Minnesota Districts - November-December 2008

Minnesota Districts - November-December 2008

Associate Editors:

Minneapolis District

Alejandro M. Aguirre
Associate Editor
2805 Campus Drive, Suite 445
Plymouth, Minnesota 55441

Meetings of Note

Date: Thursday, January 22, 2009
NEW lecture location: Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel in Minnetonka.
Course title: “How to Handle a Dental Insurance Company Audit” and “A Review of the OHP Work Group Recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature”
Speakers: Dr. Michael J. Perpich, Mr. David Aafedt, and Mr. Loren Hanson

Michael J. Perpich, D.D.S. is a 1983 graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. He has been practicing dentistry in Edina, Minnesota for 25 years. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Perpich is the president of NQA, Inc., which has been providing professional review for various dental plans and dentists since 1985. In the past four years Dr. Perpich has been involved in numerous audit cases. He has been quoted in articles on dental audits in the ADA News, AGD Impact, and the Port Charlotte Sun Times.

Mr. David Aafedt is a shareholder with Winthrop & Weinstine. He has extensive experience representing dentists, specialists, and other health care professionals before Minnesota’s licensing boards and regulatory agencies, defending third-party payer audits, and litigating complex issues. Mr. Aafedt and his colleagues also counsel dental and health care clients who are buying or selling a practice or are seeking to expand their business with an associate or independent contractor.

Mr. Loren Hanson, Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) Dental Marketplace Activities. Mr. Hanson provides MDA members and customers with advice and guidance related to the dental practice including internal practice management and their interface with business and regulatory entities. Mr. Hanson has extensive knowledge of insurance laws in Minnesota and nationally, third-party payer regulations, and Minnesota regulatory agencies and state and federal law as they apply to dental clinic operations.

Course Outline
Concerns about third-party carrier audits of dental offices are increasing in Minnesota. This continuing education program will outline what you can do in your dental practice to safeguard yourself from being audited and what steps to take if you do receive an audit inquiry from an insurance company. The three guest speakers will provide a very thorough insight to handling dental insurance audits. Bring along any questions that you might have for these experts and get your dental practice ready in case you receive an inquiry from an insurance company.

As Well ...
The meeting will include a full recap of the discussions and recommendations which were sent to the Minnesota legislature. After months of attending and participating on the Minnesota Department of Health’s Oral Health Practitioner Work Group meetings, Dr. Michael Perpich will give a complete recap of the 13-member work group sessions which concluded December 15. Additionally, Dr. Perpich will provide a detailed outline of the final report of the work group and its recommendations and proposed legislation which was submitted to the Minnesota legislature.
The OHP Work Group was a result of the compromise language passed during the 2008 Minnesota legislative session to define the concept of an oral health practitioner (OHP) and report its recommendations regarding an OHP to the 2009 legislature.
You will receive two core continuing education credits for this lecture.
If you are in need of a registration form, please do not hesitate to contact the District Office at (651) 631-9845 or check the MDDS website (www.mdds@mplsdds.org) under calendar and events. We are certain this meeting is one that you will not want to miss! The Program Committee is very excited to have Dr. Perpich, Mr. Aafedt, and Mr. Hanson available to present on these very important and timely topics. Every dental practice should have a representative at this meeting so that your dental practice is prepared for a potential insurance audit.

Date: Thursday, February 12, 2009
Lecture location: Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel in Minnetonka.
Course title: “Medical Emergencies Simplified”
Speaker: Dr. James Q. Swift

James Q. Swift, D.D.S, is currently Professor and Director of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and completed his oral and maxillofacial surgery residency training program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Swift is president-elect of the American Dental Education Association and former president of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He also held various positions within the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Dental Education Association, and American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, and was a member of the Board of Directors of Fairview Health Services. In 2002, he was named the Century Club Outstanding Professor for the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.
Dr. Swift practices full scope oral and maxillofacial surgery in the Twin Cities area. He has given a great number of presentations to international, national, regional, and local groups.

• Identify the most frequent medical emergencies.
• Know the most important drugs needed to treat medical emergencies occurring in the dental office.
• Identify the situations most likely to lead a medical emergency.
• Recognize the occurrence and the treatment of the most common medical emergencies.
• Pursue interactive problem-based learning.

Needs Assessment:
• Poll of audience:
Medical emergencies encountered
Use of medications
Use of CPR-BLS
Use of AED
• Emergency kits
• Medical emergency review
• And more...
You will receive one core continuing education credit for this lecture. If you are in need of a registration form, please do not hesitate to contact the District Office at (651) 631-9845 or check the MDDS website (www.mdds@mplsdds.org) under calendar and events. We are certain this meeting is one that you will not want to miss! The program committee is very excited to have Dr. Swift on the agenda for this year’s continuing education programs.

2008 Midwinter Dental Meeting
By the time this issue of the Northwest Dentistry reaches you, the Midwinter Dental Meeting will have just passed on Friday, December 5. Please look to the next issue in January 2009 for a complete recap of the meeting with guest speaker, Ms. Jo Ann Pulver. We are hopeful that the meeting will have been a huge success for the Minneapolis District. Thanks to everyone who attended as well as all of our 40+ sponsors.

Please Join Us for Give Kids A Smile Day 2009
In conjunction with the American Dental Association’s Give Kids A Smile Day, and in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the Minneapolis District Dental Society will be sponsoring its 9th Annual Children’s Dental Health Care Day for children in need at the Sharing and Caring Hands Dental Clinic in Minneapolis. This day will serve as a way of helping children who would otherwise go without dental exams, X-rays, treatments, and dental education. With your help and support, it is guaranteed to be a successful day!
Our event will be held Saturday, February 7, 2009 at Sharing and Caring Hands Dental Clinic at 525 North Seventh Street in Minneapolis beginning at 9:00 am. and concluding at 4:00 p.m.
But, we need you to make this a continued success. Do consider volunteering a few hours to this very worthwhile event. We are in need of dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dental students to make the day a complete success. To sign up as a volunteer, contact the District Office. If you have further questions, please contact Dr. Teresa Fong at (763) 786-4260 or the District Office.

