On The Horizon

On The Horizon

On The Horizon

Women represent an ever-larger share of the dental team. What are the implications for dentistry from this demographic shift?

March 2021

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Dr. Kristine Aadland
Dr. Kristine Aadland

DMD, Aadland Dental


"Dentistry provides many different avenues that women tend to gravitate towards. It is artistic, nurturing, methodical and there is an array of flexibility within our profession. We can choose what our focus is, whether it is surgical, cosmetic, orthodontic, pediatric, etc., or we can truly take care of the families in our communities with general dentistry. I love the diversity that dentistry has to offer and the ability to shift my personal focuses throughout my career so far. As more women enter dentistry there will be a paradigm shift in the industry and I can't wait for the day when people look forward to going to the dentist because of it."

Shannon Pace Brinker
Shannon Pace Brinker

CDA, Academy of Chairside Assisting


"One of the biggest implications of the continuing gender shift is the ergonomic challenges women encounter with current dental equipment and materials. Now more than ever it is important for manufacturers to recognize this market shift and the morphological differences between men and women in regards to hand sizes, grip strength, etc. when developing equipment and extruding products like impression material, composites and cement as well as gloves and gowns. Consideration of lighter, more comfortable grips, and ease of passing from one team member to another. Minimizing health strain will allow us all to stay in our chosen careers longer and in better health."

Dr. Karen Lever-Fields
Dr. Karen Lever-Fields

DDS, 28 to Brush Dental Studio


"It gives me great pleasure to be a proud African-American dentist treating all demographics throughout Chicagoland and a team consisting of all women. With the evolution of more women serving in the dental realm, it will require our industry to be intentional about serving the needs for women. This starts with simply seeing people that look like us in key leadership positions—faculty at dental schools, executive roles among dental organizations, and even senior roles at companies which supplies products & services to our industry. It is my hope this shift will encourage more little girls to pursue dentistry!"

Dr. Amarilis Jacobo
Dr. Amarilis Jacobo

DDS, NY State Dental Association Board of Trustee


"In every professional capacity of dentistry, there are women. Women who are researchers, educators, clinicians, all of whom act as mentors for the next generation. From this demographic shift, this field will see greater access in the deliverance of oral health to wider and more diverse communities."

Dr. Erinne Kennedy
Dr. Erinne Kennedy

DMD, MPH, MMSc, Director of Pre-Doctoral Education, Kansas City University College of Dental Medicine


"As a woman, I am proud to be a dental educator and I am even more grateful for the women who paved the way for me. As women contribute even more to the dental team, we will advocate for and continue to see increased equity and empowerment. Diversifying the oral health workforce is essential for improving access to health care. We can empower younger generations by having more women of color in dentistry as role models who will pave the way for the next generation of women. Finally, it is critical that we work to ensure that we have more women and men of color as part of the dental team so communities will be more equitably served."

Dr. Mina C. Kim
Dr. Mina C. Kim

DDS, Private Practice, Vice President, New York County Dental Society


"There are so many accomplished women dentist leaders in the field who can work together to help future generations of dentists excel. Supporting each other will help us provide the best possible outcomes for our patients. Our seasoned dentists can share their experiences about overcoming microaggressions and work/life balance with the newer dentists. The newer dentists can help keep the seasoned dentists current with new technology and other developments. Our next step is to work together so that the decision makers in dentistry are more representative of our profession."

Jo Ann Allen Nyquist
Jo Ann Allen Nyquist

BSDH, MA, EDS, Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry


"As the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Diversity, I have witnessed the number of enrolled women in dental schools increase significantly over the last many years. The implications are numerous for female enrolled students to prepare for their dental careers. These demographic shifts provide the opportunities to increase dental school exposure to career options, resources, mentors, team building and collaboration, support groups, well-being sessions, and financial/debt management sessions, which ultimately assist female students' transitions to the world of professional dentistry. Dentistry must continue to address and provide similar resources and supports to help the transition of women from dental school to either continued education, academic appointments or private practice opportunities."

