March 2019 Volume LIV Number 2


A Message from Your President

March 2018 Volume LIII Number 2

Spring is in the Air!

Spring is in the air! The season always brings mood improvement with winter fading and promise of new growth and opportunity. One of the opportunities and leading initiatives for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) is the area of safety. In addition to protecting ourselves and staff, we must strive to protect our most valuable assets – our patients.

The AAPD is working hard on many fronts to improve safety in our practices and profession. Our clinical recommendations provide the best practices for care for our patients. The Academy and Council of Clinical Affairs constantly review the recommendations to ensure we are putting our best feet forward. The AAPD also of- fers great continuing education for our membership in multiple easy to access locations. Continuing education is also available on the Education Passport platform. Please take advantage of these pro- grams to keep your team performing at the highest level possible.

The AAPD needs to own the issue of safety in a pediatric dental setting. In order to formalize our efforts, the AAPD board of trust- ees created a Safety Committee within the Policy Center. Similar to efforts in medicine, the Safety Committee is reviewing health care best practices and devising methods to integrate them into our culture, practices and ethos. Sedation is obviously a high prior- ity for the AAPD. To support that, the board of trustees recently viewed presentations from agencies regarding services to provide an independent third-party audit of practices offering sedation and anesthesia as part of their practice. Although early in the evaluation process, this may offer our members who are interested an avenue to bring their practices to the next level.

The second major effort involves our Sedation Task Force chaired by Dr. John Liu. In medicine, the Pediatric Sedation Research Consortium was formed to identify best practices for pediatric anesthesia, relying on data from anesthesiologists on cases performed in the United States. The workgroup collected informa- tion on patients treated, anesthesia employed and what adverse effects were encountered. Like this effort, our task force is currently developing a similar sedation data base on oral sedation regimens used by our membership. The goal would be to identify best seda- tion practices with minimal opportunities for adverse effects. Cur- rently the database is in a pilot phase with six academic institutions.

Safety in our practices has other applications. One of the most challenging parts of our profession is crafting a treatment plan that meets the need of the child and honors the parent’s wishes for safe and effective treatment. We must discuss all the treatment options and settings that are appropriate including non-treatment and the risks and benefits of the options presented. Fortunately, there are more options in our tool belt to help manage the decay process in younger patients until they are hopefully more cooperative to receive care in a clinic setting or using extraordinary measures. Risk cannot be totally eliminated, but can be minimized through thorough assessment and planning. We have a tough challenge on our plate evaluating each child as an individual to guide them to optimal oral health in the safest manner possible.

The AAPD is striving hard to support all of our members in the clinical and academic settings. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments. I can be reached at Take a moment and enjoy the season change and the promise of renewal.

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