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April 2019 Newsletter
                              developing clinical excellence
In This Newsletter
State Approved Assistant Procedures
Sideways Energy
#AAO2019 See You In LA

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How Andrea can help:

· Sterilization review, design and implementation

·OSHA training, reviews and manuals

· Basic and advanced chairside duties

· Clinical training system and manual

· Indirect bonding

· Clinical coordinator

· Verbal skills to encourage compliance

· Reduction of emergency visits

· Personalized clinical manual

· Inventory control

· Instrument set ups and organization in the operatory

· Implementation of your treatment plans

· Reduction of patients beyond estimated completion date

On the web

Are you familiar with the state approved procedures your orthodontic assistants are approved to perform? The orthodontic assisting profession in the United States is not a one-size-fits-all profession. Depending on a state's Dental Practice Act, the duties, requirements, and responsibilities of orthodontic assistants may vary significantly. It is critical for doctors to be aware of their state allowed dental assisting functions and requirements.
A New York state orthodontist will pay a $9 million settlement after allowing uncertified employees to perform procedures on patients at a chain of dental offices according to the New York State Attorney General's Office. 
After speaking with Liz Franklin at the AAO, she states that one of the areas that a doctor has little if any protection against legally is if an assistant is performing duties outside her legal limitations.
An orthodontic assistant job description is unique and varied. It is different for each office based on the doctor, skill level, as well as state certification(s) required. Responsibilities may include:
  • Taking and developing x-rays
  • Serving as an infection control officer, developing infection control protocol and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • Taking impressions/scans
  • Place and ligate archwires
  • Prepare teeth for bonding
  • Select, preposition and cure orthodontic brackets after their position has been approved by the orthodontist
  • Size, fit and cement orthodontic bands
  • Remove orthodontic brackets and attachments with removal of the bonding material by the orthodontist
  • Use of high-speed handpiece
  • Remove orthodontic bands
The majority of states recognize Dental Assisting National Board, or DANB, credentials for licensing. Some states require licensing or certification only for specific tasks, such as taking and developing X-rays. Many states require training in CPR, and continuing education to ensure that assistants are up-to-date on standards of practice and the latest research. DANB has a list of all state requirements as allowable and prohibited duties for each level of job titles.
Depending on the orthodontics practice, assistants may be hired with no dental or orthodontic experience, right after completing a dental assisting program, or after getting experience in a general dental practice.

Protect yourself and make sure you are following your state approved allowable functions and requirements for each assistant.

 Are You Creating Sideways Energy?

Are you busy but not intentional? Do you feel like you are just spinning your wheels and not getting any traction? Could be you are dealing with way too much "sideways energy." There is good energy and bad energy- and bad energy usually shows up as sideways... not because it is necessarily bad, but because it is usually a distraction.

The greatest threat to forward momentum might not come against you from outside, but alongside you. Often, offices engage in activities that do little to propel the office or team forward. People are working. Busyness is occurring. But little forward movement is experienced. This is what we refer to as "sideways energy."

Sideways energy is anything that directs you away from your vision. Sideways energy manifests itself as daily or weekly habits or behaviors that aren't in support of your vision.
- Sideways energy is the same meeting eight times in a row regarding the same idea that still has yet to be implemented. 
- Sideways energy is showing up to work but spending two hours talking about what you should have done an hour and a half ago.
- Sideways energy is gossiping about your boss or co-workers.
- Creating new policies or procedures for the office that everyone knows will never be implemented is sideways energy.
- Dealing with the same problem multiple times is sideways energy

How to combat sideways energy? 
First, realize it exists and will paralyze an office or team.
Second, identity it and deal with it.
Third, measure your productivity and create a system that will help you determine how much sideways energy you are creating, both for yourself as well as for your team.
Finally, be clear on your goals and what the right kind of energy looks like for your team- if you model the right kind of energy, your team will follow in the same direction.

What makes sideways energy so dangerous is that it often comes from people on the team, and it is almost never intentional.  Good teammates do not seek to derail momentum and take their team off course.  Most people have trouble identifying in themselves the words, actions and behavior that are self- debilitating to them and their team.
As a tool to help us self-evaluate, here are a few questions to ask of yourself in the arena of sideways energy:
  • Do I have an issue with the vision/direction of my team? If I do, am I discussing that issue with my leader or with my teammates?
  • Do I have any issues with people on my team? If I do, is this relational breakdown causing me to perform differently?
  • Do I have any issues with the culture of my team? If I do, am I working to adjust or am I asking people to adjust around me?
  • Do I have an agenda? Is there something I am attempting to place ahead of the team's vision?
If you work with people, sideways energy will happen. The key is to address it head on with diligence and humility. People rarely want to cause sideways energy, so helping redirect that energy is essential for keeping momentum and helping the person flourish.

Upcoming Events

T he largest orthodontic conference kicks off May 3 in Los Angeles. Don't miss #AAO2019 where I'll be speaking Saturday May 4th at 3:20 pm on Indirect Bonding and Tuesday May 7th at 10:20 am on Reducing Emergencies and Finishing Treatment on Time. Check out the schedule: 
There are some great lectures for your team at these meetings and many of the vendors offer special savings during. With today's economy, I urge you all to take advantage of these promotions.

The AAO is a great time to take advantage of discounts and rebates on sterilization equipment, cassettes, and instruments that you may need to update your instrument reprocessing system in order to gain compliance with the current CDC Guidelines. I am scheduling appointments during the meeting to discuss your clinical and sterilization needs. Please email, call, or text with a good day and time. During the meeting, you can reach me at 253-332-3376.

I look forward to seeing you all at the AAO!
Here is to "developing your clinical excellence" in 2019!

Thank you for your continued support of my clinical newsletter.  I hope you and your team find the information useful.  Please visit my website and feel free to email me with any comments or questions. 

Andrea Cook
Andrea Cook LLC