National Dental PBRN General Activities Testimonials

Randy Harvell, DMD, Hunstville, AL

Testimonal Posted on: Mar 20, 2013

I have been a member of the network for a number of years and have always found the open interaction with other practitioners to be one of the best parts of the annual meetings.  Although I covet the information garnered by the studies and presentation of the results, I find that I learn a lot from just hearing the open and honest experiences and observations of individual practitioners.  As individuals in an isolated private setting, we all make judgement calls and develop a personal "standard of care" which we adhere to in our diagnosis and treatment of patients.  Our clinical experience has guided and honed those standards over many years of practice.  Occasionally, something will come up in the literature that questions and even changes our minds on those standards and we modify and begin 'testing' the new standard in the little laboratory that is our office.  The same happens in our interactions with other practitioners we trust.  The multitude of interactions that occur at the network meetings magnify and accelerate that effect more than any other meeting I attend.  How much better it is to use the experience of so many to get the answers to real life problems! I believe this is what the network is all about.

An example of such a moment occurred during the breakouts this year at our annual meeting as we discussed a study proposal of cracked teeth, led by Dr. Jim Smith, a respected endodontist from Birmingham, AL. The practitioners around the table all shared how they currently handled the tooth which had obvious crack lines but no symptoms.  The consensus was to test with a bite stick and if asymptomatic to simply note and keep an eye on these cracks.  I have wavered back and forth over the years, having read suggestions both ways in the literature and among my group of friends.  I have had streaks of advocating crowns and 'watching' at other times.  However, the most unanimous agreement of the discussion group gave me confidence to use the more conservative standard for asymptomatic teeth in the future.  Although I will be interested to see the eventual results of the study down the road, and will no doubt garner further insights concerning the treatment of cracked teeth from it, as a practicing dentist I have to make decisions while awaiting those results, and so I use what I heard at the breakout to guide me where my 'standards' now tell me to go. 

Mike Bauer, DDS

Testimonal Posted on: Sep 2, 2011

I have been involved as a co-author on three manuscripts that have reported results from certain network studies. When contemplating the results and contributing to the discussion, I start to take inventory of my current practice patterns.

Recently I was involved in a manuscript that will report on the use of rubber dam by network dentists during root canal treatment. My practice pattern was to use it for all posterior teeth, but not all anterior teeth. I have changed that pattern as a result of my involvement. I met with my dental assistants to inform them of this change in my clinical practice. I also discussed these results with the other dentists in our clinic. One dentist, a 2008 graduate of the University of Minnesota, reported that she was taught that if you cannot place a rubber dam, the patient should be referred to an endodontist or an extraction should be considered. I can report that our clinic has used results from this  study and made changes that will improve the quality and safety of the care that we deliver to our patients. I can attest to the fact that National Dental PBRN participation has changed the way that I practice, and my patients benefit from this!

Dr. Noel Spurlock

Testimonal Posted on: Dec 29, 2010

Ms. Jennifer Guidoni, RDH

Testimonal Posted on: Aug 18, 2010

As a full time hygienist of a busy practice, I thought the participation in the studies would interrupt the normal course of the dental office. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out how easy these studies were. Our patients were very receptive to the fact that we were helping with a research project through the university. We had an appreciation from our patients when we asked them to be a participant. We have participated, as an office, in three studies and all of the personnel in our office have enjoyed them.

By participating as a researcher, I have witnessed a rejuvenation of my own efforts in the practice; being a hygienist for 27 years, you tend to need inspiration at times. This form of practice-based research has continued to encourage me to practice at the highest level achievable with each and every patient as it may ultimately influence others.

Paul Benjamin, DDS

Testimonal Posted on: Aug 7, 2008

The National Dental PBRN has had a positive influence on me and my practice. It has re-energized my enthusiasm by challenging me to improve my critical thinking. Doing these research studies has gently nudged me to stay current, making me a better clinical scientist and in doing so, has opened a new avenue for my professional development. Finally, by connecting me with other network dentists, this experience makes me feel less isolated from my colleagues.

Stanley Asensio, DDS

Testimonal Posted on: Aug 7, 2008

Being part of the National Dental PBRN has changed my life! It has given me the opportunity to see the clinical practice of dentistry in a different way. Since I began with the group, my diagnostic skills have been sharpened and my patient care has benefited. When you are a solo private practitioner, port holes that let you look into other offices, in order to learn what they do, is an invaluable tool. This connection has also given me the opportunity to meet some new friends. So, come on in and be part of the best practice-based research in dentistry today....

Louis Roque, DDS

Testimonal Posted on: Aug 5, 2008

Growing up with a deep love of science, it was only natural that I choose a career in the same field, but part of me still longed for the real science that only research can offer.

When I was approached by the  network, I did not hesitate; my answer had to be YES! The National Dental PBRN offers dentists like myself the opportunity to do real science and research while still practicing our livelihood.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to participate. DENTAL PRACTICE-BASED RESEARCH CHANGES LIVES.

