Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Zoom into a tooth


I received a link to this video from one our members, with the enthusiastic note, "Way too cool!!!!!!!!!! A lesson in how bonding works."

This video reveals the structure of a tooth all the way to its atomic structure.


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Permanent link  Dr. Claude Driskell, African American Dental Historian, Dies at 83


CDS received this obituary from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Dr. Driskell is pictured on the right with his wife, Naomi, in an undated photo.

Dr. Claude E. Driskell, a premier expert on the history of African-American dentists, particularly in Chicago, and who practiced dentistry in Chicago's Roseland community for 55 years, died on May 23 at age 83.

Born in Chicago on Jan. 13, 1926, Claude Evans Driskell was a decorated World War II veteran of the U.S. Army. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1950 before entering the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry, where he earned his DDS degree in 1954.

Dr. Driskell served as a dental journalist for and served a term as President of the Lincoln Dental Society (LDS), the largest African-American dental society in Illinois, and also was a dental journalist for the National Dental Association (NDA), the largest African-American dental association in the United States. He earned numerous citations and awards from the LDS and NDA for excellence in dental journalism.

He served as editor of the LDS publication from 1966 to 1980, Assistant Director of Publicity for the NDA from 1969 to 1972, Director of Publicity for the NDA in 1972, and Assistant Editor of the NDA Journal from 1976 to 1982. Dr. Driskell was the author of the book The History of Chicago Black Dental Professionals, 1850-1983.

Dr. Driskell wrote four chapters in the book Essays on Earl Renfroe-A Man of Firsts, which was published in 2001. The book is a biography of Dr. Earl W. Renfroe, a world-renowned orthodontist who was the first African-American Department Head at the UIC College of Dentistry. The book won an international Apex Award for Publications Excellence from Communications Concepts, a writing and publishing think-tank based outside Washington, DC.

"Dr. Driskell did this work while continuing to practice dentistry full time," noted Dr. Richard Perry, former President of the Illinois State Dental Society. "I think that's a great example of school spirit-sacrificing personal time for the good of the school."

"Grateful for the work that Dr. Driskell and others had put into Essays on Earl Renfroe, the Renfroe family established an endowed scholarship that will provide funding for minority students at the College in perpetuity," said UIC College of Dentistry Assistant Dean for Advancement and Alumni Affairs Mark J. Valentino.

A dental consultant and supervising dentist of the Dental Hygienist Supportive Health Service of the Chicago Board of Education in the mid-1970s, Dr. Driskell also was instrumental in the fight to obtain dental insurance for Chicago teachers. In the early 1970s, he served as faculty member at Chicago State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also served as Attending Dental Surgeon at the Department of Stomatology at Michigan Avenue Hospital in the 1960s.

A member of the Original Forty Club, a prominent African-American professionals' organization, Dr. Driskell served as the organization's historian and was the author of the club's 75th anniversary book. He also was a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and the Academy of the International Biographical Association.

At the UIC College of Dentistry, he served as an advisor to the Dean's Committee on Black Students in the early 1970s..

Dr. Driskell is survived by his wife, Naomi Roberts Driskell, daughter of Bishop William Roberts, founder of the Church of God in Christ in Illinois, whom he married in 1953. They had five adult children: Yvette Russell, wife of Al; Isaiah, husband of Barbara; Ruth Davis, wife of Fredric; Reginald, husband of Gale; and Elaine Chenier-Johnson, wife of Melvin. He also is survived by nine grandchildren; many great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews; and his sister, Helen Driskell-Evans.

Dr. Driskell lived in the South Shore community of Chicago's South Side. Interment is at Oakwood Cemetery in Chicago.


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Permanent link  Dental care while traveling


The American Dental Association has a new patient resource for obtaining dental care outside the United States.


