Editor's Note

Jan. 1, 2001
The first thing you'll notice about a 2001 issue of Dental Equipment and Materials is the size.

The first thing you'll notice about a 2001 issue of Dental Equipment and Materials is the size. It's bigger and better! The larger size allows us to more efficiently present articles about product developments, clinical usage of materials, and the incorporation of technological breakthroughs in operatory equipment. Our intention is to explain how the newest materials, equipment, and other advancements help simplify clinical procedures you perform on a daily or weekly basis. We want to make dentistry a more enjoyable, successful endeavor for you.

The second thing you will notice is our cover. I owe a great big thank you to Larry Sepin, the executive director of the American Dental Assistants' Association, for directing us to Dr. Mark Nelson and his chairside assistant, Carla Schneider. Carla has been with Mark for almost 19 years, and she believes "that together they can do anything." If you reward your assistants with a great salary, excellent benefits, and heaps of praise, they will last a lifetime.

If your chairside is not a member of the ADAA, I encourage you to call the association at (312) 541-1550 and see what they have to offer. These are the people who make dental assisting a profession!

No other members of the dental team work more closely together than the doctor and chairside assistant. This relationship can have a tremendous impact on the success of the practice. The doctor is the chief producer in the practice, and the dental assistant is key to helping the doctor stay focused. Turn to page 62 to see what Mary Govoni has to say about the "doctor/assistant relationship factor."

Many dentists ponder long and hard about how many patients would leave a practice if amalgams were no longer offered as a service. What are the alternatives? Restoring teeth to their natural form and function creates enthusiasm and excitement among patients. Read what Dr. Bill Dickerson has to say about alternative restorations on page 38.

With all of the exciting advances in dental technology and equipment, how do you decide which ones should be purchased for the practice? In the past, have you been disappointed with equipment that ultimately ended up underutilized or in storage? How about a different approach to purchasing this year? Read what Jeff Carter has to say about the three criteria before buying on page 8.

The dental profession is beginning to realize that the Internet is bringing incredible efficiencies to businesses of all types, and that we can benefit as well. The dental supply companies are spending millions to persuade you to buy from them ... many from their Internet site. It's a great time for the office to become involved in using the Internet and test-drive some of the online ordering sites. See what Dr. Bill Kimball has to say about the Internet on page 72.

What happens when you are well-prepared with a perfect schedule in place, and then the emergency patient calls? I think that every practice management guru has his/her own special way to handle emergency patients. As a result, many different ways have sprung up in dental offices. Read "It's so Easy" on page 66 to find out about treating emergency patients.

There is no mistaking the true purpose of Dental Equipment and Materials. The majority of the pages focus on, as the title implies, equipment and materials. We have provided a reference tool to utilize in your office. Take a look at the Equipment Directory starting on page 26.

Our January "Office Spotlight" is Dr. Lori Trost and her staff from Columbia, Ill. Being from St. Louis myself, I can envision the whole team sitting in the stadium trying to get Mark McGwire's attention. Dr. Trost and her team truly made their dream come true, pursuing Mark as a patient. When it comes to technology, Dr. Trost believes there are certain items that her practice can not function without. Read what she uses every day in her practice on page 22.

With each issue, our goal is to provide valuable information to dentists by showcasing some innovative designs for dental offices, as well as techniques on how to use new products.

As always, I value your input as a fellow member of the dental community.