Teachers needed. Who will come to the rescue?

No worries about finding a seat in this faculty lounge.

A notable 900 vacancies are predicted to arise in dental schools before 2020.

An RDHmag.com report by Diana J. Lamoreux, RDH, BS, MEd, uncovered that in addition, half of full-time dental hygiene faculty will retire.

Speaking of retirement, as of 2014 (that’s this year for anyone who didn’t have enough caffeine this morning), the number of retiring dentists will exceed the number of graduating dentists.

Is this cause for alarm?

The U.S. Surgeon General thinks so.

According to Lamoreaux:

“In 2000, for the first time in history, the U.S. Surgeon General, David Satcher, addressed oral health as a priority in this country. His commentary, “Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General,” identified oral health as essential to general health and noted that there is a “worrisome shortfall in the numbers of men and women choosing careers in oral health education and research.”

Why is the shortfall so “worrisome”?

  • As of 2009, there were 4,230 dental health professional shortage areas (HPSAs). More than 49 million people live in dental HPSAs today.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the demand for dental hygienists would increase 36% by 2010 and that the distribution of the dental workforce would be inequitable.

The moral of the story:  Someone needs to attract, mentor and retain faculty in the future. Who will it be? Lamoreux’s report claims not much has been accomplished thus far.

Read the full story at:


Graceful is as graceful does. Handling objections in 5 steps

By Lisa Philp, RDH, President of Transitions Group North America

Recently, Dentistry Today, a leading clinical news magazine for dentists, recognized Lisa Philp as an expert in her field. The publication recently honored her with a Dentistry Today Leaders in Dental Consulting and Continuing Education 2015 Award.

Recently, Dentistry Today, a leading clinical news magazine for dentists, recognized Lisa Philp as an expert in her field. The publication recently honored her with a Dentistry Today Leaders in Dental Consulting and Continuing Education 2015 Award.

For most people, objections are a natural part of the buying process.  Dentistry, if anything, invites even more objections, due to the invasive nature of the work itself. The ability to handle objections gracefully and effectively is a key skill for all members of the dental team.

An objection is not a “No!”; it is the patient’s way of asking for more information. Objections diminish in magnitude when a person is allowed and encouraged to talk about them. This objection formula will help standardize the conversation, leading to a more predictable outcome.

RECEIVE the statement of objection without judgement and as an opportunity to provide a solution. “It’s too expensive.

RECOGNIZE and validate the patient’s objection and use words that encourage discussion. “So, you’re concerned with the cost.  Please share a little bit more with me about your specific concerns.”

RESTATE by repeating what you believe to be the patient’s concern to ensure you have clarity. “So, if I understand you correctly, you’re concerned about coming up with payment all at once. You don’t want to use your credit cards or your savings.”

REINFORCE the importance of the WIIFM (what’s in it for them) and confirm that their objection is the real objection. “You told us that keeping your teeth for life is important to you. The treatment the doctor has recommended will help you do that. Mrs. Jones, if together we can find a solution to your concerns about cost, would you want to move forward with the dentistry?”

RESOLVE the objection by finding a solution that fits the patient’s specific concerns. “If you prefer not to use cash or your credit cards, we have several other payment options that may work for you. First, we have a monthly payment plan option. There are no upfront costs and you can comfortably pay for your care over time. Would you like to see what your monthly payment might look like?”

There are many objections patients may have which cannot be overcome because you have no control over their situation. At this point, reassure the patient.

“Mrs. Jones, I understand that you are just not able to move forward with the dentistry right now. I just want you to know, we will wait with you. If anything changes in your life between now and your next visit, please don’t hesitate to call us.”

So happy they could spit.

CAPTION: Luzerne County Community College dental hygiene students in Pennsylvania recently took first place – and a mounted cuspidor trophy – at the first annual Benco Board Bowl. Shown above, first row, from left, are: Erica Beaver, Berwick; Stephanie Kimble, Charleston, Va.; Kaitlyn Raup, Danville, and Marcy Bronsburg, Wilkes-Barre. Second row: Holly Dottle, Carbondale; Ariel Allen, Kingston; Renae Novitski, Kingston, and Stephanie Rodzinak, Plains. Third row: Lisa Robins, Plymouth; Amy Gulla, West Pittston; Lauren Castelli, Archbald, and Ashley Bieber, Berwick. Fourth row, Lloyd Mordan, Muncy Valley; Jennifer Jones, Bloomsburg; and Jarrod Swingle, Simpson.
Students from Luzerne County Community College took first place at the first annual competition, sponsored by the Northeast PA Dental Hygiene Association, according to a story published today at CitizensVoice.com.The competition was held in Pittston, Pennsylvania, at the corporate headquarters of Benco Dental, the largest privately-owned dental distribution company in the United States. Sixty-four dental hygiene students from six colleges participated in the event.

$4,000 to spare? If not, you’d better stop nail biting.

The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that frequent nail biters may rack up $4,000 in additional dental bills over the course of their lifetime, according to a recent article by bestselling author Dr. James Mercola.

That’s quite a bite in the budget.

He notes that the habit can “interfere with proper dental occlusion, or the manner in which your upper and lower teeth come together when you close your mouth. Teeth may shift out of their proper position, become misshapen, wear down prematurely, and become weakened if you bite your nails over time.”

Although 2012, the American Psychiatric Association decided to re-classify nail biting as a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the pioneer for alternative medicine suggests that other research in young adults link the habit most frequently to stress and boredom.

A few tips Dr. Mercola offers to block the biting:

* Wrap fingertips with Band-Aids or electrical tape

* Knitting

* Put unpleasant tasting substances on fingertips such as vinegar, hot sauce or commercially available bitter-tasting options.

Read other options at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/26/nail-biting.aspx#_edn4

Cheek biters are not off the hook.

According to huffingtonpost.com columnist Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S., cheek biters may be susceptible to mouth sores.  The NYC cosmetic dentist noted that because this habit could be a symptom of misaligned teeth, which can lead to  TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) and headaches. He advised addressing the cause of the cheek chew.

Find out the recommended fixes for this issue at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-p-connelly-dds/cheek-biting-_b_818047.html

Money isn’t everything.

The philosophy tends to ring true in all areas of life. Two trends in dentistry illustrate the point.

A career as a dental assistant was ranked No.1 by Forbes.com in a 2012 listing of the best jobs for young people in the current market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a Dental Assistant is $34,500 per year, however and this week’s report from marketwatch.com discusses a new DentalPost Survey which reveals the average annual salary for a full-time Dental Assistant is closer to $27,000.

DentalPost Founder and CEO, Tonya Lanthier offered thoughts on the 20 percent disparity to marketwatch.com, “Through our Dental Assistant Survey, we learned that while workplace realities may differ slightly than industry reports, this occupation remains one of the fastest growing in the dental industry and talent continues to be in high demand.”

The survey, which polled more than 500 DentalPost users on topics including salary information, workplace benefits and employment longevity,  revealed that the average full time Dental Assistant worked between 36 and 37 hours a week, earning between $24,000 and $27,000 per year, depending on experience. In contrast, the average part time Dental Assistant works between 24 and 26 hours a week, earning between $19,000 and $22,000 per year.