American College of Dentists Awards Fellowships
Drs. Patrick Foy and Walter Warpeha were awarded Fellowship in the American College of Dentists on Thursday, October 16, 2008, during their Annual Meeting and Convocation in San Antonio, Texas. The American College of Dentists was founded in 1920 to recognize dentists who have made significant contributions to the advancement of dentistry. The mission of the American College of Dentists is to promote excellence, ethics, and professionalism in dentistry. Fellowship in the College is by invitation and based upon demonstrated leadership and contributions to the dental profession and society. Approximately 3.5% of dentists are Fellows of the American College of Dentists. Congratulations to our members Drs. Foy and Warpeha!

International College of Dentists Awards Fellowships
Drs. Peter Berthold and Angela Wandera were awarded Fellowship in the International College of Dentists on Friday, October 17, 2008, during their Annual Meeting and Convention in San Antonio, Texas. We congratulate these long-time members of the District on their induction. This is a very high honor for them to achieve this status.
The International College of Dentists is recognized around the globe as the preeminent international dental organization. One of the “objectives” of the college is to advance the art and science of dentistry for the health and welfare of the public internationally. The International College of Dentists is a leading honorary dental organization dedicated to the recognition of outstanding professional achievement and meritorious service and the continued progress of the profession of dentistry for the benefit of all humankind. Congratulations to all!

Welcome, New Members
Congratulations to the following new members of the District. Their membership allows them to develop a strong network of fellow professionals who understand the day-to-day triumphs and tribulations of practicing dentistry. When you see these doctors at our next component meeting, please take a minute to welcome them to organized dentistry. Or, give them a telephone call and welcome them to the Minneapolis District, invite them to join you at an upcoming District meeting, or take a new member to lunch... Let’s welcome them to the Minneapolis District!
Megan L. Beuckens, D.D.S.
Corine M. McLellen, D.D.S.
Paul W. Peterson, D.D.S.
Michele M. Prom, D.D.S.

Upcoming Programs and Events
Thursday, January 22, 2009
General Assembly Meeting

Subject: “How to Handle a Dental Insurance Company Audit” and
“A Review of the OHP Work Group Recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature”
Speakers: Dr. Michael J. Perpich, Mr. David Aafedt, and Mr. Loren Hanson
Note new location:
Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel
Minnetonka, Minnesota

Saturday, February 7, 2009
9th Annual Give Kids A Smile Day

Sharing and Caring Hands Dental Clinic
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Many volunteers necessary. Please join us for this very worthwhile event!

Thursday, February 12, 2009
General Assembly Meeting

Subject: “Medical Emergencies Simplified”
Speaker: Dr. James Q. Swift
Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel
Minnetonka, Minnesota

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Annual Installation of Officers
and Guest of Honor Meeting

Installation of President: Alejandro M. Aguirre
2009 Guest of Honor: To Be Announced
Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel
Minnetonka, Minnesota


Northeastern District

Gary Hedin
Associate Editor
324 W. Superior Street, Suite 828
Duluth, MN 55802

You’re Under Arrest, or, Why You Need an Editor
Well, as usual I am sitting at the computer with a deadline looming over me like that tree leaning over your garage roof. The deadline can’t hurt me, but that limb could cost you some bucks, so maybe you should put down Northwest Dentistry and cut it quick! Speaking of bucks, it was the Minnesota firearms deer hunting opener this weekend. I managed to get a decent buck this year, along with my father and my good friend, periodontist Jason Johnson.* We got our deer in the most inefficient way possible, at three different times. This required three separate 30-mile trips to register the deer. It was similar to having a patient back three times to finish a root canal. However, the deer weren’t doing any complaining (and a rubber dam wasn’t required). A lot of things have been going on in the Northeastern District this fall - here is an update of those events...

We Cannot Be Distracted by Donuts
Toward the end of September the Northeastern District sent a number of delegates and representatives to the MDA’s House of Delegates (HOD), which was held in Bloomington this year. This is not to be confused with the former Duluth establishment known as the HOD, or House of Donuts. The members of our delegation this year consisted of: Steve L’Abbe, Chuck Babst, Mike Hagley, Chris Carlson, Tim Langguth, Mike Ludwig, and Gary Hedin. Our district was very well represented as Lee Jess was installed as MDA president, Mike Zakula as MDA second vice-president, and Duane McDonald as Northeastern District trustee. Matt Anzelc was recognized for his years of service as trustee and as a very active participant in organized dentistry. I won’t go into great detail about the happenings of the HOD because you can find that elsewhere in Northwest Dentistry. However, I will tell you that you can be assured that members of your district are working diligently on your behalf at the local, state, and national levels.

Party In, Party Out, Party On
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Associates held a gathering at the Kitchi Gammi Club in September to welcome new oral surgeon Scott Varland to their practice. Scott and his wife Dana recently moved to the area after spending the last several years in New York, where he did his OMS residency at New York Medical College. Prior to that, Scott attended the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, graduating in 2002. Both he and his wife are Minnesota natives and are happy to be back in the state. The party also marked the retirement of John Cornell after many years of dedication to the practice of oral surgery in our region. Congratulations to both Scott and John as they enter new phases in their careers!