Dr. Sheila Samaddar
Dr. Sheila Samaddar

DDS, Private Practice and Academy of General Dentistry Spokesperson


"As a third-generation female dentist in my family, it absolutely thrills me that the conversation on how women impact dentistry is no longer 'they might be taking the place of a man.' Instead, it focuses on what positive differences we have, how we encourage and mentor young doctors and how we influence progress. We have more women leaders than ever, and I truly feel it is finally balancing out. Women approach things differently. Diverse ideas mean we all grow, collectively. I love and appreciate being part of the dialogue for helping shape the future of our amazing profession."

Dr. Esther C. Tam
Dr. Esther C. Tam

DMD, MSD, FICD, North Texas Endodontic Associates


"The current trend of the increase of women represented in the fields of dentistry is such a great encouragement and positive reflection within our profession. It is also a natural response to the ongoing and increasing demands for efficiency in dental care for the medically complex patients in the hospital and in the communities we live in. It has been a great opportunity to encourage women to explore, develop their potential, and discover their unique contributions to the field of dentistry. Furthermore, dental care is constantly evolving into a highly systematic profession with advanced technology and innovative tools. I personally believe women play a role in leadership and will continue to be a tremendous force to participate in scientific research, education, mentorship, and in preparing future innovators in dentistry."


What is the technology, or combination of technology, that you couldn't practice/educate/work without? And why?

February 2021

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Dr. Christian Brenes
Dr. Christian Brenes

DDS, MSD, Prosthodontist. Founder, Digital Dentistry Education


"It is impossible to imagine the future of our profession not being impacted by technology and innovation; it makes us more efficient and predictable. Instead of thinking about a specific technology or device; I believe workflows are the most powerful thing about digital dentistry. The integration of data acquisition devices (ie, scanners), computer-aided designs (CAD), and computer manufacturing (3D printing and milling) provide an unfair advantage to all clinicians and dental technicians that are using them. We are living in unprecedented times and the adoption of technology helps not only clinicians but patients."

Heather Colicchio
Heather Colicchio

Founder & President, American Association of Dental Office Management


"The game changer at AADOM was implementing project management software (PMS). AADOM is a relatively small team and we work from different states. A PMS allows for a team member to build a project within our system, assign tasks, and acknowledge dependencies. There is cloud storage where we can upload documents relative to each project and share privately. A built-in calendar function emails us every day showing what is due: on time, coming due or late. I really do not like seeing the RED 'late' notice. It prompts me to get into the PMS and complete the task on hand. A solid project management system has led to better collaboration, organization, and efficiency within AADOM."

Dr. Dunia Korous
Dr. Dunia Korous

DDS, FICOI, Millennium Smiles


"The combination of technology that I could not imagine practicing dentistry without, is my amazing Same Day Milling Machine, my entire pack of TMJD diagnostic testing devices, CBCT machine as well as my several resourceful lasers equipment. We have created such comprehensive, time-conserving and efficient process with all these advanced technologies. Our digital impression systems have paved a way for a more pleasing VIP dental experience for all our patients and has allowed many patients to overcome their dental phobia."

Shavonne R. Healy
Shavonne R. Healy

MSDH, RDH, ICP, A Higher Learning, LLC


"Technological advancements have provided dentistry with the ability to practice with more precision, predictability, and most importantly, diagnose and treat disease conditions at microscopic levels while using minimally invasive techniques. Look at how 3D imaging and planning have revolutionized the dental implant workflow, allowing for more precision predictability. As a hygienist focused on implant care, 3D imaging has enhanced my role as a provider allowing me to be more detailed in collecting and analyzing patient data, especially when assessing for peri-implantitis. When we know more, we can do more for our patients. Today, I cannot imagine dentistry without being able to treat in 3D!"

