On The Horizon

On The Horizon

On The Horizon

How would you assess the progress of women in the dental profession? Are we well into the journey or do we have many miles to go?

March 2022

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Dr. Jumoke Adedoyin
Dr. Jumoke Adedoyin

Affordable Dentures & Implants
Cartersville, Georgia


"From owning dental practices, to being presidents of organized dentistry organizations, we are seeing more women in dental specialties that were once male dominated, and more women in leadership roles. As the future of dentistry becomes more female, I believe this a win-win situation for patients and the dental ecosystem.

As we continue to step up and challenge the status quo, step into leadership roles, build expertise, and increase our presence in academia, more females will pave the way to create a more supportive environment for women as a whole, and as early as their first year in dental school. Glass ceilings still exist in dentistry, but we have come a very long way from what it used to be. Female dentists are here to stay, and supporting and developing the qualities they bring to the table will only strengthen the industry. There is strength in numbers and our opinions matter, especially when it comes to issues that women dentists face."

Stephanie Botts, RDH
Stephanie Botts, RDH

PosturePros
Aurora, Colorado


"Looking back on the history of dentistry, the progression of women is clearly seen! We have come from having very few female dentists (in 1970 less than 3% of dentists were women) to currently over 35% of practicing dentists being female. In addition, over half of dental students are female. It is hard not to be proud of how far we have come in the last 50 years. I was just at Chicago Midwinter and I was blown away by so many female CEOs! I believe women are well on their way to achieving equal rights, pay, and respect in the field of dentistry. We still have a ways to go but the future looks bright for women in the dental field. I am proud to be a part of the dental community and can't wait to see what the future holds."

Dr. Meredith Gantos
Dr. Meredith Gantos

Gantos Dental Group
Naperville, Illinois


"Dentistry is an incredible career option for women and it is exciting to see the culture shift as a historically male-predominated profession becomes much more saturated with female providers. Dental schools across the country have a more even 50/50 split between males and female students, helping contribute to this new paradigm. The progress of women in this field has been incredible. We are experiencing greater numbers of female specialists, business owners, and key opinion leaders. As our representation increases in these fields, the disparity in equal representation in dentistry continues to narrow."

Dr. Santine Harlock
Dr. Santine Harlock

Enspire Dental
Ann Arbor, Michigan


"I suppose it's all a matter of perspective. I look at the opportunities I have been given as a professional woman and I am grateful. I have attacked the ones that fit me with vigor and am accomplishing my goals. The ones that did not stimulate me, I have chosen to move beyond. I have enjoyed the journey and learned a great deal from the stones along the path. It is also about the people I surround myself with. Over the course of my professional career, I have experienced some of both: those who make you thrive and those who have conflicting goals. The older I get, the easier it is to identify those who push me to be my best. As a woman in the dental profession, I am confident I have miles to go and what I do with the opportunities ahead, is up to me. Relentless hustle!"

Amanda Hill, RDH
Amanda Hill, RDH

Young Innovations
Norfolk, Virginia


"When I entered the dental world at 15, I was one of the dentist's 'girls.' Then I headed off to hygiene school and wore required dresses and pantyhose all while trying to ergonomically see patients. Fast forward a few decades, I find myself in more spaces where I'm a colleague with something valuable to contribute. My gender doesn't relegate me to a stereotype or a helping role. While we still have some strides to make, and some minds to change, I believe that women and the profession of dental hygiene have come a long way. Thank you to those who have helped elevate our place in dentistry, and may we continue the journey."

Dr. Heidi Kohltfarber
Dr. Heidi Kohltfarber

Dental Radiology Diagnostics
Loma Linda, California


"I personally feel that the dental professional as a whole is doing quite a bit to recruit women dentists, which is paying off with the gender equality we see with admissions to dental schools. However, when we see the obvious gender inequality in the areas of academic positions, promotions and salaries at certain dental schools, along with few women CE speakers, it appears that we do have some miles yet to go."

Dr. Stanislava Misci
Dr. Stanislava Misci

Yamamoto & Associates
Newton, Massachusetts


"When I look around, I see many female colleagues, students and specialty residents. They are from different parts of the world with different backgrounds, different cultures, and in different stages of their lives. And yet, they have a common goal of becoming highly educated professionals that could make an impact in our field. It is especially challenging as a female professional to balance motherhood and a highly specialized and competitive career. I find this is rewarding, both in terms of personal growth, and in being a role model to our own children."

Cindy Purdy, RDH
Cindy Purdy, RDH

Sonic RDH
Westcliffe, Colorado


"We are well into the journey of women in dentistry with opportunities expanding well past the operatory or the educational system. So many women now hold positions in the business world of dentistry. Each year, I see the number of women working the convention exhibit floors increasing. So many admirable entrepreneurial women are inventing products and forming their own companies that are ancillary to the practice of dentistry. The advent of teledentistry has expanded direct access to care in the portable/mobile arm of dentistry with many women leading the charge. There is no place for 'burnout' among today's women in dentistry. There are many female mentors available offering a hand up!"

Michelle Strange MSDH, RDH
Michelle Strange MSDH, RDH

A Tale of Two Hygienists
Charleston, South Carolina


"I can happily say that I have seen and can feel the progress for women in dentistry. I hear fewer male dentists refer to their team as 'the girls,' and even patients ask if I am the doctor. This did not happen 20 years ago when I began my career in dentistry. It feels great to see so many women in dental school, becoming leaders in the industry, and at the podium. Though sexism in dentistry is far from gone, I have high hopes that as more women graduate dental school, especially women of color, and enter leadership positions, we will see the scale start to balance. I believe there are still many miles to go towards equality. Still, it is great to hear more people talking about sexism in our industry, standing up for equal pay, representation, and against the microaggressions that have been happening for many decades."

Dr. Lynne Thomas
Dr. Lynne Thomas

Pearls of Dentistry
Poway, California


"For me, as a young dentist 27 years ago, there was nothing more exhilarating than seeing your favorite clinician headlining a conference. I would feverishly write down their recommendations for patient treatment and be careful not to miss one step. Most of those headliners were male lecturers, such as Frank Spear, John Kois, or Pete Dawson, all amazing doctors who let you know you were no different from them and 'if they could do it, so could you!' They were right: I could do it! We still find it hard to have a healthy life-work balance, which is so crucial for most women. We want to be there for our spouses, our children, our parents, our family of patients, our invaluable team. More spouses are working from home recently, which helps with managing the kids and their activities. There has also been a surge of at-home fitness equipment, which is necessary for stress relief. Additionally, I am thrilled to see dental societies and dental corporations actively seeking to support women in dentistry and therefore being a trailblazer in a necessary and inevitable cultural and societal evolution."

Dr. Stephanie Tran
Dr. Stephanie Tran

Hampton Bays Dental Associates
Hampton Bays, New York


"We have made many great strides in dentistry. As a specialist, however, I know we have a long way to go. Only a small percentage of specialists are women. Additionally, we need more women in educational positions, as lecturers and presenters, and most importantly, we need more women in leadership and business owner positions."

