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Permanent link  High tech caries detection: Our interview with Midwinter speaker Dr. John Flucke

01/18/2010


At the age of three, Dr. John Flucke performed his first extraction (on his older sister's loose tooth) and immediately thereafter announced to his mother that he was going to be a dentist. He now has a practice in Lee's Summit, MO, and is clearly passionate about what he does. He writes a new post for his Dental Technology Blog nearly every day and is also known as dentistry's "Technology Evangelist." He will be teaching the course "Advanced Digital Caries Detection" at the Midwinter Meeting. You can also follow Dr. Flucke at his Twitter account, @jflucke.

Q: What drew you to the topic of advanced digital caries detection?

Dr. John Flucke:
I've always been a "why" person. Why we do the things we do and how we can do them better fascinates me. Caries detection is intrinsically part of dentistry so I really wanted to become familiar with the new devices and why they can help.

Q: What will this course look like?

JF: It's a lecture format that goes over the devices that are currently available.

Q: In your opinion, what is the best or most effective caries detection device on the market today?

JF:
My answer to that would be "it depends." All of them are accurate and provide valuable data. The choice really comes down to how a practice operates. In a fast-paced, high patient-turnover practice, some devices will be better suited than others.

Q: What are the best new treatments for dental decay?

JF: Minimally invasive/more conservative treatment modalities are definitely the way to go if the situation will allow it. Self-etching resins are now a reality and other changes are coming that will allow us to minimally restore with ease.

Q: What do you think are the biggest deficiencies in most dental offices with regards to caries detection?

JF: Many people feel that finding caries can be done just as easily with traditional methods and that is just not the case. I've had people tell me that they are just fine with an explorer. It's all about educating doctors and then helping our patients.

Q: How many times have you been to the Midwinter Meeting?

JF: Wow, I think every year since 1996 or so.

Q: What's your advice for visiting Chicago in February?

JF: Bring something to cover your ears! One year I didn't do that and looked like an idiot as I ran around the city with my gloved hands pressed to the side of my head! Seriously, don't let the cold deter you. Chicago is one of the best cities in the world for a reason. You've got to get out there and explore it!

Q: Do you have any tips or tricks for navigating the Meeting?

JF: If you know you are looking for certain things, make a list and then get a map of the show floor and map out your route. Also, the second day on the show floor is not usually as busy as the first day.

Q: Do you defy any "dentist stereotypes"? Can you share any other fun personal facts?

JF: I'm a combination geek/dentist personality type. I'm completely process driven and I've been known to drive people crazy asking questions about how/why things work the way they do. I don't sleep much and I always take off my left shoe first.

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