General Dentists

Creating Smiles Together

2019 Memories 

Its been a very busy year for the NJAGD, with so much news to share!

In July the scientific session was held at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.  We proudly welcomed over 16 new FAGD & MAGD members at the session. Congratulations to all.

Our next scientific session will be in Las Vegas on July 15-18, 2020.

https://www.agd.org/continuing-education-events/agd-events-details/2020/07/15/default-calendar/agd2020–the-premier-meeting-for-general-dentistry

 

NJAGD knows how to have fun also.

In September, we had our annual picnic at the Boys Scouts of America, Alpine Scout Camp, Alpine, NJ.  Everyone enjoyed the barbeque and activities.  Here are some members and members of the executive board having fun in the potato sack race and pie eating contest.

Advocacy

The NJAGD will always advocate to represent the general dentist, we will continue to carry on our work in representing the best interests of our constituents.

We recently responded below, to the Senate Health and Human Services regarding S997 Fluoridation Act.

Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee

New Jersey State House

125 West State Street

Trenton, NJ 08625

February 15, 2020

Chair Vitale and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony on S997, relating to the New Jersey Public Water Supply Fluoridation Act. On behalf of the New Jersey Academy of General Dentistry (NJAGD), I would like to express our support of this legislation.

As a component of the second largest dental association in the nation, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), we work diligently to protect New Jersey’s general dentists and their patients by advocating for effective oral health care policies. General dentists are the primary oral health care providers for patients of all ages, and take responsibility for the diagnosis, treatment, and coordination of services to meet the oral health needs of patients. Approximately 77% of New Jersey’s licensed dentists are general dentists.

The top priority for the NJAGD and general dentists is prevention of dental disease and access to dental care for all. As an organization we strive to eliminate barriers to oral health care. Community water fluoridation is one of the single most effective ways in preventing tooth decay

For over 70 years, scientific research has consistently shown that the fluoridation of water systems is a safe and effective way to prevent and reduce rates of tooth decay, which remains the most chronic disease among children and adolescents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation, “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century,” due to these consistent findings. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Federal Panel on Community Water Fluoridation published a final recommendation supporting appropriate levels of fluoride in drinking water to prevent dental caries (decay). 

We respectfully encourage you to join us in supporting this legislation, which is a simple way to support the oral health for all residents of our state. Furthermore, we would like to thank Senator Joseph Vitale for leading this effort and authoring S997.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you again for your consideration and allowing the NJAGD to support S997.  

Respectfully,

The New Jersey Academy of General Dentistry

Narpat Jain

Narpat Jain, D.M.D.

President

We also represented your views when responding to the proposed New Jersey State Board changes below:

January 17, 2020

New Jersey State Board of Dentistry

124 Halsey Street

Newark, New Jersey 07102

            Re: Proposed Rule Changes

Honorable Members of the Board:

On behalf of the New Jersey Academy of General Dentistry (NJAGD), please accept the following comments on the proposed New Jersey State Board of Dentistry rule changes. Each numbered item is the proposed change, followed by the NJAGD’s comment regarding that proposal. These comments have been voted on and approved by the NJAGD Board on January 15th, 2020.

  • Proposal: Requiring both basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) for licensed dentists and two personnel who are present in the operating room during PCS.

            NJAGD Comment: The NJAGD suggests an amendment to this proposed change. We agree that ACLS is an important training for any dentist administering PCS, because PCS may progress into deep sedation. However, we submit that requiring that two personnel (dental assistants) also be trained in ACLS is too onerous a burden on assistants.  This would require the assistants to be able to read an EKG, and to use and administer medications. Adding this requirement will reduce patient access to care, because providers would be less likely to renew their PCS permits. The NJAGD suggests that The New Jersey State Board of Dentistry have the same guidelines for PCS that the ADA has for General Anesthesia:  “two additional individuals who have current certification of successfully completing a Basic Life Support Course for the Healthcare Provider” present in the operating room.

  • Proposal: Amending the formal training for PCS permits from a combined 80 hours to 40 hours in didactic instruction and 40 hours in supervised clinical training, including certification in capnography competency.

            NJAGD Comment: The NJAGD suggests three amendments to this proposed change. First, we would like to request more specific training requirements, including 20 live patient case experiences.  ADA guidelines require 60 hours of instruction and 20 case experiences with all 20 being live case experiences.  Nationally, the AGD has fought to maintain the old requirement that dentists who wish to practice IV sedation have had training providing IV sedation to at least 20 live patients.

