Well-paid dental assistants to blame for high costs? Please.

March 22, 2011
DAD Editor Kevin Henry travels back from the IDS meeting in Cologne, Germany, and says the largest dental show in the world is becoming a must-see event. He also offers a first and second glance impression of a recent article in the Edmonton (Alberta) Journal about dental assistants.
By Kevin Henry, EditorYou’ll notice that my editor’s note this month has an international theme to it. First, as you read this, I am flying back to the United States after attending the IDS meeting in Cologne, Germany. Held every two years, this is the biggest dental show in the world ... and it’s really become a “must-see” event. Some of the things I saw in Cologne this year won’t be in the United States for another year because of FDA regulations (paperwork takes a little longer in the United States than it does overseas), so it’s a great “sneak peek” of what will come in the dental industry.I covered the IDS show extensively on my blog, so if you’d like to see some of the things that I saw in Germany, just click below.Day 2 report from IDS in Cologne, GermanyContinuing the international theme, there was a great article recently posted in the Edmonton (Alberta) Journal. It’s a response by the presidents of the Edmonton and Calgary Dental Assistants Association to an article posted by a dentist who blames the costs of dentistry locally on having to hire “quality” dental assistants. Wow. That’s a new one, I must admit. My first reaction was, “You have to be kidding me!” However, on second glance, I think I must give kudos to the dental assistants in that part of the world who appear to be earning the pay they deserve ... and to the dentists who are paying them what they deserve.You’ve heard me say many times that you’re worth every penny you are paid ... and more. When it boils down to it, patients deserve nothing but the best ... and that includes the best dental assistants that money can buy. A dentist can be the best practitioner in the world, but without a quality assistant by his or her side, he or she is limited. Never forget that.In a recent article in ADA News, more than 94% of dentists said they employed a chairside assistant in 2008. Only 67% employed a hygienist! If that doesn’t speak to the importance of an assistant in the practice, I don’t know what would!Click here to read the article from the Edmonton Journal.Finally, I had several requests to learn more about the yoga technique employed by dental assistant Maxine Wagoner in her practice in suburban Denver (mentioned in last month’s editor’s note). There’s actually a great YouTube video of Maxine using the technique that you can see by clicking here.Also, Maxine sent me a note recently, saying: “When I told the Kipling Dahn Yoga center about your article, they said they would be willing to donate Brain Wave Vibration books to anyone interested in learning the technique for themselves. The contact for book donation is [email protected].”Sounds like a great opportunity, so take advantage of it. Hope your March has been great and your April is even better. Thanks for being a subscriber to Dental Assisting Digest.Read on, this is your e-newsletter ...