A certified Dental Assistant with over 20 years of experience, Beth McAlduff takes pride in the fact that she has seen a lot of progress and change in the dental industry throughout her career.
Lucky for us, she’s using that experience and perspective as one of Biteline’s first regional partners. Located in Greenville, NC, Beth will be helping us spread the Biteline word to this community.
Now, let’s meet Beth in this quick Q&A.
Biteline: Beth, we’re so excited you’re joining Biteline as a regional partner. We’d love to learn more about your career and some memorable moments in your experience.
Beth McAlduff: I graduated from Wayne Community College in July 1997. I worked briefly in Goldsboro, NC for two years and then in 1999 moved to Greenville, NC; I have been at my current office for 21 years. I have always been in General Dentistry. We were one of the first dental offices in our area to go chartless. On September 11, 2001, we were with our PracticeWorks software trainer when we heard the news about the World Trade Center being attacked. That is a day we will never forget.
Quickly after going chartless, we added digital radiography. In 2006, we added a CEREC (Ceramic Economic Restorations of Esthetic Ceramics) to our office. Since then, through many advancements and upgrades with our CEREC, we continue to grow our practice. With
our CEREC we can restore teeth with veneers, crowns, inlays and onlays all in one appointment. The patient will leave with their restoration, versus having to leave with a temporary and having to return at a later time for the delivery of their new crown or restoration. We also restore implants, milling our implant crown and the abutment with our CEREC. We can also scan for Clear Correct for a minor ortho correction, or send optical impressions to a lab in California by the click of a button. The CEREC has definitely helped me grow in my dental career. I am very thankful for my CEREC training over the years.
Biteline: We’re living in unprecedented times right now. How do you think dental, as a profession, has been affected by COVID-19?
Beth: Dentistry is a great profession. We always adapt and do whatever needs to be done to make sure our patients are our first priority. As far as infection control, we have always gone above and beyond in the dental field. We treat every patient like they have a blood borne pathogen. We wear proper PPE, including masks, face shields, outwear, gloves, etc to protect ourselves and our patients; this has been done long before COVID.
Now, we have added taking every patient’s temperature, asking a series of screening questions to make sure they do not have COVID symptoms, and trying to have less patients in the office at the same time.
Biteline: How has your role as a Dental Assistant changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Beth: During this pandemic, people have dental emergencies. They have toothaches, broken teeth, etc. They still need care in the dental office. We would only see patients with dental emergencies, elective treatment was rescheduled. I feel I have full support from my doctor. We always discussed our feelings, our thoughts and concerns with each other. We support each other, and in doing so, our patient feels our balance and confidence in one another, which therefore leads to a smooth no stress appointment.
Dental pros should serve as advocates and leaders during this time because we have always used aerosols. We prepare our operatories and use proper PPE to protect against blood borne pathogens, this has been done all of my career and many years before. Granted we have added to our layer of protection due to COVID, I feel confident we can advise and lead others to persevere through this difficult time.
It is a good time for RDH and DAs to reevaluate out value and benefits because we take care of our patients. Some patients are apprehensive coming to the dentist regardless, but esp during a pandemic. We make the patient feel comfortable. We engage in them, making sure all their expectations are met. We are their advocate; we are who they confide in. The lean on us for advice.
Biteline: Being an advocate for our patients is more important now than it ever has been before. That’s great career advice, too. Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in dental?
Beth: Continue to educate yourself, learn new techniques. Grow and change as dentistry does. Take the class, learn the new technique, it will only help you in the future.
Biteline: What about advice for someone who has been active and engaged for years?
Beth: My advice would be to be willing to change. In dentistry, new ideas are always evolving. Be willing to learn new ways of doing things.
Biteline: We are so excited to have you onboard as a regional partner! Greenville has a lot of potential as a new market for Biteline to expand into, but what do you think makes Greenville an important place for us to be?
Beth: I’m super excited about this new journey! I love helping people and I feel this will be a great opportunity to help spread the word of Biteline in the Greenville community, a community that is growing. Greenville is the home of East Carolina University, including the fairly new School of Dental Medicine. The Dental School was established to address the shortage of dentists in the rural regions across North Carolina. Having Biteline active in Greenville will definitely help with networking and staffing dental offices, something we have needed for a while now.
There are always things that come up in life that pull you away from the office. Whether we need temporary help for a day or two, week or even several months due to maternity leave, Biteline will help us fill those positions. With several Dental offices continuing to open in Greenville, there is definitely a need for more dental professionals willing to fill in for permanent and temporary positions. With Biteline, we can now connect to more of those professionals for last minute fill-in opportunities or for a planned week of vacation, etc.
Interested in serving as a regional partner for Biteline? Get in touch.