Second, we ask that a distinction be made between minimal and moderate sedation.  The AAPD/AAP and ADA differentiate between the two, and the practitioner must be prepared for both situations.  See “AAPD/AAP definitions”, PEDIATRICS, Volume 138, number 1, p. e9-e10 (July 2016). Defining the level of sedation, the category of medications (ie. propofol should not be used for mild or moderate sedation), prohibiting multidrug cocktails (i.e. fentanyl and propofol) and guidelines specific for children vs adults (specifically certification in PALS) will create a safer environment for the public.

Lastly, the NJAGD proposes eliminating requiring certification in capnography, because the use of precordial/pretracheal stethoscope is just as accurate.   In the recent past, the AGD has opposed the 2016 ADA Guidelines that mandated capnography and support the AAP/AAPD guideline/position that dentists should have a choice of capnography or precordial/pretracheal stethoscope to monitor breather during PCS.  AAP/AAPD guidelines do not require preclusions or invalidations to apply for a dentist to select stethoscope instead of capnography. Similarly, the NJAGD would like to suggest that the practitioner have a choice between capnography and the use of precordial/pretracheal stethoscope.

  • Proposal: Requirements regarding IV administration sets and tubing; syringes, needles, IV catheters, and tape scissors; laryngoscopes, assorted size blades, and spare batteries; endotracheal tubes (adult and pediatric sizes); magil forceps; yankauer type suction tips and catheter suction; and a capnometer. The Board is also proposing to amend the requirement for suction to specify suction equipment capable of aspirating gastric contents from the mouth and pharynx.

            NJAGD Comment: The NJAGD suggests two amendments to this proposed change. First, the NJAGD proposes removing the requirement of laryngoscopes and endotracheal tubes, and instead suggests that LMA’s (Laryngeal Mask Airway) be the required equipment to serve the same purpose.  It is safer and easier to operate for a dentist not intubating regularly. Intubations and the use of a laryngoscope require a high skill level that needs regular use to be effectively maintained.  Moreover, unsuccessful attempts to use a laryngoscope can put the patient at risk.  Requiring it in every office would encourage use by practitioners who might not be confident enough in the equipment to use it safely. 

Second, the NJAGD suggests that the list of medication categories be more consistent with what is needed for PCS. For example, cardio drugs and dantrolene are excessive for PCS.

            Proposal: Requiring all Treatment plans to be signed by the patient, and in the event of significant changes, must be amended and re-signed.

            NJAGD Comment: The NJAGD proposes an amendment to this suggested change, to establish a threshold requirements before it applies.  Specifically, the NJAGD proposes that the change only apply to those treatment plans which are over $2,500.00.

We believe we need to respond to this change because we represent general dentists. We understand that most hospital based facilities require this on all treatment plans. For a general dentist in a smaller practice, this creates an undue burden for small procedures performed on a daily basis.  We do believe that for larger treatment plans a signed treatment plan is necessary. However we think for a simple filling diagnosed in hygiene having a patient sign a form would slow down patient care and create additional clerical work, without providing any significant benefit to the patient.

  • Proposal: Requiring that, in addition to the existing equipment required to maintain adult and pediatric airways, all offices must have an AED and contain back up battery operated equipment consisting of at least lighting, suction and a pulse oximeter.        

            NJAGD Comment: The NJAGD suggests an amendment to this proposed change, eliminating battery backup  and suction and pulse oximeter.  These are excessive for anyone not doing PCS.  The NJAGD proposes that this should   be suggested equipment for the general dentist and required for those with PCS permits.

            Thank you for your attention to our concerns, which we offer in the spirit of achieving the same goals as this Honorable Board:  the best and safest patient care.

Respectfully,

The New Jersey Academy of General  Dentistry

Narpat Jain

Narpat Jain, D.M.D.

President

CE Courses

NJAGD is offering some amazing CE courses set for 2020 that you will look forward to participating with.

Endodontics AIM CE Course On April 24-26, 2020

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding and Implementing Airway and Sleep Disordered Breathing Protocols with Dr. Steven Acker May 1& 2, 2020

The Madow Brothers – Dental Practice Success

on September 16, 2020

Just to name a few!

Check out our upcoming courses:  https://njagd.org/calendar/

The House of Delegates

Our meeting took place on Nov. 8 to 10, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency, Chicago, Illinois.  Many governance related meetings occurred including officer elections.

NJAGD had 12 representatives in attendance including 2 student chairs. The students experienced what its like to be part of the future of dentistry.

Our very own, Dr. Joseph Battaglia received the AGD 2019 Distinguished Service Award.

