Inside Dentistry
December 2011
Volume 7, Issue 11

NFDH Rebrands to Better Reflect Mission

JANUARY—The National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped (NFDH) is changing its name to Dental Lifeline Network to better reflect the organization and its mission of providing access to comprehensive dentistry for society’s most vulnerable individuals who are disabled, elderly or medically at-risk and have no other way to get help. Through the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program alone, Dental Lifeline Network has provided access to some $181 million in dental care to 100,000 patients in all 50 states, since it was founded more than 35 years ago. DDS coordinates the services of 15,000 volunteer dentists and 3,000 volunteer laboratories to provide comprehensive dental treatments to society’s most vulnerable individuals. DentaCheques is a main funding source for DDS.

Source: National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped

AAPD and its Foundation Launch Advanced Leadership Institute

JULY—The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and its foundation—Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children—announced July 12 they have partnered with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to form an Advanced Leadership Institute.

Debuting in January 2012, the program will augment the experiences of pediatric dentists and corporate partners who have completed the organizations’ Leadership Institute Series, which is designed to enhance leadership qualities of pediatric dentists. The program has graduated 75 pediatric dentists and corporate partners with 30 more enrolled right now.

“As a naturally evolving organization, it’s important to move forward with progressive new initiatives that will allow our members to become leading advocates in the fight for children’s oral health,” said Dr. David K. Curtis, HSHC president.

Other partners in the Leadership Institute Series are the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Ultradent Products Inc. Dr. Jerome B. Miller made a $125,000 lead gift for the advanced program, which was matched by 30 additional members and an AAPD charitable donation.

Source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Oral Health America’s Gala Raises $500,000

FEBRUARY—Oral Health America (OHA) raised nearly $500,000 at its 21st annual Gala and Benefit on February 23 at Chicago’s Field Museum. More than 840 guests mixed, mingled, and danced under tempered glass, exotic metal fixtures, grand stone columns, antique light fixtures, and an enormous Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur skeleton while participating in an auction and raffle to benefit OHA’s programs which bring healthy mouths to life.

“Many, many thanks are due to the hundreds of enthusiastic guests and sponsors who helped us raise a record level of support for our work,” said Beth Truett, president and CEO, Oral Health America. “Your presence here tonight has provided OHA the opportunity to connect the oral health community and elevate the health of society.”

At the event, OHA paid special tribute to the companies and organizations that have donated over $1 million each: American Dental Association, DENTSPLY International, Henry Schein, Procter & Gamble, Wm. Wrigley Jr., Co., W. K. Kellogg Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the newest million dollar donor, Trident®.

Gala sponsors were: DentaQuest, Patterson Dental, Ivoclar Vivadent, Carestream Dental, DENTSPLY International, Colgate-Palmolive Co., Midmark, 1-800-DENTIST, Henry Schein Dental, Chicago Dental Society, Belmont Publications, SciCan, Philips Sonicare, Atlantic Precious Metal Refining, Unilever, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Beazley, DentalEZ Group, Burkhart Dental Supply, ConFirm Monitoring Systems/Crosstex, Argen Corporation, GC America, OralDNA Labs, Karwoski & Courage Public Relations, and Bisco.

Source: Oral Health America

National Museum of Dentistry Launches Resource for Parents of Autistic Children

SEPTEMBER—The National Museum of Dentistry has created a guide that aids the parents of children with autism spectrum disorder succeed in teaching good oral healthcare. “Healthy Smiles for Autism” helps parents teach children with autism spectrum disorder how to brush and floss using step-by-step instruction, social stories, and visual sequencing cards that can be used wherever brushing happens.

The Healthy Smiles for Autism guide was created to empower parents of children with autism spectrum disorder to effectively teach their children an oral health routine. The guide also provides information to help parents prepare their children for a first dental visit.

“We want to be able to give parents readily usable tools to help their children to develop a good oral hygiene regimen,” said National Museum of Dentistry Executive Director Jonathan Landers. “We’ve combined best practices for autism education, such as visual sequencing cards and rewards systems, with proven personal oral hygiene techniques to help make the process a little bit easier.”

The National Museum of Dentistry partnered with Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders and University of Maryland Dental School to develop these best practices to oral health care for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Dental care is the leading unmet healthcare need among children with special needs, and across all income levels, children with special needs are almost twice as likely to have an unmet oral heath care need than their peers without special needs, according to the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center. Find the guide at www.healthysmilesforautism.org.

Source: National Museum of Dentistry

AAPD Launches Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center

FEBRUARY—The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the authority on children’s oral health, announced the creation of their Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center. The goal of the Center is to inform and advance research and policy analysis that will promote optimal oral healthcare for children. Through the AAPD, the Center will conduct research studies and policy analysis to further the understanding of practices that will improve oral health for all children. Upcoming work will focus on areas such as successful Medicaid dental reforms, effective oral health literacy efforts, the benefits of establishing a dental home by age 1 and the efficacy of expanded function dental assistant laws. The Center will assist federal and state policymakers in determining the best policies to positively improve the oral health status of children. “Our Center will allow the AAPD to produce timely and high quality research and policy analysis on critical issues impacting children’s oral health,” said AAPD president Dr. John R. Liu. “Too often, policymakers are presented with simplistic ‘solutions’ to children’s oral health that don’t hold up to rigorous scrutiny. The AAPD’s Center will serve as the resource for children’s oral health policy and research.”

