Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Wrigley Foundation & CDS Foundation Grant Application deadline is Nov. 20


The Chicago Dental Society Foundation and the Wrigley Company Foundation have once again partnered to provide grant money to dentists to help treat the underserved population.

Chicago Dental Society member dentist or second- or third-year dental student member may apply, using the grant application form provided. Grants are limited to a maximum of $5,000. Measurable outcomes of each grant award are required, including timeline, objectives and results.

Click here to download the application and view the complete list of rules. The deadline to submit your application is November 20.

Projects should address socioeconomically disadvantaged groups with oral healthcare needs in the Chicagoland area.

Chicago is recognized as the city/area of numerous ethnic and cultural groups. White, Hispanic and African Americans are the three main core groups with nationalities from around the world represented. More than 1.5 million Cook County residents were registered for government health care (i.e. Medicaid) in 2011, which is equal to roughly half of the state’s Public Aid population.

The 2016 program provides Community Service Grants totaling more than $50,000, based on the following breakdown:

  • 55% – City of Chicago Community groups
  • 15% – Cook (other than Chicago City proper) County Community groups
  • 15% – DuPage County Community groups
  • 15% – Lake County Community groups


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Permanent link  CDS Foundation will host 5th annual wine tasting benefit


Wine & Roses 2014

The Chicago Dental Society Foundation has finalized plans for the fifth annual Evening of Wine and Roses, a wine tasting benefit to support access to care and dental education in Chicagoland.

All guests 21 and over – dentists, as well as their friends, neighbors and colleagues – are welcome at the Hu-Friedy Manufacturing — Performance Center, 1666 E. Touhy Ave., Des Plaines Sunday, Oct. 26, from 4 – 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $100 and in addition to a wine tasting and appetizers, there will be a silent auction and several raffle items. Tickets are on sale now in the CDS Store

“Bring your significant other. Reward your staff for their hard work. Invite your neighbor as repayment for the lawnmower you borrowed in June and didn’t return until August,” encouraged Events Committee chair Dave Lang, of Lang Dental Mfg. Co. “Mention this event to any professional you may work with that would be interested in talking to some of the most influential dentists in the country. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.”

Added CDS Foundation Chair Mary Hayes, “This has become a signature fund raising event of the CDS Foundation over the years. With continued success, we can make an even more significant impact on the oral health of the communities we serve.”

However, the fun to be had pales in comparison to the CDS Foundation’s mission. The registered 501(c)3 organization provides financial support to programs administered by more than 20 community agencies — and it maintains a full-service clinic in DuPage County. The Wheaton office is open full-time and staffed by volunteer dentists and hygienists who in 2014 have already seen twice as many patients as they had last year at this time.

“The CDS Foundation addresses very important issues affecting the well being of a large underserved dental population in northeastern Illinois,” Mr. Lang explained. “This event allows us to get together as friends and colleagues with some of the most influential people in our profession and industry to meet socially for the express purpose of raising funds to achieve our stated goals.

“It further allows us to get feedback directly from people whose opinions are very important to us.”

The Evening of Wine and Roses event is the Foundation’s largest event, and funds raised that night enable the CDS Foundation to extend its reach further into communities throughout the Chicago Dental Society’s tri-county region.

“Our current resources only allow us to partially fund the requests we receive throughout the year,” Mr. Lang said. “There is so much more we can accomplish with the appropriate resources. We have the vision and commitment. What we need now is a financial boost from our friends.”

Buy tickets online in the CDS Store, or for more information contact the CDS Foundation at 312.836.7301.


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Permanent link  Donated Orthodontic Services program helps families get the care they need


CDS was recently reminded by our colleagues at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) that its members are eager to work!

Volunteer orthodontists are looking for patients to participate in the Donated Orthodontic Services (DOS) program, which has been providing free care since 2009 to children whose families can not afford needed orthodontic treatment. 

The eligibility requirements are few:

  • Patient must be a resident of the state of Illinois
  • Prospective patients must not currently be in braces or in between phases of treatment
  • Patients must be between the ages of 11 and 18
  • In general, families must be “working poor” and/or Medicaid eligible
  • Patient must be ineligible for orthodontic treatment through insurance or public aid, such as the All Kids program. 

 Thanks to the generosity of orthodontists who donate one or two cases per year to this program, 113 Illinois children have completed $542,136 worth of orthodontic treatment they otherwise would not have received.

