It Takes a Team

By Kimberly Bland, CDA, EFDA, M.Ed. ADAA President

it takes a team-01

From the late 1800s through the mid-20th century, we recognized a small team of individuals as our total oral health care experts: the family dentist and his dental assistant, later joined by the dental hygienist and the dental laboratory technologist. Together they served all the needs of the dental consumer. But as time marched on, our knowledge of the human body and disease processes grew, and we came to realize that premium oral health care should be multifaceted. As knowledge and technology related to oral health care expanded, the needs of patients became more complex. We then saw the emergence of dental specialties such as oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, and pedodontics. Today, dental practitioners are continuing to meet the intricate needs of the dental consumer by further narrowing the scope of practice to sciences such as oral implantology, cosmetic dentistry, dental sleep medicine, and oral and maxillofacial radiology.

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