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E22: My Thoughts on the SCDA Meeting


Today I’m excited to share some of my thoughts and experiences at the Special Care Dental Association, or SCDA, annual meeting. SCDA is a unique international organization of oral health professionals and other individuals who are dedicated to promoting oral health and wellbeing for people with special needs. SCDA is proud to bring together professionals from the American Association of Hospital Dentists (AAHD), the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities (ADPD) and the American Society for Geriatric Dentistry (ASGD).


Because many of the goals and activities of these three practice areas overlap, the component groups joined forces and formed SCDA. By fully integrating these groups, SCDA benefits its members – and the patients they serve – by having a united leadership and a single mission. Members include dentists, dental hygienists and assistants, non-dental healthcare providers, health program administrators, residents, students and hospitals.


SCDA is a relatively small dental organization of dentists who reach underserved patient populations. Generally, member dentists fall into one of these three categories: dentists who treat patients in a hospital setting, dentists who treat patients with special needs, or dentists who treat older adults. If you’re interested in offering dental house calls, you’re probably interested in offering “special care” to patients and SCDA could be the perfect group for you to join. Lecture topics included subjects that we’ve discussed before like, how to serve dying patients, and many that we haven’t, like the many changes in Medicare and what that means for patients.


Lectures and presentations were very formal due to the fact that a significant number of people presenting were academics. This style can be a turn off for some, and preferred by others but for me, the CE topics were the standout, as it’s a subject that other conferences tend to overlook– so I was okay sitting through more formal presentations. In addition to the CE, I loved being in the company of dentists on a mission to serve underserved populations. At this conference, I felt like I was with my people. In the past, I’ve shared with you that it’s easy to feel siloed or misunderstood when you’re the only house call dentist in town, so I appreciated being in the company of people who understood my work. There were even other house call dentists there that I got to catch up with, like Dr. Joy Poskozim who you heard from in episode #18.


Speaking of being with “my people,” at this meeting, I had the amazing opportunity to FINALLY meet my virtual assistant, Katie! In episode #11, you met Jenn St. Pierre from My Remote Dental Assistant. That service matched me and Katie almost two years ago! Katie is great to my patients, she’s hard-working, but most-importantly, she really believes in the mission of AccommoDental, my dental home care service.


One critique I have of SCDA is that it’s a pretty top-heavy organization. It seemed like most of the attendees were involved in leadership one way or another. Selfishly, this made attending the meeting wonderful, because leadership was so accessible to attendees. It was awesome to interact directly with leaders in this space and to be able to ask them questions about their experience treating different patient populations. Still, I do worry about the long-term growth and sustainability of this very important organization if it remains small and mostly includes leadership, so definitely join and attend for some CE and camaraderie.


Thanks for tuning in to hear about my experience at the SCDA annual meeting. I always want to keep you in the loop about everything and anything that could be helpful to you as you begin offering in-home dental care for patients. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to me directly at hello@residentalmovement.com. If you’re struggling to envision what your day to day life would look like as a house call dentist, visit residentalmovement.com/adayinthelife for my FREE Scheduling Template called “A Day in the Life of a House Call Dentist.”


Whether you decide to pursue dental home care or not, consider supporting those in need of it by contributing to the Home Smile Care Foundation. This is a nonprofit organization founded by myself and my loved ones to offer financial assistance to patients who struggle to afford in-home care. Visit homesmilecarefoundation.org for more information.


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Produced by: Social Chameleon



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