Inside Dental Assisting
May/Jun 2012
Volume 8, Issue 3

Historic Meeting Opportunity for Dental Assistants

The Multi-Cultural Oral Health Summit

For the first time, three of the nation’s major ethnic oral healthcare associations are collaborating on a joint conference to “Collectively Meet the Needs of a Diverse Population to Improve Oral Health.” Sponsored by the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), National Dental Association (NDA), and Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID), the Multi-Cultural Oral Health Summit offers dental assistants unique continuing education, networking, and professional opportunities in a premier family friendly resort.

“The program has a very sharp focus on careers, leadership, and care of the different populations such as children and special needs,” explains C. Yolanda Bonta, DMD, MS, MS, Executive Director of the Hispanic Dental Association. “This event is promoting a different kind of dialogue during interprofessional sessions to explore the changing landscape of oral healthcare.”

These sessions include subjects such as Treating Aging America; Dental Management of the Medically Compromised Patient; and Providing Access to Care. Bonta notes that one of the highlights will be the session on Advances of Perinatal and Infant Oral Care—CAMBRA Evidence-based Protocols and Implementation.

“Dental assistants will discover a wide variety of continuing education opportunities,” she says. “They can attend any session they find of interest.” In addition, there is a specific schedule of events presented by the National Dental Assistants Association. (See page 12 of the brochure available at https://www.hdassoc.org/site/epage/129001_351.htm.)

The dental assistant schedule includes a continuing education session presented by Tina Calloway, which explores motivating patients to be open to treatment plans. This session discusses preparation, communication, and leadership skills, and “a true commitment to educating your patients about the benefits of long term oral health.”

Bonta says, “This is a landmark opportunity to attend three conferences at once, with an amazing schedule of events. You will form a lot of new bonds, and meet many people whose careers have spanned decades.”

The program organizers from the three associations have already found this to be an enriching professional connection. “In the last couple of years, our organizations have become of interest because the great health needs tend to be clustered in minority populations,” Bonta explains. “Nonpolitical associations that are comprised of members of those groups or who have the tools to address the needs of minority health can form a conduit of understanding. Everyone involved in planning this meeting has found it to be a great learning experience. We’ve created new alliances that otherwise might not have happened.”

The Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) is a national, non-profit organization comprised of oral health professionals and students dedicated to promoting and improving the oral health of the Hispanic community and providing advocacy for Hispanic oral health professionals across the United States. The Association works with a wide spectrum of individuals and organizations to communicate to Hispanic and non-Hispanic dental professionals, students, and the public.

The mission of the National Dental Association (NDA) is to represent the concerns of ethnic minorities in dentistry, to elevate the global oral health concerns of underserved communities, to enhance educational and financial opportunities, and public policy awareness, for its members, and to recruit underrepresented minorities into the profession through advocacy and mentorship.

The purpose of the Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) is to promote dental health in the American Indian community; encourage American Indian youth to pursue a career in the profession of dentistry; serve as a resource for assistance to American Indian students interested in the profession of dentistry; provide role-model leadership; promote American Indian heritage and traditional values; and promote and support the unique concerns of American Indian dentists.

While planning for this event has been very exciting, Bonta explains that a summit is probably not going to happen frequently, as it is a major undertaking for the three associations. “If you’re thinking about attending, you should probably register and make room reservations very soon,” she says. In addition, one of the advantages of the joint meeting is a very large exhibit floor with an array of vendors. “Our exhibiters help make the meeting happen, and they will be showcasing state of the art technologies and products that will be of great interest to attendees.”

Multi-Cultural Oral Health Summit
A Historic Joint Meeting
July 20-24
Boca Raton, Florida
Click here for more Information and Registration

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