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Oral Health Literacy Efforts Available to Physicians

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing’s Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) Program and the American College of Physicians (ACP) have teamed up to create four patient-related oral health literacy fact sheets for distribution to internal medicine physicians and primary care providers.

“Oral health is an important population health issue, but one that is frequently overlooked when clinicians and patients think about their overall health,” said Judith Haber, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Ursula Springer Leadership Professor in Nursing and executive director of the NYU Meyers Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) Program. “It is optimal when primary care providers, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, midwives, and physician assistants integrate oral health into primary care encounters and collaborate with their dental colleagues."

A growing body of scientific evidence shows links between oral health and overall health, especially for those with chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"The Oral Health Patient FACTS will help internists and primary care physicians integrate oral health into their practice," said ACP President Nitin Damle, MD, MS, FACP. “These educational resources will help patients understand that good oral health is important to overall health.”

Written in an easily accessible engaging style, in both English and Spanish, with high-quality relatable imagery, the Oral Health Patient FACTS are now available to download from ACP’s website and the OHNEP website.

The Oral Health Patient FACTS were designed to be user-friendly, easy to understand, and aim to improve patients' oral health literacy by providing information about how oral health and overall health are connected.

The OHNEP/NIIOH sponsored ACP-oral health literacy initiative, The patient-focused facts cover the following topics: Oral Health Overview (Spanish version), Oral Health and Diabetes (Spanish version), Oral Health and Older Adults (Spanish version), Oral Health and HPV (Spanish version).

“A person’s oral health impacts their overall health and their quality of life,” said Dr. Erin Harnett, DNP, PNP, BC, Director of the OHNEP Program. “Patients with chronic disease, such as diabetes, are at increased risk for both oral complications and adverse health outcomes if their oral complications go untreated. Late-stage oral disease often results in significant and wasteful healthcare spending.”

“Primary care teams have the skills necessary to understand and intervene in the oral disease process; the relationships needed to engage patients and families in oral health self-care; and a structure for coordinating referrals to dentistry and supporting patients during transitions of care, particularly high-risk and vulnerable patients who bear the greatest burden of oral disease,” said Ralph Fuccillo, President and CEO of the DentaQuest Foundation.

“The primary care delivery system is in the midst of a transformation, striving to provide more patient-centered and team-based care,” said Dr. Haber. “This evolution provides new resources, and a new responsibility for addressing oral health as a component of comprehensive, whole-person care. This is why we put together the Oral Health Patient FACTS sheets, because we believe that in order to reduce the burden of oral disease and promote health equity, the efforts and skills of all healthcare team members, including patients, is a must!”

Oral Rinse Test Accurately Measures Tumor Initiation and Stem Cells

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. ("Vigilant"), a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer, today announced the launch of the OncAlert Labs OraMark Test, the first quantitative oral rinse test to accurately measure a tumor-initiating and stem cell associated biomarker for oral cancer detection at its earliest stages. The OraMark test will be available to clinicians in the U.S. as a laboratory developed test beginning in second half of 2016 exclusively through OncAlert Labs, LLC, a CLIA-certified laboratory and a Vigilant Biosciences affiliated company.

Vigilant Biosciences will debut OraMark in Booth #24100 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2016 Annual Meeting, taking place in Chicago, Il June 3 - 7, 2016.

OraMark is based on advanced patented technology, including an innovative methodology for measuring the tumor-initiating and stem cell associated biomarker CD44 in combination with total protein, enabling earlier and more accurate detection of oral cancer even potentially before visual indicators. The test provides highly-actionable information pre- and post-biopsy, which complements visual examination and other tools used by head and neck specialists for detecting oral cancer to help optimize patient management and surveillance.

"The launch of OraMark is a major milestone for our Company as it represents our first product available in the U.S. aiding clinicians with actionable information in the early detection of oral cancer with a quantitative oral rinse test," said Matthew H.J. Kim, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences. "We are thrilled to be making our U.S. debut of the OncAlert Labs OraMark test at ASCO and look forward to launching the test later this year while continuing to expand our product line and distribution channels both in the U.S. and internationally."

