A note from our editor

Jan. 1, 2004
Happy New Year! OK, so we're closer to Valentine's Day than to the start of 2004, but there's always excitement when the New Year dawns.

Happy New Year! OK, so we're closer to Valentine's Day than to the start of 2004, but there's always excitement when the New Year dawns. The promises of a fresh start and the possibility of actually keeping this year's resolutions of losing weight, exercising more, cleaning out the garage, etc., etc., are just some of the things that are great about this time of year. For Dental Equipment & Materials, the start of the New Year signifies the start of the new editorial calendar and a chance to bring you some of the latest and greatest tidbits in the world of dentistry.

One of the current hot topics in dentistry is the trend toward spa dentistry. Since last summer, when we first decided to look at the trend in this month's issue of Dental Equipment & Materials, the world of spa dentistry continues to expand. It seems like I receive e-mails and letters every day announcing a new practice that features a spa atmosphere. It's amazing to see the growth in the number of practices that offer everything from massages to paraffin treatments. But is it the right thing for your practice? Are these "frills" what you need in your office to attract new customers? With that question in mind, Dental Equipment & Materials looked at some of the different services being offered around the country. In this issue, you'll see a practice in Omaha, Neb., that pampers its patients. In future issues, we'll look at practices in New York and Texas that have adopted the same philosophy. While some practices don't want to be referred to as a "spa dental office," others embrace the tag with open arms. I hope you'll take a look at our year-long series on spa dentistry beginning on page 61. Whether you like the idea or not, you have to admit that these practices aren't exactly the ones that were around when we were growing up.

⇒ Speaking of growing up and going to the dentist, my 6-year-old daughter recently underwent her first "real" dental work. She had eight fillings placed over the course of two visits. I sat with her as the first 45-minute appointment progressed and the dentist explained everything he was doing as we went along. She made it through with flying colors. The biggest challenge my wife and I faced before and after the appointment was trying to explain to her what "numb" felt like, and then convincing her that the sensation would go away.

⇒ Also in this issue, you'll find an article by Dr. Curt Hamann, Dr. Pamela Rodgers, and Kim Sullivan on overcoming allergy roadblocks (page 42). The trio of authors state that only 20 percent of dental professionals report symptoms of dermatitis. They also go on to say, "Far fewer actually test positive to allergens commonly found in dentistry. Allergists are more likely than dermatologists to conduct appropriate diagnostics, but not all perform the full battery of skin prick, serologic, and patch tests needed to correctly identify the source of occupational allergies." Take the time to read this article and act upon it, if needed. It might make your job and life more comfortable.

⇒ This issue also marks the debut of three very important new pieces of the 2004 Dental Equipment & Materials editorial lineup.

  1. Dr. David Hornbrook is now a regular contributor to Dental Equipment & Materials. Be sure to check out his story on page 36.
  2. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) begins its year-long series of articles on page 38.
  3. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) will offer some of the finest views from the world of cosmetic dentistry throughout the year, beginning with this issue's article on page 40.

See what I mean? The new year is bringing new articles and concepts to the pages of Dental Equipment & Materials. I'm glad you're along for what will be a fun year.

Read on, this is your magazine...

Kevin Henry, Editor
[email protected]