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Industry News

April 1, 2009
Lisa Copeland, RDH, is a born competitor who is continually training for the next triathlon.

Philips gives award to Copeland

Lisa Copeland, RDH, is a born competitor who is continually training for the next triathlon. In Copeland's professional life, she drives for success as well, helping her earn the Philips Sonicare 2008 Professional Educator of the Year Award.

“Watching Lisa work is like watching her swim; polished, powerful, and efficient,” says her supervisor, Noel Paschke, senior manager of professional education.

In addition to the Philips Award, Lisa's accomplishments will be commemorated with a path brick at the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore.

Rhodes retire from SmartPractice

After 36 years of dedication to the family business, SmartHealth co-founders Jim and Naomi Rhode, RDH, announced their retirement from the SmartPractice Board of Directors. Curt Hamann, M.D., president and chief executive officer, was named the new chairman of the SmartHealth, Inc. Board of Directors.

From left, Susan Ferrante, RDH, Sr. Mgr. Academic Relations, Colgate-Palmolive; Betsy Reynolds, RDH, MS; Gail Bemis-Stoops, RDH, BSDH, Sr. Mgr. Professional Relations, Philips-Sonicare; Karen Raposa, RDH, MBA, Sr. Mgr. Professional Relations, Colgate-Palmolive; and Ann Eshenauer Spolarich, RDH, MS, PhD. Colgate and Philips Sonicare continue to host their Wellness Connection Symposia. In an ongoing collaboration with local dental hygiene associations, Colgate and Sonicare offer all-day CE events with top speakers such as Reynolds and Spolarich. Each invitation-only event draws 175 dental hygienists for five hours of scientific and direct clinical application continuing education at a nominal fee that includes breakfast and lunch. Sonicare and Colgate have been hosting the Wellness Connection Symposia together since 2006, offering CE programs in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Orlando, Chicago, San Diego, Washington DC, and Cleveland. Recently, the event drew 180 dental hygienists in Portland, Orgeon, on Feb 13.
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First incorporated in 1972 as Semantodontics by the Rhodes, the company was renamed SmartPractice in 1989, the result of a strategic expansion into non-dental health care specialties. Following the sale of majority interests of SmartHealth, Inc. in 1997 to daughter and son-in-law, Drs. Curt and Beth Hamann, Jim and Naomi continued speaking on behalf of Rhode Enterprises, Inc. They have lectured to dental groups in all 50 states and share the distinction of both being past presidents of the 3,700 member National Speakers Association. Jim and Naomi will continue to speak to dental, corporate, and non-profit groups on behalf of Rhode Enterprises, Inc.

St. Louis dental hygiene program launched

Missouri College opened the doors of its dental hygiene education program in March. Accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA), the establishment of the program marks a breakthrough for Missouri College. This program launch comes on the heels of Missouri College's relocation in St. Louis that includes the construction of a new dental clinic. The five-semester dental hygiene program will be supported by a comprehensive and interdisciplinary plan of studies.

“The potential this program has to increase educational opportunities for students interested in careers in oral health are immense,” said Karl Petersen, president of Missouri College. “This new initiative builds on the expertise of the college's faculty and staff and the new resources allocated to make this program a reality.”

A financial investment from Career Education Corporation (the parent company of Missouri College) of more than $800,000 ensures the operation and sustainability of the program that will provide oral health education and health-care services for the greater-St. Louis area. The new program is separate from the dental assistant degree program, which the college has operated for more than 30 years.

The University of New Mexico dental hygiene program recently received a check for its Van Buren Middle School Clinic. Delta Dental of New Mexico CEO Walt Bolic, left, and Professional Services Executive Gregory Grannan recently presented a $24,000 check to UNM Dental Hygiene Program Professor and Director, Demetra Logothetis, RDH, MS, for the funding of another school year of the in-school dental hygiene clinic at Van Buren Middle School in Albuquerque. Students from UNM Health Sciences Program get experience practicing at the clinic so that the schoolchildren can receive routine dental check-ups and UNM students can learn how a school-based dental clinic operates.
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“The program's mission is to meet the tangible needs for dental hygienists in the state of Missouri,” said Dr. Hubert Benitez, national director for dental hygiene programs. “We understand the need for promoting oral health, eliminating health disparities, and building partnerships to enhance education and service. These are the pillars that support our program, and as such, we are committed to serve our community.”

Schein's Bergman to speak at OSAP

The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures (OSAP) recently announced that Stanley Bergman, chairman and chief executive officer of Henry Schein, Inc., will present the 2009 John Zapp Memorial Lecture during the OSAP Symposium, June 12 at the Marriott Legacy Park in Plano, Texas.

The John Zapp Memorial Lecture was established in 2006 to build bridges with global leaders to promote knowledge exchange about oral infection and safety both for the patients and deliverers of care. Previous lecturers include leaders from the World Health Organization, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and FDI World Dental Association.

This year's OSAP Symposium will feature a number of special events in honor of the organization's 25th anniversary. For the first time, the Professional Dental Assisting (PDA) Conference will be held concurrently with the OSAP Symposium. The PDA Conference will feature informative developmental sessions, all geared to the dental assistant.

Bergman will deliver the lecture at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 12. Bergman has been chairman and chief executive officer of Henry Schein, Inc, since 1989, and a director of the company since 1982. Henry Schein, Inc. was a founding member of OSAP.

For more information about the symposium of the Professional Dental Assisting Conference or OSAP, call 800-298-OSAP (6727). Check the OSAP Web site ( frequently for additional details.

AAP study explores oral health benefits of green tea

A study recently published in the Journal of Periodontology, the official publication of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), uncovered yet another benefit of green tea consumption. Researchers found that routine intake of green tea may also help promote healthy teeth and gums. The study analyzed the periodontal health of 940 men, and found that those who regularly drank green tea had superior periodontal health than subjects that consumed less green tea.

“It has been long speculated that green tea possesses a host of health benefits,” said study author Dr. Yoshihiro Shimazaki of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. “And since many of us enjoy green tea on a regular basis, my colleagues and I were eager to investigate the impact of green tea consumption on periodontal health, especially considering the escalating emphasis on the connection between periodontal health and overall health.”

Male participants aged 49 through 59 were examined on three indicators of periodontal disease: periodontal pocket depth (PD), clinical attachment loss (CAL) of gum tissue, and bleeding on probing (BOP) of the gum tissue. Researchers observed that for every one cup of green tea consumed per day, there was a decrease in all three indicators, therefore signifying a lower instance of periodontal disease in those subjects who regularly drank green tea.

Green tea's ability to help reduce symptoms of periodontal disease may be due to the presence of the antioxidant catechin.

Previous research has demonstrated antioxidants' ability to reduce inflammation in the body, and the indicators of periodontal disease measured in this study — PD, CAL and BOP — suggest the existence of an inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria in the mouth. By interfering with the body's inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, green tea may actually help promote periodontal health, and ward off further disease.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth, and has been associated with the progression of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“Periodontists believe that maintaining healthy gums is absolutely critical to maintaining a healthy body,” says Dr. David Cochran, president of the AAP and chair of the department of periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “That is why it is so important to find simple ways to boost periodontal health, such as regularly drinking green tea — something already known to possess certain health-related benefits.”