The Evolution of Dentistry and the Importance of a Unified Dental Team

Profile of Linette Swenson, FAADOM, with Real-World Insights.


Much has changed in dentistry with customer service, scheduling, billing, and dentistry alone.

In 1800, the barber did extractions.

In the 1940s, stand-up dentistry.

In the 1950s, portable high-speed drills were introduced to boiling water sterilizations, and extracting all the teeth and placing dentures were the primary income!

In the 1960s, sit-down dentistry started.

Then, in the 70s, the first composite fillings were made.

In the 1980s, the start of implant dentistry, less gold being used, and the introduction of hygienists.

The 1990s, some form of computer controls for dental units.

And the welcome of the 2000s, rechargeable handpieces for root canals.

In the past 25 years, the practice of dentistry has looked completely different today than it was in the 1990s. The innovations in the dental industry have helped dentists and their teams improve patients’ oral health incredibly through the last few years!

How the Dental Team Has Evolved

Dental care has evolved from a primitive and often painful form of medicine to modern-day state-of-the-art diagnostics and preventative care.

With a team of professionals alongside the provider, patient experience has improved over the years! While dentistry may have been complicated and painful in the past, modern dentistry is much easier and more comfortable, with a comfortable waiting room and fully reclining dental chairs.

In the past, the dentist was the hygienist and the assistant. Today, the dentist is the team’s leader, but nothing gets done in the office unless you have a team, which now includes dental hygienists, assistants, and your front office team!

It’s essential to take care of your team. Dentists are taking entire teams to continuing education courses to be as knowledgeable as the dentist in the services provided within the practice.

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The Patient’s Role in a Unified Team

The most important part of the team is the patient! We must add this person to the team and treat this person with the respect and honor deserved.

We worry about our in-office team but sometimes forget about the patient. They come to us because they are looking for changes in their lives, big or small. Like any good team, we all make suggestions, work through alternatives if possible, and develop the best action plan for any proposed treatment. This happens with the most important team members (the patients), not without them.

So, start treating your patients as an integral part of your dental team; amazing things can happen.

A Win-Win for Everyone!

There is excitement in the ability to work together and get the job done for the patient. The entire team, including the provider, treats the patients as the key members.

You will see the practice grow, the patients feel valued, and they will spread their excitement to others.

The patients will benefit from the positive workplace culture because they’re being treated by a team of people who want to be there, genuinely care about their health and well-being, and find fulfillment in their purpose.


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About the Author

Linette SwensonLinette Swenson, FAADOM

As the office manager, Linette is responsible for the front office’s overall management and customer service with Avondale Dental Group. Her responsibility is to ensure patients have the best experience when visiting one of their dental offices.

Patient advocacy has been her passion and a challenge that has always lined up with people’s overall enjoyment. Building personal relationships, working through treatment concerns, and creating financial plans have inspired her desire to grow in all of those skills and share them with our team.

Linette has worked in the dental field for over 21 years as a certified dental assistant and a financial coordinator. She received her Fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Management (FAADOM) and is working on MAADOM.

The best part of her job is working with the team, leadership, and coaching. “We always put our patients first.”

Outside of the office, she enjoys boating, yard work, soaking up the rays on Maui, biking, spending time with her granddaughter, and being with her family and friends.


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