Archives for October 2014

DentaQuest Foundation renews 18 Oral Health 2014 Initiative Grants

Boston—The DentaQuest Foundation has renewed all 18 of its Oral Health 2014 Initiative grants.

Since 2011, the foundation has provided grant funding and technical support to the state-based organizations who are working to make oral health a statewide health priority and improve access to care.

“The national focus on health has created a window of opportunity for impact at the state level to improve the oral health of all,” said Ralph Fuccillo, president.

“The Oral Health 2014 Initiative has developed a cadre of leaders across the U.S. who are addressing critical oral health needs in their communities and keeping oral health in statewide health conversations.

“They are the core of a network of oral health advocates and champions that is growing from coast to coast.”

The DentaQuest Foundation reports that grantees have already achieved some remarkable results. This fall, West Virginia initiated school-based oral health screenings and an oral health curriculum in all schools, from K-12.

In South Carolina, a research foundation is establishing programming to bring oral health prevention and education to families in rural areas. An early childhood oral health literacy campaign in Rhode Island is encouraging early dental visits for children, educating parents, dentists, pediatricians and social service agencies across the state.

In Virginia, there is curriculum change happening at every medical school across the state, focused on oral health across the health professions and lifespan.

In the District of Columbia, fluoride varnish was approved for reimbursement under the Medicaid plan.

In Colorado, a strong coalition of oral health supporters was prepared to support legislation for adult dental benefits under Medicaid.

In Arizona and North Dakota, Native American tribal leaders are talking about oral health as a serious health concern for their members.

Pediatricians across Pennsylvania are being trained to provide oral health prevention guidance and make oral health a part of routine well child visits.

“This is the third year of the Oral Health 2014 Initiative,” said Mr. Fuccillo. “Across all states, grantees are implementing plans and that will lead to a wealth of new projects that can be replicated and expanded across the U.S.”

Grant recipients include: University of Alabama; Arizona Dental Foundation; Children Now (California); Oral Health Colorado; Florida Public Health Institute Inc.; Idaho Department of Health and Welfare; Maryland Dental Action Coalition; Michigan Oral Health Coalition; Mississippi State Department of Health; North Dakota Department of Health; American Academy of Pediatrics, New Jersey Chapter; Oregon Oral Health Coalition; Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Rhode Island Kids Count Inc.; South Carolina Research Foundation; Virginia Oral Health Coalition; Children’s National Medical Center (Washington, D.C.); and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

More information about each Oral Health 2014 organization can be found at

Switching from TV reporter to dentist

Future dentist: Elizabeth Fanciullo left her television career for her real passion, dentistry. It is a passion reflected throughout her family.

Newark, N.J.—As a television reporter and producer, Elizabeth Fanciullo has covered the Kentucky Derby, two visits by President George W. Bush in southern Indiana, and flown in a B-17 bomber during an airshow.

“I enjoyed working in news,” Ms. Fanciullo said of what she thought was her dream job. “But I just didn’t feel the passion that I would want to do this for the rest of my life. There was something missing.”

About three years after she started her journalism career, Ms. Fanciullo made a change, enrolling into Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. In dentistry, she said, she has found that passion.

Ms. Fanciullo is one of a handful of soon-to-be graduates from Rutgers who have chosen dentistry as a second career. Other students include a former MTV producer, ski instructor, teachers and a fishing boat captain from Alaska.

In dentistry, Ms. Fanciullo said she’s come to enjoy the one-on-one interaction with patients—a much more personal connection for her than speaking to audiences from a camera.

“It’s an immediate tangible gratification that I couldn’t get before from journalism,” she said.

Making the switch from television to dentistry wasn’t a complete surprise for Ms. Fanciullo. In college, she initially was interested in the medical field, possibly sports medicine, until she decided on journalism.

In addition, many of her relatives are dentists, including her grandfather, great-grandfather and great uncle.

“I spoke to them and even shadowed my dentist to make sure this was something I wanted to do,” she said. “I really love the precision and art involved in the field.”

