Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Day 1 attendance numbers


Registered attendees as of 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.

Graduate students/Residents126
Dental students1,060
Office personnel1,853
Laboratory technicians188
Hygienist/Assistant students1,200


Permanent link  Windy City Profile: Kevin Bargamian


Kevin BargamianDr. Kevin Bargamian, who runs a busy practice in Crestwood, IL, attended dental school at Southern Illinois University Dental School, graduating in 1998.

Dr. Bargamian’s Windy City Lecture explores Removable Appliance Therapy Concepts

When is a removable appliance the appropriate treatment for sleep apnea?

Removable appliance therapy is an effective therapy option for cases of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the first and most effective line of treatment for OSA, but some patients cannot tolerate wearing a CPAP. In general, oral appliances work best in mild to moderate OSA cases, but they are also effective in severe cases when CPAP is refused by the patient. Oral appliances work by holding the lower jaw and tongue forward during sleep, serving to increase the muscle tone of the tongue, holding the jaw in a stable position to prevent the mouth from opening and ultimately preventing the soft tissue airway from collapsing.

When is a removable appliance considered best for orthodontic treatment?

An orthodontic treatment plan often involves expanding the palate and correcting the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. There are a variety of fixed and removable appliances available that can achieve these goals. In my opinion, removable appliances are the preferred method from an effectiveness and patient experience perspective, especially for children in the mixed dentition. Children who wear removable appliances can build confidence and self esteem while being responsible for a major role in their own treatment.  Oral hygiene is much easier when appliances are removable and office emergencies often are prevented.  

TMDs also can benefit from removable appliance treatment. How can appliance therapy ease joint pain?

Temporomandibular disorders include a variety of conditions that affect the TMJs and the associated jaw muscles. There are a variety of daytime and sleep oral appliances designed to treat painful TMDs. For a common TMJ disorder called disc displacement, an oral appliance can serve to hold the lower jaw in a position to reduce a displaced disc and allow joint healing. The appliances are usually worn as needed during the day and during all sleep, but in some cases they should be worn 24 hours a day, including when eating. Some appliances are worn during sleep to prevent intense clenching and grinding called parafunction. Parafunctional control is always a part of a TMJ treatment plan since it can cause significant pain patterns when left untreated. This is one of the reasons that appliances often must be worn during sleep for the long term.


Permanent link  Dr. Socher earns CDS Foundation Vision Award


Jeffrey Socher 2014 CDS Foundation Vision AwardThe CDS Foundation honored past CDS president Jeffrey Socher with the 2014 Vision Award, honoring outstanding volunteer achievement. Dr. Scoher’s leadership as a donor and Foundation Board member helped to organize the young organization and establish the CDS Foundation Clinic, Pat Hann explained when he nominated Dr. Socher.

Dr. Socher oversaw the difficult process of researching and establishing the unique business structure of the CDS Foundation Clinic within the CDS Foundation, Dr. Hann said, “and as Treasurer, he researched and identified our current investment advisor. CDSF funds were not getting the financial return they should have until he reorganized our investment strategy.”

The CDS Foundation Vision Award annually recognizes a dedicated philanthropist and volunteer who generously supports access to care programs and dental education for the underserved in their community; practices the dental profession with integrity, honesty, and truthfulness with commitment to the protection of the public trust; demonstrates altruism in endeavors, meriting the respect of patients, colleagues and the community and leads and inspires others through a high sense of purpose and dedication.

“I am so very proud of this award,” Dr. Socher said Thursday morning, when CDS Foundation Communications Committee Chair Robin Gathman presented it. “The clinic is giving people who struggle their dignity. Giving people a reason to smile gives them the courage to get the level of their life back up and centered.”

He challenged every member of the Chicago Dental Society and its commercial partners to support the CDS Foundation Clinic as a volunteer or donor.

“I’d like to see every member involved in some simple way. That’s going to give you a warm feeling in your heart,” he said.