Dr. Joy Void-Holmes
Dr. Joy Void-Holmes

Dr. Joy, RDH
Washington, DC


"Women have made great strides in dentistry over the past several decades as evidenced by the growing number of women enrolled in dental schools and in the general workforce. What's even more exciting is this trend will continue to move in a positive direction. We do, however, have many miles to go. Hopefully, as many organizations strive towards being more diverse and inclusive, we will see more women in leadership roles across all aspects of dentistry."

In 2022, what is the single most important implant product, solution, or trend that will make a lasting, transformative impact on both patient and practitioner experience and satisfaction?

January 2022

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Dr. Kristine Aadland
Dr. Kristine Aadland

Aadland Dental
Vancouver, WA


"I think the hot new solution for 2022 will be printing surgical guides with SprintRay. Guided surgery just adds an extra layer of confidence for both myself and my patients. SprintRay has made this available economically (charging $100 for the design) and quickly (within 24 hours; sometimes only a few hours). They have also committed to finding solutions for same-day guided surgery opportunities through faster design times, print times and cure times. This is a game changer if you are a doctor, like myself, who prefers guided surgery, and you want to take care of emergency patients in the same day."

Dr. Matthew Annese
Dr. Matthew Annese

Nashoba Valley Dental
Shirley, MA


"Within the field of Implantology, I think we are still just scratching the surface of all the benefits in-office 3D printing can provide to the clinician. Some of these include accurate surgical guide printing while the patient is getting numb, custom printed tissue formers and anterior temporaries, and same-day full arch teeth delivered in a day. As the technologies and resins advance, so will the clinical application in implant dentistry."

Dr. Kyle Bogan
Dr. Kyle Bogan

North Orange Family Dentistry
Delaware, OH


"The most important solution that will continue to make a transformative impact on both patients and the dental team experience in 2022 is a completely integrated digital workflow including CBCT and digital impressioning technology. The successful deployment of this workflow will continue to provide job satisfaction for your team, consistent and predictable clinical results, increased success rates, and an unmatchable clinical experience for your patients."

Dr. Erin Elliott
Dr. Erin Elliott

Post Falls Family Dental
Post Falls, ID


"Absolutely, hands down, cone beam. It gives me confidence in presenting treatment and it gives my patients confidence in knowing that their implant is planned ahead of time and not 'fly by the seat of our pants.' Many times, we can place the implant immediately—the same day as the extraction—in order to save a patient four to six months without a tooth and a second surgical procedure. And it makes my job so much fun!"

Dr. Brett Titensor
Dr. Brett Titensor

Titensor Dental
Flower Mound, TX


"The seamless digital integration of a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan, intraoral scan, and powerful implant planning software is now—and will be—the most impactful dental implant solution for both the patient and the practitioner. A digital implant workflow helps make implant surgeries more predictable, resulting in less complications and a higher chance of success. A clinician can use the technology to educate the patients on critical areas and deliver reasonable expectations to patients prior to surgery, leading to a more satisfied patient. In the past, nothing would dishearten myself as the clinician or the patient more than a treatment that 'went south.' Now, since transforming my dental implant workflow, I plan the surgery digitally first, use that information to 3D-print an in-house surgical guide, and even place my implants through the guide exactly as planned. Our complications are few and far between, and if we do have trouble areas, our patients have been well-informed beforehand so that when we pull off the surgery, we feel like heroes."

Dr. Steven Vorholt
Dr. Steven Vorholt

Implant Pathway
Tempe, AZ


"I think the largest paradigm shift in implant dentistry is the leverage of in-office 3D printing technology. Certainly, implant surgical guides are more convenient and lower cost when 3D-printed in office, but the advent of many new resins and applications will continue to help this segment explode. SprintRay recently released OnX resin, a 45% ceramic / 55% resin printable material that can be used to print single crowns, custom healing abutments, and even fixed full arch restorations. The applications will only continue to grow through 2022 and beyond. 3D printing allows for faster, more accurate, and less expensive dental implant surgeries AND restorations. Imagine a patient in a fixed full arch temporary fractures their bridge, and printing a new one can be as easy as a couple clicks of a computer mouse, not weeks of lab work! Any office seriously into providing the cutting edge of dental implant therapy should be involved in 3D printing."

For practice owners who had discretionary money to invest in their practice, what technology would you recommend they invest in?

December 2021

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Kristine Aadland, DMD
Kristine Aadland, DMD

Aadland Dental


"For dentists who are looking to invest in their practice, and not sure where to start, I would invest in CBCT and Digital Imaging. These technologies offer dentists an opportunity to add services to their practices, such as implants, sleep apnea and orthodontics. After that, I would say a digital scanner and 3D printer. With today's technology and advancements in printing, I would reconsider chairside milling if expenses were tight. If I had a lot of discretionary money at the end of the year, then I would encourage a strong dedication to education. I see too many doctors buy the technology but then not take the time to learn how to use it. When I started with CAD/CAM, there was a definite ROI with single units, bridges and implant crowns. With zirconia and lab milling, however, the costs of restorations have gone down tremendously. I still see the advantages of same-day dentistry. I live and breathe it every day, and it's exciting to see other possibilities arising that can have an equal impact for a lower cost."

Katya Archambault, DMD
Katya Archambault, DMD

San Diego Dental Health Center


"The first thing I would get is a CBCT. Diagnostics are everything; it is the first square on the technology journey. Additionally, during the pandemic in 2021 we appreciated the CBCT unit even more. In an effort to minimize the time the patient had with an open mouth, we increasingly used the CBCT to capture a full mouth series. The use of the CBCT unit showed great diagnostic information, minimized radiation and also helped with infection control."

Jeremy D. Bewley, DMD
Jeremy D. Bewley, DMD

Cornerstone Dental


"CAD/CAM and 3D imaging, without question! The efficiencies in CAD/CAM make providing care easier and more profitable, while the information gleaned from examining images in three dimensions instead of two is irreplaceable. The combination of these two technologies open so many doors to improved workflows that serve both the practice and the patient!"

Erin Elliott, DDS
Erin Elliott, DDS

Post Falls Family Dental


"Absolutely, hands down, I would recommend CAD-CAM technology and 3D CBCT. The freedom and flexibility we have on our restorative side has not only gotten our patients excited but our team as well. Cone beam has allowed us to bring in procedures we were previously referring out. I am working less, producing more and we had our biggest collection year yet...in a pandemic"

Lincoln Fantaski, DMD
Lincoln Fantaski, DMD

Verde Pointe Dental Associates


"Digital Impressions 100%. The fit and finish of single posterior restorations is superior with a good lab, and patients appreciate the lack of 'mess.' For anterior restorations, to be able to take stepwise impressions of more complicated cases, or even have multiple restorations fit without adjustment, is something that wasn't seemingly possible without digital impressions."

Karyn Halpern, DMD, MS
Karyn Halpern, DMD, MS

Port Jefferson Smiles


"For practice owners who have discretionary money to invest in their practice, I highly recommend they invest first in CAD/CAM.