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To minimize the risk of a dental emergency, visit your dentist for a check-up before your trip. Schedule your appointment to allow enough time to complete any necessary or outstanding dental work before your departure date.<br /><br /> * Before you leave on your trip, tend to decayed teeth, broken fillings, and other dental problems. Inform your dentist of your travel plans and ask about any other potential dental problems.<br /> * Have your teeth cleaned by the dentist or hygienist. This is particularly important if you have periodontal (gum) disease.<br /> * If you will be away for an extended time, consider having partially exposed lower wisdom teeth removed. The fleshy covering over the tooth creates a food trap that can cause pericoronitis, a potentially serious infection that can spread to parts of the head and neck.<br /> * All root canal treatment should be completed before travel to avoid potential infections and pain due to pressure changes during air travel. If the work cannot be completed, ask your dentist to insert a temporary paste filling to reduce the risk of problems.<br /><br /><a href="" rel="nofollow"><b>inland empire dentist</b></a>

Posted by: alb ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Dental Blogs asks, "What the heck is Invisalign doing to dentists?"


Our friends over at Dental Blogs cover the controversy over Invisalign's new training standards program.


Invisalign works pretty good. I&#39;ve used it before. Check out

Posted by: mmuehle ( on 05/16/2011

Invisalign is a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that both orthodontists and dentists use as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces. Thank you for the post.<br /><br /><br />cosmetic dentistry los angeles<br />

Posted by: mjscottlanyard ( on 05/16/2011

It is good that Invisalign is trying to ensure quality treatment for their clients, but they are taking a huge risk in losing marktshare.<br />Dental Thornhill<br />

Posted by: Dr. David Cheng ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Tooth whitening kiosks and Senate Bill 290


Several members have contacted CDS recently about the proliferation of tooth whitening kiosks at malls, spas and even the airport. We just wanted to pass along that Senate Bill 290, now awaiting the governor's signature, amends the dental practice act as follows.

"Provides that a person practices dentistry, within the meaning of the Act, who takes impressions of human teeth or places his or her hands in the mouth of any person for the purpose of (i) applying teeth whitening materials or (ii) assisting in the application of teeth whitening materials. Provides that a person does not practice dentistry when he or she (i) discusses the use of teeth whitening materials with a consumer purchasing these materials, (ii) provides instruction on the use of teeth whitening materials with a consumer purchasing these materials, or (iii) provides appropriate equipment on-site to the consumer for the consumer to self-apply teeth whitening materials."
You can also track the status of this bill at the Illinois General Assembly's Web site.


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Unfortunately, these individuals do no properly represent dental professionals. The quality of the treatment and safety of the patient is in question.<br /><br /><a href="" rel="nofollow">Dental Thornhill</a>

Posted by: Dr. David Cheng ( on 05/16/2011

These places will find a way around this bill. They already don&#39;t place their hands in the patient&#39;s mouth, but rather instruct the patient in how to do it. The real problem is that the poor patient thinks these people are real dental professionals. <br /><br />Who is going to police this act if it is passed? There are tanning salons and other places that are doing this that will be a lot harder to police than an open place like a mall.

Posted by: Anonymous ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Join CDS on Facebook


CDS Fan Page is now up at


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Permanent link  An online tool dentists should know about


A few years ago, I joined a Chicago area parents group with an active online member forum. Members trade info, referrals and even share horror stories. And at least once a month, someone asks, "Who's a good dentist to see in XYZ neighborhood?" Discussion ensues.

I always thought it was too bad for the dentist that there was no way to know about these discussions without being a member of the community. However, there is now an online tool that helps you find out what people in online message boards are saying about you.

Boardreader is a search engine for Web message boards and forums. I recommend using advanced search with your name, along with "dentist" (or your relevant speciality). You can set time parameter--opting to see everything Boardreader can find or just posts occurring within the last month.

Create an account in Boardreader and they will send you alerts when your search terms come up. Using a tool like iGoogle, you can subscribe to alerts as a feed and have a one-page place to check all online mentions.

If you're interested in digging deeper, Carie Lewis of the Humane Society gives a great overview of how to use Boardreader and other free online tools with iGoogle for social media monitoring.


social media , practice management ,

Thanks for making this tool known.<br /><br /><a href="" rel="nofollow">Dental Thornhill</a>

Posted by: Dr. David Cheng ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  CDS mourns the passing of Dr. Grant MacLean


Editor emeritus of the CDS Review and World War II veteran Grant A. MacLean died June 6 in Sun City, AZ. He was 91.