Home Is Where the Hearth Is
Piedmont Heights Dental Associates has welcomed a new dentist to their practice as well. Heidi Spoelhof has joined the practice and returned to her hometown after graduating from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and completing a general practice residency at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Bundle Up and Listen Up
The October NEDDS meeting was held at Northland Country Club in Duluth. Our speaker was Dr. Jim Swift, Director of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Minnesota and a well respected lecturer at the national and international levels. Jim gave an interesting and engaging presentation that covered a wide range of subjects. Two areas that he chose to focus on were medical emergencies in the dental office and third molar removal. The medical emergencies discussion was one that we should all hear at least a couple of times each year. It was well done and covered the most common problems that we would encounter in the dental office. The third molar discussion was also very good. Jim went quite in-depth with regard to the rationale behind removal of third molars, including those that are asymptomatic. I personally felt that he provided some very convincing reasons to recommend removal of these teeth to patients in our practices. It was a great day for a CE course as the weather was cold and rainy outside. I don’t think anyone was tempted to sneak out early to play golf or go bird hunting.

With Gratitude
During the October meeting NEDDS First Vice-President Chuck Babst presented plaques to Minnesota Representative Tom Huntley and Senator Yvonne Prettner-Solon thanking them for their representation and work at the state capital on the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner issue. Both have been very willing to listen to our concerns and share them with their fellow legislators at the state level.
Don Your Robes
Congratulations to two members of our Northeastern District who became Fellows in the American College of Dentists this October. Gene Altiere and Kim Lindquist, both of Duluth, were inducted at a ceremony held in San Antonio, Texas. They were sponsored locally by ACD Fellows Doug Erickson and Larry Squillace.

Don’t Forget to Write
As you can see, it has been a busy fall for the Northeastern District. The next time I check in with you there should be snow on the ground. If there isn’t, it probably means you are on vacation. Take care!


*Editor’s note: Having confirmed that Gary’s father and Dr. Johnson are all right, we couldn’t resist leaving this sentence as we found it. Editors have to have some fun too.



Southeastern District

Christopher E. Carroll
Associate Editor
150 East Fourth Street
Winona, Minnesota 55987

Editor’s Note: With this issue of Northwest Dentistry, Dr. Christopher Carroll succeeds Dr. Travis Schmitt as the Associate Editor for the Southeastern District. Northwest Dentistry staff and its Publications Committee thank Dr. Schmitt for the time, talent, and awesome deadline-diving he contributed during his five years of reporting, and we welcome Dr. Carroll. As always, we encourage District members to contact their Associate Editors to contribute to the variety of information in the journal. Dr. Carroll may be reached at pedsdent@hbci.com or at (507) 452-1543.

Reflections from the Battle Zone
For better or worse, you have a new Associate Editor from the Southeastern District, me, and this is my first effort. We really do not have much to report for this issue. We did have one Executive Committee meeting at Somerby Golf Club in Byron. I guess I could do a restaurant review, but take my word for it, the food was astoundingly good, and all 10 of us were delighted with the fare. There was also a little business done, a great deal of planning and discussion, and a great deal of that was concerning the new Oral Health Practitioner.

Everyone should be aware by now that Minnesota has legislated that we will have a new, mid-level practitioner by 2011. Everyone should also be aware that a government “work group” of 13 is meeting regularly in Saint Paul to define this brand new position. (Those interested in following the proceeding more closely can go to the website. (http://www.health.state.mn.us/healthreform/oralhealth/)

You may not be aware that the Southeastern District is sending two of the seven dentists who are sitting on this work group, and the only two dentists who are in private practice in outstate Minnesota. Mike Flynn, our trustee, is one, and I am the other.

Serious as cancer these meetings are. One of the most difficult things I have ever done. I eschew politics and would never have forayed into that arena had I not been asked to by a friend and mentor to whom I owed a huge debt of gratitude.

To be honest, my experiences made me a reasonable choice. I am a pediatric dentist whose dental training was in a state that was progressive in expanded duties. I was one of the first to take advantage of Minnesota’s loosening the reins on expanded duties. I had two years of experience in the field treating the underserved, and I see a lot of Medical Assistance now. I taught pediatric dentistry for five years, and have been involved with non-profit organizations for more than 30 years. All this experience did not make my work force duties easy, it just made me sort of qualified. It is still very tough work. My mentor and I are even now.

What makes it so difficult is that the 13 of us are trying to find common ground from very different vantage points. We all are advocating for different constituencies that are expecting a lot from us. The various constituencies have great needs that require creative solutions, and there is a fair amount of turf to guard and a standard of care to protect.

As you have probably heard, we are sharply divided into two camps. Several issues divide us, but the most contentious issue is the level of supervision that should be required for the OHP.

One camp contains representatives from philanthropic or social organizations. They advocate for the most vulnerable of us: nursing home residents, the poor, the homeless, immigrants, and so on. Hiring dentists or finding dental services for these populations has been so difficult that the social network advocates are desperate. They see a relatively independently practicing OHP as a possible solution to their frustrations.

The other camp contains most of the dentists, and they see a great opportunity with the OHP as well. Our vision is more along the lines of an expanded, expanded duties dental assistant plugged in to the existing, and efficient, dental delivery care systems. There is plenty of room to slot in another level of practitioner between what the dentist does and what the next highest trained personnel can do. The OHP would become a new, highly productive member of the team. This is the direction that mid-level practitioners are trending toward in many places around the world, and to this camp, this seems like the wisest use of talent and resources.

