Among the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry’s core values is “the provision of the highest quality oral health care for children. Such care is thoughtful, careful, ethical and based on the current scientific evidence.” Of course, thoughtful and careful treatment must ensure the safety of patients and the members of the dental care team.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry established a Safety Committee in 2016. The vision of the Safety Committee is creating the safest possible oral health care delivery system, thereby protecting the health and well-being of patients and their providers. One of the strategic goals of the ABPD is to increase collaboration and relationship-building with related organizations. As part of the priority strategy for this goal, I have been serving as a committee member on the AAPD Safety Committee for this past year, and, what a busy year it has been!

The AAPD will hold its first Safety Symposium on November 8-9, 2019 in Chicago. This inaugural course on safety in the pediatric dental practice is meant to create awareness and provide simple tools to attendees to improve safety practices in their dental offices, including during sedation procedures. The Safety Committee is also creating relationships with organizations that provide voluntary accreditation to ambulatory facilities and offices. These collaborative efforts have aided the committee in developing a pediatric dental-specific safety checklist and set of processes that will lead to voluntary office accreditation. In addition, a cloud-based source of safety standard links is in development that may be used as a resource for AAPD members.

The ABPD applauds the AAPD for aiding dentists to strengthen the culture of safety for both patients and providers in their dental practice settings. We encourage all Diplomates to attend the AAPD Safety Symposium. We will continue to collaborate with the AAPD to develop opportunities for Diplomates to incorporate systems of safety in the delivery of oral health care. Furthermore, we at ABPD look forward to developing new Continuous Quality Improvement modules (CQI’s) with a focus on safety. These CQI’s and more will be offered as part of the ABPD’s Renewal of Certification Process.

Together the AAPD and the ABPD hope to protect the well-being of providers, dental team members, our patients, and the families who trust us with their care. We hope to see you at the Safety Symposium!

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Leila Younger, DDS, MS
President, ABPD
Barrington, IL 
Diplomate since 1998