A respected dentist and editor, Dr. MacLean led the transition from the Fortnightly Review to the CDS Review in 1973, and was repeatedly honored for his efforts.

The late Karl Richardson said of Dr. MacLean upon his retirement in 1983:

A retrospective study of Grant's editorials over the past dozen years is an amply rewarding experience in sound comment on, shrewd analysis of, and vigorous advice and guidance to organized dentistry. Grant's record is evident and eloquent. To have so highly merited the acclaim and recognition of his colleagues in dental journalism and his many readers is certainly an achievement of which any editor would be proud.
Dr. MacLean was born in Detroit but raised in Evanston, and graduated from Illinois State University. He married in 1942 and shortly enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps; he served in World War II, including two years in the South Pacific. His first Marine division landed on Guadalcanal.

Upon returning to the U.S. in 1945, Dr. MacLean returned to school for a specialty degree in orthodontics.

Dr. MacLean was appointed editor of the Fortnightly Review in 1972 and lead the staff through a redesign when they renamed and relaunched their publication as the CDS Review in 1973. During Dr. MacLean's 12-year tenure, he and the magazine were honored with several awards:
  • The 1974 Golden Scroll Award for improvements in the format, layout and overall appearance of the CDS Review;
  • The 1976 Golden Pen Award for an article about Dr. Robert Shira;
  • A 1977 Special Citation for an outstanding collection of feature articles;
  • A 1978 Honorable Mention for the Golden Pen Award; and
  • The 1979 Golden Scroll Award for outstanding cover design.
CDS Review Editor Walter Lamacki said Dr. MacLean made many contributions to the profession and dental journalism, adding that Dr. MacLean was "a true old-world style gentleman at all times."

While serving as editor, Dr. MacLean was also president of the Illinois State Dental Society in 1977. Dr. MacLean was also active with other CDS activities, including the first Children's Dental Health Day, when more than 12,000 people received care at McCormick Place, and the launch of closed circuit television at the Midwinter Meeting.

Dr. MacLean retired to Arizona in 1983.

He is survived by his wife of seven years, Peggy; sons, Rev. Grant A. (Carol) MacLean, Jr. and Craig (Annette) MacLean; step-children, Debby (William) Radio, Susan (Ronald) Hendee and John (Melissa) Scott; sister, Sarah Jane MacLean; brother, James MacLean, Donald MacLean, 11 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

A memorial service was held June 17 at the Congregational Church of Sun City.


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Permanent link  What would you like to read in the CDS Review?


The CDS Review is looking for story ideas that could be featured in an upcoming issue. Past issues have concentrated on networking, what are your patients saying about you online?, and emerging technology. Leave a comment telling us what YOU would like to read about or e-mail jbrown at cds dot org.


Permanent link  Q andamp; A on the Minnesota dental therapist


The American Dental Association passed the following information along to state and component societies about the newly signed legislation in Minnesota creating a dental therapist.

After completing a bachelor's degree program, the dental therapist will be able to practice in underserved location and and perform procedures, including restorations and primary extractions with the indirect supervision of a dentist.

Below are answers to some of the commonly asked questions as provided by the ADA's State Government Affairs Department.

The Minnesota Dental Association has also created a catalog of links to news coverage on this legislation.

Q: How did this happen?

A: Two years ago proponents of the American Dental Hygiene Associations' Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner (ADHP) introduced legislation to create that position in Minnesota. As designed, the model provides for the ADHP to perform surgery without a dentist being on-site and with virtually no supervision.

The legislation gained momentum in the Senate, but an aggressive media and lobbying effort by the Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) stalled it in the House. The MDA strove to educate lawmakers about the shortcomings of the ADHP model. MDA built a coalition of oral healthcare providers to oppose the legislation and mobilized dental students and others to testify in hearings as well as attend lawmakers' local meetings to speak out on the ADHP issue.