My heart bleeds for the saints of the social services. They have such high hopes that an OHP would be able to solve their pressing needs: At last a chance to get my nursing home residents seen. At last, a way to staff my outreach clinic. At last, no more begging to get my HeadStart kids cared for. Finally someone to see the homeless or my adults on MA. But all this is too much to be solved by a mid-level practitioner. These patients are among the most difficult to manage and are requiring abilities beyond that which an OHP should be expected to do.

These problems are too great to expect our 13 member work group to solve either. Other initiatives are going to be needed. Maybe some money needs to be freed up, or clinics built, more volunteerism, outreach, whatever.

That does not mean that we still do not have plenty to do. Lenny Bernstein said you can accomplish great things when you have two things: a plan, and not quite enough time. That’s the situation this work group finds itself in. We, by law, will be dissolved (sunset) December 15, 2008, and we still have a great deal to do. I hope by then we can all suspend our suspicions, step back from our foxholes, take in the big picture, and come up with something. We may not be able to solve everyone’s problems, but we have an opportunity to come up with something uniquely American and something extraordinary. I hope we have the wisdom and ability to pull it off.

Chris Carroll, D.M.D


Northwestern District

John E. Lueth
Associate Editor
P.O. Box 310
Bemidji, MN 56619

Thumbnail HOD
When the 2008 MDA House of Delegates was called to order, the Northwestern District Dental Society had its delegation ready. Led by Chair Kristine Riewer, the delegates were David Andersen, Douglas Williams, Erik Skatvold, and Roger Sjulson. Also present were alternate delegates Julia Fosman and Bryce Bray. Representing the District on the Reference Committee on Community Service; Dental Education; the Dental Marketplace; the Dental Workforce; Environment and Safety; Evidence-Based Dentistry; Insurance and Affinity Products; Legislative Affairs; Midwest Dental Benefits (MDB); MINDENPAC; the Minnesota Dental Foundation; and Related Matters, also know as Reference Committee A, was David Andersen. Kristine Riewer was our delegate on the Reference Committee on Officer Reports; Administrative Matters; Constitution, Bylaws and Ethics; Dentists Concerned for Dentists (DCD); Membership; the New Dentist; Peer Review; Publications; Public Relations; Scientific Session; and Miscellaneous Matters, also known as Reference Committee B. The Committee on Credentials and Rules of Order included Erik Satvold. Our delegates caucused Saturday morning September 20, followed by the second session of the full House. With many important resolutions to consider, the Northwestern District’s delegation did an excellent job. Our thanks.

Three State “Mostly Norwegian” Dental Conclave at Høstfest
Dateline: Minot, North Dakota
Hvordan går det med du idag?

What do The Beachboys, Daniel O’Donnell, the Oak Ridge Boys, Peking acrobats, and the Chmielewski Funtime Band have in common? They said, “Why Not Minot?” and entertained at the 31st annual Norsk Høstfest, five days of wall-to-wall Scandinavian bacchanalia with top-notch entertainment. Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, and Norwegian dancers and singers also graced the performance hall stages twice daily. Having returned for so many years to perform at Høstfest, Charlie Pride was made an Honorary Norwegian! There are demonstrations of wood carving, rosemaling, hardanger embroidery, and so much more. The huge, multi-hall North Dakota State Fair facility also accommodates a vast Nordic marketplace, and there are more than 50 food vendors. If you need an early season lutefisk fix (doesn’t everyone?), you can get it! Also near and dear to Nordic tastes are rømmegrøt, lefse, sweet soup, gammel øst, and herring of all kinds. There is plenty of gourmet fare with Nordic flair!

The first week of October found a Minnesota dentist, a North Dakota dentist, and a dentist from South Dakota rendezvousing in the Prairie Couteau city of Minot — a fast growing small city of about 50,000 covering a beautiful western Dakota river valley — to experience North America’s largest gathering of Norwegian-ness. Dr. Dave Olson has been in private practice in Minot for more than 25 years since completing his dental schooling at Loyola in Chicago. Friend and Loyola classmate Dr. Jim Anderson practices just south of the North Dakota line in Eureka, South Dakota. Yours truly pursues the trade in Bemidji, Minnesota, and came to be visiting Hosfest after Dave extended the invitation when the two of us got to know each other performing dental mission work in Honduras, Central America.

With all the big name and other excellent entertainment to seen, Scandinavian treats to be eaten, demonstrations to view, and the marketplace to cruise, it took an almost exacting pre-planned schedule to see, do, and eat everything you wished.

The Tres Amigos (very southern Norwegian dialect meaning “three friends”) celebrated the festival in fine fashion, with the ultimate entertainment being the final day’s Høstfest Scandinavian Pastry Competition and Taste-testing. Fifteen luscious looking entries entailing the spectrum of Scandinavian baking and pastry-dom were judged by seven honest-to-goodness, bona fide Norwegian and Scandinavian chefs who took time away from their real culinary efforts elsewhere around the Hostfest extravaganza. The comedy team of Williams and Ree (“the Indian and the White Guy”) acted out as Emcees and guest taste-testers. It took real intestinal fortitude not to rush the stage and take away some of the entries as they were described and then taste-tested by the judges. But slipped in to the mix was the pungent (not strong enough a word!) entry concocted by Pastor Rolf Nestingen and baker’s assistant Al Templin (volunteer Hostfest entertainment stage hosts from Eau Claire, Wisconsin). Sneaked in at the end of the line of 15 entries, and living up to its name, the “Keeps the Flies Off — Lena’s Cake”, it did in fact keep all the flies off all the other cakes and pastries by acting as a fly magnet. Topped with sardines, kipper snacks, and a lovely center decoration of lutefisk, Rolf and Al’s cake consistently drew comments — along with the flies. The fact that none of the comments were good did not phase the truly hard-core Norski cake team and the mostly Norwegian dental support crew. (The tri-state dental collaboration was formed in the event CPR needed to be performed on any chef or other contestant. Williams and Ree knew enough to stay away, muttering something about being careful not to step in anything that smelled that bad!) When the judging was completed and the winners announced, Lena’ cake was not among them. In fact, it took 16th place in the competition...out of 15 real entries! Uff Da!!

