[Webinar] 5 Simple Recommendations to Maintain Your Handpiece

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Powerful-1.jpgDental handpieces have evolved significantly over the years and they remain a vital part of dentistry today. The care and maintenance of these instruments is essential to preserving not only the life of the instrument but its proper function as well. Understanding how to clean and maintain these handpieces and their components properly will help the clinician achieve optimal results.

Since the dental handpiece is vital to daily practice, its care and maintenance is important for preserving long-term function. Practitioners have both air-driven and electric handpieces and, though each is slightly different from the other, certain “best practices” for their maintenance apply to both handpiece options. To provide optimal patient care, it is important for practitioners to understand methods to clean and maintain handpieces and their components. Within this training event, attendees will learn how to evaluate the need for cleaning and proper maintenance steps.

Learning objectives include:

  • How to properly clean and sterilize the handpiece
  • Avoiding common mistakes with handpiece maintenance
  • Proper care for lights and involved components
  • Differences in air turbines and electric options
  • When to send handpieces for repair or replacement

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Tags: webinar, dental handpiece, handpiece maintenance, air-driven handpiece, electric handpiece

Understanding Three Approaches to Disease Prevention

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Oct 24, 2017 @ 10:45 AM

Dental-root-tip-infections-increase-risk-for-heart-disease-Study.jpgDisease prevention in dentistry can be categorized based on scientific findings in the literature and on the oral health of the patient. To help mitigate the need for more invasive procedures, preventive measures can be a more conservative alternative that allows the patient and the practitioner to work together to achieve optimal oral health. A THE NEXTDDS webinar presentation from Dr. Kenneth Markowitz entitled, “Clinical Application of Disease Detection and Management for Preventive Dentistry” outlines several factors to consider planning such an approach for your patients.

Primary Prevention

Prevention applies to all stages of the disease process, but in primary prevention, the dentist is looking at the earliest stages of disease, or even before evidence of any disease occurs to begin the necessary protocols. Primary prevention is about developing a healthy “dental career” in individual patients. This is achieved through oral health promotion, enabling individuals to adopt healthy behaviors from birth.1

Instilling a proactive approach (a brush-floss-rinse regimen, education on power and manual toothbrushes, etc.) improves the oral health and quality of life of patients in a way that is not costly and before any serious issues develop. Here, there is also the possibility of detecting other early-stage issues, such as oral cancer, that will lead to immediate treatment planning and intervention.

Secondary Prevention

In secondary prevention, the goal is to limit the complications of an already established disease. Secondary prevention focuses on interfering with the disease process before signs and symptoms appear.2 Using a minimally invasive approach, a practitioner hopes to repair or stop further damage once the disease has already occurred.

Various visualization and detection tools are available to the dentist seeking to apply secondary prevention, including digital radiography, intraoral scanners, and digital cameras. This type of preventive care is harder to implement consistently in the philosophy of a modern practice. For example, despite these efforts in primary and secondary prevention, millions of people are still affected by chronic periodontitis and/or caries disease.3 However, methods such as the CAMBRA look to manage causative factors of disease in at-risk patients.

Tertiary Prevention

In tertiary prevention, the clinical focus is on the progression of disease with complications. Tertiary prevention is the management of patients with chronic periodontitis through nonsurgical and surgical therapy and maintenance to avoid further damage by the disease process.3 A key factor in this type of prevention is managing the disease when it has reached an advanced stage.

Tertiary prevention encompasses methods and measures that should remove existing complications and prevent their further possible progression. Treatments for the dental pulp, periodontium, and dental prosthetics fall into this tertiary category.4 Dentists who treat populations with high levels of dental disease often implement a tertiary prevention approach.1


Dentists are granted the opportunity to work together with patients, allowing them to significantly alter oral health for the better by regularly treating and managing. Instead of relying on the operatory and surgical approach to dentistry, an emphasis for patient education and intervention should be the first priority. New dentists should aspire for a minimally invasive type of practice that has its roots in communication and conservative care, leaning on the goals of primary as well as secondary prevention if necessary. Learn more about what specific things you can do during prevention by listening to the full webinar.

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1. Richards W. Prevention in practice. British Dental Journal. 2008 Aug 9;205(3):111. Accessed September 14, 2017.

2. Stedman's Medical Dictionary. 28th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.

3. Kumar S. Exploring prevalence and prevention. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. May 2015;13(5):53–59. Accessed September 14, 2017.

