Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Dentists can help identify a Jane Doe in Knox County


The Chicago Dental Society learned this week that the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the FBI Laboratory and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS), has established an updated profile and facial approximation of “Jane Doe,” the unidentified skeletal remains found in the East Galesburg Brickyards in 1996. They are looking for dentists, specifically, to further their investigation.

To facilitate the public’s help to identify Jane Doe, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department has established the “Jane Doe Tip Line,” at 309.345.6790.  Photos, press releases, printable flyers, investigation information, case updates, media packets and other information are available for viewing and download on the Unsolved Crimes page at, a webpage dedicated to the Jane Doe investigation.

Jane Doe is a caucasian women, age 55-85. She weighed 130-160 lbs., and was between 4' 11" and 5' 5" tall. She also had a pronounced overbite/over jet, was missing several teeth, and likely had osteoarthritis and DISH. Authorities believe she died sometime between 1984 and 1996. More information, including a rendering, is available online.

Anyone with information on this investigation or possible leads to the identity of Jane Doe is urged to call the Tip Line or e-mail

The Knox County Sheriff’s Department is particularly interested in speaking with the following people at this time:

  • Former employees of the Galesburg State Research Hospital/Galesburg Mental Health Center, especially between 1980 and the date the facility closed.
  • Dental Professionals who may have provided dental care to residents of this facility between 1980 and the date the facility closed.
  • Anyone associated with a charitable or other organization that provided food, clothing or shelter to homeless or disadvantaged people between the mid 80’s to mid 90’s.
  • Anyone with a female friend or family member missing between 1980 and 1996.



Detective Sergeant Jason Landers

Knox County Sheriff’s Department

152 S. Kellogg Street

Galesburg, IL 61401

309.345.3733 or



Illinois ,

Permanent link  IL Gov. proclaims February is Gum Disease Awareness Month


It’s official: Governor Pat Quinn has signed a proclamation to recognize this month — February 2013 — as Gum Disease Awareness Month in Illinois.

Gum disease is one of the most common diseases in the United States – more prevalent than cancer, heart disease and arthritis. The consequences can be serious, but the condition can be treated in every patient. Treatment options range from regular check-ups to conventional gum surgery or laser surgery.

Mounting university research links gum disease to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, pre-term and still births and certain cancers. Over 85 percent of Americans adults have some degree of gum disease, but fewer than half are diagnosed. Often symptoms of gum disease are ignored until the disease is in advanced stages, when tooth loss is common.

Illinois has adopted Gum Disease Awareness Month in order to educate residents about widespread health threat of gum disease and the importance of prevention and treatment. With a key message of encouragement to take an active role in preventing gum disease, recognizing risk factors, getting diagnosed and seeking treatment, the initiative is lead by the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry, a non-profit educational and research center dedicated to providing evidence-based clinical training in laser dentistry therapies.

To learn more visit or join the movement at and



dental care , Illinois ,

Permanent link  Dr. Rotter confirmed as dean at SIU


The Chicago Dental Society recently learned that Bruce Rotter has been appointed as the next dean of the School of Dental Medicine at Southern Illinois University (SIU).  After a national search lead by Professor Debra Dixon, Dr. Rotter’s appointment was ratified by the Board of Trustees Nov. 8.  

A CDS member, Dr. Rotter brings a wealth of experience to the role of Dean of the School of Dental Medicine.  A 1982 graduate of the School of Dental Medicine, his academic career began there in 1993 as assistant professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.  In 1997 he was promoted to associate professor, and in 2009 he became a full professor. 

During that time frame, Dr. Rotter created and administered one of the first implant fellowship training programs in the country that led to the creation of a freestanding implant clinic, which he subsequently directed.

Prior to his appointment as Interim Dean in summer 2011, Dr. Rotter had served as the associate dean for academic affairs for six years.  

Throughout his career, Dr. Rotter has been active in the private practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery and currently practices with Southern Illinois Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ltd., in Belleville and Glen Carbon.  He also has served the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in St. Louis as a consultant since 1994. 

In addition, since 1996, Dr. Rotter has contributed his expertise in support of the dental specialty programs in Endodontics and Periodontics that SIU shares with St. Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education.