Karen Raleigh, DDS

Testimonal Posted on: Sep 19, 2007

I was first encouraged to participate in the network by Dr. Brad Rindal. However it was at the regional meeting last fall when I really became enthusiatic as I listened to presenters and participants from around the world. I realized how much this impacts my day to day practice as well as the future of evidence-based dentistry.

Participating in the study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces" has fit smoothly into my practice and I find it pertinent to compare my initial diagnosis with my findings as I restore teeth. I would encourage everyone to get involved and to attend the regional meeting this year.

Randall Palmore, DMD, FAGD

Testimonal Posted on: Sep 7, 2007

I was thrilled when I first heard that our Dental School at UAB was awarded one of the three grants nationally to participate in a Dental Practice-Based Research Network. I knew immediately that I wanted my dental team to become a part of the “practitioner-investigators” withthe network .

As an Alabama dentist I felt this to be an incredible opportunity to participate in clinical studies that could impact my entire profession. Relevant clinical research will aid my fellow dentists and me in diagnosing and treating our patients with data collected from the “real world” of private practice.

Our office team has participated in research that looked at Root Canal Therapy in Diabetic Patients, an Oral Cancer Preventive Project, network study "Asessment of caries diagnosis and caries treatment" and study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces", both involving methods used to diagnose and treat dental caries. Our relationship with UAB through the network has been very rewarding for my entire team. Working with the network staff has been a pleasure. We take pride in our practice and our profession and we realize a solid scientific foundation is fundamental for the many different procedures we perform. Many of our patients have commented on our continued effort to give the very best care and the confidence knowing we are in “partnership” with UAB on research projects.

Barry E. Goodspeed, DDS

Testimonal Posted on: Sep 4, 2007

I attended the National Dental PBRN organizational meeting a couple of years ago and was curious to find out what kind of experience this would be. The human subjects training was very educational and informative. Network study "Assessment of caries diagnosis and caries treatment" was a simple but stimulating study on caries diagnosis. Study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces" involved a positive interaction with my patients. Not one patient declined to participate in the study. Most patients were eager to help real time dental research. Both studies helped me reconsider how often I watch carious lesions and helped open my routine to additional means of diagnosis such as illumination. I had the additional pleasure of aiding a study on bisphosphonate induced osteonecrosis; although my time spent supplying control patient data was minimal, the final findings of this study will be invaluable. All of the studies are most definitely worth the time, and the Ross Bridge Meeting is “lagniappe” as they say in New Orleans!

M. Wendy Holder, DMD

Testimonal Posted on: Sep 4, 2007

As a dental student, I had the unique opportunity of transferring from Emory Dental School, due to its closing, to the UAB School of Dentistry in my junior year. It became quickly apparent that each university system endorsed different methods for the same procedure. Upon graduation and working under the experience of a private dentist, I was exposed to still a different way of doing the same dental procedure. CE's and journal articles would suggest still another method of perform the same procedure. So which way is right? What really lasts and is of greater benefit for our patients?

The National Dental PBRN offers a way to find answers to these questions. Today, we as dental practitioners involved with the network, can gather information for current dental research. This will allow us as clinicians to challenge long held presumptions in the field of dentistry and continue to stay abreast of new knowledge. It gives us the opportunity to learn with others as we participate in these studies. With the aid of researchers we can set the parameters needed for testing and together we can have a significant positive impact on our patient population. We will be able to establish true best practices to improve our profession and enhance the level of care to our patients.

Charles J. Keith, DMD

Testimonal Posted on: Jul 18, 2007

My experience with the network has been very favorable beginning with the informational and relaxing weekend meeting at the Ross Bridge Resort in March.  After learning that the studies are designed to improve dental care through "real world" dental research rather than manufacturer-sponsored studies, I felt not only a desire, but also an obligation to my profession to participate. I have recently completed network study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces" which I found extremely easy to implement in my practice. Patients seemed to be impressed that our office was involved in international dental research and were eager to become involved. I look forward to participating in future studies and would urge more dental offices to become involved.

Dr. George J. Allen, DMD

Testimonal Posted on: Jul 17, 2007

The National Dental PBRN is an avenue that allows research to extend beyond a controlled clinical setting by performing research in private dental practices. In my dental career, I have been in situations where I have wondered how another dentist would diagnose and treat some of the cases I encounter. Prior to the formation of the network, the primary sources of information that were available came from dental journals, where research is conducted in a clinical setting. While these articles are helpful, I have found that procedures are sometimes done differently in a private office setting. The network is set up to research information like this by tapping the wealth of data that can be attained from everyday dental practitioners.

I was glad to attend the first class at UAB and wanted to be a part of the network. I have participated on several studies, but found  study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces" to be the most “hands on“ study thus far. I am looking forward to reviewing the results of all of the studies that the network has conducted. The research director and his research staff show a lot of enthusiasm for the program as was observed at the Ross Bridge meeting held in March of 2007. At this meeting, I had a chance to meet with other dentists that feel the same way as I do about this network. The “ Lunch and Learn” idea is very helpful, and makes it easier to participate in the project, because you have someone to call when you need assistance. I hope I can contribute to the network for many studies to come.

