A Message From The President
It is an honor and privilege to serve as this year’s President of the California Society of Periodontists.
This is an extremely exciting time to be a specialist in periodontics. Our understanding of periodontal disease and its adverse impact on systemic health is promoting increased awareness and improved oral health with patients. Our ability to regenerate lost bone and soft tissue has never been better. Implant dentistry has expanded our capacity to help our patients achieve a functional and healthier dentition. And technology is allowing for same day CAD-CAM milling, in office three dimensional imaging and virtual surgical procedures, even at real time, improving efficiency, surgical preparation and patient safety.
However, this is also an extremely challenging time to be a practicing periodontist. The growth of corporate dentistry is undermining the traditional models of oral health care delivery. The line between generalist and specialist is continuing to blur. The cost of dental education and subsequent high debt of the young periodontist is helping fuel a traveling model for health care delivery, often associated with compromised doctor autonomy, lower quality care, and aggressive diagnosis and over treatment. Third party payers are increasingly compromising the doctor – patient relationship, where treatment decisions are often dictated by bureaucrats and reimbursement rates are based on corporate profits instead of patient needs. And over-bearing government regulations and fees is increasing practice overhead costs subsequently reducing access to care as well as quality of care.
This is why membership to the California Society of Periodontists (CSP) has never been more important. CSP advocates for all California periodontists allowing us to practice the full scope of our specialty as we were trained. CSP monitors legislative and dental board actions on our behalf which can impact patient care and practice, and lets us know when important issues arise. Our newly designed collaborative annual meeting provides an environment where we learn together with our referring colleagues to strengthen our professional relationships and promote the team approach model which is essential for high quality and state of the art patient care. Our hygiene collaborative, usually held twice a year promotes the periodontist as the leader of the periodontal team to our hygienist colleagues and fosters a collegial relationship between us. And our new consumer oriented website defines the periodontist as the expert in oral health and provides a resource for patients to help find CSP member periodontists.
Yes, this is a very exciting time to be a periodontist but we need a stronger voice to continue delivering the quality of care that our patients deserve. We need to continue our membership with CSP. We need to become involved with our local component dental societies. We need to actively participate on committees in the CDA as well as in the CDA House of Delegates. And we all need to promote CSP membership to non-member periodontists to strengthen our collective voice. In short, we need to become individual leaders of organized dentistry in California and advocate for periodontics as we do for our practices in our local community. Together, we will manage the challenges.
CSP has a talented and enthusiastic group of volunteers that are diligently working to promote and protect the specialty of periodontics in the great state of California. I am fortunate to be working with them on your behalf and thank them for their efforts. I look forward to a very productive year.
If you are a member of CSP, I thank you for your membership. If you are not, please join CSP and make your voice heard.
Nick Caplanis DMD MS