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1956: A Revolution in Collaboration & Reform

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On today’s episode, recorded at DSS 2023 in San Antonio, TX, Dr. Mark Costes delves into a summit that brought together 700 dental professionals, amassing a staggering 6420 years of collective dental experience. This episode is not just a recount of an event; it’s a blueprint for transforming the dental profession through collaboration and collective wisdom. As we celebrated a decade of remarkable gatherings, we ventured to a location that symbolically and geographically represented the unity and midpoint of our diverse community. Despite the boutique setting’s cozy limit, the energy and potential within these walls were anything but small.

We tackle pressing issues facing the dental world today, from the urgent need for dental education reform to navigating the intricacies of dental insurance. With the average dental student burdened by a colossal $292,000 in debt, and the clinical experience waning amidst rising tuition costs, the call for change has never been louder. This episode passionately argues for a systemic overhaul, one that aligns the cost of education with the quality and quantity of clinical training provided.

Insurance, a perennial thorn in the profession’s side, is scrutinized for its increasing dominance and the stagnation of dentist reimbursements. This discussion isn’t just about identifying problems; it’s a rallying cry for unity and action against the forces that undermine dental practice autonomy and financial health.

We also shed light on the workforce crisis, touching on the gradual yet hopeful signs of recovery as the pendulum swings back towards a more balanced employer-employee dynamic. The episode takes an honest look at the hygiene department’s challenges, advocating for dialogue and mutual respect amidst rising tensions and wage disparities.

Central to this conversation is the profession’s cultural crisis— a lack of professionalism and camaraderie that threatens the very fabric of our dental community. This episode is a plea for a higher standard, where colleagues support rather than undermine each other, recognizing that the strength of our profession lies in unity rather than division.