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Deadline approaches for new investigator award standards research

The ADA is accepting applications until Sept. 30 for the John W. Stanford New Investigator Award for Standards-Related Research Paper.

Dental students and dentists who earned their dental degree no earlier than 2010 and dentists pursuing an additional degree or specialty can apply.

Submissions should include an original standards-related research report that has been completed within the award calendar year but not published; a standards-related article that was published within the award calendar year; and a standards-related poster that was presented within the award calendar year.

Submissions must include an explanation of how the research incorporates current dental standards and/or contributes to the development of dental standards.

Dr. Robert Yau was the 2014 winner. He presented in March his winning project, “Influence of Core/Veneer Thickness Ratios on Failure of Bilayered Dental Ceramic Crown Systems,” at the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Products annual meeting in Boston.

The 2015 winner will receive airfare and a two-night hotel stay to present his or her award-winning paper in Los Angeles at the March 2016 ADA Standards Committee on Dental Products and the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 106 on Dentistry Meeting. The winner will also be announced in ADA News and the winning paper will be eligible for publication in a dental journal.

For more information or to apply, visit ADA.org/dentalstandards.

New dentist among ‘Top 25 Women in Dentistry 2015’

Dental Products Report named Dr. Andrea Janik, District 15 ADA New Dentist Committee member, among the “Top 25 Women in Dentistry 2015.”

Dr. Janik

Dr. Janik

In its sixth year, the list was designed to recognize women from across the dental industry, including dental professionals, industry leaders and practitioners.

Dr. Janik, of San Antonio, is a dental practice owner in the Pacific Dental Services Group.

“Her practice is one of the top performing practices in the company,” according to her nominator. “She also serves organized dentistry at all levels.”

To read more about Dr. Janik and the others on the list, click here.

Each of the honorees will be featured in the October edition of Dental Products Report.

Finding value in ‘newness’ in your new dentist life

Dr. Joe Vaughn starts his cross-country drive June 8 from Birmingham, Ala. to Los Angeles to San Francisco to Seattle.

Dr. Joe Vaughn starts his cross-country drive June 8 from Birmingham, Ala. to Los Angeles to San Francisco to Seattle.

I drink two cups of coffee a day. Minimum.

Sometimes, I don’t even want to drink that second cup. I do it because I feel like I have to. Like people will look at me in a strange way if they found out. I can hear it now. “You only drink ONE cup a day?!” they would gasp.

Let me explain.


(From left to right) Drs. Joe Vaughn, AJ Fennell and Ben Samuelson sightseeing in Los Angeles on a June 11 trip.

I’m a Seattleite. A new one. A very new one. My waiters still do double-takes whenever they see those beautiful red “ALABAMA” letters plastered across the top of my driver’s license.

I graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry just two months ago. It wasn’t seven days later before I had my entire life packed up in a moving truck heading across the country for Seattle, Washington. It was just me and two of my classmates. Traveling the country. Driving all through the night. Experiencing America as we never had before and may never again. The trip of a lifetime.

I grew up in Alabama. I ate middle school lunch pizza in Alabama. I studied college physics in Alabama. I spent my childhood looking into the eyes of Paul “Bear” Bryant and Joe Namath in the paintings above my parents’ fireplace. As a teenager, I sat in the stands amongst 100,000+ people in Tuscaloosa all yelling “Roll Tide” at the top of their lungs every time our team did something even remotely exciting.

So what am I doing here? Why am I sitting in this minimalist coffee shop in the Emerald City? Why do I eat Thai food now and drink lattes and ride the bus twice a day? Good question. Let’s talk about it.


I think there’s value in “newness.” Something new, something different. I have friends that will buy the newest version of the iPhone no matter how long it’s been since the last one came out. The iPhone is their fix of newness. That works for them, and that’s awesome. In a weird way, they are an inspiration to me.

For us dentists, finding that change, or that newness, is just as important. We all hear about those stories of the older guys who have fallen out of love with dentistry. The ones who have lost touch with their younger selves and just can’t wait to get out of the office. We may have even had a classmate or two drop out of school because they couldn’t handle the routine.


Dr. Vaughn and Dr. Devon Cooper on graduation day in Birmingham.

Newness gives us and our profession a tune-up. Seattle is a big change for me. But one day, I’ll have to find another source of newness.

Because newness is not geographical. You don’t necessarily need a new city. Your newness will probably be different than mine. It could be a specialty. A procedure you’ve never tried before. A new technique to an old procedure. Working one day each week in a community health clinic. Joining a social club. Reading a book. Challenging yourself with ideas you’ve never considered before. You could keep a journal or write a blog. Play an instrument. Bake something.

