Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Doctor, heal thyself at these Midwinter Meeting clinics


Hundreds of oral health professionals will convene at McCormick Place West in a few weeks for the 150th Midwinter Meeting. They’re anticipating three days spent discussing the best practices for keeping their patients in good health.

But there are also opportunities at the Midwinter Meeting for health care providers to check up on their own health.

Pelton and Crane will again offer ergonomics evaluations at a wellness center, located in Booth #100 (aisle 100, near the Rebate Redemption Center) in the Exhibit Hall. During these free sessions, physical therapists will consider how individual professionals position themselves around the chair and on their stools in an operatory. 

“What we know is that dentists are willing to do anything for their patients, and so they become so focused on the task at hand that they disregard the positions they’re putting themselves in to get the job done,” physical therapist Tim Caruso said. “Dentists and hygienists are taking on some pretty awkward postures, to the detriment of their own bodies.”

Additional information about areas of pain or discomfort, leisure activities and pain management techniques help ergonomics professionals analyze the dental professional’s most common practice. These assessments last 15-30 minutes, and participants leave with advice for simple improvements.

Providers at all stages of their careers – whether they currently feel physical pain or not – are invited to participate. 

“Ideally, these best practices would be reviewed in dental school to help students avoid developing bad habits during their clinical training,” Mr. Caruso said. “ Your body is the most important instrument you have for a fulfilling career.”

Elsewhere at the Midwinter Meeting, attendees can schedule a health screening with BlueApple Health. They offer more than 31 tests, at prices up to $115, to assess cardiovascular risk. The CDS Wellness Center will be open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Feb. 26-28, in room CC20 at the Hyatt McCormick Place Conference Center. Schedule an appointment online, when you complete your Midwinter Meeting registration.



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Permanent link  New dentists strengthen the bridge at Friday reception


2014 New Dentist ReceptionConversation came easily at the 270 Restaurant Friday evening, when dentists who have been in practice for 10 years or less gathered for cocktails and camaraderie at the New Dentist Reception.

"It's a relaxing thing to do after a day of learning, to come out and meet other dentists," said Sandra Lu, a Midwinter Meeting attendee who earned her dental degree from the Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Dental Medicine.

Beside her, fellow SIU grad Jessica Rhodes added that she was interested in networking there and furthering her career.

"This is effective networking," affirmed dentist James Benz, who leads the GPR program at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. "It's becoming less common to graduate and immediately go into a practice situation that you'll have for your whole career, so networking at this stage of your career is essential."

Dr. Benz came to the New Dentist Reception looking to reconnect with former students and hear how the GPR program trained them to meet the demands of their careers. He would take their feedback back to the office to improve the program for current residents.

Across the room, Marquette graduate Andrew Wiers was talking up the benefits of organized dentistry. Dr. Wiers is a member of CDS's New Dentist Committee.

"Job opportunities, debt load, how to piece together jobs to develop the career you want, are all topics that we talk about there, and here," he said. He called the reception a success. "The room is full, people are having a good time, and it's almost difficult to hear because there are so many great conversations going on."

Among them was endodontist Milton Davenport, looking to meet more local doctors. He earned a dental degree at Harvard University, and then completed his residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"Everyone is so busy and spread out, but everyone can be here at the Midwinter Meeting, and then we party all weekend," Dr. Davenport said.

Find more photos from this and other 2014 Midwinter Meeting events on Flickr.


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Permanent link  Midwinter Meeting program highlights member benefits


Local dentists know that their membership in the Chicago Dental Society has its benefits.

They aim to educate more of their non-member colleagues at a Midwinter Meeting symposium Friday, Feb. 21, Are you getting the most out of your membership?

The program begins at 11 a.m. in Room W474A. It will last one hour and is open to all dentists and dental students who are attending the Midwinter Meeting. Attendees will not receive CE credit for their participation.

“We talk a lot about the power of three and the alignment of the tripartite,” longtime CDS member Michael Durbin said, speaking of the relationship among the American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society and Chicago Dental Society. “This program is designed to overview what’s out there and present an argument for membership in organized dentistry. We want people to see the opportunities there are to save money, improve their practices and improve themselves through the features we offer.”

The symposium will feature a panel of CDS members sharing how they have used their member benefits at all stages of their careers.

“The best way to see the value of a CDS membership is to hear other members share their stories. They practice the same as you, work the same as you, and they have used organized dentistry to their advantage to improve their lives every day,” Dr. Durbin said.

He encourages members of organized dentistry to invite their non-member friends – and for both to stay and learn more about the benefits of membership.

He explained, “I want people to leave with an answer to the question, ‘how could I not be a member when I see everything that comes with it?’”



cds members , dentists , member benefit , midwinter , midwinter meeting , practice management ,

Permanent link  Get ready for Brush Day


Do you remember the Ad Council? They were responsible for all the Public Service Announcements were remember from childhood:

  • “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk,”
  • “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste”
  • and, more recently “I am an American.”

The Ad Council has turned its attention to National Brush Day, which will be celebrated Nov. 1. The day after Halloween will be an ideal time to remind parents and children about the importance of good habits for healthy teeth.

The Ad Council is armed with facts like these: 

  • Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease
  • Less than half of children brush their teeth twice a day
  • In the United States, oral disease causes kids to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually
  • Dental decay affects 16.5 million children in the United States.

 To combat these trends, the Ad Council is working with the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives to supply parents with simple ways to improve their children’s oral health. They’re the same recommendations you give your own patients about how much toothpaste to use and when to start taking a child to the dentist. But they’ve also built a website. offers a collection of free, two-minute videos— featuring characters from Sesame Street, Cartoon Network and My Kazoo —which kids can watch while brushing. The two-minute clips also help parents easily measure the amount of brushing time that is recommended by leading dental health experts.

Find your child’s favorite character there today.



children , consumer products , dentistry , dentists , patient ,

Permanent link  What you need to know before OSHA is at your door


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all dentists and their staff who are exposed to bloodborne pathogens attend annual trainings.

The Chicago Medical Society is offering a two-hour training course, "Bloodborne Pathogens & Beyond," for CDS members and their staff at the discounted rate of $99 per person. This course will satisfy most of your yearly OSHA requirement.

After attending this course, you will be able to

  • Implement a training program for healthcare employees who may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens. 
  • Identify appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Develop an emergency response plan
  • Create a written exposure control plan for healthcare workers assigned as first-aid providers
  • Develop a strategy to prevent the spread of pandemic flu within a practice
The remaining workshops for the year are:
  • Friday, October 1: St. Francis Hospital (Evanston) at 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 20: Oak Lawn Hilton at 9-11:00 a.m.
  • Friday, October 22, Doubletree Hotel-Oak Brook at 9-11:00 a.m.
  • Friday, November 5: Hilton Garden Inn-Chicago Downtown at 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday, November 15: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital at 2-4 p.m.
  • Friday, December 10: Oak Lawn Hilton Hotel at 9-11:00 a.m.
To register, visit the Chicago Medical Society's website or call their education department at (312) 670-2550, ext. 338.


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