May 2020 Volume LV Number 3


Policy Center Updates

September 2019 Volume LIV Number 5

Safety Symposium Will Be a First

SAFETY SYMPOSIUM: Hidden Threats and Safe Practices Steps to Creating a Safe Dental Home
Toxic materials in prostheses, hundreds of children exposed to unsterile instruments, pulpoto- mies leading to jaw necrosis, a grant to study dentist exposure to dangerous aerosols: What’s going on? Infectious diseases in waiting rooms, fires in patients’ mouths, protected health data being ransomed: What could it be?
It is all about safety in pediatric dental practice! The Academy-sponsored Safety Symposium this November will shed light on a topic not commonly discussed in dentistry—the safety of our patients, our staff and ourselves. It is part of a greater commitment to advocacy and the welfare of those we care for and work with. As knowledge rises about the risks of health care in general, the Academy organized this symposium to educate attendees on how to prepare a practice for safer care today and in years to come.
Much of the world around us deals with safety below the radar. The airline industry is invested  in zero tolerance for error, as is nuclear power and the food industry. These are examples in main- stream life that make safety a priority. Twenty years ago, medicine was jolted awake to the news that tens of thousands of deaths occurred as the result of medical care, and that one in ten patients left the hospital with a newly acquired problem attributed to their stay! Dentistry has just embarked on the safety journey, but it is safe to say we really don’t know what we’ll find.
Learn what our medical colleagues are doing about patient safety; learn what risks confront us and what we should be doing to minimize unintentional harm in pediatric dentistry. What lurks out there in infection, toxicity, and cyber attacks? Leading experts in areas of safety will present a unique view of practice and health care during this day-and-a-half symposium in Chicago.
Not an issue for you? Consider that in the last decade, evidence-based dentistry emerged and now challenges what we do. It is part and parcel of our education, our guidelines, and hopefully, our practices.  More recently, quality measurement has become a value point for the dental care in- dustry, and few doubt that our ability to practice, our continuing licensure, and our reimbursement by third parties will hinge on measurement and demonstration of quality.
The safety symposium won’t make you an expert in safe practice, but it will give you a strong background and a means to rate your practice using proven techniques of safety culture, a greater awareness of what areas need attention, and most importantly, a dimension of clinical expertise that is missing from pediatric dentistry today. This program is also a great way to get your staff involved in safety and engaged in a safety culture that can prevent unintended harm.
Course is sponsored by ABPD.

Oral Health in Primary Care Page on AAPD Website
Primary care providers can be a major source of both referrals and patient education. The AAPD now has a page dedicated to Oral Health in Primary Care. Currently, the page houses reports on our three-year interprofessional study on oral health in primary care. The page in- cludes additional resources that can aid medical professionals in incorporating oral health into patient care. Visit
New Pediatric Dental Workforce Study in JADA
"Pediatric Dental Workforce in 2016 and Beyond" by Surdu and colleagues appeared in the July issue of The Journal of the Ameri- can Dental Association. According to the new report, the number of U.S. pediatric dentists is projected to increase by over 60 percent within the next decade. Translated into patient access to care, the supply of full-time pediatric dentists is expected to grow from nine to 14 per 100,000 children. If children in underserved populations face fewer access barriers, then the higher number of pediatric dentists will be poised to care for the large amount of unmet oral health needs.
The study also found that the supply  of pediatric dentists varies substantially by geographic location. The ratio of pediatric dentists to children is lowest in states with a larger percentage of rural populations. These research results suggest opportunities for pro- viding care in areas not traditionally served by pediatric dentistry, particularly in smaller population centers where the need is great for oral health services for children.
Commissioned by the AAPD, the study conducted by the Center for Health Work- force Studies at the University at Albany, SUNY, gathered exhaustive data on the current supply and distribution of pediatric dentists relative to their patient populations. The Center applied a workforce simulation model to the data to anticipate future supply and demand for pediatric dentists and help ensure children receive recommended dental services.
To access the article online, visit https:// fulltext.

Click here for a PDF version of this article.