Marisa Notturno
Marisa Notturno

CDT, In-House Technician, NYC Prosthodontics


"Working as a dental lab technician, I've seen many changes since beginning in the field 20 years ago. Working in an "in-house laboratory" setting, it has been amazing to see how the evolution from a fully analogue workflow to a fully digital workflow has slowly taken over. As we entered a new year, still in the midst of a devastating pandemic, I believe the digital workflow is now even more important than ever if laboratories want to provide quality clinical care for those we serve. With the efficiency of intraoral scanning on the clinical side, combined with a completely digital design and manufacturing process (milling and 3D printing) on the laboratory side, it is nearly impossible for me to see a future without a CAD/CAM workflow playing a major role."

Dr. Naif Sinada
Dr. Naif Sinada

DMD, MS, Ozark Prosthodontics


"As a practice committed to the fully digital workflow, there are many toys that we may say that we can't live without. In reality, however, the most critical part of the digital workflow is the data acquisition step using our intraoral scanners. This is because once clinical data enters the digital world as a digital file (compared to digitizing stone casts), it is much easier to stay in the digital world. Namely, using intraoral scanners to acquire patient data—from initial scans to final impressions—has been paramount in ensuring the streamlined workflow that we so desperately strive for."

Dr. Edmond Suh
Dr. Edmond Suh

DDS, Supremia Dentistry, Director of Core 3 at the Las Vegas Institute


"The amount of high tech equipment definitely helped me weather the storm of the pandemic as my patients had the perception that we were simply 'up to date.' For well over 10 years, the implementation of CAD/CAM and CBCT have been critical to my clinical success due the control and information now available at my fingertips. My Practice Management and Communication systems have been critical to be able to keep in touch with my patients effectively (especially during the pandemic). Technology doesn't produce a great practice, but without it, it definitely makes it more challenging on every level."

Dr. Tadros M. Tadros
Dr. Tadros M. Tadros

BDS, DDS, CAGS, Hudson Endodontics


"As a board certified endodontist who applies advanced technology and innovations in my practice; I could not practice without the combination of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) and the use of surgical microscopes. They both help me with to reach accurate diagnosis and understanding the complex anatomy of teeth which give me the ability to provide my patients with the best possible treatment options. Also, using these technologies help me communicate better with my referrals and educate my patients. In conclusion, combining both technologies provide me with proper treatment planning, more procedural efficacy and to achieve more desirable and predictable treatment outcomes."

Dr. Stephanie Tran
Dr. Stephanie Tran

DDS, Roshe Dental


"As an endodontist, I find the combination of 3D imaging (CBCT) and heat-treated nickel titanium files allow me to diagnose and identify those crazy curved canals and treat them more delicately and precisely."


What Do Leading Dental Professionals Forecast for 2021?

January 2021

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Lee Ann Brady
Lee Ann Brady

DMD, Private Practice and President and Chief Executive Officer & Director of Education, The Pankey Insitute


"It is difficult to look out into 2021 and predict what changes I think will affect dentistry. The challenge is the immense changes we experienced in 2020, and the uncertainty that still envelopes us all. When I do think out to more certain times, I imagine that we will see the result of pent-up demand for education, technology, and innovation. I also believe that the development of a more whole systems health mindset and the integration of medicine and dentistry will accelerate over the next few years."

Sabiha S. Bunek
Sabiha S. Bunek

DDS, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Dental Advisor


"The pandemic forced us to take a hard look at the way we practice dentistry and the best way to mitigate potential cross-contamination and infection of our patients and teams. Until the vaccine is widely distributed and we see cases decline, operations will have to continue to be streamlined, using new and existing technology wherever possible to be as efficient as possible. And all that means we need to step-up proper evaluation of new products and techniques—warp speed is good, but warp speed with proper evaluation and research is what will move us ahead in 2021."

Gordon J. Christensen
Gordon J. Christensen

DDS, MSD, PhD, CEO Clinicians Report Foundation and Practical Clinical Courses


"COVID-19 is still very active in some parts of the USA. However, recovery is coming in the next several months! Most health practitioners will be vaccinated soon allowing a cautious return to more live interaction. Dentistry is already recovering from the pandemic very well, and dental professionals have not caused the anticipated transfer of COVID as some predicted. CE is returning to LIVE, but some virtual courses will continue to be provided post-COVID. The majority of patients continue to be pleased to return to their regular essential oral care practitioners. Manufacturers, distributors, and laboratories are back in business and getting closer to normal activity. The COVID disaster is showing signs of dying—BUT continue to use every known precaution!"