Mary Kiledjian, student chair, wrote to us about the HOD experience.

2 Lucky Students Attend AGD House of Delegates Conference:

It was a cold November weekend in Chicago when more than 200 general dentists gathered together for the Academy of General Dentistry Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting focuses on the governance-related aspects of AGD, including elections and the house of delegates (HOD). The HOD is AGD’s legislative body. It consisted of 202 delegates, including active, retired and emeritus members from each constituent; constituents allow at least one voting delegate. During this meeting, the participants can amend the AGD Constitution and Bylaws, and create policies that govern the organization. I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s HOD Conference as an Alternate Delegate along with Victoria Revich. Myself, along with the other members of NJAGD, participated in reference committees on advocacy, administration, image, membership, and continuing education. Conversing with such distinguished general dentists opened my eyes about the importance of organized dentistry. All of our combined efforts will work together to positively impact and contribute to our dental profession. By becoming an AGD member, we can advance the dental profession and better serve our communities. It is important for all student doctors to understand the importance of organized dentistry and advocacy and in the future to become active members of the AGD. Every year at the AGD Annual Meeting, awards are given to recipients in recognition of excellence in certain areas.

(Left to Right) Dr. George Schmidt, Victoria Revich, Mary Kiledjian and Dr. Joseph Battaglia

Members Corner

The NJAGD values its members and is always striving to offer you the best CE Courses and membership experience.  Without you we would not be able to carry on the good fight    to represent the General Dentist!

Our Board members work hard and volunteer their time because the NJAGD is a vital part of our dental community.  Below is a letter to our members from Dr. Laura Sharbash, Membership Chair.

Future of AGD Depends on You — 11/2019

For nearly seventy years and across the spectrum from student to retirement, AGD has served with the mission to “advance general dentistry and oral health through quality continuing education and advocacy.”[1]

Yet, despite this important mission and the wealth of opportunities and support that the AGD provides general dentists, including continuing education, career awards and recognition, practice management support, and advocacy and representation, membership rates have dipped in recent years. The topic of membership growth was one of the main areas of focus for the House of Delegates, AGD’s legislative body, at this year’s Annual Meeting in Chicago (11/8-10/2019).

Declining rates of membership in professional associations is a nationwide trend influenced by several factors such as cost-cutting pressures, generational preferences, and the proliferation of alternative social and professional networking platforms.[2]  Successful professional associations recognize these trends and adapt to meet the needs of a growing and changing workforce.

Since 2001, the number of dentists nationwide has grown by 20% to nearly 200,000, the vast majority, approximately 80%, in general practice. Over this timeframe, the percentage of female dentists has doubled and now account for one-third of our workforce.[3] In addition, the percentage of practicing dentists age 65 and older has also doubled to nearly 16%.

AGD’s 40,000 members make it the second largest professional association behind the American Dental Association but the only professional association exclusively dedicated to meeting the needs of general dentists.[4]

Continuing to create and deliver exceptionally high value member programs and services as well as enhancing recognition of that value will be essential to retaining and expanding future membership. However, beyond that, it is essential to ensuring the continuing growth and development of our profession. 

Given the changing face of dentistry, how might AGD meet the needs of current and future members? One approach is to recognize that one size may not fit all.[5] In an era that values customization and on demand access, engaging current and potential members for ideas on desired programs and services as well as new ways to deliver them may help enhance greater connectivity and recognized value.

Another important approach to membership growth is in retaining current members. Active support of members through the membership renewal process with a personal touch through customized and structured pathways for mentorship and career advancement can highlight and reinforce the tremendous value AGD provides.

AGD membership remains an exceptional value and one that enhances the careers of tens of thousands of fellow dentists nationwide. Reflecting on how we can better meet their needs not only ensures we will continue to have the highly trained and talented dentists, but that our patients and communities will continue to receive the best care possible.

We welcome you to attend one of our monthly board meetings.  Please log on to www.njagd.org and check our calendar.

We welcome our members to contact the NJAGD office anytime.  Our Executive Director, Ms. Mary Eastwood, is always available to help answer your questions or direct you to someone who can help!

Email Mary@njagdsecretary@gmail.com or call 1-866-GONJAD(466-5243).

[1] Academy of General Dentistry agd.org/about-us

[2] Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2016/01/to-stay-relevant-professional-associations-must-rebrand

[3] American Dental Association https://www.ada.org/en/science-research/health-policy-institute/dental-statistics/workforce

[4] AGD https://www.agd.org/member-center/member-benefits

[5] https://www.walsworth.com/blog/association-membership-trends