So Dr. Abby Menke made sure she attended the course "Dental Professionals: Are You Fit?" when she went to ADA 2014 – America's Dental Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, last October.

Her practice's demands in Austin, Texas, spurred Dr. Menke's interest in ergonomics. She works for the St. David's Foundation, one of the largest school-based charity mobile dental programs in the country.  Traveling and practicing in vans, she provides free dental services to children and adults in central Texas.

"I gained a lot of knowledge but one thing in particular that I became more aware of has been to practice proper ergonomics every single day on every single patient," said Dr. Menke, a native of Iowa and graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. "Our dental vans are state-of-the-art, but of course our space is still limited."

She continued: "Proper ergonomics are so important in dentistry. It's imperative to take time to stretch and to really be mindful of how we're sitting.  I always try to make sure my assistants are comfortable and practicing sound ergonomics, as well.  We want to practice for a long time so we must remember to take care of ourselves."

Dr. Menke "absolutely" used the ergonomics knowledge she had learned at ADA 2014. "With the information I acquired I was able to take that and immediately apply it to my everyday practice," she said.

The ergonomics course was just one of many activities in which Dr. Menke participated. She wanted to make the most of her time at her first annual meeting. "It by far exceeded my expectations," she said. "The quality of speakers and continuing education courses offered was superb."

Dr. Menke enjoyed visiting the vendor booths and discussing new and improved products with company representatives. "There are so many technological advances in dentistry that it's important to try to stay as up to date as possible," she said.

She views her attendance as time well spent, professionally and personally. "I remember the quality of education I gained, the ease of finding the course classrooms, and the camaraderie of being with dental professionals from around the country," Dr. Menke said.

Ergonomics-related CE courses will be offered at ADA 2015. The courses include:

  • Ergonomics: The Pathway for the Healthy Professional (course 7316). In this course, participants will learn how to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries and musculoskeletal disorders. Offered 10-11 a.m. Nov. 7.
  • Posture in Practice: Are You Equipped to Sit? (course 6703) This course will explore static and dynamic seating options to benefit dental practitioners and their patients. Offered 1:30-2:30 p.m. Nov. 6.
  • Posture, Pain and Productivity in Dentistry (course 7301). This course will provide an introductory working knowledge of musculoskeletal risks in and out of the operatory and offer efficient work performance strategies. Offered 8-9:30 a.m. Nov. 7.

ADA 2015 – America's Dental Meeting will run Nov. 5-10 in Washington, D.C.

Registration for ADA 2015 is open online at ADA.org/meeting. Registration fees and CE course fees increase after Oct. 9.

For a list of courses planned, visit eventscribe.com/2015/ADA/

Search for #ADADC on Twitter and Facebook for more on ADA 2015.