Best of 2011 articles

Dec. 19, 2011
A panel of PennWell dental editors chose the best articles appearing in publications during 2011.
Dr. Paul Child's article on digital dentistry, and a collaborative effort between Heidi Emmerling and Ellen Standley about mid-level dental providers, were chosen by the dental editors of PennWell publications as the two most important articles published in 2011 for dentists and dental hygienists.Dr. Child's article provided a "practical view" of digital dentistry and appeared in the October 2011 issue of Dental Economics. Emmerling and Standley's article discussed alternative workforce models in the June 2011 issue of RDH magazine.The editors participating in the evaluation perform editorial duties for Dental Economics, RDH, and Proofs magazines, as well as Dental Assisting Digest, RDH eVillage, DE Expert Tips & Tricks, and Surgical Restorative Resource electronic newsletters. The eight editors voting on the articles below have a combined 199 years of experience in dentistry. They chose the best 2011 articles in seven categories.Three categories resulted in ties, including the leadoff category of "most important story for the dental profession in 2011."Most important story for the dental profession in 2011 (tie)The American Academy of Periodontology published a statement on comprehensive periodontal therapy that was intended to be a clinical road map for dental professionals who supervise, administer, teach, or regulate the provision of periodontal therapy.To read the entire article, click here.A national survey released by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation reported that millions of Americans cannot find affordable dental care in their communities, and many want to explore mid-level providers as a way to improve their access to needed oral health care. To read the entire article, click here.Honorable mention
  • Jiro Masuda in Osaka, Japan, kept dental professionals in the United States updated about the impact of the tsunami on Japanese dental professionals.
  • The April 2011 tornadoes in Alabama left widespread destruction in its wake, and one dealer's branch manager shared what he saw in the aftermath.
Most important article for dentistsDigital dentistry: Is this the future of dentistry?
Dr. Paul Child, a prosthodontist and CEO of the CR Foundation, concluded his review of digital diagnostic aids by writing, "Digital dentistry is more than just hype. When properly implemented and fully educated, return on investment can be excellent, increased joy in practicing dentistry can be experienced, and better care for your patients can be delivered."Honorable mention
  • "The embezzlement nightmare" by Susan Gunn, a certified fraud examiner, is about guarding against employee theft.
  • "The dental practice of the future" by Dr. Joe Blaes, the editor of Dental Economics, is an interview about four partners who collaborated on creating a state-of-the-art dental practice.
Most important article for dental hygienistsThe mid-level
Heidi Emmerling, RDH, PhD, and Ellen Standley, RDH, BS, MA, discussed the development of mid-level provider programs in various states. They concluded, "This is an exciting time for dental hygiene as new workforce models emerge. As licensed dental hygienists increasingly face difficulty obtaining traditional employment in a private practice setting, and as increasing numbers of clients face difficulty obtaining care in the traditional model of private practice dentistry, these new workforce models address the concerns of many."Honorable mention
  • "Saving a Life" by Linda Blackiston, RDH, describes how dental professionals can recognize the signs of human trafficking, abuse, and neglect.
  • "Authority issues" by Dianne Glasscoe Watterson, RDH, offers suggestions for developing productive relationships with employers.
  • "10th anniversary of 9/11" by Winnie Furnari, RDH, describes the efforts of volunteer dental hygienists who served in the 2001 disaster identification effort.
Best feel-good article for dental hygienists (tie)Mayberry RDH
Cheryl Ivy, RDH, wrote about the wonderful relationships that develop in rural dentistry. She concluded, "That's the comfort level patients feel living in a small town, and it's endearing. Community dental health takes on a whole new meaning when you are truly intertwined in one another's lives."A newfound respect
Due to an occupational injury, Colene House, RDH, switched to working at the front desk in a dental practice, and her experience led her to a whole new perspective on what these staff members do on a daily basis.Honorable mention
  • "Willing and compassionate" by Kris Dowling, RDHAP, describes the monumental charity work at the Oakland RAM event.
  • "Aboard the Truman" by David Wyscaver, a public affairs specialist aboard an aircraft carrier, details the efforts of a dental hygienist to ensure good oral health among military personnel.
Most important article for dental assistants/front office staff6 tips to help you deal with hostile and obnoxious patients
Lisa Newburger, LISW-S, offers six tips that lean toward saying the "customer is always right" by adding, "Is this kissing up? Absolutely. But so what? If it makes for a more pleasant work experience for you and resolves issues as they come up, is that a bad thing?"Honorable mention
The best feel-good article for dental assistants/front office staffFind your own happiness and make a difference in your dental practice
Kevin Henry, editor of Dental Assisting Digest, concluded this article with the advice, "Find happiness where you can. Make a difference to your patients with a smile or a joke. Make your corner of the world a better and happier place. You can do it."Honorable mention
  • "Meet Jayne Tripoli" is an interview that Kevin Henry, editor of Dental Assisting Digest, conducted with a "non-traditional" student who earned a dental assisting scholarship.
  • "In appreciation of the dental team," by Dr. Artemiz Seif Adkins, reflects on the hardships that his dental team has overcome with a positive attitude.
  • "What Dr. Gordon Christensen is saying about dental assistants" is based on a Dental Economics article where the author "talks about the value of the assistant to the practice as well as offers tips that could make the assistant even more valuable to the practice's success."
Most innovative products (tie)AirFloss from Philips Sonicare
"The innovative technology delivers a powerful burst of air and water that effectively yet gently cleans deep between your teeth. Then move the AirFloss to the next interproximal area and repeat the process. It only takes about a minute to clean between all of your teeth without the hassle of floss."Intraoral Dental Viewer from DrQuickLook
"What makes DrQuickLookTM different is the viewer. Patients hold the viewer in their hands while the doctor or assistant points out problems."Honorable mention