OraMark science leverages more than a decade of clinical research conducted by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

"The OraMark test is unique in that it is a quantitative test that provides supportive information to clinicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating oral cancer, aiding them in deciphering the complex presentation of patients who may have non-specific oral cancer symptoms or other risk factors for oral cancer," said Michael J. Donovan, Ph.D., M.D., Chief Clinical Officer of Vigilant Biosciences. "The proprietary technology behind OraMark measures biomarkers that are known to indicate an elevated risk for oral cancer and has the potential, with continued clinical validation, to lead to more successful outcomes from this deadly disease."

OraMark tests an easy-to-collect oral rinse that is sent to OncAlert Labs for analysis. The cost-effective test is easy to administer, non-invasive for the patient, and provides easy-to-interpret results for clinicians.

Vigilant Biosciences' product offerings also include the OncAlert Oral Cancer product line, which is CE Marked and available for sale in select international markets. The OncAlert Oral Cancer product line includes the OncAlert Oral Cancer RAPID Test and the OncAlert Oral Cancer LAB Test. Both products measure soluble CD44 and total protein levels – protein markers clinically validated to be associated specifically with oral cancer when measured in an oral rinse – aiding clinicians in the early detection and intervention of oral cancer. Both products use a simple, oral rinse collection and measurement procedure that is easy to administer and non-invasive for the patient. The accurate, cost-effective tests can benefit every adult, with particular emphasis on high-risk populations (i.e., current and former tobacco users, those who consume excessive alcohol, and people with human papillomavirus, HPV-16). The OncAlert Oral Cancer product line is not yet available for sale in the U.S.

Additionally, Vigilant Biosciences announced ASCO selected its abstract, Oral Rinse Test as a Diagnostic Aid for Oral Cancer, for online publication in conjunction with the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting. The abstract reported the results of a study demonstrating the association of salivary CD44 and total protein levels with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer while also validating previously set cut points for those biomarkers. The research was conducted in support of the Company's CE registered OncAlert Oral Cancer LAB Test available in select European markets. The abstract is available on and


About Oral Cancer

There are more than 600,000 new cases of oral cancer each year worldwide. More than 48,000 individuals estimated in the United States alone will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year with close to 9,600 deaths resulting from this disease, killing roughly one person per hour, 24 hours a day. Worldwide, the mortality rates reach up to an estimated 360,000 deaths each year. Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high due to late-stage diagnosis and intervention. Currently, the vast majority of patients are detected through a visual exam and/or are symptomatic, at which point they are likely late stage. As a result, oral cancer often goes undetected to the point of metastasizing. Early diagnosis of oral cancer results in a cure rate of up to 90 percent.

For more information or to set up a meeting with Vigilant Biosciences or OncAlert Labs at ASCO, please contact Jennifer Moritz at, 917-748-4006.


About Vigilant Biosciences, Inc.

Vigilant Biosciences is a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid clinicians in the early detection and intervention of cancer. OncAlert Labs, LLC, is a CLIA-certified lab and part of the Vigilant Biosciences family of companies. The Vigilant Biosciences OncAlert Oral Cancer and OncAlert Labs product lines include point-of-care and lab-based products that are simple, accurate and cost-effective, and empower healthcare practitioners to improve lives through earlier intervention. The OncAlert Oral Cancer LAB Test and the OncAlert Oral Cancer RAPID Test are CE Marked and available in select international markets outside the U.S. The OraMark Test is only available in the U.S. exclusively through OncAlert Labs. For more information, visit and

Data Show Big-City Teens Smoke Less

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Washington, D.C. – The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) released data today showing that teenagers who live in the largest, most urban cities typically smoke less than other American teens. Many of the same jurisdictions have passed evidence-based laws to curb youth smoking. The release coincides with World No Tobacco Day, May 31, which is sponsored annually by the World Health Organization (WHO) to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco and encourage governments to adopt tobacco reduction strategies. The data are featured on the Big Cities Health Inventory data platform, on online resource that compiles unique public health statistics for 28 large American cities.

