Regional Meeting of Midwest Practitioners

The 2014 Midwest Region meeting of practitioners was held March 8, 2014 at the Westin Galleria in Edina, Minnesota.  A total of 155 members including dentists, dental specialists, dental researchers and educators, and dental hygienists, dental therapists, and dental assistants attended and received continuing education credit. By invitation, two dental lab technicians also participated in the breakout session on successful crown fabrication.


Dr. Brad Rindal (Director of the Midwest Region) welcomed the group and shared information about the Midwest Region.  Dr. Don DeNucci (NIDCR Program Official) provided an update from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). He shed light on the study development process and illustrated how practitioners have and can continue to be involved in many ways. He highlighted and encouraged participation in upcoming studies including:
·         Isolation methods survey (launched January 2014)
·         Cracked teeth registry (pilot study launched in April 2014)
·         Suspicious occlusal caries
·         Management of dentin hypersensitivity
·         Human papilloma virus and oropharyngeal cancer pilot study
·         Predicting successful single-unit crowns
·         Management of TMJD pain patients 
Practitioners Paul Benjamin, DMD and Pat Foy, DDS shared their engaging and personal journeys into practice-based research and highlighted how the experience has improved their practice and provided opportunities for the profession not known before. In the second half of the morning, two scientific keynote presentations were followed by large group discussion. The first by Dr. Eric Schiffman presented the results of a survey from the Collaboration on Networked Dental and Oral Research (CONDOR) dental practice-based research networks which characterized the management of patients with painful TMJD by dentists in their everyday practices.  He also announced the opportunity for dentists to participate in a National Dental PBRN study assessing management of TMJD pain patients in the Network. Reception to the study was enthusiastic amongst meeting participants. The second presentation by Dr. Griselle-Ortiz Ramsey and Dr. Brad Rindal was on the emerging science related to oral health status and human papillomavirus (HPV). Dr. Rindal also shared details on the upcoming Network pilot study examining the feasibility to help screen for HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer in dental settings. The pilot study utilizes a confidential tablet-based behavioral questionnaire and (for those individuals identified as high-risk) salivary diagnostics. For patients whose salivary test indicates they are HPV positive, the pilot study proposes involvement of ENT/OMFS referral for a complete examination and a blood test likely conducted in a community-based lab setting. Meeting attendees provided positive feedback to the study as it is proposed and underscored the relevance of and enthusiasm to address the topic.
Facilitators from across the Network hosted breakout sessions. Following short presentations, members participated in round table discussions with colleagues from across the Midwest and discussed feedback that might inform study development and questions that may lead to new study ideas.
  • Suspicious occlusal caries lesions and incomplete caries removal—facilitated by Jim Bader, DDS, MPH
  • Management of dentin hypersensitivity—facilitated by Dorota Kopycka-Kedzierawski, DDS, MPH
  • Factors associated with successful crowns— facilitated by David Louis, DDS
Working meetings took place around special interest groups that have emerged or further developed since last year’s meeting to advance research agendas and specific studies in the Network.
  • Endodontic interest group—facilitated by Don Nixdorf, DDS, MS and Alan Law, DDS, PhD
  • Orthodontic interest group—facilitated by Greg Huang, DMD, MSD, MPH
  • TMD study discussion group—facilitated by Eric Schiffman, DDS, MS
The large group reconvened for the closing session to recap themes that emerged from discussion groups. Dr. Vanessa Burton, Midwest Executive Committee member, spoke about the year in review on the Executive Committee and expounded on the privilege of representing the Network in this way as a general dentist in full-time practice.
Thank you to all who attended and helped to facilitate this informative and enjoyable meeting.