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Fall 2015 Case Report Video Now Available:

See Case S.M. (Dr. Bruce M. Goldstein, Scottsdale, AZ)


Dr. Payam Owtad, the new editor of the PCSO Bulletin Case Report column, invites you to send your cases to be featured in the upcoming issues of the Bulletin. He is looking for cases that exhibit unique skeletal, dental, or occlusal problems, and allow for more than one treatment option. If you have a case that you think would be a good fit, or you have any questions about submitting a case, please contact Dr. Owtad at

Do you think braces or other orthodontic treatment may be in your child’s future? PCSO’s own Dr. Paul Kasrovi answers questions for those just getting started. click here to access article

Special Issue on Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)

In the Summer issue of the PCSO Bulletin, there's a special section focusing on CBCT. Included are clinical columns and “PCSO Program Talk,” which features a series of questions about CBCT posed to a group of respondents, such as PCSO Orthodontic Program Directors, Chairmen, or other participants.

Download the CBCT Special Issue here. 

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ADA Foundation awards nearly $124,000 to 25 recipients

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:45:19 -0700

Early education: The Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation, a Harris Grant recipient, uses its Baby Days program to serve children from low-income and Latino communities with oral health care.
The ADA Foundation awarded grants to 25 organizations nationwide from the Samuel D. Harris Fund for Children’s Dental Health program.  These grants support the efforts of organizations that are engaged in the battle to end early childhood caries.

The Foundation awarded nearly $124,000 to those nonprofit organizations, which work to prevent early childhood caries through educating parents, caregivers and pregnant women on oral health care.

The ADAF established the ADAF Harris Fund for Children’s Dental Health in 2000 to honor Dr. Samuel Harris, a distinguished pediatric dentist and philanthropist. Dr. Harris made a generous contribution in 1998 to endow a fund for oral health education and prevention of early childhood dental disease.

One of this year’s Harris Grant recipients is Asian Health Services, of Oakland, California, which received a $5,000 grant in recognition of its ongoing efforts to provide prenatal and postnatal oral health education to low-income, limited-English speaking Asian and Pacific Islander women.

Dr. Huong Le, chief dental officer at AHS, said 97 percent of its patients don’t speak English, so the center staffs linguists who speak the 12 Asian languages spoken at the center.

“This grant is so great,” Dr. Le said.

The ADAF also granted $5,000 to the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation, based in Cornelius, Oregon to expand its Baby Days program, which aids children from low-income and Latino communities with oral health care, along with other types of medical care.

Dr. Lisa Bozzetti, dental director of the organization, said the grant helps its efforts to serve Somali immigrants and their children. It will also train staff members on group facilitation techniques because much of the program involves group visits.

“I’m thrilled that we were selected,” Dr. Bozzetti said. “Grant funding is critical. Financial support is the key to doing this type of thing.”

Another 2015 ADAF Harris grantee is the Colorado-based non-profit Bright by Three, which plans on using its $5,000 grant to expand its Bright by Text program.  Bright by Text is a free, educational text-messaging system that sends frequent oral health tips, learning games and resources to parents of children under 36 months, said Jean McSpadden, CEO and president of Bright by Three.  With the grant, the successful program will be enlarged so that the system includes videos and Spanish-language versions.

“It’s been a true gift,” Ms. McSpadden said of the ADAF grant. “They are critically important. If we didn’t have grants, we’d have a hard time meeting our operational budget.”