The data are from 2013 and are sourced from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (or a comparable local instrument), which collects cigarette-usage rates among high school students. The 13 cities included in this analysis are: Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Las Vegas (Clark County), NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami (Miami-Dade County), FL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San Antonio (Bexar County), TX; and Washington, D.C. Every city had a lower smoking rate than the national average, except for Washington, D.C., which matched the national rate of 15.7%.

“These data show that the hard-fought battle that has been raging against teen smoking  for decades is being won in the nation’s big urban centers,” said Chrissie Juliano, MPP, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “Teens who live in big cities smoke less than other American teens. Cities have always been at the forefront of banning smoking in public places, and today they are finding new ways to keep kids from lighting up, like raising the tobacco sale age and regulating e-cigarettes. Public health leaders and elected officials across the country should take note and increase their investment in cities, where smoking cessation programs are most effective."

The available data for BCHC members in 2013 can be found below, with additional years available on the data platform.

Percent of High School Students Who Currently Smoke - 2013

Baltimore, MD                                      7.0

Boston, MA                                          7.9

Chicago, IL                                         10.7

Denver, CO                                        11.0

Detroit, MI                                           3.4

Houston, TX                                       11.3

Las Vegas (Clark County), NV             7.8

Los Angeles, CA                                   6.7

Miami (Miami-Dade County), FL          7.5

New York, NY                                       8.2

Philadelphia, PA                                   7.5

San Antonio (Bexar County), TX         11.3

Washington, D.C.                               15.7

U.S. Total                                          15.7

A number of cities in the Coalition are using innovative policy levers and programming to reduce smoking among the populations they serve, especially youth. For example, many have raised the tobacco sale age from 18 to 21, including Boston, Chicago, Kansas City (MO),New York, Santa Clara County, and San Francisco. Research has shown that these “Tobacco 21” policies are effective in curbing youth smoking. A March 2015 report by the Institute of Medicine concluded that raising the age will have a dramatic impact on public health and save lives.  The report found that the policy, which is rapidly growing in popularity, will significantly reduce the number of adolescents and young adults who start smoking and over time will reduce adult smoking by about 12%.

Another successful anti-tobacco strategy for cities is regulating the use of e-cigarettes for teens. Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Sacramento, and San Francisco, for example, have done so. According to the federal government’s 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey, there was a 10-fold increase in e-cigarette use among high school students between 2011 and 2015. This finding makes e-cigarettes the most popular tobacco product among youth.  Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a deeming rule, which, among other things, regulates the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Once it takes effect, the rule will stop millions of American teens from starting a tobacco habit before reaching adulthood. To date, some 95% of adult smokers started before they were 21.

While the United States has made tremendous progress in reducing smoking, tobacco use remains the nations number one cause of preventable death. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, it kills more than 480,000 people and costs the nation about $170 billion in health care expenses each year. These deaths and costs are entirely preventable.

The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 54 million people, or one in six Americans. The Big Cities Health Coalition is an independent project of the National Association of City and County Health Officials. For more information, please visit

Argen Refining Announces Sweepstakes Winners

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

San Diego, CA –Argen Refining announces the winners of the “Refine – Win – Ride” Scrap Refining Sweepstakes: Dr. Brown and Dr. Morrow of Hampshire Family Dental located in Raymond, NH.  Mike Nisson of Argen Refining and Sandi Cangiano of Henry Schein Dental visited Hampshire Family Dental to present Dr. Brown and Dr. Morrow with their selected prize of $10,000 on May 18, 2016.