CAD/CAM technology has revolutionized the way I practice and allows for the delivery of a much more comfortable patient experience. CAD/CAM technology also allows me to take precise and predictable digital impressions. No more messy PVS impressions that can make patients gag or need to be repeated. No more second or even third visits to deliver definitive indirect conservative restorations. No more temporaries that may warrant additional visits to maintain in between visits.

Patients leave their appointments with permanent ceramic restorations that are highest in quality and esthetics. My patients appreciate the technology and often verbalize this during their visits. I am able to engage with them during the procedure and they enjoy watching/video recording their restorations being designed and milled before their eyes."

Jason Mann, DMD
Jason Mann, DMD

Providence Dental Spa


"I believe 3D imaging (CBCT) is the single most productive tool for diagnosing, treatment planning, education, referrals, etc. For my practice, this has allowed me to treatment plan in confidence with all of our patients coming in the door. By far, this would be the first piece of equipment that I would buy for each of my additional offices. If a dentist was only interested in performing general dentistry, referring everything out and not interested in discussing specialty items, I would recommend getting an intraoral scanner first. "

Michael Miyasaki, DDS
Michael Miyasaki, DDS

Miyasaki Dental


"Factors I consider when contemplating the purchase of any digital technology are: does it make our dentistry better and lead to better outcomes, will we use it, does it create a remarkable patient experience and will it help the practice generate more revenue as most of this new technology is not inexpensive, but they can offer great value.

Two pieces of equipment that I think fill the previous criteria are an intra-oral scanner and a CBCT machine. Today's intra-oral scanners are not the impression materials we grew up on, nor are they the early scanners we first saw. Today's scanners are quick and easy, and some are multi-functional so they can help detect decay or monitor tooth wear and movement. Patients appreciate them, and labs do not have to pick-up and pour a 'wet scan'. Once the proper surfaces are digitized the scans can be used for many different treatments like impressions, sent to labs electronically and be kept as digitized records.

My second go-to piece of technology is CBCT as it is necessary for implant and orthodontic case planning and for diagnosing endodontic, TMJ, and airway issues. Patients benefit from the clinician being able to see more in a minimally-invasive manner. And the well-trained clinician can identify and treat a myriad of diseases and disorders with the images."

Scott Pope, DDS
Scott Pope, DDS

Concord Advanced Dentistry


"CAD/CAM is hands down is the number one purchase item an office should consider after digital x-rays (which every practice should have by now). The uses are many, and dramatically increase the efficiency of an office. With dental insurance resistant in increasing reimbursement fees, utilizing CAD/CAM technology in the office can increase production while reducing overhead. A dentist can utilize CAD/CAM for many types of treatment including crown and bridge, implants, orthodontics, mouthguards and other oral appliances. The learning curve is swift and applications of this technology are abundant. This will make a significant and positive impact on the practices bottom line, without a doubt."

Sheila Samaddar, DDS
Sheila Samaddar, DDS


"Each practice and doctor is unique. As a mid-career doc, I can definitively say that scanning is a must for general practitioners. No one uses rotary phones anymore, and the same can be said for impression material. Scanning is quick, accurate, gets to the milling unit or lab faster, and without fear of distortion while shipping. Even better? Patients see and appreciate the investment in technology, the latest advancements, and in their health. It's a win-win."

Sully Sullivan, DDS
Sully Sullivan, DDS

Sullivan Dental Partners


"3D imaging is the first piece of technology that ALL practices should be investing in. The reason is simple: patients receive better care. It is the one piece of technology that lets clinicians see better. We can diagnose better, treatment plan better, and provide better clinical outcomes. It also doesn't hurt that it has some of the best ROI when you consider the impact it can have when adding or increasing the amount of dental implants that practitioners can perform in a practice."

Brett Titensor, DDS
Brett Titensor, DDS

Titensor Dental


"Practice owners, whether you feel like you have discretionary money to invest or not, yesterday was the time to invest in digital technology. As a practice owner, I have found that the most valuable resource I have to offer is my time. What you can accomplish in the amount of time you are at your dental practice is your most valuable asset. This is where technology comes in. When you have the full spectrum of dental technology, Conebeam CT, intra oral scanner, mill, 3D printer, and the right software where they all integrate together seamlessly, the amount of dentistry you produce in the amount of time you are at your practice skyrockets.

Chairside intra oral scanners make it possible to confirm you have a perfect impression and prep, then milling chairside keeps the control in office to make a crown that fits perfectly all in one appointment. The Conebeam CT makes it possible to plan out all implant cases digitally, 3D print a surgical guide, and place implants in the best possible scenario. My opinion, stay ahead of the curve, invest now and reap the long-term benefits sooner!"

What is the single most important piece of advice you would give to a dental practice regarding infection control?

October 2021

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Kathy Eklund
Kathy Eklund, RDH, MHP

Director of Occupational Health and Safety
Patient and Research Participant Safety Advocate
The Forsyth Institute


"Keep current and be informed by credible sources. Follow CDC guidance, as well as any relevant state or local guidance. Always ensure you practice in a manner that helps prevent health care-associated infections in patients and injuries and illnesses in personnel."

Erin Haley-Hitz RDH, BSDH, MS, PHRDH, OM
Erin Haley-Hitz, RDH, BSDH, MS, PHRDH, OM

Clinical Practice Dental Hygienist
Morning Glory Dental


"A dental practice must remember that the infection control process includes the entire dental team. If one chain-link is broken it compromises the entire process. The trust of the patient, safety of the dental team, and preservation of the integrity of the practice itself can be affected by a severed link. We must hold each other accountable to the highest safety standards and work together to ensure the process is never compromised. By remaining supportive when a link is broken, we can work together to be better. 'Teamwork makes the dream work.'"

Amber Lovatos, RDH, BSDH, MAADH (The Latina RDH)
Amber Lovatos, RDH, BSDH, MAADH (The Latina RDH)

Clinical Director of Dental Services
TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries


"Empower your dental team with the tools and education they need to maintain proper infection control. As dental professionals, we want to create a safe environment for our patients and team. We cannot do this if we do not have the knowledge or appropriate tools. The best thing you can do is invest in your team, assist them in understanding proper protocols and then provide them the tools they need to implement these protocols."

Carmen Negron-Dupee, BS, RDH
Carmen Negron-Dupee, BS, RDH

Clinical Dental Hygienist
Community Health Center of Burlington


"Given the traumatic and devastating GLOBAL experience lived with SARS-CoV-2 virus, today and moving forward, the most important piece of advice to every dental practice is to have an Infection Control Protocol, that is based on scientific evidence and adhere to it. And that's imperative to ensure: Protection against life threatening pathogens, Prevention of infectious diseases, Safety for us, staff & patients, Compliance to protect a dental practice from shutting down, legal litigations or fines, Training of infection control protocols & CEs, and Proactiveness for guidelines and recommendations by the CDC & OSHA."

