Diane Melrose, RDH, BS, MA

Anna M. Pattison, RDH, MS

Stanley F. Malamed, DDS

USC Presents Advanced Dental Hygiene Clinical Techniques Hands-on Workshop


The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles will present its first ever Advanced Dental Hygiene Clinical Techniques Hands-on Workshop July 30 to August 2. Individualized instruction will provide dentists and dental hygienists with information on the newest technologies, products, and techniques, including hand instrumentation, caries management by risk assessment (CAMBRA), remineralization, advanced ultrasonic instrumentation, periodontal endoscopy, and advanced local anesthesia techniques.

The 4-day workshop, conceived and conducted by renowned members of the USC faculty—including Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Editor In Chief Anna M. Pattison, RDH, MS—will provide dental hygienists with the opportunity to receive in-depth post-graduate clinical continuing education.

"Our goal is to enhance the clinical abilities of dental hygiene and dental educators and clinicians to help them achieve excellence and to provide them with tools for more effective clinical teaching," said Diane Melrose, RDH, BS, MA, chair of USC's dental hygiene program who will lecture on CAMBRA at the workshop.

Pattison will kick off the event with a lecture on advanced periodontal instrumentation, followed by a hands-on laboratory course the next day. Up-to-date information on new instruments and techniques designed to help dental hygienists effectively treat patients with moderate to advanced periodontitis will be presented.

In addition to lectures by Pattison and Melrose, Gayle Myers, RDH, BS, will offer a hands-on lab and lecture on periodontal endoscopy (perioscopy), while Donna Smith, BS, MSEd, will teach a session on ultrasonic equipment and techniques. Stanley F. Malamed, DDS, will offer a local anesthesia lecture and laboratory course that will provide dentists and dental hygienists with a comprehensive review of the newest local anesthetic agents, devices, and techniques for use in clinical practice. For more information, visit www.uscdentalce.org.

Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Sponsors Award at NYU in Honor of Alla J. Wheeler

Dimensions of Dental Hygiene is proud sponsor of the Alla J. Wheeler Ethics and Professionalism Award at New York University (NYU), College of Dentistry. The award honors Alla J. Wheeler, RDH, MPA, a clinical assistant professor of dental hygiene at NYU and an important member of Dimensions' Peer Review Panel who passed away from cancer in June 2010. The annual award is given to a graduating dental hygiene student who has exhibited the highest levels of professionalism and ethics during coursework and clinical training. Dorrie Ann Miller, a 2011 graduate of the school's Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene program, is the inaugural winner of the award. Dimensions' Executive Editor Kristen Pratt Machado presented her with the honor at NYU's dental hygiene awards dinner on May 5. Miller was nominated by fellow classmate, Lauren Tyrangel.

Miller, a native New Yorker, explained that a childhood dental-related incident ignited her interest in dental hygiene, and her coursework at NYU has further fanned her passion for dentistry. "Dental hygiene is a field that is always growing and changing…I'm so excited to be a part of it," Miller said. "Having the opportunity to bring happy, healthy smiles to my patients' faces is priceless."

Miller, who studied dental hygiene under Wheeler, called the award a privilege. "Being the recipient of this award is a tremendous honor. Professor Wheeler was such an amazing woman," Miller revealed. "Any time I would go to her with a question, instead of jumping right to the answer she would talk me through it until I came up with the answer myself.

"This recognition has truly touched my heart. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to know and learn from Professor Wheeler."

Annual Report Shows Improved Children's Dental Health

The Pew Center released its 2011 report card on children's dental health in May, revealing a slight improvement in oral health care for children. The annual report grades each state and the District of Columbia on four core policy areas and eight key policy benchmarks, which are then used by policymakers to improve accessibility to dental care.

This year's report shows that many states are making great strides in oral health policies. However, the report also dem on strates the ever-present need to improve access to care.