The 2015 Harris Fund grant recipients are:

  • Affinia Healthcare, St. Louis, Missouri;
  • Asian Health Services, Oakland, California;
  • Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, Reno, Nevada;
  • Bright By Three, Denver, Colorado;
  • Children’s Dental Health Clinic, Long Beach, California;
  • Children’s Dental Services, Minneapolis, Minnesota;
  • Christ Centered Church Ministries, Oaklawn, Illinois;
  • Community Dental Care, Maplewood, Minnesota;
  • Community Dental Care, Grand Prairie, Texas;
  • Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Denver, Colorado;
  • Family Health Center of Boone County, Columbia, Missouri;
  • Kids Community Clinic of Burbank, Burbank, California;
  • Kids Smiles, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
  • Missouri Primary Care Association, Jefferson City, Missouri;
  • North County Health Services, San Marcos, California;
  • Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center, Pagosa Springs, Colorado;
  • Polk County Family & Community Outreach Department, Dallas, Oregon;
  • Texas Oral Health Coalition, San Antonio, Texas;
  • University of Florida Foundation Inc., Gainesville, Florida;
  • University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, Chicago, Illinois;
  • University of Rochester/Eastman Institute for Oral Health;
  • University of Washington Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Seattle, Washington;
  • Villa Therese Catholic Clinic, Santa Fe, New Mexico;
  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation and Health Center, Cornelius, Oregon;
  • Well Child Center, Elgin, Illinois.

The application period for the 2016 Harris Grants will open at the end of February 2016. For more information, go to

VRC scientists working on new class of dental resin composites

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:45:19 -0700

Dr. Sun
Gaithersburg, Md.— If ADA Foundation Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center project leader Jirun Sun, Ph.D., has anything to do with it, someday dentists will fill their patients' caries with a new, improved generation of dental resin composites.

Dr. Sun received a Ph.D. in polymer physics from Louisiana State University. His research at LSU focused on the preparation and characterization of nanoparticles, fibers and hydrogels using multiple methods, including small angle X-ray scattering and light scattering. Immediately after completing his Ph.D. in 2006, he was invited to study dental composites materials at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Dr. Sun came directly to the VRC in March 2009 after his post-doctoral studies at NIST. His primary focus at VRC is the development of dental restorative materials, including dental composites, and is principal investigator on a project called Novel Dental Resin Composites with Improved Service Life. In 2013, the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research awarded the VRC a five-year grant to support this project.

"For dental composites, there are three major parts," Dr. Sun said. "Resin networks, fillers, and coupling agents which connect the fillers and the resin networks. My projects focus on these three components."

Through his current composite project, Dr. Sun seeks to solve challenges about longevity for current dental resin composites. "The current dental resins were invented by Dr. Rafael Bowen in 1962, and have served well in treating cavities for decades," Dr. Sun said. "They are good, but they have limitations. The average service life of the composite made out of these resins is less than eight years. We want to increase the service length of composites by replacing the current resins with our new resins. Traditional composites contain ester groups, which can decompose or be degraded over time by water or by enzymes in saliva. With our new resins, we're using ether groups that won't degrade under the above challenges. We have already proved this in our new compounds. Enzymes don't appear to degrade our new resins. We want the new restorative materials to last a lifetime."

Dr. Sun sees promising results already. "It's in the early stage, but our concept is proven," he said. "With the current dental resins, we observed significant weight loss and mechanical performance reduction after only 16 days under enzymatic challenges. In contrast, our new resins showed no change."

For the fillers, Dr. Sun invented a self-healing system that can repair microcracks. One challenge to filling longevity is the detection and restoration of microcracks and fractures in the material after placing it in patients' teeth. The microcracks that might cause failure for the fillings are very difficult to detect and almost impossible to be repaired manually. Dr. Sun has confirmed that the new filler system can heal the microcracks without any external intervention, potentially increasing service life. In addition, this self-healing system is made with clinically tested, biocompatible materials, which makes it readily applicable to medical devices. Dr. Sun is patenting this system for dental applications.

Dr. Sun and his team, including postdoctoral research associates Drs. Yin Yang, George Huyang and Sheng Song, are also making a smart defense system utilizing the coupling agents to sense the environment change and release antimicrobial drugs when needed. This system applied advanced chemistry and nanotechnology into dental resin composites to achieve strength and targeted drug delivery simultaneously.

