You provide your best efforts to treat the young patients under your care. Pediatric dentistry is of vital importance, and as their dentist, these children are your responsibility. However, the dental assistants and other team members who keep your practice thriving are also your responsibility, and they look to you as a leader and mentor.
What do you do to help them develop, grow, and stay motivated? Providing incentives and opportunities for continuing education will help your pediatric dental assistants to grow in their profession. When you improve the skills and confidence of your often-underutilized assistants, it helps them, it helps you, and it helps your patients.
How Many Hats do You Wear?
As a dentist, you understand more than most how small-business owners have to wear multiple “hats.” You have your dentist hat on, but you must also wear a boss hat, a marketing hat, a finance hat, and so on. There are literally not enough hours in the day to handle everything that you are responsible for, which is why you are supported by your dental team.
You might have a great office manager to help you handle some of that workload, but a dental dream team isn’t composed of one or two star players.
Is your dental team a group of individuals, or are you a team that relies on one another? What kinds of responsibilities do you trust your dental assistants with? Does every team member answer phones and make appointments, and are they all filling vital roles?
A dental dream team means that staff are knowledgeable about others’ tasks and can cover down when unexpected circumstances arise.
Pediatric dental assistants are more than just an extra set of hands. They also represent potential future trainers, managers, and reliable leaders that are intimately familiar with the operations of your practice.
Continuing education develops great dental assistants and grooms your team members for opportunities, so they’re ready when the need arises.
Continuing Education With the PDTA
The PDTA is the only program that is dedicated to the development of pediatric dental assistants. Continuing education is essential to stay on top of the latest techniques in the dental industry.
The tools, techniques, and technology we use in dentistry are constantly changing. Dental professionals, whether they be doctors, hygienists, or assistants, should stay abreast of modern developments to provide optimal care for patients.
Technology has exponentially accelerated the pace of change. Imagine a time-traveling dental assistant who learned their skills in 1995 — they would need a significant amount of retraining to get up-to-date.
That’s why the PDTA offers great benefits to members. Online training modules allow the members of your team to learn at their own pace from nearly any device. With a growing library of over 100 modules, you can tailor your team members’ education to the specific needs of your practice.
Your dental assistants can even attend the PDTA Annual Conference, a premiere learning opportunity that can also provide valuable ADA CERP credits. PDTA members save tremendously when registering their teams for the big event.
Even if you’re already the best pediatric dental practice in your market, always strive to do better. Look for opportunities to improve your quality of care, your practice, and every member of your team.
The PDTA is a great way to serve your team and your patients.
~ Dr. Rhea Haugseth