Rella Christensen
Rella Christensen

PhD, Director, TRAC Research


"2021 brings several important changes to dentistry. Attention to AIR PURIFICATION will continue to be an important change we will see, not only in dentistry, but in hospitals and assisted living centers, restaurants, bars, cruise ships, hotel rooms, theaters, school rooms, day care centers, etc. Also, I believe a significant change in 2021 will be the incorporation of ANTI-MICROBIAL RESIN-BASED COMPOSITES into a practices' armamentarium, providing a long-needed therapeutic esthetic restorative solution!"

Yooson E. Kim
Yooson E. Kim

DMD, Family Dentistry Group


"2021 is a great year to reorganize, reinvent, and grow in Dentistry. The 2020 Pandemic has moved and motivated our profession to recognize the opportunities to renew our commitment as essential medical community members to provide comprehensive oral health care by taking full advantage of innovative technology integration. Robust software platforms, digital flow in patient care including all tissue lasers, digital acquisition of data with IO scanners, sensors, extraoral imaging units, 3D printing and milling of restorative cases onsite to provide efficiency and quality must be in the standard of care in dentistry moving forward."

Jonathan Ng
Jonathan Ng

BMedSc, DDS, Dip. Pros. Prosthodontist


"The coming 12 months in dentistry will really see a major shift in the way clinicians address the changes the pandemic has caused as digital technology in digital impressions and digital design is allowing for greater leaps in what can be provided in a shorter amount of time. 3D printing has come to the forefront and is providing offices with greater control of various steps of patient care. We have already seen the introduction of digital technology in the years before, but this coming year will give us advances in efficiency and accuracy of the technologies that already exist, making patient care better."

Rico D. Short
Rico D. Short

DMD, BCE, FICD, Microsurgical Root Canal Specialist


"We are in an unprecedented time as dental clinicians. Yes, we are in a global pandemic and yes, we are challenged with diversity/inclusion issues in America. However, where there is challenge there is also the potential for change. This is where our true heart beats for unity and innovation. Hopefully we will have an opportunity to give vaccines as dentists to help combat flu and Covid-19 in the future. In addition, we can utilize technology to have a real 4D hands-on/online CE course to teach dentistry around the globe. Let's utilize research and technology to create a better society."

Sherry Stevens (Gutiérrez)
Sherry Stevens (Gutiérrez)

DDS, Tulsa, Oklahoma


"The last year has provided us and our patients with a lot of time for reflection and a hard reality check. I think that for many of us, the luxuries we realize we used to take for granted, things like being able to smile and shake a new patient's hand, a hug after helping a patient transform their oral health, meeting in person for education and socializing amongst peers, will highly motivate us to get back to doing those things as conditions allow. For some of us, the potential roles and advantages of technology, both as a means of communicating with patients and peers as well as a means of providing efficient, comprehensive care for patients, have become much more readily apparent thanks to the pandemic. I expect as we return to "normal" that many of these changes and insights will accelerate the adoption and use of these tools. Hopefully the challenges we've faced and the lessons we've learned will allow us to connect in a more meaningful way with each other and our patients, and translate into what matters most: better outcomes for our patients."

David H. Wong
David H. Wong

DDS, Periodontist, Private Practice, Tulsa, Oklahoma


"Looking out over the next 12 months, the biggest changes I see happening in the oral health profession is the continued focus on safety and technology. With COVID-19 still maintaining a presence, dentists like myself will continue to be challenged to provide a safe environment for our staff and patients. Technology is also quickly being adopted and utilized to provide maximum patient care. This can be seen in telecommunications, diagnostics/imaging, and of course, digital dentistry. Although negative in many ways, the pandemic has given many of us a common enemy to rally against, and we're feeling empathy and caring for one another despite the chaos around us."