All dental practice owners who sent their dental scrap to Argen for refining postmarked between November 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016 were automatically entered into the “Refine – Win – Ride” Sweepstakes. The winners had their choice of one of the following prizes:  a 2015 Smart for two Pure Coupe (estimated value $18,000), a 2015 Harley Davidson Street Bob (estimated value $15,000), a 3-year lease on a 2015 BMW 528i Series (estimated value $20,000) or a check for $10,000. The winners were selected on April 12, 2016 in a blind drawing by a third party.

Argen Refining offers a unique, scientific refining process utilizing state-of-the-art technology to insure you receive the highest yield for your dental scrap materials.  Not only does the Argen Refining process offer 99.99% accuracy on each assay, results are backed by the Argen Guarantee: if you aren’t 100% satisfied with the results of your assay they will return your materials at no cost.  To request a free Refining Starter kit complete the online request form at, or call Argen at 866-853-0774. We also invite you to watch our unique refining process online at


About Hampshire Family Dental

Dr. Brown and Dr. Morrow established Hampshire Family Dental in 2004.  After graduating from dental school and working together for several years as associates, their friendship and common philosophy toward patient focused care made them an ideal team to start their own practice.  Families are an integral part of their practice and they believe strongly in minimally invasive dentistry, disease prevention and patient education.

Both dentists prioritize giving back to the community and have been involved in several charitable organizations and volunteer programs over the years.  They also strive to make their practice as environmentally friendly as possible and recycling all of their scrap with Argen helps them with this goal! To learn more about Hampshire Family Dental call 603-895-5600.

Chemical Exposure May Irreversibly Weaken Children’s Teeth

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Chemicals commonly found in plastics and fungicides may be weakening children’s teeth by disrupting hormones that stimulate the growth of dental enamel, according to a new study presented today at the European Congress of Endocrinology.

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with mammalian hormones. Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most prevalent, found in everyday items including refillable drink bottles and food storage containers. Vinclozolin is another endocrine disruptor that was commonly used as a fungicide in vineyards, golf courses and orchards.

Molar incisor hypermineralisation (MIH) is a pathology affecting up to 18% of children aged 6-9, in which the permanent first molars and incisors teeth that erupt have sensitive spots that become painful and are prone to cavities. These spots are found on dental enamel, the tough outer covering of teeth that protects it from physical and chemical damage. Unlike bone, enamel does not regrow and so any damage is irreversible. Previous rat studies have shown that MIH may result from exposure to BPA after finding similar damage to the enamel of rats that received a daily dose of BPA equivalent to normal human BPA exposure, though the exact mechanism of action remains unclear.

In this study, researchers from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) gave rats daily doses of BPA alone or in combination with vinclozolin, equivalent to an average dose a human would experience daily, from birth till they were thirty days old. They then collected cells from the rats’ teeth surface and found that BPA and vinclozolin changed the expression of two genes controlling the mineralisation of tooth enamel.

In part two of their experiment, the Team cultured and studied rat ameloblast cells, which deposit enamel during the development of teeth. They found that the presence of sex hormones like oestrogen and testosterone boosted the expression of genes making tooth enamel, especially male sex hormones. As BPA and vinclozolin are known to block the effect of male sex hormones, the findings reveal a potential mechanism by which endocrine disruptors are weakening teeth.

“Tooth enamel starts at the third trimester of pregnancy and ends at the age of 5, so minimizing exposure to endocrine disruptors at this stage in life as a precautionary measure would be one way of reducing the risk of enamel weakening,” said Dr Katia Jedeon, lead author of the study.

United Way Lauds Benco Dental’s Community Efforts

Posted on Friday, May 27, 2016

Nonprofit bestows prestigious ‘100+ Employee Corporate Award’ on distributor; 39 associates volunteer during annual ‘Day of Caring’   


Putting words into action. Volunteers at the United Way of Wyoming Valley Day of Caring who donated 470 volumes to support ongoing children’s book drive literally did just that.

 The United Way of Wyoming Valley requested in advance that all attendees of its annual Day of Caring opening breakfast, May 25, bring a new or gently used children’s book to benefit the youngest members of the population in the Wyoming Valley and their families.