Soon thereafter the hazardous waste control management personnel pried the Lena cake away from the disappointed but proud concoctors and supporters to be safely escorted from the building. Saved by the presence of a pickled herring stand and a cold beer to wash them down, the multi-state team bid Adieu (archaic Norwegian dialect for Adios or Adjø) to return home, leaving Hostfest and Minot with a final manly friendly Nordic wave and parting words...

Har du bra!

Fosston Crop Circles
Livestock with whirling disease?
Dry land speed skaters?
Botanical lines of Retzius on grain steroids?
Flying saucers and little green men?
Shazbat! Could it be the reappearance of Mork from Ork? Nanu, Nanu!
As the Fosston, Minnesota area farmer drove home from church in late July, he noticed strange goings on in his wheat field. “As I looked out on my wheat field, I saw these strange designs trampled into it,” said the farmer. “I’m not sure what the heck it is, but I can almost guarantee it ain’t Lutheran!”

Shortly after noon on Sunday, July 27, staff writer for the 13 Towns newspaper Dean Vikan got a call from a farm wife living near the arresting agricultural art who asked him if he’d like to take pictures of circles in a wheat field. Mr. Vikan’s response was, “You mean like aliens might make?” You bet! Dean’s first thought was to get in an airplane and get some aerial shots. Sunday was not, however, an easy day to find a pilot and a plane around town. Everyone was either at the lake or in their fields. When he got hold of the Fosston Flying Club, he learned that the plane was rented out for the week and not available! On top of that, the airport runway was closed for the next two days for scheduled maintenance. Uff Da!

While Mr. Vikan was trying to get the scoop, word had reached BLT Research Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This outfit has been studying crop circles for 15 years in 15 countries. They told 13 Towns that they were very interested in the crop circles in the Fosston area. Finally in the air several days later, Vikan and photographer Lori Paulson took photos of the crop circles, discovering another about four miles east of the original which had gone unreported for almost two weeks. Upon viewing the photos, Nancy Talbot of the BLT Research Center called Vikan to discuss her initial thoughts about the Fosston phenomenon and share her experiences regarding other crop circles, particularly mentioning a specific event in the Netherlands. During that event, Talbot described that “tubes of light” appeared to illuminate the countryside just before crop circles appeared in a nearby field where she knew there previously had been none. Deer shining lights, jacked-up 4-wheel drive trucks out “mudding”, and aromatic lutefisk treatment plant emissions may have come to the minds of locals as logical explanations, but BLT and two other organizations sent investigators to examine the Fosston Phenomenon.

Although constant traffic to the sites by curious onlookers made the job difficult, experts observed that the tops were broken off many of the grain stalks, which indicates a roller of some kind could have been used to make the formation. The fact that some stalks also were broken would indicate the presence of a prankster stepping behind the roller. (A true crop circle would have no breakage. The stalks would be bent but not broken.) After careful consideration, investigators from the International Crop Circle Research Association (ICCRA) and the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) agreed with BLT that the designs were the work of local pranksters and furthermore that no UFOs were involved.

Thirteen Towns contributing columnist Nate Fredrickson’s report on the crop circles purported that local officials had held a press conference to announce the formation of a new task force to prevent further crop circles from being made in area fields. “With a bushel of wheat nearing $19, we can’t afford to have those skinny little, giant headed, bulgy eyed aliens making nonsensical designs in our farmer’s fields!” proclaimed the mayor. “It is for this reason that we have instituted a covert squad of farmers trained in alien detection who will be known as the M.I.P., or Men In Plaid. Their job will be to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.”

Although not technically a farmer, Fosston dentist Roger Sjulson - who has been known to wear plaid - ably assisted in these covert efforts (evidenced by the fact that none of his colleagues knew he had changed his appointment scheduling and was slipping out for midday surveillance drives in the countryside. Please refer to accompanying photo of Roger’s wife Phyllis standing guard near one of the original crop circles during a training exercise. Photo by Roger.)

Whether or not the true culprit or culprits will ever be determined is really not a concern for most residents of this region of northwestern Minnesota. What is of importance is whether it could disrupt the rut during the upcoming firearms deer season. Boy, would a lot a guys be put out then ya know! Furthermore, in what way this occurrence could be even remotely related to dentistry will probably remain a mystery for some time to come. The fact that the officers of the Northwestern District had been holding late night meetings in remote agricultural small grain crop areas of the district under the leadership of Star Ship First Mate Chewcaca (aka Roger Sjulson) is to be ignored. And little is to be attributed to the theft last spring of the Bemidji State University baseball stadium infield tarp with its 30 foot wide roller.

Check out further news of the Fosston crop circle caper at Grand Forks Herald.com or drop in to the 13 Towns newspaper office, 118 Johnson Avenue North, Fosston, Minnesota. And in the meantime, watch for a crop circle coming to a field near you!

Photo credits to Roger Sjulson, Lori Paulson, Dean Vikan.
Excerpts and paraphrasing from 13 Towns reporting by editor Dan Kindall, staff writer Dean Vikan, and columnist Nate Fredrickson.