In total, 27 states earned grades of an A or B. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia received a grade of C or lower. Grades were raised in 22 states, (Arkansas, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah, and West Virginia) improving by at least two letter grades.

The report found that grade improvement was mostly due to physician reimbursement for preventive dental services, expansion of water fluoridation, and an increase in the number of Medicaid-enrolled children who received care.


ADA Launches Seal of Acceptance Website

The American Dental Association (ADA) announced in May the launch of its ADA Seal of Acceptance website. The Seal of Acceptance site allows dental hygienists, dentists, and their patients to review detailed information about all products with the ADA seal.

"The ADA designed the new ADA Seal of Acceptance Web area to provide information that will be helpful to the public in selecting dental products and to dental professionals when discussing products with their patients," said Ada Cooper, DDS, an ADA Consumer Advisor spokesperson and practicing dentist in New York.

Visit www.ada.org/seal to peruse the ADA database, which has more than 300 ADA Seal products. Visitors of the website will also be able to compare the attributes of up to six products at once, as well as search for products by name, category, or manufacturer.

Although participation in the ADA Seal is voluntary, ADA surveys have revealed that the majority of consumers prefer products with the seal. Additionally, many dental professionals hold the ADA Seal in high regard, and manufacturers agree that the ADA Seal of Acceptance "conveys truth and legitimacy."

NIDCR Participates in Town Hall Meeting on Oral Health

The University of Maryland School of Dentistry in Baltimore hosted the event "Bringing Oral Health Research Home" in April, the first in a proposed series of town hall meetings aimed at diminishing health disparities.

The town hall meeting, led by National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) acting director, Isabel Garcia, DDS, MPH, stressed the importance of conducting research on dental diseases.

"For the majority of infectious dental diseases, we know how to prevent them," Garcia said. "We know their cost to health. Now, affecting behavior change, to enable people to do the right thing, is needed to get people healthier."

Garcia also spoke about the funding of NIDCR research to create new tools and approaches to improve health. For example, she revealed how a NIDCR-funded research team recently used molecular biology to implicate a bacterium in severe cases of early childhood caries.

"This is an example of a tangible finding that might provide avenues for better identification of problems," Garcia revealed. "We knew it was in the oral cavity but it was never implicated as a pathogen. The reason we were able to identify it is that we have better tools and better technology to identify [pathogens]."

NIDCR is the largest public funder of oral health research, and its network includes 700 practices in the United States with more than 30 studies comprising more than 30,000 patients.

The University of Maryland was a symbolic backdrop for this town hall meeting, as the school is, according to Garcia, "a fabulous example of a dental institution that draws strength by spanning many areas of research."

Dental Hygienist Wins 2011 Mrs. America Pageant

Florida dental hygienist April Lufriu, RDH, has reason to smile—she was just crowned Mrs. America 2011. Lufriu, who was named Mrs. America during the televised pageant in April, has practiced dental hygiene for 17 years.

The mother of three, dental hygienist, model, and business owner was first crowned Mrs. Florida in February before entering and winning the national Mrs. America pageant. She will use her title to spread awareness of retinitis pigmentosa, a retinal degenerative eye disease that leads to incurable blindness. Both she and her children are affected by the disease.

"My goal is to give the visually impaired hope and encouragement to live life without limits," Lufriu said, adding, "I thank the Mrs. America organization for giving me this open door to share my story with the world."

Consumer Advocacy Group Calls for Latex Glove Ban

The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen announced it has filed a petition to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of latex and powdered medical gloves. Citing health consequences ranging from rash to shock to possible death, the group is hopeful that newer latex-free alternatives will become mandated.

While such petitions against the use of latex is nothing new to the FDA—in fact, this is the group's second petition on the hazards of latex gloves—Public Citizen hopes that safer powder-free and latex-free options will become the preferred gloves of choice.

Karen Riley, a spokeswoman for the FDA, said the administration would review Public Citizen's petition and respond to it within 180 days.

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. June 2011 ; 9(6): 18.

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