Wellness … What is it Exactly?

By Dr. Bill D’Aiuto, FDA President

What is wellness? I consulted my most trusted advisor, Siri, on the matter and was instructed that the definition of “wellness” is “a healthy state of well-being free from disease.” Thank you, Siri. That certainly was helpful! So, with that definition in mind, I set out on my quest for greater understanding on how to apply a meaningful path toward the enhancement of well-being in our professional and daily lives.

The American Dental Association (ADA) has long recognized the need to help its members identify problems and challenges to wellness in our patient populations and families. Through its Dentist Well-being Advisory Committee (DWAC), the ADA offers quarterly newsletters and yearly conferences with highly skilled speakers who shed valuable light on and treatment solutions to some of the most difficult areas that challenge our society. The DWAC has addressed the heartbreaks and breakthroughs of drug and alcohol addiction, depression, as well as the adverse effects of stress in our daily lives. This committee exists and endeavors to teach us how to “more than cope” with these problems by leading us toward a positive direction to meaningful change and correct treatment modalities. The DWAC also is tasked with bringing us all the benefits and challenges of practice ergonomics to treat our bodies and minds better so we can live a longer and happier life in practice.

The Florida Dental Association (FDA) supports the DWAC’s program and encourages any member who may feel the calling to organize an affiliate or regional DWAC program to contact the ADA for a guiding hand. It may help a fellow dentist, family member or patient regain control of their life. I encourage you to log on to ada.org and type “health and wellness” in the search box for up-to-date information on how to recognize, confront and treat potentially life-destroying addictions and diseases, or contact the ADA Council on Dental Practice (CDP), which oversees DWAC’s initiatives.

In the words of Dr. Wade Winker, an FDA member formerly on the DWAC, “By seeking knowledge and understanding some of society’s most undertreated and misdiagnosed afflictions, you are PREPARING yourself to be helpful when the occasion arises. And, when it does arise, you may save a life — and it could be your own.”

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