To make the change, Ms. Fanciullo juggled being a news reporter while taking one or two classes at a time to fulfill prerequisites to dental school, first at Indiana University then at the University of Illinois in Chicago and lastly, Baruch College in New York. She needed eight science courses.

She moved to the East Coast after her husband, also a news reporter who made a career change of his own, was accepted to the New York University School of Law.

“It’s been a long road,” said Ms. Fanciullo. “But I couldn’t be happier with my decision, and I’m excited what the future holds. Who knows, I may find a way to combine both journalism and dentistry.”

Focus on presidents-elect in January

Presidents-elect: Dr. Maxine Feinberg, ADA president-elect, speaks during the 2014 President-Elect’s Conference held Jan. 26-28 at ADA Headquarters in Chicago. This year, 48 of 52 presidents-elect, along with 26 executive directors, attended the conference. It is the first time executive directors have been invited to the event. Look for the story on the coverage of the President-Elect Conference in the Feb. 17 issue.

Dr. Curtis Leciejewski (right), president-elect of the Delaware State Dental Society, speaks during a group discussion while Dr. Robert W. Emery, president-elect, District of Columbia, listens.

Dr. Curtis Leciejewski (right), president-elect of the Delaware State Dental Society, speaks during a group discussion while Dr. Robert W. Emery, president-elect, District of Columbia, listens.

Dr. Suzanne Germain speaks at the President-Elect Conference, held Jan. 26-28, 2014.
Increasing diversity: Dr. Suzanne Germain speaks at the President-Elect Conference, held Jan. 26-28, on the importance of increasing leadership diversity and inclusion. Dr. Germain is an ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership alumni. She launched the Indiana AIR (Acceptance, Inclusion, Respect) Leadership Program in 2012 to provide targeted leadership training to a small group of promising leaders from various backgrounds in hopes they will gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to take on leadership roles in organized dentistry and in their communities. Institute for Diversity in Leadership participants learn about defining leadership; creating vision; leading effective teams transparently; negotiations and conflict management; decision making; effective presentations; and nonprofit boards, stakeholder engagement, marketing and fundraising.

2014 Dental Office Design competition open

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is accepting entries for the 14th Annual Dental Office Design Competition.

A panel of dental industry and design experts will judge the entries, and winners will be announced in October at ADA 2014—America’s Dental Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

All newly built offices and offices with leasehold improvements or renovations completed between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2013, are eligible to enter. All practice types and sizes are welcome. Entries must be postmarked by July 31.

Comfortable setting: Drs. Jack Lewright and Brent Lewright, of Lewright Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in San Angelo, Texas, won Dental Office Design of the Year—Group Practice. 

Area of practice: The operatory aisle at Lewright Family & Cosmetic Dentistry also got a makeover, helping the dentists win a dental office design award from Wells Fargo Practice Finance. 

Designing for the future: Dr. John F. Dahm stands in his Hutchinson, Kansas, dental office, which won Dental Office Design of the Year—Small Practice. 

A grand prize Dental Office Design of the Year winner will be selected from Small Practice and Group Practice categories.

Grand prize winners will receive a $2,500 bonus marketing fund, media exposure, an engraved plaque and more.

Awards and media coverage will also be presented to Outstanding Achievement award winners in the following categories:

  • Outstanding New Dentist Practice recognizes the best new, remodeled or expanded facility for the first practice owned by a doctor or group of doctors who have graduated from dental school since 2004.
  • Outstanding Specialty Practice recognizes the best new, remodeled or expanded facility for a specialty practice.
  • Outstanding Design Efficiency recognizes the most effective space planning and use of square footage to meet practice needs and objectives.