For more than 21 years, the United Way of Wyoming Valley has sponsored an annual Day of Caring. Each year, hundreds of representatives of business, industry, education and healthcare come together as volunteers, roll up their sleeves, and set to work helping nonprofit and charitable organizations throughout the Wyoming Valley area of Northeastern Pennsylvania with projects that their limited budgets can't cover.

Since 2009, Benco Dental has invited associates of the company to participate in Day of Caring during their workday. At the event's 2016 opening breakfast, May 25, members of the Benco Dental family joined nearly 700 volunteers at Best Western Genetti Hotel & Conference Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Bill Jones, United Way of Wyoming Valley CEO, shared the organization’s goal of reducing childhood poverty.

The organization’s executive director addressed the group he described as “a sea of blue with strong hands and big hearts” (participants received blue T-shirts bearing the slogan: “Strong Hands. Big Hearts. Day of Caring 2016”) regarding the opportunities that awaited them in the community. In his discussion he referenced an African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” when he reminded those in attendance: “Together we are helping more children and families achieve better health and outcomes.”

During the breakfast program, organizations were recognized for their support of the United Way’s 2015-2016 Community Campaign, Benco Dental among them, as recipient of the prestigious United Way of Wyoming Valley Corporate Award (100+ employees). Accepting for the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor, Benco Dental, were Becky Clouse-Mickey, Talent Manager, and Michelle Kovaleski, Culture and People Coordinator.

“This year’s first corporate award goes to an organization that is a true United Way partner – Benco Dental. They exemplify all of the qualities we could hope for in an organization on a year-round basis. With every year that passes, they continue to astound us with the support they provide in campaigns, special events, and volunteerism,” said Don Brominski, who with his wife Rebecca Brominski, served as United Way Annual Campaign Co-Chair.

 “Generously, Benco Dental and its employees have contributed almost $900,000 over the past 13 years. Benco Dental also provides a corporate match on employee gifts and is ranked within the Top 10 companies for largest employee campaign, corporate gifts, and number of leadership gifts.  Benco’s commitment to supporting United Way doesn’t end when the campaign is over:  the company has been a long-standing supporter of our Christmas in July Food Drive, and as we can see this morning, an enthusiastic participant in the annual Day of Caring,” explained Brominski, during the award presentation.  “Special thanks to the Cohen Family and all of the employees of Benco Dental for being such great partners over the years.”

Upon hearing news of the award, George Rable, Vice President, Culture and People for Benco Dental, expressed the sentiment shared among the members of the Benco family.

“The Benco Team is very honored to receive this recognition from the United Way of Wyoming Valley.  Our associates are generous both with their time and in making financial pledges to help improve the lives of our neighbors,” said Rable.

In a record-setting volunteer turnout for United Way of Wyoming Valley’s Day of Caring on May 25, more than 949 volunteers from 68 organizations completed 56 community projects at 41 local agencies, according to Jones. Those volunteers were supported by an additional 200+ volunteers who did preparation work for Day of Caring projects. Those volunteers included local school students who created items for children’s preschool literacy kits, and assembled hygiene kits for distribution to organizations that help the homeless.  When all Day of Caring efforts are combined, a total 1,168 volunteers contributed 5,845 volunteer hours with an estimated value of $137,708, Jones added.

According to Benco Dental Talent Specialist Florence Marchesano, 39 Benco Dental associates took part in the Day of Caring efforts. Their day included:

* painting and drywall repair at Family Service Association of NEPA in Wilkes-Barre, which provides diverse services to children, individuals, seniors, and families, empowers them to achieve their full potential and results in healthier relationships and stronger communities,

* property beautification, organization and cleanup of disaster services equipment at Red Cross of Northeast Pennsylvania, which serves 600,000 people in four counties, helping residents recover from disasters like fires and floods, providing life-saving training in first aid and CPR and collecting blood donations for the entire region.