Cindy M. Purdy, RDH, BSDH, CEAS
Cindy M. Purdy, RDH, BSDH, CEAS

Self-employed


"Do not compromise your commitment to infection control protocols due to adverse ergonomic side effects. Layers of clothing can cause practitioners to become 'hot under the collar.' Investigate PPE manufactured with temperature-regulating fabrics. Pressure from added head gear results in brain fog & fatigue. Investigate a face shield with a loupe side arm/scrub cap attachment. Investigate a plastic loupe head strap that rests across the crown, not tightening at the base of the neck. Dense face masks contribute to decreased lung capacity. Initiate a deep inhale/exhale protocol between patients and drinking half of your body weight in ounces daily."

Vhari C. Rust-Clark, BSDH, RDH
Vhari C. Rust-Clark, BSDH, RDH

Lead Clinical Dental Hygienist
Roosevelt Dental Center of Skagit County


"The single most important piece of advice I would give to dental professionals regarding infection control is to implement the document, Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings—2003, as provided by the CDC. This document establishes recommended practices aimed at preventing the transmission of infectious diseases among patients and providers. As a dental professional it is our responsibility to be aware of current science, advice and protocols related to this topic. Because the practice of infection control is multifactorial, it is critical for practitioners to be knowledgeable in all aspects ranging from hand hygiene to disinfection and sterilization."

Annette Moody Smith, RDH, MSDH
Annette Moody Smith, RDH, MSDH

Dental Hygiene Faculty
Dallas College


"Do not cross contaminate. We are all taught this in school, but it seems to become forgotten in many offices. This means having everything out that you might need ahead of time, so you don't have to open drawers mid-procedure. Be careful about the little things like adjusting chairs with gloved hands or not using barriers on your mouse or keyboard. Common areas that often get touched with contaminated gloves are refilling water bottles or closing autoclave doors. These are tasks that should be done with gloves removed so everyone knows they are safe to touch without fear of contamination."

Jessica Suedbeck, RDH, MSDH
Jessica Suedbeck, RDH, MSDH

Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Affairs
School of Dental Hygiene, Old Dominion University


"There are so many items that come to mind to answer this question, however continuing to be a lifelong learner and attending infection control continuing education courses seems to be the most important factor to me in infection control policy. Research is always evolving in best practices for infection control, especially in a pandemic, and the greatest way to stay on top of that is attending courses, asking questions, and collaborating with other oral health professionals to create updated and current policies. The entire dental team should attend these courses to ensure all are on the same page."

Joy D. Void-Holmes, RDH, BSDH, DHSc
Joy D. Void-Holmes, RDH, BSDH, DHSc

CEO & Founder
Dr. Joy, RDH


"As oral healthcare professionals our goal is to protect our patients, employees and ourselves against infectious organisms. If we adopt and implement infection prevention protocols, we don't have to worry about trying to control anything! Infection prevention isn't something you do. It's a way of life!"

What fiscal year-end planning do you recommend?

September 2021

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Dr. Jonathan Levine
Dr. Jonathan Levine

JBL NYC


"By October and November, we have our senior team work on a top down/bottoms up approach to think about growth, stability, and sustainability in the context of what next year can look like. With this in mind, we think about what kind of growth we are hoping for and what initiatives we are going to focus on for the upcoming year that will drive the new revenue. By creating a 2 X 2 matrix of existing patients and existing services—and layer on new services—we can achieve business growth."

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

Hudson Endodontics


"As an endodontist and a practice owner, another year is coming to a close, which means now is the time to review my fiscal year-end planning and my tax strategies. To make the right decisions, I ask myself the following questions: Did I purchase equipment this year? Did I purchase, construct, or renovate my office building? Have I maximized my retirement accounts? I talk with my CPA and my financial advisor about these plans and make sure I execute the plans which will help my practice grow, bring reliable technology that can improve my efficiency and my patients' experience."

Dr. David Wong
Dr. David Wong

Route 66 Dental Implants & Periodontics


"Every year, my team and I schedule a meeting to review all aspects of our dental practice, but the most important for me is to evaluate the effectiveness of our policies and systems. This includes everything from website updates all the way to staff compensation to marketing strategies to equipment needs. The goal is to 'trim the fat' in the practice and eliminate things that are not working and reinforce the things that work really well. Everything we discuss has an action plan and a due date which we revisit quarterly."

What are your clients doing to recruit team members and to manage the current staffing shortage in their practices?

August 2021

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Lois Banta
Lois Banta

Chief Consulting Officer, eAssist Dental Solutions


"My clients are finding creative ways to recruit team members since the onset of the pandemic. 1: Write a creative ad. Don't write the 'wanted Dead or Alive' help wanted ad. If you want to recruit a rock star team member, write the ad in this manner. 2: Hire for attitude and train for skill. Unless the team member needs a license to perform their job, hire for personality."

Karson L. Carpenter, DDS
Karson L. Carpenter, DDS

President, Compliance Training Partners


"One thing that is consistent with all of our clients across the United States is the difficulty they are presently having recruiting staff. We have had several doctors tell us that they have decided to drop participation in several of their low-reimbursing PPO plans because they do not have adequate numbers of staff. To their delight, the bottom line has improved as they focus on patients with insurance that does not create large write-offs! Other clients have shown creativity by developing in-office training programs for dental assistants, allowing them to hire quality individuals who may not have any dental experience, creating a larger pool of potential applicants."

Robert J. Gray
Robert J. Gray

Partner, Gray Pilgrim and Associates, LLC


"Throw Money At It—That's How You Solve The Problem!! Many clients say that they are struggling to recruit team members and have had to offer much more money to new hires. But money is not the only factor a new hire will consider when job shopping. Be creative with benefits like gifts! The tax-free value is limited to $1,600 for all awards to one employee in a year. Gifts awarded for length of service are not taxable, so long as they are not cash or gift cards. Create a practice where staff members actually want to come to work!!"

Jonathan R. Moffat
Jonathan R. Moffat

Founder, Aligned Advisors


"Many dental offices are looking outside of dental for hiring. Look for people with great people skills who may not have as much dental experience but are personable and trainable. It's easier to train the dental skills. Consider promoting from within. If you're having a hard time finding assistants, perhaps a front office employee can move to the back. Incentivize your staff for referring potential hires. Have your Hygienists join a HYG Facebook group and look for Hygienists there. Reach out to past employees who you would hire again and see if they're available. Always be looking for top talent."

Ali Oromchian, J.S., LL.M, Esq.
Ali Oromchian, J.S., LL.M, Esq.

Dental & Medical Counsel, PC, HR for Health


"The first step to successful hiring is the job posting. It's important you have strong job descriptions as your foundation, outlining your expectations clearly. The job posting is a great place to include information regarding your mission and values. What makes your practice unique? Why should a candidate work there? With how competitive the market is, now is a great time to re-evaluate your wage and benefit offerings. Are your competitors offering more than you? Are you losing quality employees to other practices that are offering more? Check out the tools you need to be successful in our Hiring Toolkit."

