ADAVB President's Comments
October 2019 Hide Comments
Supporting you from student to dentist
As the end-of-year university exams begin this month, it’s a good time to reflect on the valuable support we provide to our student and recent graduate members.
I remember the daunting thought of entering the workforce and having to treat patients all on my own, and wondering if I would have anyone to help me. Luckily, I had an incredible mentor (thanks Dr David Whelan) and a strong community of dentists and specialists to draw advice from. While it was somewhat stressful, it was also a time of huge personal growth and increased confidence, and it reiterated the reasons I chose to pursue dentistry in the first place. It also provided me with reassurance that the dental community was a supportive and inclusive one.  
Most experienced dentists can remember and understand how much of a transition and learning curve it is moving from student to new graduate, and as an organisation for dentists by dentists, we hope that we provide the support and services needed for those going through this period as we ourselves have. Some of the specific services we provide for new graduates include:
Our Mentoring Program, which is available for all our first-year new graduate members
The Early Clinical Essentials CPD Series 
Health Leadership Sector Program 
A $5000 recent graduate bursary 
Resources such as ‘Introduction to the Dental Profession’ and ‘Checklist for getting started’.
We actively encourage new graduates to attend as much CPD, group and social events as possible; not only to continue developing clinical skills but also to increase professional networks, which are equally important. For this reason, the ADAVB has further reduced the CPD rates for students and new graduates. ADAVB group events are a great way to access CPD and meet colleagues in your local area. They are also a good starting point for connecting with the ADAVB.
Recent graduates are also encouraged to access our free HR advisory service on 1300 232 462 and LifeWorks support service on 1300 361 008 for additional assistance with work and personal matters.
While we strive to provide as much support to our newer members, we realise that the environment is constantly changing. That’s why we have an ADAVB Recent Graduates and Students Committee that helps to keep us in touch with your needs. This committee also has a representative on the CPD Committee.
We are always open to feedback and improvement. Please send any suggestions about what we could be doing better to 
Dental Students Cup
There’s nothing like a good game of netball to make you feel young (or old) again. I was asked to join the ADAVB/Guild team to play against the La Trobe and Melbourne University students at this year’s annual sports day. Much to our disappointment (but not surprise) the students were the clear winners of the match. This event has been running for a few years now, and it’s a fantastic initiative to build the camaraderie between the students of both universities and a fun connection with the ADAVB and Guild. It was great to see so many students participate throughout the day.  
Speaking of fun connections, I hope that many of you will enter our ‘guest editor’ competition. Two lucky student or recent graduate winners will guest edit the February edition of this magazine. This includes a planning meeting with the ADAVB comms team, a meeting with me and CEO Matt Hopcraft to discuss the ‘big’ issues, plus a $100 lifestyle benefits voucher each. See page 11 for more information!
Branch Presidents Meeting
Recently I attended my first Branch Presidents Meeting at the ADA in Sydney. These meetings give the branches an opportunity to discuss common issues and share resources. It was uplifting and encouraging to see that all branches were in alignment, and determined to continually improve the advocacy, support and services we provide to our members.
I encourage you to continue to reach out to me to discuss the issues that are affecting you and your patients. I’m here to represent all our members at the branch level and it’s important that we also have a voice on the federal table as well.
Dr Gitika Sanghvi





Facial aesthetics and ethical practice

Getting through a winter in Tasmania can sometimes feel like going through the motions until the first signs of spring have sprung. Last month seemed to have been an exception to the normal routine, with robust discussions in council meetings about body modification in the dental setting. 

It seems ADATas is a pioneering state, being the first to receive a request to provide a position statement on tooth sharpening. 

As a person with decorated skin and multiple piercings, it’s an interesting topic to talk through. In an age where dentists are providing ‘facial aesthetic’ treatment, who are we to define what we can do to our appearance? Altering someone’s smile irreversibly to give us a golden ratio of proportions in an otherwise healthy dentition would have a bioethics team talking for days. It’s what we do though, and it’s what people want. When there is informed, validated consent, and both practitioner and patient are aware of the pros and cons, then it’s acceptable practice. Of course, a person carrying out procedures who is not a registered health practitioner is deplorable. 

But how do we determine what ethical practice is when it comes to irreversibly altering someone’s oral cavity? 

It’s a work in progress, but we now have a statement that we hope sits comfortably with both the profession and the public. 

I haven’t seen any patients yet with tongue splitting or teeth sharpened but I’m sure they’re coming. When they come, I’ll be prepared.

Our position statement includes the following:

The ADATas does not recommend the irreversible body modification of the oral cavity, including the natural dentition, other than by a registered dental professional

Persons who have undergone body modification of the oral cavity should maintain regular contact with a registered dental professional to monitor and manage consequences of the damaged oral cavity

Governments must legislate safety standards to ensure that body modification can only be performed by adequately trained and indemnified persons in a safe environment.

Dr Angie Nilsson

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