* cleaning, gardening and painting at SPCA of Luzerne County, which offers a variety of programs and services designed to help both people and animals and strives to create solutions to many of the animal-related issues facing our community, and

* cleaning at the West Pittston Library, which enriches the lives of community members by creating an environment for growth, discovery and connection.

For details about the United Way of Wyoming Valley Day of Caring or to support its efforts, visit:

To learn more about Family Service Association of NEPA, visit:, Red Cross of Northeast Pennsylvania, visit: , SPCA of Luzerne County, visit: and West Pittston Library, visit: 


During the May 25 United Way Day of Caring breakfast program at Best Western Genetti Hotel & Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, more than 700 gathered to prepare for a day of volunteerism. At the breakfast, organizations were recognized for their support of the United Way’s 2015-2016 Community Campaign, Benco Dental among them.  The nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor was recognized with the prestigious United Way of Wyoming Valley Corporate Award (100+ employees).  Shown, accepting the award from United Way of Wyoming Valley CEOBill Jones, are Becky Clouse-Mickey and Michelle Kovaleski, representing Benco Dental.


Benco Dental associates participated in the May 25 United Way Day of Caring, during which representatives of business, industry, education and healthcare come together as volunteers to help nonprofit and charitable organizations throughout the Wyoming Valley area of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Benco Dental associates are shown volunteering at the West Pittston Library: first row, from left, Donna Lasota, Ashley DeFlice, second row: Ryan Alunni, Mandy Welman, Mary Gregor, third row: Jim Soroka, Ken Lee, Kathy Jesso, and Becky Clouse-Mickey.


Thirty-nine Benco Dental associates participated in the May 25 United Way Day of Caring, during which representatives of business, industry, education and healthcare come together as volunteers to help nonprofit and charitable organizations throughout the Wyoming Valley area of Northeastern Pennsylvania. . Benco Dental associates are shown volunteering with employees from Pride Mobility at the Red Cross of Northeast Pennsylvania: Cassandra George, Valerie Sanchez, Stacy Wardle, Geoff Fontenova, Bill Emmett, and Calvin Strohl.



Thirty-nine Benco Dental associates participated in the May 25 United Way Day of Caring, during which representatives of business, industry, education and healthcare come together as volunteers to help nonprofit and charitable organizations throughout the Wyoming Valley area of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Benco Dental associates are shown volunteering at Family Service Association: clockwise, from left, Rachel Pugh, Loriah Webby, Eric Larsen, Jennifer Ochman, Kelly Hilsey, Keely Brazil, and Kristie Ceruti.

Five Tips for Making Tenure

Posted on Friday, May 27, 2016

by Stephen D. Senturia

While the words “tenure track” make it sound like there’s a smooth set of rails that will take you from hiring through to a position on the permanent tenured faculty, “tenure obstacle course” might in fact be a better description. During my 36 years on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I mentored dozens of faculty along that tenure track, almost every time, successfully. As I gained experience, I found I could boil my mentoring system down to five goals that I would share with new hires and, when the time came for promotion, with tenure candidates. These aren’t necessarily easy goals to meet, but they’re the right stuff:

1. Pick Good Problems

Before you can ever get that letter offering you a tenure track position, you have to survive what has become one of the most competitive hiring squeezes anywhere. It is not uncommon to have more than one hundred applications for a single opening. How can you stand out amid this crowd?

I’m guessing that you have already published something, either a book or book chapter based on your thesis or several research papers based on your thesis or on work done during a post-doctoral associate position. These need to be good papers (more on that below), but the content of those papers would not be the reason you would be hired. Universities hire faculty because of what they will do, not for what they have already done.

Think about your cadre of peers. Each one is smart, capable, well-educated, and motivated like mad. Ultimately, what will distinguish you from them is the importance of the problems you choose to work on. Competent work on an important problem is important. Even brilliant work on an unimportant problem, regrettably, is unimportant.