For complete details, including award categories, prizes and other information, or to enter the competition, visit

The website also includes a look at previous winners, including those announced at the 2013 ADA meeting in New Orleans. They are:

  • Dental Office Design of the Year—Small Practice: Dr. John F. Dahm, Hutchinson, Kansas;
  • Dental Office Design of the Year—Group Practice: Drs. Jack Lewright and Brent Lewright, Lewright Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, San Angelo, Texas;
  • Outstanding Achievement for a New Dentist Practice: Drs. Charles Parrish and Jennifer Parrish, Parrish Dentistry, Llano, Texas.

During the New Orleans meeting, the Dental Office Design Center included a look at the year’s winning entries and insights into design concepts and approaches.


One visitor to the display, Dr. John Williams, said that as a dental educator, he was interested in taking information back to his students.

Sponsored by Wells Fargo Practice Finance, the design center also included a model of a dental operatory, complete with the latest equipment from Patterson Dental.

Wells Fargo professionals were on hand to provide information from a lender’s perspective on how to obtain loans for practice setup or projects.

Dr. Williams attended a continuing education course on that subject with the intention of bringing the information back to the students at the Indiana University School of Dentistry, where he is the dean.

“We have a lot of students and recent graduates who are interested in launching their own practice and they need capital to do that,” Dr. Williams said.

“I’m interested in the lender’s perspective on how they can best achieve their financial goals.”

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice lender selected especially for ADA members and endorsed by ADA Business Resources.

In addition to the ADA and Well Fargo Practice Finance, the competition is sponsored by ADA Business Resources and Dental Economics.

Scientists develop biopatch for regenerating bone for dental implants

A new biopatch that can regenerate missing or damaged bone may be able to help people who need dental implants, according to researchers at the University of Iowa.

The researchers have created a patch that allows the placement of bone-producing DNA to existing bone cells, which helps cells to generate proteins that lead to more bone production.

The research is detailed in the article “The Enhancement of Bone Regeneration by Gene Activated Matrix Encoding for Platelet Derived Growth Factor” in the January issue of the journal Biomaterials.

Researchers found that collagen scaffold, which is used for tissue engineering, when loaded with genetic information for producing bone grew up to 44 times more bone and soft tissue in an affected area than with just the collagen scaffold patch alone.

The finding could benefit people who need dental implants but don’t have enough bone in the surrounding area. The authors say the patch can also help rebuild bone in the gum area that serves as a foundation for dental implants.

In addition, because they used “nonviral gene delivery system” for the biopatch, the authors say it is less likely to cause unwanted side effects. It is also easier to produce in mass quantities, lowering cost.

Research sheds light on caries history

Researchers reported in January that ancient humans developed cavities, toothaches and swollen gums—suffering the same oral maladies that modern humans face.

Examining adult skeletons of hunter-gatherers in the Pleistocene age in North Africa (from some 15,000 to 13,700 years ago), researcher Louise Humphrey of the Natural History Museum in London and her colleagues found that a diet that included acorns and pine nuts led to dental disease.

Reporting online Jan. 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found early evidence linking a high prevalence of caries to a reliance on highly cariogenic wild plant foods.

They noted an “exceptionally high prevalence of caries” (51.2 percent of adult teeth), “comparable to modern industrialized populations with a diet high in refined sugars and processed cereals.”

This appears to be the earliest evidence of high caries infections found by archeologists, the report said. The researchers propose that eating plants that were high in fermentable carbohydrates caused an early shift toward disease-associated oral microbes.

They were able to systematically harvest and process wild food like acorns and pine nuts, which in turn led to a more sedentary lifestyle than previously recognized for this era.

“The transition from hunting and gathering to food production is associated with a change in the composition of the oral microbiota and broadly coincides with the estimated timing of a demographic expansion in Streptococcus mutans, a causative agent of human dental caries. Here we present evidence linking a high prevalence of caries to reliance on highly cariogenic wild plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from North Africa, predating other high caries populations and the first signs of food production by several thousand years,” the researches say in the abstract of their article.

