Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Consider joining CDS before you register for he Midwinter Meeting


If you haven’t yet registered for the Midwinter Meeting, think about joining the Chicago Dental Society, too, as an Associate Member. Your membership earns you a free pass for access to the leading clinicians and top-notch exhibitors that make the Midwinter Meeting so popular.

For dentists who are already members of the American Dental Association, CDS Associate Members dues are only $125 – that’s already a $10 savings over the $135 Midwinter Meeting registration fee for those who pre-register before Dec. 1. Plus, Associate Members who pre-register for the meeting will also receive a rebate coupon, good for purchases made in the Exhibit Hall from a 2012 Midwinter Meeting exhibitor – that’s worth another $25-$75 in savings, depending on how early you register for the MWM. 

Associate members can further increase the value of their membership through other member benefits, as well. Associate Members, like Regular Members, receive free registration for our quarterly Regional Meetings, easy access to the Special Events we plan throughout the year, and discounts on our sponsored insurance plans and other services. 

If you join online today, you’ll receive a confirmation email verifying your enrollment, and you can register for the meeting the next business day.

We look forward to seeing you at McCormick Place in February.


member benefit , midwinter meeting ,

Permanent link  Cook County Board allocates $1 million for dental care


CDS member Cheryl Watson-Lowry joined Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today to announce a $1 million earmark in the 2012 Cook County Health and Hospital System budget for outpatient dental care.

“These public health initiatives will be critical to treating our underserved residents at a time when families throughout Cook County are facing difficult economic circumstances,” President Preckwinkle said. “Because we made tough choices in our budget, we can invest in public health to ensure … our children can have access to the dental services they need and deserve.”

Cook County press conference on accessPresident Preckwinkle also announced today an additional $1 million allocation for the Access to Care organization, which facilitates primary care for residents of suburban Cook Country at reduced rates. Private physicians care for qualified patients in their private offices. This brings the County’s total funding for the Access to Care organization to $3 million this year.

Ramanathan Raju, MD, CEO of the Cook Country Hospital System, called it “a great day for the health of Cook County residents.”

“In times of financial crisis, it takes courageous leadership and farsighted thinking to protect the health of our residents. As more people enroll (in public health systems), we need to think of innovative ways of partnering with the community and organizations to provide care,” Dr. Raju said.

Funding to restore dental care to the Cook County healthcare system has been a year-long battle for the Chicago Dental Society’s Government Affairs Committee. Members have met repeatedly with President Preckwinkle and various commissioners to explain that the federal government has designated large areas of Cook County as dental health professional shortage areas, and to educate commissioners about the importance of oral healthcare as part of whole body wellness.

Dr. Watson-Lowry, who chairs the Government Affairs Committee, was reinvigorated by today’s announcement.

“I am so excited that we are making progress, and that the underserved residents of Chicago and Cook County will receive the dental care that they deserve,” she said. “This will change lives. People who have not been able to find jobs because they are afraid to smile or to talk in public will be able to have their mouths restored so that they can eat and speak properly and seek employment.”

Also on hand for the announcement were commissioners John Daley (D-11th), also the Finance Committee chairman; Tim Schneider (R-15th); Peter Silvestri (R-9th); and Jeffrey Tobolski (D-16th).

“The world would be a better place if we smile at each other a little more. You can thank a dentist for that,” Mr. Silvestri said. 

“Sure enough,” President Preckwinkle replied. “I’m grateful for the bipartisan support for these additional funds for both Access to Care and the dental program.”

Pictured above (L-R): CDS executive director Randy Grove, Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski (D-16th), CDS Government Affairs Committee chair Cheryl Watson-Lowry and Commissioner John Daley (D-11th).


access to care , dental care , dental news , legislation ,

Permanent link  New van brings care to homebound patients


The Dental Lifeline Network – Illinois (formerly the Illinois Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped) recently unveiled a new van, which will be used to take mobile dental equipment to homebound patients and others throughout the tri-county area who can not easily travel to a dentist’s office for treatment. Dental Lifeline Network – Illinois received a $5,000 grant from the Chicago Dental Society Foundation to support its local Dental HouseCalls program.

Dental Van“The old van just fell apart,” said president Fred Leviton, visiting from Colorado to unveil the van at the Chicago Dental Society’s Nov. 19 Regional Meeting at Drury Lane. “It had 150,000 miles on it and was 10 years old. But this new van will see about 1,000 patients and travel 12,000 miles over the next year.”

Through the Dental HouseCalls Program, a fully equipped, portable dental office is transported by van and set up bedside or in a long-term care facility so that dentists can care for the residents. A full-time coordinator drives the van, sets up and dismantles the equipment, and helps the dentist chairside. Five dentists provided care last year, either donating or substantially discounting their services.

“The CDS Foundation and its donors are proud to continue the philanthropic ideals of CDS and honored to support Dental Lifeline Network and ensure that it continues to have the tools it needs to provide quality dental care to its patients in our communities,” said CDS Foundation Executive Director Rodney Watt. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with them and we wish them continued success in their work with those who need us most.”

Dental Lifeline Network had long received funding from the State of Illinois, through the Health Department, but like many other state-funded programs the grant was reduced in this time of financial crisis. 

“We’ve really been struggling since then. It slowed the pace at which we clear patients for treatment,” Mr. Leviton said, referring to the process that screens patients for eligibility before they are paired with a participating dentist. “In addition, many other grantmakers like to seed projects but don’t like to support projects forever; they like to get more projects going.”

Learn more at

Pictured above (L-R): CDS Foundation vice chair Mildred Goldstein, CDS Foundation chair George Zehak, CDS president Ian Elliott and CDS secretary David Fulton Jr.



access to care , cds foundation , special needs dentistry ,