Important problems share certain attributes: centrality, extensibility, and accessibility. Centrality is my term for how work on one problem can impact work on analogous problems, even in fields somewhat distant from your subject. Extensibility is the promise of a rich pasture for silage if you succeed in getting through the gate of that first problem. And accessibility is the requirement that you be able, within a few years, to make meaningful progress.

If the research plan you submit outlines a program that has centrality, extensibility, and accessibility, there is a better chance of attracting attention than if you simply want to follow up on your PhD work. Think positive. Think big. But not too big, since accessibility is critical to success.

2. Write Good Papers

Oh, if only one could get that paper accepted by the journal. I spent seventeen years as co-editor of two different journals, and as I navigated through the shoals of reviewer reports and unhappy authors, I developed something that I call the “Believability Index.” It’s a way of organizing good papers, especially scientific papers. The point is to write the paper in order of decreasing believability. Start with well-established facts, then with documentation of the methods and demonstrations that the methods are valid, next with results, and only after the results have been fully described and presented, go into speculative discussion of how the results should be interpreted.

There is only enough space here to scratch the surface. My more detailed article, “How to Avoid the Reviewer’s Axe,” is available at

3. Ask Questions at Conferences

When you come up for promotion, your department will collect reference letters from prominent people in your field. Will they know who you are? One of the best ways to get known is to ask questions, good questions, at conferences, especially when just starting out. Go to the microphone after a presentation. Say in a loud, clear voice, “This is so and so from such and such university, and here is my question.” If your question is a good one, the graybeards in the room will notice, and if you do it more than once within a given conference, they will begin asking each other, “who is that so and so from such and such university?” Do it often enough and you will invited to join the program committee for the following year’s conference, and once on that committee, you’ll meet a whole new set of more senior colleagues.

4. Know Your Top Ten

It’s often difficult to describe “your field.” After all, the reason you were hired is that you do something different from what the others on your faculty do. My recommendation is to define your “field” by listing the top ten senior people you consider to be in your field, or at least well-enough related to it to be so-named. The reason for making this list is that when promotion time arrives, your department chairman will go out for letters. Some of these requests will go to names you suggest, but others, typically, will not. Instead, they are highly likely to come from the top ten. If the top ten know your work, great. If not, you have some work to do.

5. Proactive Inviting

If, as often happens, you make your list of the top ten and discover that you only know half of them, it is time for some proactive inviting. You send an email saying you will be in his or her area on such and such a day, and would it be possible to visit. Usually, if the date works, you get a yes and you also get an invitation to present a seminar. Now you and your work are known, at least to that top-ten member.


While you can’t control all the events that might lead to your tenure decision, there’s a lot you can do that will help build the kind of visibility that is so essential for success at a top-flight university. Much more can be said on these subjects, and I’ll be happy to hear your story and answer questions by email. Send me a note at

Stephen D. Senturia is a former Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he spent 36 years teaching thousands of students and mentoring dozens of colleagues applying for tenure. Learn more about Senturia at:

StarDental Unveils Powerful 430 Torque

Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016

Malvern, PA (May 12, 2016) – StarDental®, a manufacturer of high quality dental handpieces, recently introduced the newest member of its 430 high-speed handpiece line at the annual California Dental Association meeting in Anaheim, the 430 Torque. Available in various configurations, the 430 Torque delivers freedom of choice and unprecedented power.

Ergonomically designed with rugged 100% stainless steel construction, the 430 Torque is outfitted with an attractive satin finish, resulting in a stylish yet durable handpiece. The 430 Torque is available with or without fiber optics, and either a lubricated version or StarDental’s patented LubeFree version that provides dental practices with substantial cost and time savings.  

The StarDental 430 Torque offers 27 watts of power – feel the difference! An independent test by The Dental Advisor shows 430 Torque has the highest watts of power, of the handpieces tested, at 27 watts* and maximum power output. The double bucket rotor design and dual air control maximizes airflow to the turbine, allowing the 430 Torque to deliver powerful performance for every procedure.

