From the Editor
Shannon L. Pace, CDA
In our profession, we work on the frontlines of patient education: we are responsible for gathering, organizing, clarifying, and updating multiple levels of personal and medical information. This month’s range of articles—from global disease to home-based whitening treatments—clearly demonstrates the many varied ways we impact our patients’ lives. Here at Inside Dental Assisting, our goal is to help you manage your professional time and energy by honing in on the most essential and current information for you and your patients.
Although no longer at the forefront of the news, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) still requires significant attention by healthcare professionals, who are at risk for occupational exposure. This month’s feature is part one of a two-part exploration of the basics of this disease, including safety devices and strategies to reduce the risk of exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 400,000 people in the U.S. are living with AIDS. I hope you will take the opportunity to refresh your knowledge of this disease.
Our first continuing education article, provided by the Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures, maintains our emphasis on infection control in practice. This month’s report concentrates on the instrument processing room, discussing not only instrument sterilization but also transporting, packaging, and storing procedures. The second continuing education article applies evidence-based dentistry to analyze consumer whitening products. A number of variables—from patient oral health practices to the type of whitening system—impact safety and efficacy, and these issues need to be communicated clearly to the patient.
I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight our second annual Dental Assistant of the Year award, sponsored by Colgate and Inside Dental Assisting. This prize is awarded to a dental assistant showing extraordinary dedication to continuing education, community service, and improvement of the profession. Along with a cash prize, the award includes a trip to the 2009 Greater New York Dental Meeting and a feature in Inside Dental Assisting. Nominations are now being accepted: the process is simple and can be completed online at www.insidedentalassisting.com. Please take this opportunity to nominate one of your outstanding colleagues.
Throughout the year, your thoughts, comments, and contributions will continue to be essential to the success of Inside Dental Assisting. Please take a moment to visit our website, where you will find not only this month’s articles, but also exceptional online-only material and other professional resources. In addition, you will be able to log on and send us your feedback. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.
Shannon L. Pace, CDA