Carrie Webber
Carrie Webber

Owner & Chief Communications Officer, Jameson Consulting


"At Jameson, we live by the mantra 'hire slow and hire right.' This remains our mantra for our clients, even in times of limited team and limited recruiting options. Cross-training, communication and adaptability with your team is imperative. When your entire team understands the overall systems of the practice, you can adapt to maximize your day. Regardless of the urgency, once a great candidate is found, onboarding and training MUST be prioritized. If you want to find yourself back on track quickly, taking the time to intentionally set new employees up for success through training is an important investment of time."

What is your favorite tool or technique for gaining treatment acceptance and why?

July 2021

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Dr. Hoda Imeni Bassiri
Dr. Hoda Imeni Bassiri

DDS, Raleigh, NC


"My favorite technique for gaining treatment acceptance is using my scanner for a bite assessment and ortho simulation and DSLR camera for facially-guided diagnosis and cosmetic photography for a before-and-after smile gallery. Both of these tools give me the ability for better clinical diagnosis and help patients better understand their oral health conditions and the proposed treatment options."

Dr. Abby Brecher
Dr. Abby Brecher

DDS, New York City, NY


"Thankfully, parents are usually accepting of treatment for their children's caries. They tend to be more hesitant when it comes to elective procedures like sealants. I always pull up a before-and-after picture of sealants from Google and ask parents to come over and take a look inside at their child's groovy teeth. Cue dancing molar!"

Dr. Mark Hyman
Dr. Mark Hyman

DDS, MAGD, Greensboro, NC


"If a picture's worth 1000 words...why are you still talking? It may seem easy to give a patient a hand mirror and try to show a cavity, fracture, or missing cusp. We had eight operatories, and eight Digi Doc Intraoral cameras. Our firm rule was a picture on every patient for every procedure-before, during, and after. The results were the All-Time Biggest Gamechanger! Please remember that 'Evidence Defeats Doubt.' When the patient sees the changes, and owns their problems, practicing comprehensive optimal care dentistry is a slam dunk! JUST DO IT!"

Dr. Roger P. Levin
Dr. Roger P. Levin

DDS, Owings Mills, MD


"I believe that the most important moment at this point in a case presentation is to ask the patient what I call The Commitment Question. It is a very simple and easy process. After you have built value through education and explanation, you simply look at the patient and ask 'Would you like to have this done?' This simple, but very powerful question, will always result in an answer of some type. If it is a yes, that is great. If it is a no, it is finalized. If it is a maybe, the patient will need more information and may need to consult other individuals. An objection is the same as a question and can be answered with a logical, calm and thorough example. Always be sure to ask The Commitment Question."

Dr. Zach Orden
Dr. Zach Orden

DDS, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ


"Patients who are referred word of mouth are already in a mindset immediately upon entering the office to trust your recommendations. For other patients, digital radiographs are great. Enlarging an image on a screen allows you to diagnose along with the patient. The other tool that I find useful are YouTube videos. I have a shortcut on my desktop for a video that compares a 3-unit bridge to a single implant with a single crown...very useful!"

Dr. Desiree T. Palmer
Dr. Desiree T. Palmer

DMD, Durham, NC


"Having practiced for 40 years, I find the most valuable tool for increasing case acceptance has been the use of the intraoral camera. There are a number of parameters to consider around case acceptance. However, a patient seeing on a monitor directly in front of them a photo (or series of photos) of their mouth is invaluable. Seeing is believing. It is critical to communicate the importance of oral health as it affects their overall health. Building a relationship of trust, while bringing your patient to optimal oral health, fosters increased treatment acceptance."

Dr. Jennifer M. Pan
Dr. Jennifer M. Pan

DMD, Wilmington, NC


"As a prosthodontist, half the battle is getting the patient to understand their treatment options since sometimes they are complex. I find that one of the best educational tools are 3D patient models, such as a locator overdenture or a hybrid. Having the models for the patient to touch and hold helps them understand the different components related to implants. Additionally, I use the same models to illustrate oral hygiene methods. Education is a big part of my treatment plan discussion. Patients really appreciate when I spend a few more minutes explaining how the different treatment options work as well as the maintenance side of it."

Dr. Steven D. Spitz
Dr. Steven D. Spitz

DMD, Brookline, MA


"The simple formula, SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat), uncovers patients' goals. In asking what they like about their smile (Strength/positive aspect), and what they don't, their dislikes (pain, physically and mentally—Weakness/negative aspect), they begin to treatment plan themselves from their point of view. Then asking if they could change anything, what would that look like (Opportunity of the future), they share their ideal treatment and outcome. Finally, finding out what's in the way of those goals (Threat/their reality). There are five 'threats' keeping individuals from moving forward: Fear, Money, Urgency, Time, and Trust. The questions allow us to discover and address the issues, helping individuals move forward. Regarding technology, the scanner allows patients to see their teeth, occlusion, and smile on the screen, giving them the tools to take part in their own treatment decisions."

Dr. Clinton Timmerman
Dr. Clinton Timmerman

DDS, Pueblo West, CO


"My favorite tool for gaining treatment acceptance is intraoral photography. Patients believe the absence of pain means the absence of pathology, even if there is an obvious cracked tooth, fractured cusp or recurrent decay. Being able to show the patient the problem you are trying to explain, especially on a high-resolution monitor they can easily see, can be the difference between a patient saying 'yes' to treatment or becoming distrustful. The more that can be shown, the easier treatment plan presentations become. Sometimes, when the patient sees the issue, they will explain to you what needs to be corrected."

What advice do you have for this year's dental school graduates?

June 2021

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Alyssa Brown
Alyssa Brown

DDS, Hinsdale Dental


"The best advice I would give to today's dental school graduates for establishing a successful career is to take the time to form a personal connection to the patient you are treating. Regardless of if the treatment is emergency or routine care, taking the time to really listen to the patient and getting to know them on a deeper level will help to develop a more trusting and stronger relationship. This stronger relationship will allow for the best dental care."

Manuel A. Cordero
Manuel A. Cordero

DDS, Dental Arts at Washington & Vineland Dental Associates


"Listen to your patient's concerns and what they mean, not what they say. Master local anesthesia, it will make the most challenging patients become your strongest advocates and referral source. Continue lifelong learning after graduation. Understand systemic and wellness status before you proceed with treatment plan. Your first exam as well as every exam should be exceptional. Focus on the outcomes from the patient's perspective and show you care."

Jason Deblinger
Jason Deblinger

DMD, 3D MicroEndo


"Do the right thing for your patients! Work hard always, especially in the beginning, you're investing in yourself, you may not see the return right away, but everything you do is worth it. Do as many cases as possible and do them the right way. Quality always needs to come first!! Speed, confidence, patient management comes easier with more practice. Everyone runs into problems, do NOT get down from them. Learn from them and they will happen less and less! Don't be afraid to bounce ideas/questions off of other dentists in your practice and or mentors from dental school. We all learn from each other."