Gerald A. Anderson, DMD

Testimonal Posted on: Jul 17, 2007

I attended the network orientation meeting a few years back and was excited about participating with this group. I completed  study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces" on restorative materials a few months ago and was interested with what I learned about the types of materials I placed. It gave me great insight into how and where I used certain materials and an overall view of what I was doing. My patients were very interested in what I was doing and loved the fact that I was involved with cutting edge research. The training that our office received before beginning the study made every thing go so smoothly. I also attended the annual meeting in Birmingham in March 2007 and was so inspired to continue with this practice network to affect dental research first hand. This has been an opportunity that has greatly impacted not only my patients and staff but also my daily practice of dentistry.

Harold Emmons, DMD

Testimonal Posted on: Apr 23, 2007

Last year I had the opportunity to join the network. Although I have been practicing dentistry for 23 years, it has opened my eyes to the world of research. I have recently completed study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces". The fears of 'practice disruption' were unfounded. With the excellent training my staff received, the study quickly became second nature.

In March we had our first South Central regional meeting at Ross Bridge. The meeting had a variety of speakers, but the most important part of the meeting was the round table discussions. Leading one table, I was able to direct the conversation to give practical input regarding upcoming studies.

Patient response has been wonderful. No one has declined to be on the study. This involvement with UAB and the NIH brings us to the cutting edge of dentistry. It shows our patients that we care and that we want to constantly improve. And just as exciting is the expansion of involvement within the practice as my 2 partners become involved.

Mary T Wallace, DMD

Testimonal Posted on: Apr 10, 2007

I began working with the network from the initial meeting. It has gained momentum and is going strong. There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm from the onset, but I think there is even more passion about the projects now.

I worked with the DTC: Dental Tobacco Control ("An Internet Intervention to Improve Oral Cancer Prevention") project. My patients and staff were very excited that we were participating. I think they felt that our participation indicated a strong commitment to our patients' overall health-that we cared. We have had several of our patients actually quit smoking. They called us back months after their appointments and said, "Tell her I've quit, and thanks!" I think the project has made us much more aware of our responsibilities as health providers.

I attended the annual meeting of the South Central practitioner-investigators at Ross Bridge March 9th and 10th, 2007. It was fabulous-the informative seminars, the environment, and the wonderful food. I became aware of  study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces" and decided to participate. I'm eager to get started.

George Morarasu, DDS, PhD

Testimonal Posted on: Feb 27, 2007

 I learned that the network is all about a big family that wants to incorporate the day-to-day practice into research, so that research can then become part of daily clinical practice and the idea of "Evidence-based dentistry" gets a real basis.

Network study "Assessment of caries diagnosis and caries treatment" came with strategic relevance and timeliness impact. The study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces" followed and its relevance, efficacy and efficiency will bring a great institutional and practitioner development impact in the future.

The two studies go very well together and even if they bring us back to the basics they are a welcome refreshment, giving you perspective about what you are doing. Incorporating the studies in the practice came naturally, becoming a quick addition of the existing protocol.

The medical model, enhancing preventive care and incorporating risk management in the clinic, represents the avenue towards modern dentistry. PBRN will help us carry on the mission to bring this in everyday practice.

Edward C. Bozeman, Jr., DMD

Testimonal Posted on: Feb 8, 2007

I have been involved with the network from the outset. My first experience as a practitioner-investigator was  study "Assessment of caries diagnosis and caries treatment", which involved a written questionnaire that sought information that I use in my daily routine to make clinical decisions involving new carious lesions in my patients. I am presently in study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces" which requires a more in depth participation but one that was extremely easy to incorporate into my normal practice routine. The Research Coordinator provided the most thorough orientation and training to my office staff along with all the materials we needed to carry out the Study. She has followed up on our progress and provided any needed assistance along the way. During study "Reasons for placing the first restoration on permanent tooth surfaces" she even made some changes to reduce paperwork requirements which greatly reduced the time required to obtain patient consent. I am glad I chose to participate in the nertwork because I have great support from the research staff at UAB, it keeps me involved in the academic side of dentistry, and I believe the information we gather and share will improve the way dental care is delivered to our patients. I encourage all UAB dental alumni to seriously consider becoming a part of this project.

Martha Wallace, DMD, MPH, MS

Testimonal Posted on: Sep 6, 2005

The National Dental PBRN has had a significant positive impact on both me and my practice in that it offers professional interaction that is difficult for lone practitioners to find on a daily basis. It allows our patients the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge practical research. Moreover, we can answer routine and perplexing questions with our local colleagues as the research team. This allows us to develop our own opinions without relying as much on the manufacturers reps. This concept will surely grow in significance and usefulness to our practices.