District News - January-February 2011

District News - January-February 2011

Associate Editors:

Minneapolis District

Lee Ann M. Herbert

Associate Editor

1525 County Road 101 North

Plymouth, MN 55447


Give Kids a Smile Day Celebration of Success

December 5 was a perfect day to celebrate ten years of MDDS’ Give Kids a Smile Day program with an afternoon filled with conversation, edible delights, and cheer! Teresa Fong opened her home to District volunteers from each of the events at the Sharing and Caring Hands Dental Clinic. Members have provided dental treatments to more than 1,000 children totaling more than $350,000 over that time, to which we say “Bravo!”

Also in attendance were Michael Helgeson and staff members Deborah Jacobi and Karen Engstrom from Apple Tree Dental. Without Apple Tree’s mobile dental units and dental staff members, GKAS would not be able to provide treatments for the children. Our thanks!

MDDS’ 11th Annual Give Kids a Smile Day Event will be Saturday, February 5, 2011.

Congratulations to the following individuals who have reached milestones of service with GKAS.

Ten Years: Teresa Fong and William Hoffmann, Co-Chairs; Sandy Houck, Kirby Johnson, Douglas Lambert, Daniel Sampson; Melissa Cozart, Sharing and Caring Hands hygienist; Karen Engstrom and Deborah Jacobi, Apple Tree Dental; MDDS Executive Director Michelle Quade.

Five or more years: Donald Blakeslee, Rick Diehl, Venetia Laganis, Donald McPartlan, James Nickman, Nancy Norling.

Take Our Word for It for Now …

The 85th Annual Midwinter Meeting featuring Dr. John A. Molinari was the place to be, and a complete recap of the event will be in the March-April issue of the journal. It is never too early or too often to thank Midwinter Chair Melissa Zettler and her committee: Alejandro Aguirre, Sandy Houck, Jim Nickman, Mike Perpich, Karen Reese, Herb Schulte, Tasha Strait, and Jess Veil for working so diligently and producing another fine meeting.

February 17 General Membership Meeting

Features Root Canal C.E.

Subject: “Pain Associated with Root Canal Treatment: New Reasons Why We Need to Inquire More About that Symptom”

Speaker: Donald A. Nixdorf, D.D.S., M.S.

One core continuing education credit will be given for this lecture.

This General Assembly meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. (social reception), 6:15 p.m. dinner, followed by the 7:15 continuing education lecture. Dr. Nixdorf is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Division of TMD & Orofacial Pain, with an adjunct position in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Nixdorf practices orofacial pain management at the Minnesota Head & Neck Pain Clinic and the University of Minnesota TMD, Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine Clinic, with a particular interest in diagnosing and treating patients with persistent dentoalveolar pain complaints. His research is currently focused on the definition and description of persistent non-odontogenic pain via traditional epidemiological methods, being involved in the Dental Practice-Based Research Network, quantitative sensory testing techniques, and emerging MRI-based methods, such as functional MRI. The long-term goal of his research is to be able to identify patients at risk for developing persistent pain following dental procedures so that treatments can be implemented to reduce the pain and dysfunction these people experience.

Installation of Officers and Guest of Honor Evening

Thursday, April 21

Join us at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel in Minnetonka as we thank 2010-11 president Mark R. Omlie and welcome 2011-12 officers Lee Ann M. Herbert, president; Cale A. Strait, president-elect; our “tba” vice-president; and Gary A. Bolmgren, secretary/treasurer. The MDDS will present its Guest of Honor Recognition Award during the evening’s program, as well as honoring all the Districts past presidents at this event.

Summer Sporting Events Announced

The annual Trapshoot Tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, August 17. We will be returning to the Metro Gun Club in Blaine. The day will culminate with a gourmet wild game dinner and prizes.

The Greater Twin Cities Tennis Mixer will be Wednesday, September 7 at the Bearpath Golf and Country Club in Eden Prairie.

Welcome, New Members

Congratulations to the following new members of the District.

Agnes M. Wawra, D.M.D.

Jalissa J. Kruckman, D.D.S.

Nicholas P. Lowe, D.D.S.

