I Now Pronounce You…

by Catherine Wilson

In 1984, Oral Health, our monthly clinical journal, was 73-years-old and Dental Practice Management was born. DPM was meant to be the source for all things not clinical. Employer concerns, staffing, legal matters, marketing, finance, transitioning, office design were all topics for discussion in DPM.

Not long ago, the magazine morphed into Oral Health Office. Unfortunately, the frequency had been reduced but where a door closes, a window opens so beginning in January, 2018, the non-clinical content of Oral Health Office will be found every other month in the body of Oral Health. Our magazines are now the one stop for all things dental.

Through education, diagnosis and treatment, dentists provide the public with an essential health service. Research is continuing to show that the link between oral health and general health is strong. What some may not realize is that dentistry is an artistic as well as a scientific profession. The scope of your work is much broader than ever before.

Because they are skilled, conscientious professionals, dentists earn respect and appreciation. They have opportunities to work as community leaders, educators, physicians and government officials.

Tomorrow’s dentists will meet public oral health needs with advanced techniques, including vaccines that fight tooth decay, new anxiety-relieving
methods and sophisticated materials, technologies and procedures.

Dentists are a vital part of the health care team, frequently making referrals to – and receiving referrals from – physicians, psychologists and other health care professionals.

Dentists are also involved in:

Teaching and Research: Dentists may be full- or part-time faculty members at dental schools. They also conduct oral health research in university and corporate settings.

Professional Development: With the increasing amount of information being generated by dental research, dentists must continually update their knowledge and skills.

Leadership: Dentists supervise and manage the care provided by other dental team members, including dental hygienists, dental assistants, laboratory technicians and front office staff.

Executive Management: As solo practitioners or partners, dentists usually manage the business and financial aspects of their practices. They acquire and use practice management and investment skills, and develop marketing strategies.

The ‘marriage’ of Oral Health and Oral Health Office brings together the information dentists need as clinicians, artists and business professionals.