President’s Message: Student Debt: A National Threat

When I graduated from dental school it was not uncommon for students to have taken on debt, however student loans made it possible for many of us to afford the cost of a graduate degree. Your officers and Board of Directors are concerned about student debt and how it is affecting dentistry in general, and our specialty in particular.

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President’s Message: Endodontic Education: Teaching One Standard of Practice

As an educator for over 20 years I was involved in clinical and didactic proficiency assessments on many levels. None were as informative as what I experienced in 2005 when I went into full-time clinical practice. It was there that I could observe the real-life competency of my students.

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President’s Message: Our Quest for Information

Whether you are having your car serviced, completing an online purchase or using your bank app on your phone, it has become routine to be asked at the end of your encounter to fill out a survey. Surveys allow organizations to gather massive amounts of information, which they can then use to better meet the expectations of their clientele. Though we used to rely on mail or phone surveys, online surveys now are the norm as they collect data faster and with less cost while still maintaining good data quality and reliability. In fact, results from election polls show that online surveys are more accurate than older forms of polling. The AAE has followed suit by distributing the AAE Member Needs Surveys electronically. But questions still remain – how can we improve the accuracy of our data and how can we apply that data to serve members more effectively?

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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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President’s Message: Endodontic Outcomes: Measuring Clinical Endodontic Success

As healthcare providers we interface with the public every day. Our conversations range from introductory niceties and diagnostic interrogations to discussions about treatment plans and outcomes. The last topic often evokes the question, “How long will my root canal treatment last?” It’s a valid question and the answer is often rife with contingencies and complexities that vary for each patient and each tooth. Yet, what has stood out to me in these conversations is the patient’s implicit impression that a root canal will last forever. Is that reasonable or even possible to predict reliably? Do patients ask the same questions of their restorative dentists about a composite restoration or crown? Is the reality that all dental work is temporary?

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President’s Message: AAE Leadership Development: An Investment in Our Future

In a year when we are bombarded by news of candidates vying for the presidency of the United States, it seems appropriate to consider the meaning of leadership and what constitutes a great leader. It is a topic of great relevance and import to our Association since our future as a viable organization depends on our ability to identify and develop leaders today. Your Board of Directors has made leadership development a priority. I was interested to find that the subject has undergone extensive research both in the social and hard sciences. This is understandable since effective leadership is a global concern for businesses and organizations. After all, your leaders can take your group to stunning heights or bring you to a standstill!

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Presidential Profile: Linda G. Levin, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Throughout her career, Dr. Linda G. Levin has focused her efforts on strengthening the endodontic specialty. As an educator, she has ensured that future dentists receive quality endodontic training to provide superior patient care. As a researcher, she has advanced the specialty’s knowledge by authoring numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in endodontics and pulp biology. And as an organized dentistry leader, she has worked to address issues that affect endodontists, so the specialty can continue to thrive for years to come. Now Dr. Levin is taking on her newest challenge – president of the AAE – with that same focus and determination.

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President’s Message: Swan Song

I am at the end. the end of my year as president of the AAE.

It has been a challenging year, but a rewarding one. My mantra has been “onward and upward,” a battle cry adopted as we transitioned from an exiting executive director to our acting executive director, Ms, Trina R. Andresen Coe. I have called on our staff and Board of Directors to move forward with focused determination, pride and strength. And soon, we will do so under a new executive director, Mr. Kenneth J. Widelka, who will bring energy and leadership to the AAE.

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President’s Message: California, Here We Come

I can see the Golden Gate Bridge in my mind’s eye and am looking forward to AAE16 with anticipation! I’m excited for so many reasons – to witness a year of planning come to fruition, to share the culmination of a challenging year as president, to connect with friends from all over the world, to celebrate our successes and to have the opportunity to talk to the membership about the issues facing our specialty. AAE16 has all the makings of one of the top meetings in our history. It is difficult to keep the annual meeting fresh and innovative, but this year’s planning committee rose to the challenge and developed an event that’s as dynamic and vibrant as the city of San Francisco.

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President’s Message: Women in Leadership: Shattering the Operatory Ceiling

The AAE Board of Directors attended the opening session at the 2015 American Dental Association meeting in Washington, D.C. ADA President Dr. Maxine Feinberg and President-Elect Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays were insightful, dynamic, professional and poised. Watching them on stage got me thinking about dentistry and how the gender landscape, demographics and economics are changing. Along with the profession’s transformation as a result of changes in the dental marketplace, a new trend in leadership is emerging. Developing an executive team whose composition reflects its membership is of increasing importance.

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