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In this edition of Leaders in Dentistry, we had the chance to interview with our friend, Kevin Henry. Kevin has been busy speaking at events around the country as well as coordinating some dental assistant education. Here’s what he shared with us:

Tell us about the dental shows you have attended this year. Do you have plans to attend any other shows before the end of the year?

Absolutely! I was honored to be a part of IgniteDA’s dental assistant track we launched at the Yankee Dental Congress this year. I’ve also been at Chicago Midwinter and CDA-Anaheim. I’ll be speaking at the Business of Dentistry Conference in mid-August, the Buffalo Niagara Dental Meeting in early October, the Greater New York Dental Meeting just after Thanksgiving and the IgniteDA road shows we have scheduled everywhere from Portland, Maine to Oklahoma City. It’s going to be a great end to 2017!

IgniteDA will also be coordinating the dental assistant education tracks at Yankee Dental Congress and Chicago Midwinter in 2018. We can’t wait to start next year with a bang!

At DentalPost we are also huge believers that we are never done learning and must continue to grow ourselves personally and professionally. How does IgniteDA help dental assistants get to the next level in their careers? 

I believe so strongly that assistants must always continue down the path of educating themselves and furthering their career. One of the most rewarding things about what we do at IgniteDA are our Webinars we hold twice a month where we tackle topics ranging from infection control to interpersonal relationships. We listen to our members and assistants from around the country on what issues really matter to them and design our Webinars to meet those. Those Webinars are always on demand so assistants can always catch up on their education. IgniteDA also provides blogs, videos and podcasts to help assistants learn and grow in their career, in addition to the road shows I mentioned previously.

What changes do you think will come to the dental office in 2018? Do you see any trends on the horizon? 

I think the two biggest trends that will impact assistants in 2018 is the continuing rise of technology in the practice as well as the rise in group practices. These two trends underscore the importance of education for assistants. How will technology such as 3D printing or intraoral scanning impact what you do on a daily basis as an assistant? Do you even know what you’re legally allowed to do or not do in your state when it comes to these technologies? If the answer is no, go to DANB.org and click on Meet State Requirements. It’s a great site to know what you’re allowed to do in every state in our great land.

Regarding group practices, assistants need to know how these businesses differ from traditional practices. My advice is to do some research, talk to assistants who are already working in group practices and see if it could be a fit for you. Never go into any job blindly. Do your research ahead of time and learn about the culture of that practice, whether it’s a solo or group practice.

About Kevin Henry: 

An advocate of today’s dental assistant, Kevin Henry speaks to dental audiences across the nation on topics that empower dental assistants, helping them recognize the leadership role they hold in the practice.

Kevin is the co-founder of IgniteDA.net, a community designed to empower, enlighten and educate dental assistants. With more than 16 years in the dental publishing industry, Kevin is the former editor of Dental Assisting Digest and Modern Dental Assistant. He was recently named as one of the top five influential voices in the industry on Twitter (@kgh23).

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