Sharpening the Saw – The Power of Industry Events

Old saw that needs sharpened

Sven and Jack are men of the woods, and they’d like to see which of the two can cut down the most trees in a single day. The loser has to make the other lunch all week.

When the competition starts, Jack sets right off to work. Sven, on the other hand, takes a seat with his sharpening kit against a stump. He spends a good 45 minutes carefully sharpening the serrated edge of his trusty saw.

Jack and the other loggers taunt Sven for wasting so much time preparing his saw blade; he’s going to be making lunch all week!

Sven is a smart guy, though. He knows that 45 minutes is an investment that will turn into much better tree-cutting throughout the rest of the day.

When Sven finally gets to cutting, Jack is several trees ahead of him. However, Jack’s cutting isn’t very efficient, and he’s getting tired from trying to force a dull saw blade through multiple trees. Before even getting to the late afternoon, his fatigue overtakes him and he throws in the towel.

Meanwhile, Sven and his honed saw blade are ripping right through trees all through the day. Thanks to his thoughtful preparation, Sven was the best logger that day. He now has lunch for an entire week, compliments of Jack!

Attend Conferences to Sharpen Your Saw

Pediatric dental speaker at event

So what does logging have to do with pediatric dentistry? The logging story above is from Stephen Covey’s best-selling work The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey uses the story to explain how you are the best asset that you have, and that it pays to regularly renew important areas of your life and continuously improve.

Dental events and conferences are a great way for dental assistants to sharpen their saws. They aren’t just for learning about the latest and greatest developments in dentistry; you can also gain valuable insights and hands-on experience.

Fresh Perspective

When we do the same thing day in and day out, it is hard to have fresh ideas or to discover creative ideas to problems. This is why a change of scenery or involving new people in the process can help spark a new approach. Sitting in the same chair in the same building every day will lead to the same results. It all starts with perspective.


In the world of Hollywood, watching Rocky Balboa take down Ivan Drago to win the Cold War, you might feel pretty motivated to get out the jogging shoes and pound some pavement. In much the same way (but with much less punching), pediatric dental conferences can help invigorate you and renew your motivation.


Conferences are a chance to connect with your dental peers. You never know what conversation might lead to a new idea that will improve your pediatric dental practice, what connection will lead to valuable feedback or new partnerships. You could find yourself meeting your next mentor, business partner, or finding just the right person to help solve the problems your practice is currently facing.

If you want to meet people in the pediatric dental world, consider attending our upcoming 3rd annual PDTA conference! It’s specifically for pediatric dental assistants, and is chock-full of fun, education, and networking.

New Tools

It’s hard to innovate when you are constantly in your own bubble. Conferences offer many opportunities to try new ideas. From new dental technologies, to marketing tools, to workshops and leadership training, the solution to your particular struggle might be waiting for you. You can gain new skills as a dental assistant that make you invaluable to the practice.

Continuing Education

Would you want to see a doctor that hasn’t learned anything new since 1990? Even if they were the best in their field at the time, so much has changed so rapidly in recent years that it is imperative that any health professional continue to improve and learn as a vital part of their profession. Pediatric dental assistants need to stay abreast of new developments and continue to hone their skills.

The 3rd Annual PDTA Conference is Almost here!

The Pediatric Dental Assistants Association Conference includes training and education specifically for making the best pediatric dental assistants in the industry. We are the only organization representing the interest of pediatric dental assistants, and our annual conference is the only one of its kind in the country.

Our upcoming conference is a great chance to pick up 16 ADA CERP credit hours, all while having a great time with like-minded professionals. PDTA members can get even get a special rate to the organization’s annual conference.

I’d like to invite all motivated pediatric dental assistants to join the PDTA and come sharpen your saw with us. Or enter our Find the Viking contest and have a chance at winning a FREE ticket to our upcoming annual conference – that’s a $497 value!!!


~ Dr. Rhea Haugseth