Frank DiCicco
Frank DiCicco

DMD, Central Park Dentistry


"The best advice I can give to a new graduate is to find the most successful dentist possible and shadow them. Specifically become their dental assistant. Do whatever it takes to get in that office. Even if it's without pay for at least four to six months. Take a ton of notes and photos everyday. Too many graduates inherit the style and mistakes of a mediocre dentist. A top dentist will teach you what to say patients, how to say it, and most importantly the best way to do it. It will pay off in spades, savings you years of trial and error."

Mina C. Kim
Mina C. Kim

DDS, Bryant Park Dental


"Build your network to build your future net worth. I have 4 main groups of dental colleagues-contemporaries, new dentists, those that are 10 years senior and seasoned dentists. I rely on them to help me with clinical concerns and practice management. My mentors in organized dentistry and the corporate sector provide a macro view of the state of dentistry. I also make sure to socialize with people outside of healthcare to keep my views fresh and learn more about the public view of dentistry, so I can provide the best care possible to my patients."

Gail E. Schupak
Gail E. Schupak

DMD, Dr. Gail Schupak Orthodontics


"Ever since I finished my Orthodontic residency program at Columbia, I have made it a point to be a mentor to dental students and orthodontic residents. When I was a resident it was rare to find women mentors but now we have so many more female dental school graduates. The questions always came up as to how to balance a career and family without compromising either one. I started my practice my first day out of residency but I also worked in many other practices part time. I learned the business of dentistry working for other dentists and tried to take as much continuing education to keep myself current."

Wendy Shultz Spektor
Wendy Shultz Spektor

DDS, Spektor Dental


"Be humble, dentistry is difficult and taxing and there are no short cuts to success. Talk to your patient and listen to what they want. Reach out and discuss cases with those that have been in practice longer. Take classes and keep learning. Be creative, be conservative and if it doesn't work at least you tried and move to the next option. The days of starting your own practice may be waning. So try to join a dental team that can provide all care related to dentistry. Participate in your community—your efforts will be rewarded. Participate in local and national dental organizations. The amount of information you can learn is amazing from other colleagues."

Lee Weisbard
Lee Weisbard

DDS, Weisbard Dental


"The best advice I would give today's dental school graduates for establishing a successful career would be to always be true to your values. In today's world it is easy to be lured into practice options that may not be right for you. Trust your instincts and know integrity, respect, compassion and service will lead you in the right direction. Don't be dollar driven. Create strong relationships and community, and the dollars will come and so will an incredibly rewarding career."

James Younan
James Younan

DDS, Open Door Community Health Centers


"In dentistry, there are so many different ways to achieve the same end result. For example, a simple class II restoration can be completed using different bands, different materials, and in the end, the cavity is filled, tooth is in contact and occlusion is on point. As you get out of school, you should explore these different methods and techniques and adapt them in the way that you practice. Take your time, don't be afraid to try new things and more importantly, do not rush! Lastly, don't forget to just have fun! To see how I have fun with dentistry, check out my Instagram page @Dr_Gibbz."

What excites you most about the future of the dental profession? Hear from this year's dental school graduates.

May 2021

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Okechukwu Anyamele
Okechukwu Anyamele

Howard University


"I am most excited about the advancements in technology that continuously evolve the practice of dentistry. I know this will lead to better outcomes and increased patient satisfaction. Another component that excites me is collaboration among different fields in healthcare. Partnering with other providers will lead to healthier patients overall. I am confident about the future of dentistry and I look forward to growing in the profession of dentistry as it is bright."

Shaylee Avery
Shaylee Avery

University of Utah School of Dentistry


"The future of dentistry is placing more emphasis on interprofessional relationships and maintaining communications amongst dentists. Dentistry is a team-based profession, it flourishes when everyone works together for the best interest of the community around them. Whether we connect virtually or we are working in the same building, sharing our knowledge amongst each other and providing channels to grow and learn, dentistry's importance and role in overall health will be more broadly understood and appreciated."

Charles Buchanan
Charles Buchanan

University of Nevada Las Vegas


"The integration of oral health into primary health care. Dental professionals now have a deeper understanding of the many connections between oral health and overall health. There's more opportunity than ever for dentists to collaborate with physicians in providing holistic care. I envision a future where oral health services are included in routine primary care visit, where communication between a patients' physician and dentist routinely occurs in the same office that treatment is being provided. I'm eager to help break down these barriers and be a part of a team that's able to better manage my patients' chronic diseases."

Joell Chen
Joell Chen

Roseman University


"This past year was filled with unprecedented challenges as the world battled the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice, and global climate crisis, to name a few. As a young provider entering the field during this turbulent time, I am especially encouraged by recent strides in diversity and inclusion efforts. I believe it's important to recognize early on that our professional demographics should reflect those of our patients across the nation. In particular, the American Student Dental Association has stood in solidarity with students against injustice and furthered its efforts to protect and advance the rights, interests, and welfare of dental students and their communities. I am hopeful that our generation's spirit continues to reduce health disparities through advocating for patients and providers in the coming years."

Ammie Chinchilla
Ammie Chinchilla

University of California, Los Angeles


"The continual efforts to increase access to oral healthcare. The notion that oral health influences an individual's overall health is a known fact to us as dentists, but we still have room to grow in our public health policies to reflect this. As dental students, we at UCLA spend countless hours serving our community. Now, so close to graduation, I cannot wait to see how we will serve them at an expanded capacity as dentists. In my case, I will strive to give children a strong foundation in their oral health as an FQHC pediatric dentist."

Vince Choi
Vince Choi

New York University


"Every year, great advances are made in dentistry and in the way patient care is delivered through innovative research and through developments in technology. The way that dentistry has been perceived over the last decades has been significantly altered through the emergence of technologies such as Virtual Surgical Planning, 3D Printing, and zirconia implants. These advances play a role in altering the patient experience so that dental services are more efficient, comfortable and predictable as when compared to the past. I am honored to be a part of the journey that improves dental care through the development of new technologies."

Neha Dhand
Neha Dhand

University of California San Francisco


"Technology has helped evolve every industry on the planet, with dentistry being no exception! With each year, dentistry has transformed to be more accurate and efficient in several ways. But it's not just the technology! Rise in awareness, availability of resources and focus on prevention has shifted people's relationship with their teeth. People have started believing that good oral health resonates with one's systemic health, considered anecdotal for the longest time. It is indeed exciting to see the paradigm shift from pain relief procedures to elective procedures for enhancing the quality of life, that continue to reshape the future of dentistry into a leading and primo profession each day."

Kacie Jo Dillow
Kacie Jo Dillow

University of Iowa


"Throughout my training at the UI College of Dentistry, my faculty have emphasized the significance of providing individualized, quality care by redefining the meaning of comprehensive treatment in comparison to the cookie-cutter approach used in previous generations. Student clinicians are now learning the impact of systemic conditions on oral health and incorporating social factors (i.e., SES, race, lifestyle) into treatment plans to achieve better patient outcomes and satisfaction. I'm excited that the future of dentistry is demanding more specialized care for our patients and is moving in the direction to produce clinically and culturally competent providers."