Whatever it may be, the point is to keep you, your life and your job fresh and fun and totally worth all that hard work you put in to get it. And a healthy happy you makes for a healthy happy profession. Which means me and you and everyone we know benefit from the newness you and I decide to add to our lives.


Dr. Vaughn with one of his clinical faculty members, Dr. Rama Kiran Chavali.

Dentistry promises great things. It is so overflowing with potential that even its opportunities have opportunities. But we always run the risk of falling into the pattern of dread and routine. And before you realize it, all of your techniques and equipment and philosophies are 15 years behind the times. Don’t be that dentist.

Instead, join me in adding newness to your life, whether it’s work or personal. And in turn, keep our profession crisp. Fresh. New. We are a part of one of the greatest professions in America, and we have our entire careers ahead of us.

I don’t know about you, but I can certainly “Roll Tide” to that.

Dr. Joe Vaughn is a New Dentist Now guest blogger. He grew up in Alabama and recently graduated from The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry in 2015. He now lives in Seattle, Washington, where he attends the General Practice Residency at the University of Washington. Two cups of coffee, writing and indie music are everyday occurrences for Joe. Go Seahawks and Roll Tide!

UIC assistant professor receives inaugural ADA award for new investigator in dental informatics

Dr. Emiliya Taneva of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry received the first Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award for Dental Informatics Research.

Dr. Taneva

Dr. Taneva

The award, named after the first chairman of the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics, aims to highlight the crucial role that dental informatics standards play in improving the quality of patient care, assuring patient health and safety and increasing efficiency through use of information technology.

Dr. Taneva, a new dentist and clinical assistant professor at the Department of Orthodontics, received the honor for her paper, “3-D Evaluation of Palatal Rugae for Human Identification Using Digital Study Models.”

Her research documented the palatal rugae as identifiers in a 3-D manner comparable to the use of fingerprints.

“My master’s thesis project involved developing and utilizing a 3-D approach for human verification and identification using the palatal rugae pattern,” she said.

Dr. Taneva said she sees 3-D digital study models obtained with intraoral or model scanners for diagnosis and treatment planning being “integrated in the personal electronic health record, which can be requested and accessed by forensic institutes and law enforcement.”

The implementation of the algorithms, she added, could bring a major impact to the biometrics and forensic odontology fields and create new standards for interoperability and transmissibility, and for acquiring and transferring patient data in open source formats.

Dr. Taneva credits her mentors — Dr. Carla Evans, who heads the Department of Orthodontics; Dr. Andrew Johnson, associate professor of Computer Science; and Grace Vianna, statistician, Depatment of Orthodontics — for the award.

As the recipient of the Ahstrom award, Dr. Taneva will receive airfare and accommodations to present the award-winning project at the ADA SCDI’s annual meeting Nov. 2-4 in Washington, D.C.

Applicants for the award must have received their D.D.S. or D.M.D. degrees no more than five years prior to the time of selection. The awards committee and the ADA Council on Dental Practice will select the winner. For more about the ADA Standards Programs, visit ADA.org/dentalstandards.

ADA Success program aims for connection

Seventeen member dentists, including several new dentists, attended an ADA Success Speaker Training program July 24 at ADA Headquarters to hone their facilitation and public speaking skills.

The ADA launched ADA Success, an all-new program for dental students offering a series of programs on topics most relevant to students today.

Each program is one-hour in length and is presented by a volunteer dentist or other subject matter expert. The programs are presented at no charge to students or dental schools by the American Dental Association and/or state and local dental societies. ADA Success helps students prepare for life as a dentist — good choices now, great dentists later. Program topics include managing debt and wealth; practice management for all dentists; all about associateships; future of dentistry; finding a job; and understanding employment agreements.

Friday’s attendees are among the total 47 speakers in the ADA Success speaker corps. Additional training will be offered in September.

For more information, or to schedule a program, contact ADA Office of Student Affairs at 312.440.7470 or studentaffairs@ada.org or visit ADA.org/successprogram.

Check out the photos from Friday’s Success program below:

Volunteer dentists sought for 2015 Veterans’ Smile Day

Smile: Dr. Michelle Frawley (right) smile for the a camera with her dental assistant and patient during last year’s Veterans' Smile Day event in Beverly Hills, Calif. Dr. Frawley was among 80 dentists from 50 offices around the country to provide free dental care to veterans during the annual event.

Smile: Dr. Michelle Frawley (right) smile for the a camera with her dental assistant and patient during last year’s Veterans’ Smile Day event in Beverly Hills, Calif. Dr. Frawley was among 80 dentists from 50 offices around the country to provide free dental care to veterans during the annual event.

Los Angeles — Organizers of this year’s Veterans’ Smile Day are seeking volunteers from across the country to expand the annual event and provide more dental care to those who served in the U.S. military.

