Did you ever work with someone who watched rather treated? Did it make you crazy? I know it does me. Patience is not one of my strongest virtues. Though I sit at a lot of airports, I don’t like to wait. I am always interested in what’s around the corner. I want to create the future not wait for it to happen. For the past dozen years, I chose to test my patience by sitting at ADA listening to Codes committee. I was in the ‘peanut gallery’ – an old term meaning meaning the cheap seats. I didn’t see many (if any) hygienists there. I patiently (it’s possible) observed and learned. Over and over I thought why aren’t hygienists voting members? As an open meeting, I can go to the microphone but no vote. Why not? Patiently waiting wasn’t getting us anywhere.
No One Ever Asked
When the codes committee was asked what their process was for getting a seat on the committee; the answer was: they didn’t have one because no one ever asked! Dental hygiene education and roles are not the same as dentists education and roles. We know this yet we don’t. Dentists look for damage to repair. Hygienists look to prevent. Both are needed. dental hygienists point of view is needed on the codes committee.
Time to Stop Waiting
It’s time to stop waiting and watching. That was the decision for the past 3 years for an amazing group of professionals called the DentalCodeolgy Consortium (DCC). In addition to hygienists, dental assistants, office managers and in a few dentists are members. Our goal is to have the voting members from all roles in dentistry. No more waiting.The DCC is requesting 12 additions and revisions of the codes. We don’t have to be a voting member for that. If these pass, this changes will appear in 2021.
Change Takes Time
There is another reason for not waiting, even when you play the game, it takes time. It takes attendance of more than one person. No more waiting there either. As many as a dozen DCC members have attended and will be there again in 2020. Watching for a caries infection to create a hole, waiting until bone is lost from perio, and the worst waiting and possibly not checking for cancer can’t be tolerated. Have you been trying to understand why dentist watches? Particularly when we have so many healing strategies? It is possible that no one ever asked.