Alliance of the ADA focuses on outreach in New Orleans

New resources: Alliance of the ADA Dental Health Education co-chairs Sue Gardner, left, and Molly Bickford showcase materials from the new Healthy Smiles from the Start toolkit Nov. 4, 2013, at the program launch in New Orleans. AADA will distribute toolkits to prenatal class sites nationwide. Photos by EZ Event Photography 

Donation: AADA Head-to-Toe co-chairs Johanna Manasse, left, and Carol Reitz, right, present a check to Evelena Conerly and April Jenkins, representatives from New Orleans Metropolitan Center for Women and Children. The Alliance also donated 3,000 packages with socks, a hat, dental care products and more as part of its 2013 H2T project. 

New Orleans—Volunteers from the Alliance of the American Dental Association made their charitable outreach and dental health education efforts look easy in the Big Easy during the AADA annual convention Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2013.

To support the 2013 Head-to-Toe service project, Alliance members solicited and collected socks, hats, dental education information and oral care products for the New Orleans Metropolitan Center for Women and Children. METRO provides temporary housing, a crisis line, counseling and other essential services for victims of abuse.

AADA members donated more than 3,000 oral health kits plus 300 additional pairs of socks, 1,300 toothbrushes, 582 tubes of toothpaste, 500 packages of floss, 1,000 packages of denture cleansing tablets, 50 notebooks and $600 in cash.

“Head-To-Toe was a great success because the Alliance came together in New Orleans to promote dental health education by giving our time, our helping hands, our warm hearts and a desire to make a difference in another person’s life,” said H2T co-chair Carol Reitz, of Reading, Pa. “At the same time, members were having fun, meeting new friends and catching up with the old.”

The H2T project has been duplicated at the local and state levels throughout the United States, Mrs. Reitz added.

“In the future, our volunteers won’t remember how many packets we packed or collected, they may not remember where the kits were donated, but what they will remember is how they felt—having a purpose, being engaged, making a difference and having fun.”

“It is heartening to be among willing volunteers who share encouraging words while sorting through and packing over 3,000 care kits,” added co-chair Johanna Manasse, of Olympia Fields, Ill. “It brought tears to my eyes to hear the stories of those who stopped at the booth to support us emotionally, professionally and financially and the grateful recipients were speechless when they received the donations. That’s why I do H2T.”

Also in New Orleans, the Alliance, the ADA and Henry Schein Cares launched a new initiative to bring bilingual dental health education to expectant mothers, new mothers/caregivers and newborns.


The Healthy Smiles from the Start program was introduced at a press conference Nov. 4, 2013, at the Touro Infirmary in New Orleans.

“There is an urgent need for dental health education to be included in pre-and post-natal classes offered by hospitals and birthing centers,” said Molly Bickford and Sue Gardner, AADA Dental Health Education co-chairs. “By collaborating with these educational programs and providing the Healthy Smiles from the Start toolkit, we can help to prevent and decrease baby bottle tooth decay, as well increase awareness that it’s not only safe, but very important that women visit the dentist during pregnancy.”

AADA members nationwide will distribute Healthy Smiles from the Start materials to local hospitals and community health centers with established prenatal education classes.


The Alliance’s goal is to distribute toolkits to at least three prenatal class sites in each state within the next year, and to at least 10 class sites by 2016. Toolkits include a PowerPoint presentation with an instructor’s DVD for use in class, patient handouts and educational brochures in English and Spanish. All materials were created in collaboration with the program’s partners, including the ADA, Henry Schein Cares, the Foundation for Dental Health Education, the Alliance of the Georgia Dental Association and the Alliance of the Ohio Dental Association.

During the AADA convention, the Alliance House of Delegates adopted a new set of bylaws and will now be governed by a five-to-nine-member leadership council. The 2013-14 council elected are: Sue Ryser, Cottonwood Heights, Utah, president; Laurie Osborn, Knoxville, Tenn., president-elect; Patsy Dumas, Fort Wayne, Ind., immediate past president; Anne Morrison, Omaha, Neb., treasurer; and members Molly Bickford, Powder Springs, Ga.; Sharon Bryant, Dallas; Armella Glenn, Tulsa, Okla.; Sue Gardner, Chardon, Ohio; and Teresa Theurer, North Logan, Utah.

