The Power of Asking

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I can’t believe I got a D in geometry – I hate math! Dental hygiene doesn’t seem to have much math involved – that’s for me. Amazing how my journey as a woman in dentistry ended up in CDT codes and metrics.

I love patient care, the one-on-one relationships helping people is a right fit for me. Yet, there are only so many hours for me to see them. My vision became to throw my pebble in the pond.  If I can affect clinicians, it ultimately affects more patients.

My pebble was NOT aimed toward numbers and codes. Though, I learned I can do the math, it still isn’t my favorite activity. When I think codes, I think b-o-r-i-n-g. It has been said that my attention span is somewhere less than a gnat at times.

So how did I end up making-up a word and creating a business?

Learning about codes started with sitting in a lot of meetings at ADA headquarters to experience the process up close. Writing a book was next. In order to do so, a license is needed because ADA owns the codes. As life happens, I paid the license for 3 years before I finally wrote my first book in 2013. Part of me can’t quite grasp that I made up the word DentalCodeology and it continues to gain meaning. Since 2013, there have been many more meetings, courses, and 6 more books. 

The central message of the latest Teledentistry: Pathway to Prosperity, co-written with another amazing woman in dentistry, Cindy Purdy, is that it’s not worth the time and energy to think about using teledentistry if it’s more of the same. We aren’t going to solve the epidemic of oral disease with just more prophies, fluoride and floss.  

The greatest joy of my DentalCodeology brand is the Insiders group. Started in August 2017, it’s our one-stop-shop for accurate coding education and a community of like-minded professionals. The Insiders meet for monthly Masterminds to share and learn from one another.

Since the beginning, the Insiders have had meet-ups at major dental meetings. For our 3rd anniversary, we did something new. DentalCodeology joined fellow women in dentistry Cherie Le Penske, Founder/Owner Amor Dental and Tonya Lanthier, CEO of Dental Post for our first-ever Leading with Kindness breakfast meet-up during the Under One Roof meeting. It seemed only appropriate to recognize and award Anne Duffy, DEW Life Editor and Publisher, with our first-ever Recognition of Distinction. Anne truly embodies the meaning of Leading with Kindness. 

DentalCodeology continues to evolve.

One of the goals is to have dental hygienists, assistants, and office managers represented on the coding committee. There are none on the current 21-member committee. More women’s voices with different knowledge and experience are needed. What surprised and shocked us was when it was asked how to join the committee – the response was that there was no process because no one ever asked

I have learned to ask and be proactive. The most successful people I’ve met throughout my professional experience know what they don’t know, and aren’t afraid to admit it. They are inquisitive and enjoy figuring out how to create change. They are thinkers and problem solvers, and most importantly, they don’t sit around and wait to be told what to do. AND they are kind and have fun while making a difference.

If you want to learn more about having fun while making a difference, hit me up. I’d love to hear from a fellow DeW.

 

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Patti DiGangi is CEO of DentalCodeology an educational training company offering hands-on workshops, educational training, and online education. As a longtime clinician and CE speaker, she believes in setting high goals. Patti believes we can have a caries-free world, cure, not just manage periodontal disease and most importantly no oral cancer! As the author of 7 books on coding, Patti leads an active group shaping the future. In fact, the American Dental Association recognized her expertise by inviting her to write a chapter in its CDT 2017 Companion book and again for CDT 2018 Companion. Patti holds publishing and speaking licenses with ADA for Current Dental Terminology©2019. Patti has published 30+ articles annually and presents 50-70 programs annually. Patti has received numerous awards and recognitions Dentistry Today’s Leaders in CE 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Sunstar Award of Distinction 2014, Sonicare Mentor of Distinction 2013, and the Illinois Dental Hygienists Association RDH of the Year 2000.

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