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Dental teamwork

Dentists, hygienists sponsor Annual Session course

June 15, 2012

By Kelly Soderlund, ADA News staff

San Francisco—They work side by side every day but are dentists and hygienists working together as effectively as they can?

The relationship between the two team members is pertinent to a practice’s success and one that will be explored during a new course at Annual Session this year.

All ears: Ann Battrell, executive director of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, left, and Pamela Quinones, president of the ADHA, listen to questions from the Council on Dental Practice after their presentation May 31.

Building Optimum Oral Health Care Teams will be presented from 8-11 a.m., Oct. 20. There is no fee for the course, and participants are eligible to receive three hours of continuing education credit.

It’s a collaborative course between the American Dental Association and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. It’s being presented at both the ADA’s Annual Session in San Francisco and at the ADHA’s 2013 Annual Session in Boston.

“My daughter, Dr. Danielle Riordan, and I would be lost in our practice without our hygienists. As dentists, we depend on our hygienists and they equally depend on us,” said Dr. Mark Zust, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice. “It’s important for us to be able to work together in a positive environment and have the same goal of providing the best patient care.”

The course will be presented by Dr. Robert Gottlieb, Suzanne Newkirk, a registered dental hygienist, Dr. James Rozanski, and Lisa Shaw, also an RDH. The purpose of the course is to help dentists and hygienists learn how to work together effectively in an environment that has become much busier for everyone involved in a dental practice.

The course will teach participants what it means to have the ideal dental team and the impact on quality oral care; how to develop interdependent relationships within a dental practice to improve care and advance learning; and how to revive the dental hygiene department in a private practice during challenging economic times.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity to address an issue that has been around for many years. Dentists and dental hygienists are educated in isolation of one another and are then expected to inherently know how to work together in a private practice,” said ADHA President Pamela Quinones, a registered dental hygienist.