When all is said and done, Dr. Sun and his team might produce a dental composite that he said is a "dream come true": strong, durable, nontoxic, self-healing, and able to release antimicrobial drugs when needed.

One of the highlights for Dr. Sun of working at VRC is getting to collaborate with prestigious scientists including Dr. Laurence Chow and Dr. Rafael Bowen. Dr. Bowen, who headed VRC (then known as the Paffenbarger Research Center) from 1983-1994, patented the Bis-GMA/TEGDMA dental resin composite restorative system in 1962. Drs. Bowen and Sun applied for a patent together on the new dental resins in 2014.

"Dr. Bowen is an enthusiastic and productive researcher," Dr. Sun said. "To me, he's a working legend. It's really great for me to be able to team up with him."

Dr. Sun also appreciates working closely with his contemporary researchers at the VRC and his easy access to various experts on the NIST campus. "This is a very good environment for research. We can easily make contacts with scientific experts from various disciplines," he said. "Other researchers, like the project leaders right now, are pretty young. We're all working hard and we collaborate a lot, helping each other. That's a very friendly environment to work in. There are many opportunities and we are enjoying the work that we are doing."

The VRC is on the grounds at NIST, a federal government research campus, where it has been since 1928. Previously operated by the ADA and now by the ADA Foundation, the lab conducts unique research in cutting-edge fields of biomaterial and tissue engineering technologies.

ADA unveils revamped ADA Success program for dental students

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:45:19 -0700

Focused: University of Illinois at Chicago dental students listen at a "Managing Debt and Wealth" session, held Aug. 12 at ADA Headquarters. Fifty-six students attended one of the first sessions presented by the revamped ADA Success program.
In an effort to help dental students prepare for life as a dentist and boost student engagement with the ADA, the Association in August launched a revamped ADA Success program, which offers a series of programs on topics most relevant to students today.
"The new programs have a more modern look and more pertinent information, but will continue to be presented by member dentists who can share their 'real world' experience and create an emotional connection with students," said Dr. Rachel Hymes, ADA New Dentist Committee member. "We want dental students to know that the ADA is here for them, listening to their needs and concerns. We want them to be part of our great organization."
The Success Dental Student Program was re-branded to ADA Success as part of a program overhaul, overseen by the ADA New Dentist Committee. The new approach is aimed to help make the programs more broadly applicable to the current generation of dental students.

Today, ADA Success offers a series of live, in-person programs presented by ADA member dentists or other subject matter experts on the following topics:

  • Managing Debt and Wealth: Students can learn how to take control of their finances with budgeting and loan repayment information.
  • Future of Dentistry: Students can get acquainted with the forces shaping dental care market and practice environment.
  • Practice Management for All Dentists: Students can learn how to manage their business, staff and patients' expectations for practice success.
  • All About Associateships: Students can review types of associateships and receive tips on contracts and compensation.
  • Understanding Employment Agreements: Students can explore and understand the complexities of contracts.
  • Finding a Job: Students can learn more about their options and how to prepare for a career.

About 70 programs are currently scheduled — one of the first was held Aug. 12 at ADA Headquarters. Fifty-six students from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry Class of 2019 attended a "Managing Debt and Wealth" session, presented by Dr. Tom Sullivan, past-president of the Illinois State Dental Society and former ADA vice president.

Managing debt: Dr. Tom Sullivan, past-president of the Illinois State Dental Society and former ADA vice president, speaks to 56 University of Illinois at Chicago dental students on managing debt and wealth.
The Illinois State Dental Society sponsored the visit. The ADA and/or state and local dental societies present all ADA Success programs at no cost to the students or dental schools.

To participate, state and local dental societies, as well as American Student Dental Association chapters, can schedule, host, attend or promote ADA Success. The ADA Office of Student Affairs administers the program. To learn more, visit or contact Isabella Horning in the ADA Office of Student Affairs at