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Reach out and grow.

ADAA President 2003-2004

Through the years, the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) has sought to help dental assistants and our profession of dental assisting grow. We have often felt like a voice in the wilderness calling and reaching out and often hearing few responses. Too often we hear the phrase "you're the best kept secret in dentistry." And yet, there's no reason why we should be.

Our very beginnings date to a conference of the American Dental Association (ADA) and with its blessings we began. As our numbers grew and our activities blossomed we soon were in the business of accrediting dental assisting schools, a process we turned over to ADA because we felt its enormous resources of professional manpower and its public image would better serve dental assisting education.

Our connection with ADA has continued through the years, and our convention was held in conjunction with theirs until recently when we began a joint meeting with the Academy of General Dentistry. We continue a splendid relationship with ADA through cooperation in developing education programs for dental assistants and making them available to all of dentistry through our catalog and theirs. We cosponsored education at the 2003 ADA convention in San Francisco, and we enjoy complimentary exhibit space in the ADA's exhibit hall from time to time and so continue to be part of its annual convention.

Most dental assistants with a certification from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) must know that the ADAA originated the Certified Dental Assistant program. About 25 years ago, it was released to an independent body, DANB, to retain and continue its objectivity and quality.

The ADAA is proud to be the presenter of continuing education programs at the Chicago Dental Association's Midwinter Meeting, Hinman, Greater New York, Yankee Dental, Southern California Dental Association, Hispanic Dental Association and other of America's largest dental meetings. These meetings value our ability to provide timely and appropriate continuing education for dental team staff members.

In addition, ADAA is cosponsoring education at next summer's conference with the American Association of Women Dentists, and is developing a recognition program with the American College of Prosthodontists for its dental assistants.

This, our November/December issue of the Journal, proudly carries a comprehensive infection control and safety checklist in the form of a CE course that was graciously provided by the Office of Safety & Asepsis Procedures (OSAP). This same group will sponsor continuing education at our forthcoming Annual Conference in 2004. It's particularly gratifying to present this course from OSAP and indeed this entire infection control issue since it is a subject of paramount importance to dentistry and to our profession. Did you know that surveys show that over 90 percent of our members work with infection control. In many offices, the dental assistant is in charge of this vital area and must keep up to date with the challenges of the discipline. We salute OSAP for its important work in this area.

With all this outreach, why does the ADAA remain such a secret? Our conference last summer hosted a large International audience with registrants from Canada, Finland, South Africa, the U.S. Military and our own members from all over the United States. In addition, the ADAA central office in Chicago has hosted delegations from Denmark, Lithuania, Germany and Great Britain during the last year and a half.

If the people in this massive list of organizations and individuals all know about the ADAA, isn't it time we told the nonmember assistant next door what a great opportunity he or she is missing? If you're not a member, join us yourself... reach out and grow professionally. If you are a member... reach out and tell another and help us to grow numerically. Join the people who make dental assisting a profession. Become part of our growing world as a member of the ADAA and help create both your future and our own. Join the world of ADAA, AGD, ADA, OSAP, DANB and the many others who support the ever-changing world of dentistry and the dental team.

This outreach and growth will only continue if our efforts continue to bring us the recognition that we deserve as professionals. You care enough about education and professionalism to become certified, or registered or to join the ADAA whose mission is education and you read this Journal. Don't hesitate to demand the recognition you deserve. Dental Assistants Recognition Week is coming and its new theme is "Delivering Excellence Throughout the World." Those aren't just words. Those are words we live by. As you live up to them, make sure the world knows it and reach out and get that recognition you deserve.
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Title Annotation:president's page; American Dental Assistants Association
Author:Mosley, Kay
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2003
Words:779
Previous Article:Greater New York dental meeting.
Next Article:Annual infection control & safety check-up: an OSAP continuing education resource: is your office program up to date?
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