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What's Coming Up

Orthodontic programs incentivize board exam as the ‘gold standard’ - Dr. Jae Park, PCSO Bulletin Editor, was interviewed by the Dental Tribune.  Read more here.

PCSO Board of Directors Update -
Click here

Winter 2015 Case Report Video Now Available:

See Case J.S. (Dr. Harry (Hap) Dougherty, Jr.)


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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Highlight slide show from the 
79th Annual Session - Palm Springs, CA

Annual Session Lectures - Podcasts - Webinars   
Click here to view our free library of  lectures series:   

2014 Annual Session  

2015 Annual Session Podcasts   
2009 - 2012 Webinars

No CE credit is available for on-line lectures.

Study will determine whether electronic dental records can be used for clinical research

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 14:51:07 -0800

Indianapolis — Researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University School of Dentistry will explore the feasibility of using electronic dental records data for clinical research.

The study is thanks to a $1.2 million, three-year grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research's National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. The researchers will conduct an analysis of electronic dental records of patients treated by community dentists across the United States.

Investigators will use data mined from the electronic dental records of thousands of individual dental practice members of the National Institutes of Health-supported National Dental Practice-Based Research Network to assess treatment outcomes for posterior composite restorations and for root canal procedures. The researchers will also explore the feasibility of combining data from different electronic dental record systems with their varying formats and operating systems.

"This work is very timely in terms of the future of patient care. Dental research has not been as robust as medical research. With this study of electronic dental records, that gap will narrow," said Regenstrief Institute investigator Dr. Thankam Thyvalikakath, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Dental Informatics Core of the Indiana University School of Dentistry, the principal investigator on the new grant. "We will be closing the circle between data acquisition and data use at the point of care to ultimately improve clinical practice. This will enable dentists to examine both their recordkeeping practices and clinical outcomes."

The researchers will collect demographics, reason for visit, medical and dental history, social history, tooth characteristics and treatment, as well as practice and practitioner characteristics.

"Better management and analysis of electronic dental record data are essential to improving the oral health of the public in the digital age," Dr. Thyvalikakath said. "With this work, we and other researchers will gain a better understanding of what's going on at the dental offices where most Americans receive care. And if in the future, community dentists can query anonymous data on their patients — as well as the patients of thousands of other providers — and search, for example, the long-term success of root canals or how long restorations last, they will have information critical to quality improvement, a goal that all patients support."

Dr. Thyvalikakath is the founding director of the IU School of Dentistry's Dental Informatics Core. The core's primary objective is to enhance patient care through improving data capture and documentation, designing clinical systems to support clinicians' and patients' needs, and facilitating communication to promote coordinated care among medical providers.

"In the emerging climate of 'big data,' this coordinated data mining will be a huge leap forward in dental informatics, enabling us to have access to clinical outcomes that was not possible before," said John N. Williams, dean of the IU School of Dentistry. "The results could affect how we educate oral health care providers in designing the most effective, evidence-based treatments."

The Regenstrief Institute's Center for Biomedical Informatics is focused on the mission "better health through informatics." The center is a global collaborative research-and-learning organization, developing and evaluating innovative informatics solutions.

In Cleveland, dental students spark senior smiles

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 14:51:07 -0800

Dr. Suparna A. Mahalaha and Dr. Nicole Harris in the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine renovated van
Care on wheels: Drs. Suparna Mahalaha (left) and Nicole Harris sit in a 38-foot van which visits nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to treat about 95 seniors. Both visiting assistant professors serve as co-directors Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine’s Geriatric Dental Program. Photo by John Quinn/ Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland — More senior citizens here are receiving dental care thanks to a new Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine initiative and a renovated 38-foot van.

In the school’s new Geriatric Dental Program, nursing home and assisted-living facility residents are invited to come aboard the “Lifelong Smiles” van to receive full-service oral care.