For more information about the H2T service project, Healthy Smiles from the Start or Alliance membership and governance, visit

Special Care Dentistry Association annual meeting set for April 10-13


The Special Care Dentistry Association will hold its 26th Annual Meeting on Special Care Dentistry April 10-13 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

The annual meeting is designed to serve as a continuing education and networking opportunity for dental professionals who provide care to geriatric patients, patients with disabilities and patients in hospital settings.

The session will open on April 11, with the Max Bramer Memorial lecture featuring Derrick MacFabe, M.D., who will be speaking on The Self Centered Bug—Can Gut Bacteria Modulate Brain Function and Behavior in Neurodevelopmental

This lecture outlines basic science and clinical evidence that short chain fatty acids, present in diet and produced by opportunistic gut bacteria following carbohydrate ingestion, may be key triggers in autism spectrum disorder. Dr. MacFabe will present his current research during the lecture.

The closing keynote speaker on April 11 is Rachel Simon, who will discuss her bestselling memoir, “Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey.” Ms. Simon’s sister Beth is a spirited, independent woman who has an intellectual disability and who has forged a unique alliance with her community through her travels on the local buses. The book chronicles the year she spent riding the buses with Beth, as well as their lives together from birth to middle age.

This talk incorporates such issues as discrimination, parental struggles and victories, the concerns of siblings throughout the life cycle, the transition to adulthood, self-determination, travel training and the importance of friends in the community. A book signing will follow Ms. Simon’s keynote session.

The meeting will also include sessions regarding the impact of the Affordable Care Act on populations with special health care needs, managing a patient with self-injurious behavior, laser applications for patients with special needs and care delivery for disabled adults and frail elders.

New this year, the meeting will feature a separate educational track just for dental students at a discounted fee on April 12. The day will feature breakfast, four student-specific educational breakout sessions, a students-only meeting with SCDA President Ken Fedor, D.D.S., access to poster presentations and roundtable discussions and an evening reception.

View the advance program at for more details on registration, housing, CE courses, special events, exhibitors and more.

March 20 is World Oral Health Day


Geneva—On March 20, dental professionals and others in more than 50 countries worldwide will be “Celebrating Healthy Smiles” on World Oral Health Day.

The 2014 day is organized by the FDI World Dental Federation in collaboration with the ADA. World Oral Health Day is sponsored by Listerine Mouthwash, Unilever Oral Care, Henry Schein Inc. and Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program.

The annual observance offers FDI member dental associations, schools, companies and other groups the opportunity to celebrate the day with events organized under a single, unifying and simple message.

“Reaching local communities on World Oral Health Day 2014 is a priority for FDI. It can only be achieved thanks to the major effort by the national dental associations as well as dental students who prepare novel and exciting activities worldwide,” said Dr. Tin Chun Wong, FDI president.

“When I see the number of organizations that have already signed up to celebrate WOHD in 2014, I realize that this year’s activities will help us spread the word on optimal oral health even wider.”

Visit for the latest news and a variety of downloadable materials, as well as a map pinpointing activities worldwide.

Subscribe to ADA/PDR Dental Therapeutics Online

Arranged in three sections, ADA/PDR Dental Therapeutics Online (X064) contains drug information essential to solving patients’ dental problems.

To help dentists make the most informed medication-related decisions for patients, ADA/PDR Dental Therapeutics Online includes:

• descriptions of the general category of drugs;

• listings of specific drugs by generic and brand name;

• special dental considerations;

• adverse effects and precautions;

• pharmacology;

• information for patient/family consultation;

• drugs prescribed primarily by physicians;

• issues related to dental pharmacology that affects the dentist’s practice.

A one-year subscription is $69.95 for members; $104.95 retail price.

Save $10 on ADA/PDR Dental Therapeutics Online (X064) with promotional code 14100 through Feb. 28.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-947-4746.

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