Southern District

Ken A. Windschitl
Associate Editor
2000 South Broadway Street
New Ulm, MN 56073

Southern District Hits Jackpot
It has been a really busy time in the Southern District. We had our fall meeting September 5-6 at Jackpot Junction in Morton, and it was very well attended.
Our speaker was Dean Patrick Lloyd of the U of M School of Dentistry. He is a very interesting and entertaining speaker, and if you have not already heard him speak, you owe it to yourself to do so. Our Guest of Honor was Steve Danielson, who has been involved in organized dentistry for many years and recently served as trustee to the MDA from our district.
Entertainment was provided by the Lost Walleye’s band, and 24 dentists took part in the golf outing at the beautiful Redwood Falls golf course. Again this year, golf awards were donated by Bob Menzel of Worson-Polzin Labs in Mankato.

Next Up
Our next district meeting will be at South Central College in Mankato. The speakers will be Jennifer Marshall from the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, and Stephen M. Merry, M.D. from the Mayo Clinic speaking on “Primary Care ENT Problems for Dentists”.
After lunch, Karon Metz and Lynnette Engswick will update us on the goings-on of the dental hygiene program at MSU-SCC, and Dr. Dan Prust, the director of dental assisting at Canby Dental Assisting School, will do the same concerning their dental assisting program.
For entertainment, naturalist Al Batt will speak (check him out on http://albatt.net/). Following that, the last course of the meeting will be on “Pathological Lesions of Interest to Dentists”, by Dr. Michael Rohrer from the University of Minnesota.

In the House
SDDS members participated in the MDA’s House of Delegates September 18-20 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Our thanks to representatives Richard Brown, Gregory Miller, Thomas Smyth, Kenneth Windschitl, Maureen Sorenson, Kevin Dunlavy (chair), Ed McNiece, Jeff Taylor, and Timothy Flor.

South Central Dental Study Club
The 2008-2009 study club meetings will be held on the third Monday of each month at the Holiday Inn, Mankato. Social hour begins at six, with dinner at 6:30, followed by the evening speaker. Officers for this year are Jess Kelly, president; Christina Simonette, vice-president; and Angela Schuck, secretary/treasurer.
The group’s first meeting was September 15. Lorie Streeter from the American Association of Office Managers spoke on how to get the most from your office manager through education and networking.
The second meeting was October 20, with speaker Dr. Jason Anderson presenting on orthodontic tips for the general dentist.
November 17’s meeting brought Dr. Kevin Nakagaki, and for the January 19, 2009 meeting Dr. Tom Hoover will speak on “The Oral Systemic Link”.
February 16 features Dean Patrick Lloyd updating us on the U of M School of Dentistry. Topic and speaker for the March 16 meeting are yet to be determined.

Warm Up Your Welcome
Gary D. Plotz, Jr., D.D.S.
A native of Hutchinson, Gary Plotz joined the staff of Shetek Dental Care in Slayton in June 2006. He had attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, majoring in neuroscience. He competed on Brown’s swim team all four years there. Gary came to the School of Dentistry for his D.D.S. in May of 2006. His dentist grandfather was his inspiration to join the profession along with his childhood dentist, Dr. Thomas Lyke of Hutchinson.
Gary’s wife Betsy is a registered dietician and works for the Murray County Medical Center. Since moving to Slayton, both have completed EMT training and joined the Slayton Ambulance Association. Both as well had parts in the community theatre production of the musical “State Fair” this past summer.
Other interests they share are active membership in the local Kiwanis Club, co-ed volleyball, jointly leading the Community Wellness Seminars and visiting with their many siblings, as Gary is from a family of six and Betsy is one of 12.
Gary has completed courses in implant placement and invisalign orthodontics. He is excited about offering the people of southwestern Minnesota local treatment options for their dental care.

Tim Swanson, D.D.S.
Tim Swanson has joined the Mankato and New Ulm dental communities. He was born in Rochester (ours) but grew up in Modesto, California. His D.D.S. from University of the Pacific in San Francisco in 1997 was followed by commission as a captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps. Completing an AEGD-1 year program at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, he practiced general dentistry for three years before specialty training in orthodontics at Wilford Hall Medical Center San Antonio, followed by time as Chief of Orthodontics U.S. Army Dental Clinic, Mannheim, Germany. Then came a year in St. Cloud before joining in practice with John Kanyusik and Carlin Wiemers in Mankato and New Ulm. Tim is board cerfiified by the American Board of Orthodontics, has published in the American orthodontic literature, and has lectured in Europe and the U.S. Married with three children, he enjoys family time, reading, attending C.E. meetings, golfing, and skiing.

Travis Prunty, D.D.S.
Travis Prunty grew up in Inver Grove Heights and went to school at Saint Paul Academy, where both his parents teach. He majored in biology and business at Gustavus Adolphus College, where he met not only his future wife, but Dr. Brent Olson, who became his friend, fellow dental student, and future colleague. With his D.D.S. in 2005, Travis became an associate under the tutelage of Dr. Paul Hauge in Centuria, Wisconsin. Travis is extremely excited to get back to the Mankato-St. Peter area, to have Dr. Olson as his colleague, and to begin many new adventures with his family and friends, among them traveling, hunting and fishing in the area, and the upcoming birth of his first child in December. It’s a girl!

Jason Pollard, D.D.S.
Jason Pollard
, a 2003 grad of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, is getting settled in his new dental practice previously owned by longtime Sleepy Eye dentist Dr. Robert Rubey. Jason relocated from Boone, Iowa, where he has practiced the last five years with his father, Dr. James Pollard. Jason and his wife Julie have five children. They chose southern Minnesota to be closer to family. They enjoy horseback riding and have purchased a rural New Ulm home that will accommodate their four horses.
Jason looks forward to meeting other local dentists at upcoming study club meetings and continuing education courses. He is also excited about becoming active in the Sleepy Eye community and its organizations.