Perhaps you treat some families in your practice who can not afford orthodontic treatment for their children or have Medicaid that will not cover such services. Share with them an application for the DOS program, found at, or call Kizzly Blue, DOS Coordinator, at 720.287.6183.  

The only fee charged is $200 after acceptance into the program.




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Permanent link  Geiermann receives Golden Toothbrush Award


The Chicago Dental Society congratulates Dr. Steven Geiermann, who received the Golden Toothbrush Award from Erie Family Health Center last week. Dr. Geiermann was honored for his life-long commitment to making oral health care accessible. Among other efforts, he guided Erie Family Health Center when it opened its first oral health center, and he remains active with its Oral Health Advisory Council.

Erie Family Health Center maintains three oral heath centers in Cook County, serving 9,000 patients. A fourth center will open this summer in Lake County.

“For those who know me, they know I often quote my sainted grandmother,” Dr. Geiermann told the crowd assembled for the Erie Family Health Center’s Annual Luncheon at the Four Seasons May 29. “She always said, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get.’ We know that only one in five people at Erie Family receive oral health care; they’ve asked, and we’re still working to get care to them. It’s for that reason that I complement Erie Family on its effort at prevention, such as when they counsel pregnant moms about how to take care of their babies’ teeth.”

Dr. Geiermann is a retired Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service whose resume also includes posts with the American Dental Association’s Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations, Chicago’s Public Health Department and Indian Health Service. 

“My grandmother also said that accepting a gift honors the giver. I want to thank Erie Family Health Center for this honor,” Dr. Geiermann said.



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Permanent link  ADA reminds Congress of the need for greater Access to Care


The American Dental Association (ADA) recently released its inaugural “Action for Dental Health: Report to Congress” which recognizes the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Action for Dental Health (ADH) movement and grassroots efforts to eliminate barriers to dental health across the country.

The report was released during the ADA’s annual Washington Leadership Conference where more than 500 dentists from across the country meet with their Congressional delegations to discuss policy issues to improve our nation’s dental health.

“Millions of Americans continue to face barriers to dental care, which is why the ADA launched Action for Dental Health,” said ADA President Charles Norman. “This Report to Congress serves as a continued call to action for elected officials, health policy organizations, community leaders and the dental community to come together to bridge the dental divide.”

Much attention has been paid to the political debate around the Affordable Care Act, while the need for greater access to dental care has been ignored. The ADA report sits several statistics: 

  • This year alone, more than 181 million Americans won’t visit a dentist
  • Nearly half of people over 30 suffer from some form of gum disease
  • Nearly one in four children under the age of five already have cavities
  • Nationally, more than 2.1 million people showed up in emergency rooms with dental pain in 2010 – that’s double the number just a decade prior.

In response, the ADA created Action for Dental Health, a nationwide, community-based movement to address barriers to dental health through sustainable solutions that provide the best quality of care. ADA reports that Action for Dental Health has already taken root in every state across the U.S.

 The report outlines four key strategies:

  • Providing care now. This includes hospital emergency room referral programs to connect patients in pain to dentists who can provide needed treatment, and expanding programs like Give Kids a Smile.
  • Strengthening and expanding the public/private safety net by fighting for increased dental health protections under Medicaid and helping more dentists work with community health centers and clinics.
  •  Bringing disease prevention and education into communities through Community Dental Health Coordinators (CDHCs) who provide dental health education and help people in underserved areas connect to community health resources and dentists for needed treatment.
  • Working to pass Legislation at the federal and state levels that support Action for Dental Health initiatives. 

 The ADA has set bold goals for Action for Dental Health. These include:  

  • Creating ER interception programs to reduce the burden on our nation’s emergency rooms and improving dental health in 25 states by 2015, and 50 states and the District of Columbia by 2020.
  • Training at least 1,000 dentists to provide care in nursing homes by 2020, and increasing the number of dentists serving on advisory boards or as dental directors of long-term care facilities
  • Expanding programs which provide screening and treatment to help people in need connect with dentists for continuity of care and work to eliminate cavities in children under five in the U.S. by 2020
  • Improving the existing safety net and helping people connect with community resources and dentists by increasing the number of states with active Community Dental Health Coordinators to 15 states by 2015 (Currently there are CDHCs in 8 states.)
  • Reducing the proportion of both adults and children under 18 with untreated dental decay by 15 percent by 2020
  • Increasing the proportion of low income children who received any preventive dental services during the past year by 15 percent by 2020.

To review detailed goals for Action for Dental Health, or to download the “Action for Dental Health:  Report to Congress” visit




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