Sahar Rezuyaedi, D.D.S.

Dmitriy E. Vazemiller, D.D.S.

Christopher M. De La Mater, D.D.S.

Upcoming Programs and Events

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Subject: Pain Associated with Root Canal Treatment:

New Reasons Why We Need to Inquire More about that Symptom

Speaker: Donald A. Nixdorf, D.D.S., M.S.

One hour core continuing education

Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel

Minnetonka, Minnesota


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Annual Installation of Officers and Guest of Honor Meeting

Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel

Minnetonka, Minnesota


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

MDDS Caucus Meeting

All Members Welcome

Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel

Minnetonka, Minnesota


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trapshoot Event

All MDA Members Welcome

Metro Gun Club

Blaine, Minnesota


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Greater Twin Cities Tennis Event

All MDA Members Welcome

Bearpath Golf and Country Club

Eden Prairie, Minnesota


Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17, 2011

MDA House of Delegates

Duluth, Minnesota


Saint Paul District

William H. Harrison

Associate Editor

2282 Como Avenue

Saint Paul, MN 55108-1722

57th Midwinter Meeting Shines Its Light

It was January 21 at the Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel, and all “57 varieties” jokes to the side, this year’s Midwinter Meeting presented something for everyone. The Midwinter Planning Committee, led by Chair Scott Doyle, presented topics and speakers that appealed to all members of the dental team. Attendees were able to choose from seven breakfast seminars and nine morning speakers. Hosted by President Howard Taylor, SPDDS past presidents and invited guests enjoyed gathering for an early morning breakfast prior to the seminars.

Laura Eng was the recipient of the SPDDS 2011 Outstanding Service Award. We are grateful for the hard work and dedication she has given to our district. Dr. Eng served as SPDDS president in 2005 and has made many generous contributions of her time and talent with great enthusiasm. She has worked hard to make membership valuable to dentists at the local, state, and national levels as she served as Chair for both SPDDS and the MDA Membership Committees and served on the ADA Council on Membership, along with other membership-related activities.

Also honored with awards were Barbara Seidel, LDA, for her outstanding work in the dental assisting field, and Louann Goodnough, RDH, BSDH, for her contributions to her profession and community.

SPDDS extends a sincere thank you to our Meeting exhibitors, sponsors, and advertisers. They provide us with extra resources that are needed to provide our members with exceptional programs, education, and networking opportunities.

Advanced Head & Neck Imaging Center


Aurora Dental

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Benco Dental Co.

Brasseler USA

Dyste Williams

EMODEL/Geodigm Corp.

Excel Dental Studios

Erickson Technologies

Federated Insurance

Gateway Bank

GC America, Inc.

Harrison Dental Studio

Henry Schein Dental

Health Partners Dental

Hermanson Dental Lab

Higher Standards

Junnila Company, Inc.

Karkela Construction

Lemke Dental Laboratories, Inc.

Maguire & Strickland Refining



Patterson Dental


Peoples Bank of Commerce

Philips Sonicare

Procter & Gamble, Crest Oral-B

Renstrom Dental Studio, Inc.

Shea Practice Transitions, PA

Sabo Dental Lab, Inc.

Sjoquist Architects, Inc.

Sunset Dental Technologies


Udell Dental Laboratory, Inc.

US Bank

Wells Fargo Insurance Service

Xocai ‘Healthy Chocolate’

School of Dentistry Students Awarded George S. Monson Foundation Scholarships

SPDDS has had the privilege of distributing funds from the George S. Monson Foundation for more than 20 years. Dr. Monson was a Saint Paul District member, and upon his death, his daughter created the fund for the purpose of supporting education in the field of dentistry.

In 2010 the Foundation Committee awarded grants in the sum of $13,000.00 from the Monson Fund to two third-year and three fourth-year dental students. Our congratulations to third-year students Scott Durand and Siara Zee Elovich, and fourth-year students Jennifer Dylla, Neil Johnson, and Christopher Shearen.