Source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Leo E. Rouse Installed as ADEA President

MARCH—Leo E. Rouse, DDS, was installed as the first African-American president of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) at the 2011 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in San Diego, California.

“Leo’s commitment to service in the field of dentistry and dental education will be invaluable, not only to the Association, but to all of academic dentistry. I look forward to seeing the direction he will give our community,” said outgoing ADEA president Sandra C. Andrieu, MEd, PhD.

Dr. Rouse is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He concluded his 24-year career as the Commander and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Army Dental Command where he led the global operation of the Army Dental Corps. After starting a second career in academic dentistry, he was appointed Dean of Howard University College of Dentistry in 2004. He previously served as Chair of the ADEA Council of Deans and as one of the four ADEA Commissioners on the Commission of Dental Accreditation. In 2009, he was awarded an ADEA Presidential Citation for distinguished service to the Association and dedication to the advancement of the dental education community. In 1997, he received the Howard University College of Dentistry Alumni Achievement Award for distinguished service to the country and the profession of dentistry.

Source: American Dental Education Association

Dentists, Pharmacists Raise Awareness of Medication-Induced Dry Mouth

AUGUST—Leading dental and pharmacy organizations are teaming up to promote oral health and raise public awareness of dry mouth, a side effect commonly caused by taking prescription and over-the-counter medications. More than 500 medications can contribute to oral dryness, including antihistamines (for allergy or asthma), antihypertensive medications (for blood pressure), decongestants, pain medications, diuretics and antidepressants. In its most severe form, dry mouth can lead to extensive tooth decay, mouth sores and oral infections, particularly among the elderly. Nearly half of all Americans regularly take at least one prescription medication daily, including many that produce dry mouth, and more than 90% of adults over age 65 do the same. Because older adults frequently use one or more of these medications, they are considered at significantly higher risk of experiencing dry mouth.

The American Dental Association (ADA), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) are collaborating to expand awareness of the impact of medications on dry mouth, a condition known to health professionals as xerostomia.

“Each day, a healthy adult normally produces around one-and-a-half liters of saliva, making it easier to talk, swallow, taste, digest food, and perform other important functions that often go unnoticed,” notes Dr. Fares Elias, immediate past president, Academy of General Dentistry. “Those not producing adequate saliva may experience some common symptoms of dry mouth.”

Source: American Academy of Periodontology

AAP Releases Statement on Comprehensive Periodontal Therapy

JULY—The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) recently published a detailed statement on comprehensive periodontal therapy that is intended to be a clinical roadmap for all dental professionals who supervise, administer, teach, or regulate the provision of periodontal therapy. The Comprehensive Periodontal Therapy Statement provides an overview of the elements that constitute efficient and effective periodontal treatment.

According to Donald Clem, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, “It is now more important than ever to conduct a comprehensive periodontal evaluation on our patients because research has indicated that the prevalence of periodontal disease in the United States may have been significantly underestimated. All members of the dental team share a responsibility in the name of patient health to conduct annual comprehensive periodontal
evaluations. Being thorough in evaluating periodontal health can contribute to detecting and preventing
periodontal disease in our patients, and ultimately allow the dental team to provide more effective care.”

The statement, published in the July issue of the Journal of Periodontology, is available for public access on its website. The AAP recognizes that decisions with respect to the treatment of patients must be made by the individual practitioner in light of the condition and needs of each specific patient. Such decisions should be made in the best judgment of the practitioner.

Source: American Academy of Periodontology

NIDCR Welcomes New Director

AUGUST—The NIDCR is delighted to welcome Martha J. Somerman, DDS, PhD, as the eighth Director of the Institute. Dr. Somerman began her duties as NIDCR Director on August 29. She was officially sworn in by NIH Director Francis S. Collins at noon on August 31. Dr. Somerman comes to the NIDCR from the University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, where she served as dean since 2002. Before joining the University of Washington, Dr. Somerman was on the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, from 1991 to 2002. There, she served as a professor and chair of periodontics/prevention and geriatrics, and also held an appointment as professor of pharmacology at the School of Medicine. From 1984 to 1991, Dr. Somerman was on the faculty of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. An internationally known researcher and educator, Dr. Somerman’s research has focused on defining the key regulators controlling development, maintenance and regeneration of oral-dental-craniofacial tissues. Her work has been recognized with numerous honors and awards, mostly recently the Paul Goldhaber Award from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Somerman said she is thoroughly enjoying her new challenge as NIDCR Director.  She describes the NIDCR as “a very vibrant and exciting place with incredibly committed, knowledgeable and energized staff.”
On September 19, Dr. Somerman led her first meeting of the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council. 

Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

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