Learn more about the CDS Foundation, including information about volunteering at the CDS Foundation Clinic in Wheaton, at


Dr. Socher is pictured with his former patient, Melissa Simon, who volunteers as a dental assistant at the CDS Foundation Clinic in Wheaton. 



Permanent link  Cushing Award presented to Leila Ali


Ali, LeilaLaila Ali was honored today by the Chicago Dental Society’s Communications Committee with the Cushing Award, recognizing her work with the American Dental Association and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths Healthy Lives to improve oral health awareness among children

Accepting the award in Ms. Ali’s absence was Gary Price, president and CEO of the Dental Trade Alliance (DTA). DTA is one of 38 organizations supporting the Partnership for Healthy Mouths Healthy Lives and its five-year relationship with the Ad Council to improve oral health awareness.

“We’ve set a record with more than $80 million in donated media, and it’s exciting to see evidence of significant behavior change in our audience,” Mr. Price said. “That means that people are seeing our message and taking action.”

The Cushing Award is given annually to an individual or group that has raised the public awareness of oral health issues. The Award is named for George H. Cushing, a prominent Chicago dentist in the mid-1800s and served as CDS president five times and was a strong advocate of dental health education. Past recipients of the Cushing Award include Surgeon General David Satcher, the Shriver Family, CDS member Fred Margolis, and others. 

This year’s recipient, Ms. Ali, started her career following in her father’s footsteps. She is a four-time undefeated boxing world champion whose record includes 24 wins. Since her retirement from boxing she has continued to work in sports, as a broadcaster and television host, and out-going president of the Women's Sports Foundation.

Ms. Ali is also recognizable for her work on the Food Network, and with several celebrity chefs. She is an author, wife and mother of two young children.

The Cushing Award includes a $1,000 prize, which Ms. Ali has committed to one of her favorite charities, Peace 4 Kids. The organizations provides programs and services for foster and at-risk youth ages 5-18, and after they transition to adulthood until age 24. Peace4Kids works primarily in the South Los Angeles neighborhoods of Watts, Willowbrook and Compton.

Find more information about the Partnership for Healthy Mouths Healthy Lives.


Permanent link  Windy City Profile: Ankur Gupta


Gupta, AnkurAn Albuquerque native, Dr. Ankur Gupta now lives and works with his dentist-wife in private practice in Avon, OH. When not at work, speaking to dental groups or volunteering at community oral hygiene clinics, Dr. Gupta looks to “tire out” his two young children with visits to the park and zoo. He is a University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, College of Dentistry graduate.

Dr. Gupta talks about The 10 Most Profitable Changes I Made to My Private Dental Office at his Windy City Lecture at the Midwinter Meeting.

How can a dentist rekindle that enthusiasm if he or she is facing a career plateau or burnout?

Burnout is not caused by difficult patients, difficult procedures, financial difficulty, or poor staff relations. Rather, it is caused by the habitual tendency to fall back to the status quo.  After attending a great course (at the Midwinter Meeting, for instance), dentists often feel energized, ready to implement exciting changes. Unfortunately, lasting implementation often fails because old habits are powerful to overcome.  My suggestion: create meaningful change at the level of habits and routines; the excitement, improvement, and profitability quickly fall in line as those routines become automatic.

What's your best advice for preparing a case/fee presentation? 

It begins with a "wow" experience the moment the patient walks in.  When patients feel as though there is something special about the care they will receive at your office, they will not only trust the treatment recommendations, but they also will actually ask for ideal treatment.  The most important way to make the patient feel special is the art of thoughtful listening. If a patient gets adequate time to express who they are, what their goals are, etc., and they feel that you listened to them and will provide them with the treatment that falls in line with those goals, their willingness to start treatment becomes extremely high.

What forces do you imagine will change the dentist-patient relationship in the next 15 to 20 years? 

For the most part, patients choosing a dentist will shift from thinking of dentistry as a clinical necessity to a question of comfort and customer service. The good news is that we can transform our offices, making them highly comfortable with great customer service without spending a fortune or changing every aspect of our protocols. Small but significant changes could really differentiate one office from another.