The coaxial water spray optimizes the direction of the water pressure in order to thoroughly cool the bur and flush the working area, keeping the instrument, as well as the operatory site, cool and clear. Moreover, a unique vortex washer design minimizes harmful debris and “suck back” into the housing of the handpiece, inhibiting unwanted buildup that leads to eventual turbine engine damage.

The small head design of the StarDental 430 Torque provides superior oral accessibility and operatory field visibility, and the high power enables fast and precise removal of tooth surface and amalgam. What’s more, the low noise level of the 430 Torque reduces the possibility of auditory damage and provides a more pleasant patient experience.

The balanced design and angled head of the 430 Torque allows for a neutral wrist position, an important factor in minimizing hand fatigue. The dual beam glass design prevents shadowing in front of the bur to assure an unobstructed, clear view regardless of handpiece positioning or lighting.

For more information about the StarDental 430 Torque or to request a demo, visit, or for all DentalEZ products and services, please visit

ADA Applauds FDA Nutrition Label Requirements for Added Sugar

Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016

Washington, D.C. — ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays, DDS, this week thanked the US Food and Drug Administration for its decision to require that food packagers highlight added sugars on nutrition labels. The ADA urged the FDA to take this step in comments filed with the agency in 2014 and again in 2015.

“We applaud FDA for giving consumers another tool to make informed decisions about the food they eat,” said Summerhays. “For years, we’ve encouraged consumers to monitor—and minimize—their added sugar intake. Now they can do so simply by reading a nutrition label.”  

“We know that a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks can damage teeth, but unfortunately research on the sugar-caries (cavities) connection over the long-term is limited,” Summerhays said.

The ADA has called for greater scrutiny of added sugar’s effect on oral health. In lobbying Congress to provide adequate research funding for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, for instance, the ADA has cited the need to understand the effects of added sugars and other sweeteners on oral health.

“We need more data about the extent to which dental caries rates fluctuate with changes in total added sugar consumption, and over what periods of time,” Summerhays said. 

While more research is critical, the ADA believes the FDA’s recent action on food labeling will go a long way toward helping Americans monitor, and hopefully limit, the amount of added sugar they consume.

E-Cigarette Explosions Causing Serious Mouth Injuries

Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016

ROSEMONT, Ill., May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Oral Trauma and Tooth Avulsion Following Explosion of E-Cigarette," featured in the June issue of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, examines the oral hard- and soft-tissue injuries resulting from an e-cigarette explosion. The University of Cincinnati study describes in detail the severe oral and abdominal burns, oral lacerations, and lost and fractured teeth sustained when an e-cigarette exploded in an 18-year-old's mouth. According to the victim, the explosion occurred the moment he pushed the button that activated the device. This is the first report published in the scientific literature describing this extent of damage and oral injuries resulting from an e-cigarette explosion.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are sold under some 450 brands and come in more than 7,600 flavors. The vaporizing ("vaping") device that delivers nicotine through e-cigarettes includes a heating element and a cartridge that holds the vapor solution, a mixture of nicotine, flavorings and other additives. The device's power source is usually a lithium-ion battery triggered a button.

E-cigarettes are designed to resemble conventional cigarettes, but are touted as a healthier alternative. Most consumers view them as a smoking cessation aid. However, this claim is countered by reports citing other adverse effects linked to some components of e-cigarette vapors. Reports of explosions and fires caused by e-cigarette delivery devices have led the US Fire Administration to evaluate their safety.

The authors emphasize that the damage suffered will require multiple procedures to reconstruct the lost tissue, and to reestablish functional and cosmetically acceptable results. In addition surgeries to repair the damage will involve substantial time and cost expenditures. They stress that the reporting of such injuries in the literature will be beneficial until concrete data from large-scale studies becomes available.

Read the complete study findings at Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 74:1181-1185, 2016 found at DOI:

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