A number of former hygienists who now are dental students were particularly effective in speaking to the dramatic differences between dental and dental hygiene education and training. To help shape communications efforts around these issues, the ADA conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative opinion research.

MDA offered a variety of more realistic proposals to improve access to care, including the Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) as a more integrated member of the dental team and an alternative to the ADHP. Ultimately, the MDA and its allies created enough controversy to scale back the legislation dramatically to the creation of a task force charged with making recommendations about an Oral Health Practitioner (OHP) for the legislature to consider in 2009. However, even this legislation was a turning point-the question was no longer whether to create midlevel providers, but rather how to do so.

The task force included representatives from the MDA, the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the Minnesota Dental Hygienists Association, the Minnesota Board of Dental Examiners and the Safety Net Coalition (SNC).

Unfortunately, the task force was unable to reach consensus. With the political and legal wind assuring the creation of a mid-level provider, the MDA put its efforts into ensuring patient safety and keeping the dentist as the head of the dental team. The state society made the difficult decision to endorse the alternative model proposed by the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. The dental school's plan provided for an integrated member of the dental team, educated in an accredited dental school, working with the supervision of a dentist. Any procedure permitted in the therapist's scope would be taught to the same standard as a dentist.

The OHP Task Force narrowly approved recommendations that closely mirrored the ADHP design, and sent its report to the legislature. The MDA, the dental school and others offered alternative reports and findings that staked out the principles of one standard of education, patient safety and an integrated dental team as opposed to the fractured model offered by ADHP or OHP.

With the start of the 2009 legislative session both the OHP and dental therapist models garnered legislative support. Looking to avoid conflict, legislators put both provisions into the same bills and appeared poised to pass them both. With that prospect, MDA undertook a print, radio and web ad campaign with support from the ADA State Public Affairs program to raise public and policymaker awareness about the lack of supervision and varying standards of education that led to patient safety concerns in the OHP model. In the wake of that campaign, the Senate considered an MDA-supported amendment to remove the OHP scope, supervision and education requirements and replace them with those of the dental therapist. While that amendment failed by a single vote, it was a far closer outcome than anyone had predicted and provided real momentum heading into the House of Representatives.

In the end, the House the Speaker decided to direct a negotiated settlement. Ultimately the result of that process very closely tracked the School of Dentistry model and the MDA principles.

Q: What exactly will the dental therapist do, and under what level of supervision?
A: The basic dental therapist will qualify for licensure upon graduation from a Bachelor's degree dental therapy program. The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry has stated that it will offer the program as of September 2009, but other institutions may develop them as well. A concern is that the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) which had originally agreed to host the ADHP program is exploring advanced placement for dental hygienists with a Bachelor's degree in their version of the dental therapy program (Bachelor's level). The extent, to which the Dental Board will authorize that process without placing the program at risk of not being approved by the Board, remains to be seen.

The Dental Board will grant a therapist license to a candidate who has successfully completed the program and passed a clinical exam, The therapist will work in a dental office with the indirect (on-site) supervision of a dentist, and will be able to provide a range of dental services for the underserved including restorations and extraction of primary teeth.

The supervising dentist must authorize any surgical procedures before treatment may commence. Further, the supervising doctor will be on site to deal with any complications or emergencies.

After practicing as a dental therapist for at least 2000 hours, a candidate may choose to pursue a two-year Master's degree in advanced dental therapy. Upon successfully completing that program and passing a clinical exam, an advanced therapist could practice in a separate site from the supervising dentist. However, any surgical procedure would still have to be specifically approved and authorized by the dentist prior to treatment. The advanced therapist also could extract permanent teeth with a mobility factor of +3 to +4, but only with preauthorization from the supervising dentist. By retaining a level of supervision by the dentist, the MDA has to the extent possible kept the dental team intact, with the dentist as the comprehensive leader of that team.

The law requires the dental board to report to the legislature in 2014 about the safety of dental therapists, the cost-effectiveness of the program and its impact on access to dental care.