We join the SIU faculty and administration in congratulating Dr. Rotter, and we wish him great success.


dental education , Illinois ,

Permanent link  Healthcare centers partner to provide free HIV tests in June


The Lake County Health Department and the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) are two of more than 20 local healthcare organizations working together to promote Step Up, Get Tested, a campaign to reduce the number of undiagnosed and new cases of HIV. Events are scheduled on and around Wednesday, June 27, National HIV Testing Day.

The State of Illinois has the 6th largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country: 34,000 residents. Geographically, the city of Chicago represents 65 percent of new cases in the state, with the suburbs of Chicago following at 22 percent.

 “Our goal in Healthy Chicago, the City’s public health agenda, is to reduce the number of new infections of HIV by 25 percent. This campaign is the perfect example of how we can achieve this goal and that is by collaborating with community partners that are committed to preventing the spread of HIV,” said Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, in a prepared release.

A series of local testing events will offer free, rapid HIV testing services, prevention education and other resources. The campaign will also highlight health centers and hospitals that offer HIV testing as a part of their regular healthcare offerings throughout the year.

In Chicago, these events include:


  • June 21, 9 - 11 p.m. – Night Ministry Mobile Van Testing at the corner of Belmont and Halsted
  • June 23, 4 - 6 p.m. – Dyke March at Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Dr.
  • June 27, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – The Care Center at Jackson Park Hospital, 7531 S. Stony Island
  • June 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – STEP UP, GET TESTED at the Fantus Clinic courtyard, 1901 W. Harrison St.


Learn more at CCHHS's website.

In Lake County June 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., anyone, 13 years of age or older, can stop by the Lake County Health Department's Belvidere Medical Building, 2400 Belvidere Road in Waukegan to receive a free rapid HIV test that is done using a simple oral swab. Free hepatitis C screenings using the finger stick technology recently approved by the FDA will also be available. Results for either or both tests are available within 20 minutes.

Along with rapid testing, information about other health and environmental services provided by the Health Department will be available along with free food and a children's play area with large inflatable slides and a bubble bouncer. Community partners participating in the event include Catholic Charities of Lake County, Alexian Brothers' The Harbor AIDS Ministry, and NICASA, a substance abuse/behavioral health organization.

For more information about services offered through the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center's program, contact Lake County directly at 847.377.8450.




Illinois , patient ,

Permanent link  State of the Health of Chicago summit convened


On June 4, the Institute of Medicine Chicago brought policymakers, health care providers and advocates together for a “State of the Health of Chicago” summit. The summit covered issues affecting the health of all city residents. Among the speakers were Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Dr. Ramanathan Raju, CEO of the Cook County Health and Hospital System, and Dr. Bechara Choucair, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

President Toni Preckwinkle spoke to the challenges of administering a social safety net health care system for 5.3 million residents. Some of the facts she shared during her talk:

  • 35 percent of the county budget is health care, or approximately $1 billion. 
  • 58 percent of inpatients in health care system have no insurance.
  • 8-10 percent of uninsured patients come from outside the county, from areas without public health hospitals.
  • The county will be replacing four board members within the next month.
  • There is a long lead time to fill positions within the healthcare system because of lawsuits over hiring.
  • While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act excludes undocumented workers, the county will continue to treat them.
  • The county is moving aggressively to obtain a waiver from the federal government to enroll residents who will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014 under health care reform.

Dr. Ramanathan Raju also spoke about the situation within the county. Specifically, he discussed difficulties in allocating resources, the need to emphasize primary and preventative care to reduce costs spent on specialty treatment, and the shift of uninsured patients from the city to the south suburbs.

Finally, Dr. Bechara Choucair, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Health, presented the city’s health care initiative, Healthy Chicago, which was launched in 2011. You can view the slidedeck from his presentation online. A few items worth noting:

  • HIV prevention is the largest unit within CDPH.
  • The city has recruited Dr. Stephanie Whyte to be the medical director of the Chicago Public Schools; school-based dental care is an important area of focus.
  • The city is partnering with seven federally qualified health centers to provide care.
  • The department wants to work with philanthopic groups to strengthen the Healthy Chicago initiative.

 The Institute of Medicine Chicago has pledged that this summit will be the first of many and that the dental community will be part of the agenda. We'll keep you informed.


access to care , Illinois ,