Only Dentists Retire Like This ...
William Anderson, D.D.S.
Dr. William Anderson will have been retired for two years as of January 1, 2009, so some of this information is not exactly new, except for a new direction evolving over the past two months.
The first three years of Bill’s practice were with the U.S. Air Force, followed by 47 years in North Mankato and Mankato. Remarking on his practice, Bill remembers, “I was most fortunate to have some excellent staff personnel as well as wonderful patients over the years. I enjoyed continuing education and trying to give quality care.” Dr. Tom Smyth purchased his practice, and Bill was pleased to have a professional with Tom’s background take over with his patients.
Bill Anderson and his wife Jean have been traveling far and wide to visit their children in D.C., Seattle, and Missoula, Montana. Bill is also doing some volunteer work at the local food shelf and with the chaplain at the federal prison in Waseca. Still, he felt, he said, “there must be more”.
Last spring Bill learned of a book about plans for solving some of the big issues we face, and he has been visiting with a number of people about it. “Without a doubt one of the two or three most important books I have read,” he said. Stay tuned.

Robert Rubey, D.D.S.
“As I was growing up on the family farm, my parents instilled in me high moral values - honesty, trustworthiness - and a strong work ethic, all things we dentists need,” said Dr. Robert Rubey.
A 1965 grad of St. Mary’s High, Bob attended Creighton University, then finished with his D.D.S. at the U of M. Purchasing the Clarence Kiefer practice in Sleepy Eye, he noted that gentleman’s 50 years in practice was “an impressive milestone I will not reach.” In 1990, Bob purchased George Woesner’s practice. His professional and community activities include Lion’s Club, Knights of Columbus, board member of the Sleepy Eye golf club and of the St. Mary’s school board; member of the South Central Study Club, MDA, ADA, and Minnesota Alumni Association.
Bob and wife Sharon have two children, Matt and Amy. In retirement the Rubeys are spending longer weekends at their Leech Lake cabin, and plan to do more traveling, “especially to warm places in the winter.” Bob enjoys fishing, golf, and hunting.
As of September 1, Bob sold his practice to Dr. Jason Pollard, “an ambitious young man who has practiced for five years with his father in Boone, Iowa.” Things that Bob will miss about going to the office are “my staff, who have been with me from seven to 31 years, and relationships with patients, many of whom have been patients for all 36 years. I intend to remain active in dentistry since it has been very big part of my life for the past 40 years.”


Student District

Michael Lee
Associate Editor
2833 Lexington Avenue North #D
Roseville, MN 55113

Thanks for Thanksgiving
The Student District sure has been busy over the past couple of months. The first- and second-year students are in the midst of a seemingly never-ending schedule of midterms and practicals. Third-year students took the Manikin portion of CRDTS board exam in early October. Many fourth-year students are now preparing for both patient-and computer-based CRDTS exams as well as the National Board Exam Part II. Although it is a busy and exciting time for all of us, it can be assured that the upcoming holiday break will be met with great enthusiasm amongst students, staff, and faculty alike.

Good Show!
Starting at the beginning of October we held our annual membership drive. We are pleased to submit another strong membership this year at 94% marketshare. Along with the ASDA membership, we also were able to increase our ADPAC membership to 57%, up from 40% last year. This is a great example of how students are taking increased ownership in our profession and are finding value in organized dentistry. We owe a tremendous amount of thanks to our membership chair, Elisa Dommer, and the countless others who have promoted ASDA and its benefits over the past weeks.

Garment District
Another tradition we have continued this year is the ASDA Merchandise Sale. We were able to design new screen-printed and embroidered items for this year’s catalog. Dental students and faculty as well as family and friends ordered more than $5,000 worth of U of MN Dentistry apparel and gear through this sale. A big thanks to Brett Moore and the many other organizers who helped make this year’s Merchandise Sale another great success.

Close Friends
Our ASDA Halloween weekend included a trip down to Iowa City, Iowa for the ASDA District 8 meeting hosted by our close friends to the south, the University of Iowa. Seven students from the U of Minnesota attended the meeting along with students from Creighton, Nebraska, Iowa, and UM-Kansas City. The weekend started out with a social gathering on Friday night that included a “two-pound burger plus fries in 30 minutes or less” eating contest and the ensuing traditional Halloween night activities.
The following day started out with a tour of Procter and Gamble’s toothbrush manufacturing facility. This state-of-the-art facility produces more than one million manual toothbrushes every day, a quantity that supplies the majority of the U.S. as well as large portion of international market. We then headed over to the University of Iowa campus for a tour of their dental school. The meeting featured a presentation about fresh, practical ways to look at access to care and the mid-level practitioner. Another speaker divulged, with some entertaining anecdotes, some ways in which we, as dentists, can become involved in and give back to our communities.
I was also given the opportunity to speak at the meeting. I was able to share some of the experiences we have had as both an ASDA chapter and as a state dental association over the past year regarding the tumultuous legislative session of 2008. It is important for us in Minnesota to share our experience with others in that they can learn from our successes, as well as our weaknesses, in handling the delicate legislative issues we currently face as a profession.

Thirteen’s a Charm
On November 5, ASDA hosted its 13th Annual Vendor/Placement Fair at the Radisson Hotel. The 44 different tables represented a wide array of dental product vendors, dental services organizations, and dentist placement groups. Students had a great opportunity to meet with and talk to our guests about the products or services they provide. In addition, our guests generously donated gifts to be part of a raffle drawing that continued throughout the evening. More than 310 students attended this event, and it can be assured that no one left empty handed. We appreciate the time and thoughtfulness of our vendors as they continue to support our profession in meeting our ever-changing needs. Once again, this event would not be possible without the help of the wonderfully talented Dawn Jensen of the MDA.