Q: What about dental hygiene?
A: The dental therapist program excludes much of the dental hygiene scope of practice. Dental therapists will not perform prophys. The skill set required for a dental therapist is different than that of a dental hygienist.

Claims that the dental therapist law is a breakthrough for proponents of the ADHP model are overstated, to say the least. To become a basic dental therapist one must complete a dental therapy Bachelor's degree. Whether one holds a degree or license in another allied dental profession does not matter. Without the dental therapy degree, one cannot be licensed and cannot practice as a dental therapist. The requirements for admission to the Master's level program are completion of the Bachelor's level therapist program and at least 2,000 hours of practice as a therapist. While someone holding a different type of allied dental professional degree will be free to apply and enroll in either dental therapy program, they will have to complete the appropriate dental therapy degree to practice as a therapist.

Q: How will dental therapists be limited to caring for the underserved?
A: The law sets strict guidelines for the patient base therapists can serve and the areas in which they can practice, including:

  • Critical access dental clinics (which are operated by dentists who receive enhanced reimbursement from Medicaid because they treat a high volume of Medicaid patients);
  • The usual assisted living facilities, FQHCs, etc.;
  • A collaborative hygiene setting (although this would only apply to an advanced therapist, because a basic therapist could not perform surgical procedures with no supervising dentist on the premises);
  • Military and VA facilities;
  • Dental or dental therapy schools; and
  • Any other setting where at least 50 percent of the therapist's patients are among the following groups:
  • Enrollees of a state publicly funded health care program,
  • Having no private or public dental coverage and are at 200 percent FPL or below; or
  • The patients or practice is in a designated DHPSA.


access to care , legislation ,

need more hygienists.<br />Not more administrative dower without requirements of a nurse Dr or hygienist.<br /><br />sincerely<br />Dr. BDC<br />

Posted by: Brian ( on 05/16/2011

Permanent link  Physician assistants urging stronger medical dental link


Great article by Sara Zarbock this morning in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, in which she urges better collaboration between the medical and dental fields:

[Physician assistants] can have a major impact on the oral health of their patients. If you haven't already, get to know your local dentists and explore ways to develop partnerships. Become more knowledgeable about the relationship of diseases of the mouth to systemic disease. Be a voice for the importance of dental insurance coverage, especially for children. Include, as part of your early intervention efforts, counseling families, identifying high-risk children, and initiating timely dental referrals. Finally, ask yourself this question: "When was the last time I went to the dentist?"


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Permanent link  Sonia Sotamayors dental bill


Slate reporter June Thomas blogs about Sonia Sotamayor's $15,000 bill for her dentist. While some members of the media have been atwitter over this expense, Thomas suggests the only thing unusual is that Sotomayor's dentist allowed her to run up a tab:

[I]t's pretty easy to spend $15,000 on dental treatment. Dental plans generally cover between 50 percent to 80 percent of restorative treatments (crowns, etc.), and most plans have an annual reimbursement cap of around $1,500-$2,000. If you need something more than a cleaning or a filling, you're going to be digging into your own pocket, whatever kind of coverage you have....If there's anything surprising here, it's that the dentist allowed Sotomayor to run a tab that big. Most practices would require cash-or credit card-on the nail. So


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Permanent link  Top 10 tweets from the 2009 California Dental Association conference


The Doctor Base blog has come up with a list of the best tweets posted during the California Dental Association's recent conference in Anaheim. Without a doubt the most interesting one was:

If you're curious about Twitter and whether it could be of benefit to your professionally or personally, stay tuned. I've had so many inquiries from members about the service that I am working on an overview of Twitter for dentists.


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Permanent link  Midwinter Meeting on Trade Show Weeks list of top shows


Trade Show Week has released its annual directory of the top 200 tradeshows in the country and the Chicago Dental Society's Midwinter Meeting is again included, coming in at number 172. (Rankings are based based on net square feet of paid exhibit space.)


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Permanent link  Can you tell me how to get to ADA Street?


Check out the new ADA banners lining the streets of Streeterville. The ADA has a special page for its sesquicentennial celebration that includes all the events they have planned for the year.


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