Ana Dominguez
Ana Dominguez

Temple University


"We can all agree the dental profession is moving faster than ever before. The marriage of technology with dentistry has allowed for certain procedures to become part of the day-to-day of the general practitioner. Procedures such as implant placement, clear aligners, even Botox and fillers, are becoming part of the regular menu of many dental offices. As I enter this amazing profession, what excites me the most is the incredible expansion in the scope of the General Dentist and the possibilities that lie within the new boundaries."

Chinelo Eke
Chinelo Eke

University of North Carolina


"I'm elated at the prospect of my upcoming graduation. Looking ahead, I'm excited that computer-assisted design and manufacture (CADCAM), including 3D printing, are now integrated into dentistry and revolutionizing the profession. Dentures, orthodontic models, surgical guides, aligners and much more can be generated faster and more precisely, resulting in more efficient digital lab option. With time, it will likely become a low-cost option for patients. Teledentistry is gaining popularity consequent to COVID and I am most ecstatic. More people, especially vulnerable children in underserved areas, now have better access to care and cheaper preventive practices. The potential is exceedingly promising."

Steven Gigli
Steven Gigli

University of California San Francisco


"If 20 years ago someone said you could go to the dentist completely edentulous, and in the same day leave with 8 implants and new teeth, would you have believed them? With advances in the latest research and newest technologies, same-day dentistry is the future of the profession. Thanks to CAD/CAM, CBCT, 3D printing, and more, dentists can now provide highly efficient, highly esthetic same-day treatment options to their patients not previously possible. I am committed to my learning of these technologies and incorporating them into my practice of dentistry as I begin my career as a same-day dentist."

Parvati Gopalan
Parvati Gopalan

West Virginia University


"I find it remarkable that discoveries in 3D printing technology and biocompatible materials allow dentists to tailor treatment to our patient's unique needs. This allows dentists to provide quality care and innovations in the field contribute to that moment that every dentist waits for—when the patient smiles! That is what excites me most about dentistry—being in a position to positively impact a patient's self-esteem. Additionally, I am proud to be part of a profession that works in conjunction with other healthcare fields to better a community."

Kasey Ha
Kasey Ha

Harvard University


"Despite the impact that the global pandemic has had on the field of dentistry, I find myself—now more than ever—enthusiastic about the future of the dental profession. I am most excited about the recent strides in innovation. Through advances in telecommunication technology and digital diagnostic imaging services, teledentistry is revolutionizing patient care. Virtual dental health clinics allow dentists to provide remote diagnosis and triaging, and patients benefit from reduced fees and wait times. Its application can also benefit those who live in dental health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) and reduce disparities in access to care."

Daniel Huang
Daniel Huang

University of Alabama at Birmingham


"Dentistry has made some amazing technical advancements in recent years, and I am most excited to have the ability to see these technologies enter the clinic for the benefit of patients. As these advances become increasingly accessible, I have no doubt they will become the standard of care and help us treat patients better and more efficiently. I am so glad to have trained in an environment that supports future innovation and plan to be an early adopter of what I believe is a bright future."

Alicia Kennedy
Alicia Kennedy

A.T. Still University


"There is so much that excites me about the dental profession! It is really an honor for me to be graduating into a collaborative, ever-evolving field. Yes, digital dentistry, teledentistry, better treatment, streamlined protocols and improved materials, all certainly stir a sense of joy. However, in this next stage I am most looking forward to an even more simple opportunity. I look forward to being a resource for the fearful and underserved. To help members of my community by compassionately answering questions and concerns, screening for risks associated with overall systemic health, reducing pain and infection, and brightening a smile."

Charles A. Long
Charles A. Long

Columbia University


"I am most excited about joining the profession with a foundational set of skills to bring precision dentistry into practice. Learning about advances in imaging and molecular diagnostics coupled with Columbia's intense focus on an inter-professional approach allows for a more precise evidence-based treatment plan. It is exciting to enter the profession at a time when we are learning how to use data and material science to provide tailored treatment to our patients. Data based precision dentistry often produces a better outcome at a faster pace and I am excited to incorporate it into my practice."

Madeleine Maas
Madeleine Maas

Touro College


"As dental technologies evolve and advance, I am excited to see how treatment planning for both simple and complex cases becomes more seamless and allows for more interdisciplinary collaboration. This collaboration will lead to superior patient care and experience. I am excited that as technology advances, the need for a compassionate and clinically proficient provider to afford the treatment of the future will remain as important as it is today. I am thrilled to be part of this technological evolution in dental care at TCDM and look forward to applying it in residency and private practice."

Teri Mitchell
Teri Mitchell

UOP Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry


"What most excites me about the future of the dental profession is that dentistry is entering a new era. The pandemic has disrupted the 'normal' way of life for the entire world. Although it has caused many losses, it also has many gains, and most importantly has made room for new thought processes, new methodologies, new innovations. The pandemic has forced reflection and reevaluation of what 'moving forward' will look like. I am hopeful this shift will favor a broader delivery of dental care to more people of all demographic backgrounds, and further advance the dental profession in caring for America's oral health."

Dhara Patel
Dhara Patel

University of Florida


"I am most excited about the technological advancements in the future of the dental profession. It seems every day there are new pieces of technology being released in the dental profession to increase efficiency but also to be used as a tool to better communicate with our patients and increase case acceptance. Whether it's printing prostheses, milling crowns, or scanning full arches, technology in dentistry seem to go hand in hand in today's world. I am excited to continue learning about how to greater integrate technology my everyday work life post-graduation."

Danielle Pickinpaugh
Danielle Pickinpaugh

University of Kentucky


"The future of dentistry is bright with the ever- progressing technology that continues to exceed patients' expectations especially in the areas of implantology, esthetic crowns, and orthodontics. However, for me, the future of the dental profession isn't exciting because of the technology or profitability. It is exciting because I can think of no better way to serve and love people in Christ than by helping them find the confidence to smile where before they felt shame. I am excited to be a part of a profession in which everyday I will have the opportunity to not only be a smile designer, a tooth saver, a pain manager, but I will also be given the chance to be a friend."

Chris Roff
Chris Roff

Rutgers University


"The potential for expanded access to care and education. There are many underserved patients in areas with few dentists. Encouraging more dentists to serve in such locations would help improve oral health. Distributing accurate information at periodic checkups to our patients can help arrest and prevent dental issues such as caries and gingivitis. Prevention is essential in dentistry, and educating patients is our major responsibility. Combined with modern technologies such as telecommunication, scanning, and bioactive restorative materials, the possibility to preserve teeth through knowledge and education and restore decayed ones is limitless, with fewer boundaries."

Sara J. Rosen
Sara J. Rosen

Touro College


"I am most excited to deliver compassionate, patient-centered care with the latest technologies in order to relieve pain and provide aesthetic results."