4. Dostálová TCA, ed. Dentistry and Oral Diseases. Prague, Czech Republic: Grada Publishing; 2010.

Tags: oral health, disease prevention, primary prevention, secondary prevention, Tertiary Prevention

[Webinar - RE-SCHEDULED] Networking Is More Than a Group Chat

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 @ 10:13 AM


Finding gainful employment after graduation is an important step in a new dentist’s journey into the profession. It is important for dental students to plan their futures and fully understand the different styles of practice that will be available, and steps to identify the opportunity or practice environment best suited for their professional development. Recommendations for timing will be presented in this virtual learning event, as will best practices for networking peers, faculty, industry, online, and even associations.

Whether your goal is to land an associateship job at that great new practice in town, or you’re looking to pursue a career in education or any of the other methods of employment, it all boils down to making those important professional connections that will jumpstart your career. Networking and building your communication skills is the first step to landing a meaningful first job.

Additional topics of exploration within this webinar are:

  • Avoiding a “gap” between graduation and associateship
  • Challenges facing dental students upon graduation (licensure, relocation, debt, etc.)
  • Deciding between associateship, residency, and DSO-supported practice, with emphasis on the ADMI practice model
  • Understanding different practice models through shadowing, observation, and networking
  • Exploring online sources (including dental associations) for opportunities
  • Recommendations for successful interviewing

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Tags: networking, webinar

[Webinar] Periodontal Disease, Oral Biofilms and Diabetes – Understanding the Link

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Sat, Oct 14, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

diabetes-check.jpgOver 20 million Americans have diabetes today, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control predicts that nearly 1 in 3 will develop diabetes during their lifetime. This means future dental professionals will be challenged to manage the oral care of individuals—in increasing numbers—who have this disease.

Thus, it is important for clinicians to understand the types of diabetes, the impact of diabetes (the 7th leading cause of death among Americans), the associated risk factors among their patients, and both surgical and non-surgical therapy options for individuals with diabetes.

Emerging research also suggests that the relationship between serious periodontal disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious periodontal disease, but serious periodontal disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Research suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.1

The following topics will be covered within this learning event:

  • Extent of the U.S. adult population with diabetes and periodontal disease
  • Understanding insulin production and insulin action
  • Tests and criteria used in diagnosis of diabetes
  • Health issues associated with diabetic patients
  • Exploration of risk factors for individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Prevention of diabetes complications
  • Managing dental patients who have diabetes

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  1. Diabetes and Oral Health Problems. American Diabetes Association. Published October 10, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2017.


Tags: periodontal disease, webinar, oral biofilms, diabetes

[Webinar] 3 Keys to Removing Existing Restorations

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Oct 04, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

bigstock-Woman-Teeth-before-and-after-d-136044017.jpgRestorative dentistry is the study, diagnosis and integrated management of diseases of the oral cavity, the teeth and supporting structures. It includes the rehabilitation of the teeth and the oral cavity to functional, psychological and aesthetic requirements of the individual patient.

In daily clinical practice, dentists often encounter existing restorations that must be replaced during the course of treatment. Materials used for these fixed prosthetics include all-metal (non-precious and those with gold and other alloys), porcelain-fused-to-metal, zirconia, and other all-ceramic solutions. Efficient removal of each type of restoration presents a different challenge chairside, whether for endodontic therapy, prosthetic replacement, or a combination of the two. Carbides are often used for cutting metal crowns; diamond burs for cutting ceramic restorations, and both must be applied with the appropriate instrumentation and technique.

This activity will present guidelines for an efficient approach and address the following:

  • Review of current restorative materials
  • Best practices for preparation technique
  • Visualization and isolation of the treatment site
  • Proper instrumentation for speed and cutting efficiency
  • Importance of rotary selection
  • Improving from “acceptable” to “proficient” chairside

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Tags: webinar, restorations, removing restorations

[Webinar - RE-SCHEDULED] Considering an Associateship? 10 Key Questions You Need Answered

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Mon, Oct 02, 2017 @ 09:24 AM

Lead-Dentist-with-Group.jpgComing out of dental school, many graduates seek advice on how to best approach an associateship and the responsibilities that lie within the position. Despite the confidence that comes from getting your degree, there is still a new world in dentistry to explore: working with a mentor, dealing with more patients, and applying yourself to the everyday hustle of a practice.

Nearly two of three graduating dentists will seek employment after dental school. Dental practices today differ in their geographic location, operational structure, clinical focus, compensation models, and a host of related factors that must be readily understood by dental students approaching their transition into daily practice. This presentation will highlight key questions that must be asked and answered in order for a new dentist to evaluate a potential associateship opportunity.

Topics covered in the virtual training event include:

  • Type of patients treated / procedures performed in the practice
  • Patient allocation/distribution between associate and employer dentists
  • Compensation models and benefits packages
  • Onboarding process for new hires
  • Coverage of professional liability insurance
  • Mentorship and/or training opportunities offered for professional development, particularly emphasizing the onboarding and support afforded by ADMI

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Tags: associateship, graduating dental students, webinar

[Webinar] Inflammation and the Oral Health Relationship

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 @ 01:00 PM

Periodontal-Probe.jpgThe connection between periodontal disease and other diseases in the body has been explored throughout the dental literature over the last several decades. Bacteria present in periodontal disease were once thought to play a cause-and-effect role in systemic disease, yet emerging research has instead attributed this link to inflammation.

