President’s Message: Do We Have an Identity Crisis?

How many times have you introduced yourself to a patient and been asked, “What exactly is an endodontist?” The question implies that they have come to your office for a complex dental procedure through blind trust in the individual who sent them rather than knowledge of your credentials and expertise. It also is testimony to an identity crisis from which most dental specialties suffer. The reality is that the public at large does not understand the dental specialty process or how a specialist differs from a primary dental care provider. Typically, an identity crisis is defined as a state of confusion in an organization regarding its constitution or direction – our crisis is that our patients and even some of our dental colleagues do not really understand who we are.

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Regenerative Endodontic Therapy: A Treatment With Substantial Benefits

Regenerative endodontics is one of the most remarkable advancements in our specialty. The idea that one can replace damaged structures and regain functionality (such as nociception and immune competency) in previously necrotic and infected root canal systems has been groundbreaking. Since the introduction of regenerative pulp therapy as a viable treatment in the early 2000s, endodontists and other scientists have continued to discover its crucial benefit to immature teeth and its capacity to overcome the limitations of conventional root canal treatment. Utilizing regenerative endodontic therapy aids endodontists in our ultimate goal of helping our patients retain their natural dentition.

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Managing Referral Relationships in Challenging Times

Since the Great Recession disrupted the dental economy, many dentists have changed their referral patterns. Cases they typically used to refer to specialists – not only endodontists but also orthodontists, periodontists, oral surgeons and pediatric dentists – are now frequently retained. The reason is obvious; general practices that once could easily fill their daily schedules with customary types of treatment began experiencing production declines. Rather than giving away potential income to specialists, they decided to perform specialized procedures themselves. While you can’t alter the underlying causes, youcan serve your own purposes better – and earn the lasting respect and trust of referring offices – by rethinking how you work with them during these changing times. Here are some suggestions for making the most of the situation.

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ADPAC: 2016 Election Update

With the intense focus of a presidential election year, it is easy to forget that each member of the U.S. House of Representatives is up for reelection in 2016 (as they are every two years). As always, ADPAC is working to give dentistry a voice in the federal government by backing candidates who are committed to supporting dental professionals and improving oral health.

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AAE Digital Outreach by the Numbers – June 2016

Patients increasingly are turning to online sources for information about their health care and health providers; endodontics is no exception. The AAE has taken concerted steps in recent years to ensure those internet users have access to reliable, authoritative information about endodontics.

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The AAE Alliance Community

While AAE members at AAE16 were enjoying high-quality endodontic education, 70 of their guests were in Napa Valley enjoying a tour and tasting at a picturesque winery. The guest excursions are a memorable part of every annual meeting, and the AAE Alliance – a community of spouses, partners and supporters of AAE members – is the driving force behind those activities. In addition, the organization is a generous donor to the Foundation for Endodontics, contributing more than $1,000 over the past 20 years. AAE Alliance President Shelley Zucker and longtime volunteer Val Rossman shared their experiences as part of the Alliance.

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Dr. Karan Replogle Joins OHSU

Karan J. Replogle, D.D.S., M.S., is the new director of advanced specialty program in endodontics at the Oregon Health & Sciences University School of Dentistry, effective June 1, 2016.

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