As of Jan. 28, “95 seniors and counting” are receiving care through the dental van, and about 500 residents and nursing staff has received oral health education as part of an outreach effort of the program, said Dr. Suparna A. Mahalaha, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Community Dentistry and co-director of the new program.

“There’s almost no difference between our van and a traditional dentist’s office,” said Dr. Nicole Harris, a visiting assistant professor in the school’s Department of Community Dentistry.

In addition, the program, which launched on Aug. 10, 2015, serves as a teaching tool for dental students who began clinical rotations on the van last fall semester. Third-year dental students take classes in providing oral care to seniors while fourth-year students complete clinical rotations in the van. Completing the geriatric program is mandatory for all dental students.

“There’s a perception it’s more difficult to treat seniors, which has kept many dentists in their comfort zones, avoiding these patients,” said Dr. James Lalumandier, chair and professor in the dental school’s Department of Community Dentistry. “We want to reverse that — and need to — given our current and future dental needs.”

The Geriatric Dental Program was created, in part, as a response to a growing senior population in the U.S., said Dr. Lalumandier.

“Often, underserved elderly populations cannot go out and get care on their own. So we’re building a model where we go to them,” said Dr. Mahalaha. “At the same time, by providing students experience with older patients, we’re planting a seed in them to serve seniors during their careers.”

The van pays weekly visits to two assisted-living residential day programs in Cleveland, and the dental school is looking to expand the number of locations students serve.

Father-son duo tie ADA meetings to family vacations

Sat, 06 Feb 2016 14:51:07 -0800

Drs. Donald and Russell Taylor
Poquoson, Va. — As a child, Dr. Russell Taylor had "quite a few family vacations" that coincided with trips to ADA annual meetings because his father, Dr. Donald Taylor, was a dentist.

But it wasn't until ADA 2015 – America's Dental Meeting that the younger Dr. Taylor attended his first annual meeting as a dentist, accompanied by his father.

With the ADA meeting not far from his family's practice in the small Chesapeake Bay town of Poquoson, Dr. Russell Taylor continued the family tradition of bringing his own family along with him to annual meetings. "Having the meeting in Washington, D.C, just a stone's throw away, certainly simplified traveling," he said. "Not only was it convenient, but D.C. has many great outlets for entertainment whether it be dining out or touring one of the many national museums.  It certainly gave the family a plethora of things to see while we attended the ADA meeting."

One of the highlights of the annual meeting was the Welcome Reception, which allowed those attending to privately tour the National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History. "It was incredibly unique and we enjoyed the exclusiveness," Dr. Russell Taylor said before making a Ben Stiller flick reference. "We were just waiting for the exhibits to come alive like in the movie."

Experiencing the meeting with his father was a special treat for the son, who, like his dad, is a graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry at the Medical College of Virginia. "After classes we would meet up for lunch or tour the exhibit hall looking for any potential equipment needs or services for our practice," he said. "After the day ended we would meet up with our families and go enjoy a family evening out. Of course on our days off we enjoyed sightseeing around Washington with our family."

Dr. Russell Taylor didn't have too much time off, though. He attended no fewer than nine CE courses at ADA 2015, ranging from Implant Surgery and Bone Grafting Techniques to Esthetic Smile Design. "The ADA puts together some top-rated speakers," he said. "Having such a large meeting affords a vast selection of courses which can be tailored to any preference. We both enjoyed learning about new techniques and new technologies that we can incorporate into our everyday practice.  From live implant surgeries to hands-on cadaver courses to excellent case presentations we had an overall great time."

Having such a memorable experience at his first ADA annual meeting as a dentist has convinced Dr. Russell Taylor to consider coming to — with his family in tow — ADA 2016 in Denver. "What better way to enjoy yet another family vacation?" he said. "We look forward to hiking around and enjoying what Denver and the Rockies have to offer while enjoying some quality CE."

ADA 2016 – America's Dental Meeting will convene in Denver Oct. 20-25.

ADA 2016 registration will open in the spring. For the most updated information, visit