As a consequence, dental professionals aim to control inflammation in order to help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke). This will be traced in subsequent events in our upcoming virtual training event series that focuses on periodontal disease and its systemic conditions and relationship to other severe diseases.

Other key topics that will be explored in this webinar include:

  • Etiology and prevalence of periodontal disease
  • The role of biofilms, bacteria, and bacterial byproducts
  • Understanding the body’s inflammatory process
  • Potential pathways (e.g., bacteremia, provocation of an autoimmune response, and aspiration/ingestion of oral contents) affecting oral-systemic health
  • Overview of impact on heart health, respiratory disease, diabetes, stroke, and similar.
  • Clinical management and the importance of oral health instruction (OHI) for the at-risk patient

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Tags: periodontal disease, webinar, oral health, inflammation, oral inflammation

[Webinar] The Dental Handpiece and Its Role in Daily Practice

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 @ 02:00 PM

Create It.jpg

Today’s dental practice could not exist without the dental handpiece. The evolution of the handpiece has fundamentally changed the way clinicians care for their patients, providing an efficient and effective means of tooth preparation. Handpieces exist in both air-driven and electric options, and each has specific features and considerations for use. Air-driven and electric handpieces are slightly different in design, and future practitioners should understand their differences and advantages. This first virtual training event will discuss their characteristics and cutting potential.

Practitioners have both air-driven and electric handpieces and, though each is slightly different from the other, certain “best practices” for their maintenance apply to both handpiece options. Since the dental handpiece is vital to daily practice, its care and maintenance is important for preserving long-term function.

Additional discussion topics include:

  • Major developments in handpiece technology
  • Design of air-driven handpieces
  • Accessibility to intraoral locations
  • Ergonomics of air turbines
  • Cutting operation of air-driven and electric handpieces
  • Introduction to maintenance considerations

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Tags: webinar, dental handpiece, handpiece maintenance, air-driven handpiece, electric handpiece

3 Important Oral Health Questions to Ask Your Patients

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 @ 01:00 PM

One important aspect of your experience as a new practitioner is the patient - dentist relationship. Honesty and sensitivity both aid in developing this bond.  As a new dentist, it’s crucial to gain an understanding of the patients’ oral health habits  and provide proper instruction when any deficiencies are noted. Certainly, poor oral hygiene and lack of proper care can lead to plaque buildup  as well as periodontal disease. According to the World Health Organization, 60% to 90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults worldwide have dental caries (1). These data may seem daunting  but, as you know, these issues can be overcome. Ask a patient these three questions to learn about his or her oral care maintenance and determine how you can provide guidance toward optimal oral health.

Do You Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily?

bigstock-Brushing-Teeth-241344.jpgAccording to an article on the Dimensions of Dental Hygiene website, less than half of children brush their teeth twice a day. (2) The most common step towards improving oral health is brushing regularly. However, there are a few particulars your patients should keep in mind. Be sure to stress the importance of brushing twice each day, and spending about two minutes doing so. Advocate the use of a timer if necessary. Patients should also be reminded to replace their toothbrush every three to four months. Here are a few proper brushing techniques to advocate with your patients:

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gingiva
  2. Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes
  3. Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces


Are You Flossing After Every Meal?

As you know, brushing  and flossing go hand-in-hand. According to the ADA, only 40% of Americans floss daily and 20% of Americans do not floss at all. (3) Many people brush twice daily but forget to remove debris interproximally. Inform the patient that  once the outer surfaces of the teeth are clean, it’s pertinent to clean between them as bacteria still linger between teeth where the bristles can’t reach. Share these flossing technique with every patient. (4) bigstock-woman-smile-with-tooth-floss-178781266.jpg

  1. Hold the floss tightly between the index fingers and thumbs, slide it gently up-and-down between the teeth
  2. Curve the floss gently around the base of each tooth, making sure to go subgingivally
  3. Make sure to use the clean sections of floss while moving from tooth to tooth
  4. To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth


What Does Your Daily Diet Consist Of?