“We are living the way we are living today thanks to the sacrifices these veterans made,” said Dr. Karin Irani, event organizer and coordinator. “This is a way for us to show some appreciation for what they’ve done for us.”

This year’s event, to be held Nov. 13-14 — the weekend following the Nov. 11 Veterans Day holiday, seeks dentist volunteers to provide services in their own offices.

Dr. Irani

Dr. Irani

Last year, 80 dentists from about 50 offices in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona and Florida saw about 600 veterans during the Veterans’ Smile Day.

“There were times when a veteran, who finds out about the event, calls and asks where they can go to see a dentist, and I have to tell them there aren’t any dentists in their area participating,” she said. “So the more volunteers, the better.”

This year, more dentists have already signed on to participate, including dentists from Colorado. In addition, Henry Schein and Procter & Gamble are again sponsoring the event, said Dr. Irani, a graduate of the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

When it comes to dental care, many veterans simply fall through the cracks. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, veterans have to meet certain eligibility factors to receive dental care, such as service-related dental disability or condition, or if they are a former prisoner of war.

In addition, some veterans who qualify for dental benefits still don’t receive the care they need because of the distance to their nearest VA hospital.

“Last year, some doctors who participated were expecting only older veterans from World War II to visit,” Dr. Irani said. “Some were really surprised when young veterans who are in college or working but don’t qualify for benefits showed up because they needed help.”

During Veterans’ Smile Day, participating dental clinics may provide free dental care such as examinations, X-rays, oral cancer screening, cleanings, fillings, extractions and other preventive and restorative dental care.

Dr. Deryck Pham, a Navy veteran and current class member of the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership, founded the event 3 years ago. Dr. Pham opened his Mays Landing, New Jersey, office to veterans who needed dental care in 2012, treating 33 patients.

After reaching out to his friend and University of Southern California School of Dentistry classmate, Dr. Irani, to helped Veterans’ Smile Day expand to five states last year.

Organizers find veterans who need dental care by promoting the event in colleges, veteran services organizations, and through word-of-mouth and social media. Those veterans are then paired with a volunteer dentist. The day and time of the visit is scheduled ahead of time.

Dentists interested in participating this year, Dr. Irani said, can decide how much time they can contribute, how many people they can see, what time of day they can see the veterans, what dental services they can provide, and whether they can provide the services for free or at a discount. Hygienists and dental assistants are welcome to volunteer as well.

“Whatever dentists can give, we’ll take. Even if it’s just an exam or a cleaning, it’s a big help,” Dr. Irani said. “Everyone can give one day a year. Every dentist can give one day. That’s not asking for a lot.”

For more information on the event and how to participate this year, contact Dr. Irani at ddsusc03@gmail.com.

New Dentist Conference, ADA annual meeting inspire new dentists, dental students

Westwood, Calif. — While many 2015 dental graduates are busy looking for or settling into practices, one of their fellow graduates is urging both them and dental students to mark some days in early November on their calendars.

Dr. Mendoza

Dr. Mendoza

The New Dentist Conference, which for the first time will coincide with the ADA annual meeting, which takes place in Washington, D.C. from Nov. 5-10. New dentists can participate in both meetings this year and experience all ADA 2015 has to offer, featuring high-level networking opportunities during Leadership Day; a new dentist reception at Penn Social; inspiration from keynote speaker Daymond John, entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” co-star; an exclusive, customized continuing education track featuring real-time interactive technology and more.

Dental students and new dentists alike should make every attempt to attend both events, said Dr. Kristopher Mendoza of the UCLA School of Dentistry Class of 2015.

He should know, considering that he is the immediate past president of the American Student Dental Association and has been an active participant in two past ADA annual meetings.

“It’s a great time to recharge and see what’s beyond dental school,” Dr. Mendoza said.

The 25-year-old dentist, who has just begun a three-year residency in dental anesthesiology at UCLA, said that while the advantages of attending the annual meeting are myriad, one in particular is especially useful for dental students and new dentists.

“One of the greatest benefits for students at the annual meeting is definitely networking with other dentists and students,” Dr. Mendoza said. “Everyone there is extremely helpful, helping the next generation of dentists. They want to see you succeed.”

New Dentist Conference 2015There are several reasons why connecting and interacting with students and more established dentists is important, Dr. Mendoza said. One is that dental students close to graduation and new dentists are seeking jobs, and he has found that some of the established dentists have looked at dentists to join their practices or even sell their practices to.

A second reason is that the ADA annual meeting exposes current and new students to a national community of dentists who provide perspective and inspiration. Attending dental school can place students in a bubble but going to a conference with hundreds of other people who had gone through the experience or were going through the experience invigorated him, he said.