Saint Paul District

Christine H. Hermanson
Associate Editor
1055 Highway 36 E.
Maplewood, MN 55109-1911

White Light
The Saint Paul District Dental Society invites all MDA members and staff to attend our 55th annual Midwinter Meeting Friday, January 16, 2009, at the Crowne Plaza Saint Paul - Riverfront. There are a variety of options for continuing education, collegiality, and professional and personal refreshment waiting for the participants.

7:15 a.m. - 8:10 a.m.
Breakfast Seminars
7:30 a.m.
Exhibit Area Opens - Complimentary rolls & beverages
8:20 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
Morning Speakers
11:40 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Social and Cash Bar
12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Luncheon and Program
FEES: Midwinter Meeting
and Lunch: $85.00
Morning Speakers Only: $75.00

Breakfast Seminars
(an additional $25.00)
Saving Enamel
Dianne Testa, RDA, RDH ,B.S.
How to Save on Your Personal Insurance
Todd Spencer, Federated Insurance
White Spot Reversals
Angela Usher, RDH
Enhancing Your Wealth & Protecting Your Assets
Adam Heaton, Esq.
Review of the Most Commonly Prescribed Medications
Patty Doyle, Pharm.D.
Optimal Nutrition and Oral Health
Jennifer Sletten, M.A., R.D.,.L.D.
Healthcare Hazardous Waste
Aaron Chavez, Department of Public Health
Implementing Pilates Principles Daily
Brita Sandell
How To Take a Medical History
Michael Downie, D.D.S., O.S.
Style Differences When Communicating With Patients, Partners, & Peers
Louise Kurzeka

Morning Speakers
Cliff Notes on Crown and Bridge
Donald Erickson, D.D.S.
Management of Rampant Caries
Gary Hildebrandt, D.D.S., M.S.
Roots of All Evil:
Part I - Caries in Older Adults
Stephen Shuman, D.D.S., M.S.
The Healing Power of Hypnosis
Kristin Volk-Funk, M.Ed, C.C.H.
Creating Quality Full Crown Provisional Restorations
Jonathan Twomey, D.D.S., M.S.
Strategies for Caries Prevention:
Part II
Peggy Simonson, RDH, B.S.
Diabetes and Periodontal Disease
Bryan Michalowicz, D.D.S.
Oral Premalignancy and the
General Dentist
John Koutlas, D.D.S.
Motivational Interviewing: Helping Patients Prepare for Change
Merry Jo Thoele, M.P.H., R.D.H.
To request a program and registration from, please contact the Saint Paul Dental Society at (651) 697-0831 or e-mail us at spdds@qwestoffice.net.

SPDDS welcomes the following new members.
Mohamad H. Alhomsi, D.D.S.
Benjamin J. Christopherson, D.D.S.
Steven M. Edlund, D.D.S.
Gloria E. Lopez Franco, D.D.S.
Tara M. Wagner, D.D.S.

And I’ll See You There
January 16, 2009
SPDDS Midwinter Meeting

Crowne Plaza Saint Paul - Riverfront

February 21, 2009
Children’s Dental Health Day

Minnesota Children’s Museum
Saint Paul, Minnesota

April 18, 2009
SPDDS Long Range Planning Session

Minnesota Humanities Center

Volunteer Dentistry in Honduras

David Kubes, D.D.S., Reporter

In February 2008 I visited Honduras, where I provided volunteer dentistry with the International Health Service of Minnesota, a wonderful group which has coordinated trips to Central America for 26 years. I played just a small part in a big production.

Our first stop, San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second largest city, is a big, rough town. Armed guards with rifles, sawed-off shotguns, and machetes are plentiful. From the bank to the local pizza place, they were the order of the day. After that sobering arrival, a three-hour ride took us to La Ceiba on the north central coast, where the groups departed for their various remote destinations. We set up shop in Yoruca, in a six-room elementary school, one of which served as sleeping quarters. We soon discovered the local roosters (plural) were vocal very early! Water and electricity were limited, and any amenity was soon shared by the local wildlife, domestic and otherwise. We rarely saw cars on the roads, but soon became expert at planning ahead to avoid stepping in the next adventure deposited on the road by cows, horses, goats, and whatever else shared the way with us.

My mission for the week I was there was to extract as many painful teeth as I could in the time I had. Hondurans of all ages sat in my dental chair, and they were excellent patients. I trained four people as assistants, and I worked with a translator when my poor Spanish wouldn’t do. We did remarkably well with no electricity or running water.

My school room doubled as the pharmacy and dental waiting room. People told me they walked for as many as six hours for our dental care. While there is a dentist in a neighboring town, he charges $2.50 for an extraction. When an annual income is about $600, the walk and the wait are worth it. Even as hard as we worked, I was left feeling like I had just scratched the surface in meeting their needs.
International Health Service has developed a good reputation over the 26 years it has been making these trips. The entire group numbered 130, and went to eight locations. Volunteers included nurses, physicians, pharmacists, translators, and communications people. Five dentists made this trip. Volunteers paid their own way as well as an added $500 to cover other expenses. No government or other organization contributes money. For anyone wondering if he or she has what it takes to make a journey like this one, I would tell you living and working in a third world situation has its challenges, but it gets easier when you are with such helpful and spirited people as I had the privilege to work with this year.

Anyone interested in volunteering or with questions may contact Dr. Kubes at (651) 698-7237 or kubes208@hotmail.com, or the International Health Service at contact@ihsmn.org.



David Kubes, D.D.S. Volunteer Dentistry in Honduras