By Michael D. Silverman, DMD, DICOI, FICD
2019 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year for the dental profession.
As I do annually, I want to share with you some of my thinking behind this optimism.
When it comes to honesty and ethical standards, dentists continue to rank among the most respected of all professionals, right at the very top, along with grade school teachers, nurses, and military officers.
Advances in dentistry, especially sedation care, mean that fewer and fewer people avoid us altogether out of fear. Moreover, thanks to superior continuing education courses and advances in digital dentistry, we can do more for patients, in fewer visits, and with greater comfort, than ever before.
The general dentists of today are successfully expanding their repertoire of skills, confidently providing in-office treatments that they lacked the confidence to perform just a few years ago. The evolution has provided dentists with much greater control over their case selection and scheduling: Treating a broader array of oral health problems, while still referring out complex cases and those they simply don’t have time to handle in-house.
A Special Anniversary
This year, we mark the 20th anniversary of our founding. Two decades ago, when I started DOCS Education, our organization was a backwater of the dental profession, educating early adopters on the merits and safety record of oral sedation.
Today, oral conscious sedation is mainstream, and we can proudly point to more than 24,000 practicing dentists who rely on our DOCS Education protocols and training to treat millions of grateful patients annually.
In 2019, we will continue to innovate, and invite you to join us, as we are never satisfied resting on our laurels.
Thanks to our talented, dedicated, and growing faculty, DOCS Education is expanding our core education offerings into new and leading-edge spheres of dentistry:
- Our popular IV Sedation Certification course, which beginning this year allows dentists to complete the preponderance of their didactic training from the comfort of their home or office, is disrupting the way IV sedation dentistry is taught and practiced. In fact, our CODA-accredited training is the only IV Certification program in the nation that teaches proven and safe protocols that combine oral and IV Sedatives.
- Also new on our course roster for 2019 is Innovative Digital Dentistry and Implantology, preparing general dentists for the ever-expanding digital revolution in dentistry. Whether you place implants on a weekly basis or only occasionally, this course will see you doing it with much greater ease, precision, and patient satisfaction.
- I forecast that our most popular class in 2019 will once again be the 3 CE credit study-at-home course, The New ADA Policy on Opioid Prescriptions. Taught by the esteemed Leslie S.T. Fang, MD, PhD, the course satisfies the recommendation that all licensed dentists receive continuing education in prescribing opioids and other controlled substances.
As a bonus, every doctor who enrolls will receive Dr. Fang’s latest edition of The Ultimate Cheat Sheets – the color-coded, user-friendly, chair-side guide that thousands of dentists turn to daily to have up-to-date information at hand when they need to make crucial clinical decisions.
Safety is Still Job #1:
Come this March, we will host the 11th Annual Sedation Safety Week, a week-long program that serves as a reminder to dentists and their team members of the necessity of reinforcing their skills and reviewing all procedures designed to protect the health and safety of their patients.
Despite the misperception of some regulators and self-interested dental specialists, oral sedation has proven to be a reliable – and very safe – means of serving the tens of millions of Americans who are fearful of seeing a dentist.
Nonetheless, we can’t take our ability to treat patients as we always have for granted. On a state-by-state basis, DOCS Education and its members continue to fight against those who would like to regulate away the ability of well-trained, experienced dentists, to use moderate – or even minimal – enteral sedation without having to return to the classroom to obtain an IV Sedation permit.
Our point person in the fight against unnecessary sedation regulation is John P. Bitting, Esq., our full-time regulatory attorney. For the past 12+ years, John has served our members with year-round insights and advice on national dental guidelines, federal policies, and state-by-state regulations. When the need arises, John testifies before various state and national dental bodies, and meets with regulators.
Our Community is Growing
My optimism for 2019 is reinforced by the continued growth of our DOCS Education membership community – an ever-expanding group of professionals serving at the forefront of dentistry.
If we were a university, this would be our alumni association – providing our members a wide array of exclusive privileges as part of an elite community, including access to our 24/7 EliteDOCS Forum; a listing on our exclusive patient-referral service, SedationCare.com; great networking opportunities with other dentists; and members-only savings on all of our courses and equipment.
If you aren’t already a DOCS Education member, joining with us now is one New Year’s resolution you’ll be glad you made for years to come. Click here for full details.
The Future is Here
Those of you who are regular readers of Incisor, our free cutting-edge dental newsletter, undoubtedly took note of our pioneering reporting on regenerative dentistry and the strides that are being made in using a patient’s own stem cells to recreate dental pulp. That is the first stop along a path that, within our lifetimes, will see general dentists routinely helping their patients regrow whole teeth.
As bright as 2019 promises to be, our profession is far from reaching the limits of innovation and advances in the treatment of oral health disease, the prospects for prevention, and the ability to provide our patients with even safer, more comfortable care.
Author: Michael D. Silverman, DMD, DICOI, FICD, is the president and co-founder of DOCS Education. A pioneer in the education of general dentists on sedation dentistry techniques and patient safety protocols, Dr. Silverman is also widely respected for his business and practice acumen.
Dr. Silverman has launched and marketed multiple successful dental industry businesses.
At each DOCS Education conference, held throughout the year, Dr. Silverman offers no-fee, one-on-one coaching, to registrants who seek to discover new and innovative methods to market their practices. The next DOCS Education conference will be held in San Diego, February 22-24, 2019. To register, and arrange for your free consultation with Dr. Silverman, contact one of our knowledgeable Course Advisors at 877-325-3627 or click here to view the course schedule and registration page.