Express the importance of healthy dietary options. Your patient may not know how the food he or she consumes can largely affect their oral health. (5) Advise the patient to reduce the number of snacks eaten during the day. However, if an individual chooses to eat between meals, it’s wise to make healthier snack choices like fruits and vegetables rather bigstock-Food-4708340.jpgthan sugar-based options that can contribute to caries. Tell your patients to keep these tips in mind when choosing meals and snacks:

  • Drink six to eight glasses of water daily.
  • Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Unsweetened grains
  4. Low-fat and fat-free dairy foods
  5. Lean sources of protein such as dry beans, peas, lean beef, fish, and skinless poultry


 These three considerations should be embedded in the minds of all patients looking to improve their oral health. Building rapport with your patients begins with congeniality and honesty. Let each know how to properly care for their teeth. A few extra minutes out of the day and smarter food choices, along with proper professional intervention, can ensure that the oral cavity is preserved and protected. This will surely establish to a cohesive bond with your patients as they achieve that fresh, healthy, and clean smile.


  1. World Health Organization. “Oral Health.” Published April 2012. Accessed August 25, 2017.
  2. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, 1ADAD, Accessed 23 Aug. 2017
  3. ADA News. “Survey finds shortcomings in oral health habits” October 20, 2014. Accessed August 22, 2017
  4. Brushing Your Teeth. Mouth Healthy TM. Accessed August 22, 2017
  5. Desiree, Yazdan, DDS, MS Published January 2017. Accessed August 24, 2017


Tags: dental health, brushing, flossing, oral health, eating healthy

Associateships: What Important Traits Should You Look to Improve?

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

dentist-and-practitioners.jpgAre you still looking for an associateship, searching to align your practice philosophy with an employer dentist who fits your approach perfectly? Or have you instead finally been able to lock in that associateship position and are awaiting your starting date? Wherever you land on the spectrum, there are many ways in which you can improve your personal skills to be a better associate once you join the dental practice.

If you’re apprehensive about this first phase of your career in dentistry, don’t fret! Courtesy of Dr. Bianca Velayo, this recent THE NEXTDDS live training event entitled “7 Simple Strategies for Successful Associateship” highlights several ways that a new associate or future associate can improve their preparedness.

Communicate Effectively

Take a look at your interpersonal skills. Communication is a huge part of any job, and becoming an associate or eventual practice owner means even more connections between your staff and the patients you’re treating. When staff members look to you for leadership, and patients begin to put their trust in you, how are you choosing to best deliver your message? Think about the three basics of communication: body language, tone of voice, and your choice of words. If your communication needs work, focus on each of these fundamentals to build better social skills. In addition, establishing a good rapport with your employer dentist will be key to forming a lasting mentor relationship that will constantly be guiding you to your next steps both personally and professionally.

Build Patient Rapport and Trust

Establishing effective communication skills will translate into your conversations with patients. Make eye contact, have a firm handshake, and keep the patient comfortable. It’s also of importance to listen to their concerns and complaints. Lean in and get the patient to relay as much information to you as possible in order to determine an accurate diagnosis, and further continue the necessary steps into treatment and case acceptance. On your end, make sure to educate the patient on his or her treatment options, rather than advocating one over the other. Each patient is an individual with distinct needs, concerns, and comfort levels. Once you build a patient-centric approach, delivering treatment in an ethical way will become second nature. This will lead to long-term patients, referrals, and consistent production.

dentalcareforelderlyjpg.jpgWhile it might be easy to treat patients like family members, there may be patients that are tougher to manage. It’s important to relay treatment options to them in a relatable way, and believe in your diagnosis so that patients can truly witness your expertise as a dentist. If they reject treatment, be assertive in your approach, and they’ll soon trust that you hold the keys to their health. If a patient has a broken tooth that needs a crown, and the patient instead asks you why he or she can’t opt-in for a filling instead, stand your ground. Patients who try to self-diagnosis may think they can take advantage of your youth or excitable nature to change the treatment plan. If you succumb to their wishes every time, they may lose trust in you. Be an assertive new dentist that stands behind their diagnosis.

Time Management

You might be used to the three-hour block exams and treatment plans in dental school, but those days will soon be over. Patients typically don’t have that kind of time, so you should respect the time they take to come in for an appointment. As an associate, building speed and compliance comes with practice, practice, and more practice! Ask for help when you need it, be open to feedback, and try to become more focused with less breaks to help build this new skillset. Instead of relying on your smartphone, wear a watch to be aware and keep track of your time, and set reasonable goals to try to slowly trim the time it’ll take you to perform a clinical task.


An associateship comes with a substantial amount of responsibility, and a learning curve to overcome. Whether it’s becoming familiar with your duties, working alongside your team members, or coming face-to-face with patients that are in need of treatment right away, there’s a lot of different circumstances coming your way. If you make a solid effort to improve upon your personal tools, you’ll have an easier transition as you begin coming into contact with your peers and patients every day. Good luck and success in your associateship!

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Tags: associateship, communicating with patients, communication, patient communication, personality traits, leadership traits, patient rapport, patient trust

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