Edgardo Timpanaro
Edgardo Timpanaro

Midwestern University


"What an exciting time we live in dentistry! We are blessed almost daily with new techniques and technology. These advancements are improving our patients' oral health and consequently their quality of life. As a brand-new dentist, I am excited about the new smart chromatic resin composite that recently came onto the market. It helps us simplify direct restorations. I am thrilled with the many choices of software available to deliver same-day crowns. How they aid in implant planning and make placement more predictable, efficient, and safe. It's truly incredible and we are lucky to be here and witness today. The future of our careers is wide open and there could not be a better time to be a part of this wonderful profession."

Tommy Vu
Tommy Vu

University of Michigan


"To join a field that adapts quickly and effectively to the changes in the world around it. From the past year, it has been encouraging to see the level of safety and care that dental providers hold themselves to for their patients. Dental providers continue to advance the field through work in research, technology, and clinical care, while relying on the foundational roots of the profession. The field is diverse, allowing each provider to find their passion. It is an honor to be a part of this work and join this field."

Paris Webb
Paris Webb

Texas A&M University


"Dental school orientation, Day 1: I looked around the room in awe of the number of women and range of cultures and ethnicities. I thought 'this is the future of dentistry.' The continued growth of diversity in dentistry is exciting. Diversity in dentistry doesn't just mean providing underserved individuals a dentist who looks or speaks like them. Patients need providers who are culturally competent and inclusive. A socioeconomically and culturally diverse student body and opportunities to learn dentistry in underserved communities positively impact the entire class. Diversity in dentistry prepares more dentists, backgrounds aside, to diminish barriers to quality care. That's exciting!"

It's been more than a year since the pandemic began. What changes in your practice are you planning to keep?

April 2021

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Dr. Jonathan Clemetson
Dr. Jonathan Clemetson

Personalized Dentistry


"There are many valuable changes we implemented during and in preparation for the pandemic, and here are those we'll continue. We will still keep the lab coats, medical grade air purifiers, face shields for most procedures (aerosols), hygiene appointments won't all go back to 1 hour (some will still be 1.5), pre-mouth rinses for some patients, KN95 masks for some procedures, and appropriate level for all others. Most important, keeping our patients and team safe and informed."

Dr. Ed Coryell
Dr. Ed Coryell

Vice President of Clinical Affairs DentaQuest Care Group


"We will continue to use our patient screening processes for all patients and visitors as part of our overall efforts to minimize potential for community spread of COVID. Enhanced use of respiratory protection PPE will also continue. We will look to set aside some of our current limitations on use of certain dental equipment such as cavitrons and air/water syringes."

Dr. Santine Harlock
Dr. Santine Harlock

Enspire Dental


"As a progressive practice, dedicated to the health and well being of our staff and patients, we will maintain all of the new protocols we have in place. Some may be modified, but I never see us letting off the gas or taking a step backward. We have learned so much over the past year and we are continuing to uncover more data through incredible scientific discoveries. We will look to companies like Henry Schein to improve access to products and materials that make it easier for us to maintain this new standard of safety."

Dr. Curtis Jansen
Dr. Curtis Jansen

Prosthodontist, CEJ Dentistry


"While the pandemic certainly upset the dental profession like nothing before, it did give us all the opportunity to implement new precautions and examine the efficiency of various workflows. Although I've used digital technologies for most of my procedures, I'll continue to implement technology whenever and wherever possible—minimizing analog information to dental laboratories and throughout our office. In addition to maintaining the infection control protocols, the implementation of these procedures/processes has provided a more efficient and effective patient and team flow and a more personalized experience for everyone in our office."

Dr. John Kim
Dr. John Kim

Periodontist, Rocky Mount Periodontics & Implant Center


"The pandemic has led to many changes in our dental practice. Fortunately, many of the implemented changes have been for the better and I do foresee these changes as being permanent. Aside from the updated requirements regarding PPE from the CDC guidelines, we have implemented two big changes. We added high quality air purifiers in each room of our dental practice as this has provided more peace of mind for our patients and staff. Secondly, we transitioned into a completely paperless practice by incorporating new dental software with our practice management system. This has also allowed for our patients and team to feel safer as it minimizes common touch surfaces (pen, clipboard, etc.). As safety is of utmost importance, I am very glad that our dental practice has been able to adapt during these unprecedented and trying times."

Crystal May
Crystal May

Private Practice, Provo Utah, Co-founder and COO of DevDent, CEO, Sleep Utah


"As soon as COVID forced us to close our doors, we implemented telemedicine. We started doing all of our new patient consults as well as our follow up visits virtually. We chose to do real time video and audio visits, as it provided us with the best personal connection. Patients and providers both really enjoyed the ease of this process. We have continued to offer this as an option, and about 40% of our new patients and 90% of our follow ups, choose telemedicine over in person visits. This has not only reduced the barrier facing some patients surrounding COVID, but also barriers like time away from family or work and wanting to have their spouse present. We find patients are actually more engaged and case acceptance has not been negatively affected. Since we are set up to bill medical insurance, we are still being compensated for this time as well. So it's a win-win."

Dr. Maureen Munnelly Perry
Dr. Maureen Munnelly Perry

MPA, MAEd


"At ATSU Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, we will continue to utilize our HEPA/PCO air filters, rubber dam when possible, and HVE for all aerosol-generating procedures. As far as PPE, we will continue to use N95s mask for AGPs, as well as head coverings and face shields. We have gone to scrubs for all clinical faculty (previously students, residents, and staff were in scrubs). In reading the literature and listening to experts, it is likely this will not be the last epidemic/pandemic situation we face in the future, so it's best to continue to be vigilant in our infection control."

Dr. Naren Rajan
Dr. Naren Rajan

FAGD, Dentistry of Mendham, P.A.


"Since reopening our practice last June during the pandemic, we instituted a host of enhanced protocols to respond to the reality of the situation. We were fortunate to have a positive reaction from our patients and we were able to begin working again. We ramped up operations slowly and carefully. As we pass the one year mark of beginning the pandemic, we learned that certain pandemic protocols are here to stay long term. Our PPE, cleaning and sterilization protocols, as well as our virtual waiting room have proved to be successful and prudent. Keeping the reception room empty allows for better privacy with financial discussions at the front desk. Scheduling the next appointment from the clinical rooms not only prevents miscommunications and crowding at the front desk, it encourages the patient to reappoint while still in the office and maintain continuity with their provider. If desired, an appointment card is sent to a label printer at the reception desk and the administrative team can focus solely on managing the patient's account and financial obligations."

Dr. David Reznik
Dr. David Reznik

Chief of Dental Medicine
Grady Health System


"As Chief of Dental Medicine for the Grady Health System, I instituted transmission-based precautions including fit tested N95s, disposable gowns, face shields that allowed for practitioners to safely wear loops and a great deal of new technology to provide The Safest Dental Visit for team and patients alike. We purchased extraoral suction devices for every operatory, mobile hydrogen peroxide units to address air and surface purification and for the larger spaces air filtration and UV/PCO systems. We changed the number and position of the chairs in the waiting room and instituted screening via teledentistry and onsite screenings. We are now participating in vaccinating our patients. All of which we intend to continue."

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."