“It was my break,” Dr. Mendoza said. “It helped keep me going. You’re not the only one going through it. It gave me a better outlook on the dental field.” It helped Dr. Mendoza because when he grew up in Fresno, California, he didn’t have any dentists in the family to relate to.

Dr. Mendoza gets asked frequently from younger dentists and dental students if they should join the ADA. “I would challenge them to explore all that being a member offers,” he said. “The value far exceeds the cost.”

Registration for ADA 2015 is open online at ADA.org/meeting.

For a list of courses planned, visit eventscribe.com/ADA/2015.

Search for #ADADC on Twitter and Facebook for more on the ADA annual meeting.

ADA president points dental students to ethics contest

The ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs is currently accepting entries for this year’s Student Ethics Video Contest. The deadline to submit entries is July 31.

“The American Dental Association has a 150-year-old Code of Ethics,” Dr. Feinberg says on ADA YouTube video. “For a century and a half, it’s been our moral compass – our North Star – and it guides everything we do. I graduated from dental school 35 years ago, and every day it’s my goal to earn and maintain my patients’ trust by abiding by this code. Students, we’d love to see what you can do.”

This year, the contest will include a second competitive category, created for videos that promote patient safety through ethical treatment. A grand prize and an honorable mention award will be available for each category.

The new category is the result of the participation and support of CNA in this year’s Student Ethics Video Contest.

The contest is open to degree-seeking students at, or new graduates of, any ADA-accredited dental school who are 18 or older and U.S. citizens. Entrants must also be ADA student members or members in good standing of the American Student Dental Association.

To qualify, videos should be no more than four and a half minutes and must portray the application of one or more principle, code or advisory opinion contained in the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct. To be eligible in the new category, the video should focus on ethical treatment promoting or enhancing patient safety and treatment outcomes.

CEBJA will announce the winners at the ADA 2015 – America’s Dental Meeting in Washington, D.C. For more information, contest rules and entry forms, contact Earl Sewell at sewelle@ada.org or access the link here.

ADA Humanitarian Award nominations due Sept. 15

Do you know an ADA member who has created a legacy of volunteer work both in the U.S. and abroad? Nominations for the ADA Humanitarian Award are due September 15th.

ADA Humanitarian AwardThe award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the ADA Board of Trustees, recognizes individual ADA member dentist volunteer who has:

  • Demonstrated significant leadership over a period of at least 10 years
  • Served as an inspiration to others
  •  Established a legacy that is of ongoing value and benefit to those in need both in the U.S. and abroad

The award winner receives a $10,000 donation to support volunteer work and is honored at the ADA annual meeting.

Download the nomination packet here or contact ADA International Relations at 1-312-440-2726 or international@ada.org.

UNC, dental foundation establish memorial award for slain students


Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21

Chapel Hill, N.C. — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Dental Foundation of North Carolina have established a memorial award in honor of two dental students killed this year.

On Feb. 10, Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and his 19-year-old sister-in-law Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were fatally shot in their Chapel Hill, North Carolina, apartment. Police officers arrested their neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, for the shooting.

The Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha Memorial Award was established in consultation with both students’ families and will be presented for the first time this fall. Mr. Barakat was a second-year student at the UNC School of Dentistry and Ms. Abu-Salha was to enter as a first-year in August. The award will provide support to a UNC School of Dentistry student or group of students who plan a local, national or international service product that, Mr. Barakat’s brother, Farris, said “will give back to communities that need help the most,” according to a UNC news release.

“Deah and Yusor led lives of great purpose and this fund is a fitting tribute to their humanitarian devotions,” UNC Chancellor Carol L. Folt said in a news release. “Through this award, the Carolina community is honoring their legacy of creating a more compassionate world through dentistry and delivering aid to those who are more vulnerable and in need.”

Mr. Barakat had volunteered at dental clinics overseas and had plans to travel to Turkey with 10 dentists this summer to help Syrian refugee students in need of dental care. He had posted a YouTube video last September asking for donations to raise money for supplies and equipment. Through his efforts, Project Refugee Smiles successfully raised the funds for the trip.

“Deah and Yusor had incredible hearts for service,” said Dr. Jane Weintraub, dean and alumni distinguished professor at the UNC School of Dentistry. “They often gave their weekends to working at homeless shelters or the North Carolina Missions of Mercy clinics and were no strangers to international service trips. Through this award, we’ll be able to not only educate our students about their lives of service but also continue their legacy of giving back for years to come.”

The Dental Foundation of North Carolina and UNC each committed $30,000 to the endowed fund. Those who wish to contribute can visit giving.unc.edu/gift/sod and select “Barakat Memorial Fund” from the dropdown menu.