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Dental Tribune U.S. Edition

HYGIENE TRIBUNE The World’s Dental Hygiene Newspaper ·U.S. Edition May 2013 — Vol. 6, No. 4 Center for Lifelong Learning at the 90th Annual Session — is being promoted as a celebration of a century in practice, “100 Years of Dental Hygiene: Proud Past, Un- limited Future.” The meeting runs from June 19–25. From the first hygienists trained by Dr. Alfred Fones in 1913 to the leading in- novators of today, ADHA will extol the progress and accomplishments of dental hygienists in the oral health care field over the past 100 years. Dental hygienists from across the country and around the world are being invited to come together to prepare themselves to be the pioneers that make the next century of practice as successful as the previous one. CLL at the 90th annual session hosts more than 30 continuing education courses taught by nationally renowned speakers, with six separate career tracks for professionals at all stages of their ca- reer, and the possibility of earning up to 20 C.E. hours at one event. Tracks include: clinical practice, public health, education, research, professional development, new practitioner and a separate student track. In addition, the exhibition hall will fea- ture more than 125 companies displaying information and products representing the latest in oral health. Plenary sessions, on Thursday and Sat- urday, will feature public health advo- cate Erin Brockovich and Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis, respectively. Friday evening, the ADHA Institute for Oral Health Benefit/Presidential Gala has as master of ceremonies and host the leg- endary Debbie Reynolds, star of stage and screen in some of America’s greatest clas- sic productions. Pre-registration is open until June 7, at, and on-site registration will be available at the event. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), which operates the fa- cility hosting the ADHA meeting, Hynes Convention Center, also responded to the events in Boston. Several events were tak- ing place or preparing to open at MCCA fa- cilities as the Boston Marathon bombings occurred and the subsequent challenges across the city unfolded. “We are grateful to our customers and their attendees for their patience throughout a week of uncertainty and constantly changing information,” said James E. Rooney, MCCA executive direc- tor in an MCCA press release. “I continue to be impressed with the resiliency of the meetings industry and our customers’ willingness to work with us to keep their meetings scheduled, not only out a sense of determination, but also as a show of With the Boston Marathon explosions and subsequent manhunt occurring a relatively short time before the American Dental Hygienists' Association annual meeting in Boston, the ADHA released the following statement: “All of us at ADHA express our sympa- thy for the victims in the bombings that occurred in Boston yesterday [April 15]. We extend our sympathies to our colleagues and friends in Boston and Massachusetts, and others affected by this tragedy. While the Center for Lifelong Learning at the 90th Annual Session is still two months away, we want to assure members and at- tendees that their safety is the top prior- ity. We will be communicating with the City of Boston, the Convention and Visi- tors Bureau and each hotel to share safety instructions and procedures as they be- come available.” The ADHA’s annual meeting — The Boston-area conferences increase security after Marathon bombing American Dental Hygienists’ Association assures attendees of emphasis on safety ” See BOSTON, page B2 By Lori Bernardo, RDH In 1906, when Dr. Alfred Fones came up with the idea to train his assistant, Irene Newman, to clean teeth and perform preventive oral ser- vices on children, no one could have predicted how our profession could have evolved. Fones’ early vision of the role of the dental hygienist was revolutionary. His goal was to employ dental hygienists who were primarily from schools and medical practices. He was quoted as saying: “It is primarily to this important work of public education that the dental hygienist is called. She must regard her- self as the channel through which den- tistry’s knowledge of mouth hygiene is to be disseminated, the greatest service she can perform is the persistent educa- tion of the public in mouth hygiene and the allied branches of general hygiene.” It was a lofty goal, which became the start of a noble profession whose purpose was to eradicate oral disease and improve the overall health of the whole population. I recently had the opportunity to at- tend a reception sponsored by Crest® and Oral-B® to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of dental hygiene with fel- low hygienists. In the past 100 years, our profession has fought hard to carry out Fones’ mission. As I re- flect on this anniversary, there are two major areas where the dental hygiene profession has made leaps and bounds — the career opportunities available be- yond the clinic and the oral health challenges facing our patients. Although most dental hygienists are employed in the private practice setting, many of us have chosen to take our mis- sion “to the streets” in a variety of ways over the past 100 years. We can still be seen as public health workers, teachers, marketing and sales representatives, re- search professionals, and more. I person- ally have had a very rewarding career that has spanned almost 30 years in the oral health industry. Although most of those years were spent in clinical practice, twice during this time I left to work in sales for different dental product companies. In my current sales representative role, the commodity that I offer is no longer the work of my hands, but the collected knowledge of 30 years in the dental pro- fession. It is more about what I know than what I do; I believe this role allows me to continue delivering the message of our original dental hygienist mission on a much larger scale and make room chair- side for new graduates. Sharing informa- tion on new products and services gives other dental professionals the tools they need to do their work more efficiently, and in turn, help them reach more people. No matter where we practice, the cause of im- proving oral health unites us all. Dental hygienists have always strived to educate the public on the value of oral health and its role on one’s overall well- being. Today that message is even more powerful as many believe the mouth is an indicator of a person’s whole-body health. In the first 100 years, we have made gains on the improvement of oral health, and the incidence of dental caries and tooth loss dropped dramatically. In addition, there was a steady rise in the percent- age of the population that receives regu- lar dental care. However, since the mid 1990s, we may be witnessing an alarm- ing reversal in that trend. According to a Lori Bernardo, RDH Photo/Provided by Crest Oral-B recent National Health and Nutrition Ex- amination survey, the incidence of caries among children is on the rise1 . Addition- ally, research from the American Dental Association indicates the percentage of the population obtaining regular care has dropped and the frequency of dental visits has declined2 . No matter what chal- lenges lie ahead, I know that we are more than capable to rise to the occasion as we always have. So, my fellow colleagues, I say we pause to celebrate our profession and all that we have done. Have a party. Enjoy a piece of cake. But don’t rest for too long, because if we want to honor the mission that Dr. Fones set out for us 100 years ago, we still have a lot of work to do. Are you ready? Now, let’s get started on another “100 Years of Dental Hygiene!” ▶ References 1. DataByTopic/DentalCaries/DentalCaries Children2to11 2. pdfs/7170_Breaking_Down_Barriers_Role_ of_Finance-FINAL4-26-12.pdf Celebrating 100 years of dental hygiene Industry commentary