The Minnesota Dental Association and the Saint Paul District Dental Society Honor the Following Members

25 Years of Membership

Timothy Ake 

Stephanie Larson

James Andrea

Tammy Meister

Thomas Arnold    

James Midtling

Regina Blevins   

Marc Montgomery

Frank Crain 

Michael Petersen

Kyle Edlund 

Donna Stenberg

Paul Hensel 

Sarah Tate

Gregg Hipple

Diane Zimmerman

D. Theodore Johnson

50 Year Golden Club Members

Eugene Bakalars  

Daniel Larson

James Boo  

Clifford Maesaka

Phillip Brandeen 

Freeman Rosenblum

John Huntley     

Lowell Sorenson

Delbert Jensen   

J. D. Vogel

Jerome Kleven

Life Members in 2010

George Kinney

Dwight Buller

Walter Parsons

Ervin Savord

Robert Brandjord 

Alan Schmucker

To these honorees we wish to say that your support of organized dentistry is appreciated, and we hope that you will continue your involvement in your professional association throughout your dental career.

Welcome a New Member

Hema Menon, B.D.S., M.S.

And I’ll See You There …

February 26

Children’s Dental Health Day

Minnesota Children’s Museum


April 5

SPDDS Long Range Planning

Saint Paul District

Copper Canyon Mission
Fred Kalinoff, D.D.S.

In 1978 my parents retired to a small town just north of the Mexican border. Visiting them, I would always see ads or articles for Copper Canyon in their Sunday paper. Copper Canyon is located about 500 miles southeast of Tucson and 500 miles southwest of El Paso. It is deeper than the Grand Canyon and five times larger. It is inhabited by 75-100,000 Tarahumara Indians, who are Mexico’s least changed indigenous Indian population. They are subsistence farmers who raise corn, squash, goats, and cattle, living in adobe homes or log cabins. A few still live in caves.

In March of 2001 I went solo backpacking there finally, and in November of that year a friend and I hiked the river. It was during the latter trip I realized there was no dentist for the canyon people, and I asked permission, which was granted, to return to provide dental care for the Indians. In late 2003 I made the first of five solo trips, performing only extractions, but in 2005 I hooked up with Liga International, a non-profit group of flying doctors from southern California who had been going to Mexico since 1934.

I started bringing others with me then, mostly dentists. We bought a portable dental unit, chair, and a year later picked up two more portable units via a Rotary International grant. We started doing fillings and sealants for children while maintaining an extraction-only policy for adults. Even with the accumulating equipment, we had to make children our priority, although no adult in pain or with an infection is ever turned away.

Work in the towns is done in a schoolroom, where we also sleep. We eat in the cafeteria with the students: beans and rice for breakfast, rice and beans for lunch; supper is back to beans and rice. No one has ever gotten sick. “Menudo” is considered very good eating, and to make us feel honored, we were served this for lunch one day. I am used to the stuff, but I figured I’d better tell the others what they were eating – intestines. No one ate much.

We treat from 100-130 persons per village, once in awhile finding something very interesting, such as the young man with an ameloblastoma involving about 80% of his mandible. There were willing surgeons, but we could not find a facility willing to comp his hospital stay. It took a year, but we found Children’s Surgery International, based in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and their group of ENT doctors who for the past few years have gone to Mexico and performed between 30 and 35 cleft palate surgeries a visit. The patient was taken to Cleveland Hospital for 14 hours of surgery to remove the diseased part of his mandible and replace it with part of his tibia. He is doing well, undergoing reconstruction of his occlusion through the collaborative efforts of a periodontist, oral surgeon, and prosthodontist.

The villages are difficult to get to, especially with a one-ton truck loaded with dentists and equipment. Because they are so remote, it is difficult for the children to get candy/sugars, and their decay rate is minimal. Nor do they have money for sweets.

The kids are tremendously fine patients with no fear of the dentist, even upon extraction. When I did have an unwilling child on my hands once, though, I made the mistake of proceeding anyway. He cried, and the 12 other children fled for the hills. Since then we stand a child aside who seems apprehensive and see him or her at the end of the day. A common extraction is removal of a supernumerary central incisor, which seems to be more common among the Indians than in the general population.

Sealants have been our most common service, and upon return visits we are gratified to see most are still intact. Among a dozen towns spread out over 600 miles, we manage to visit each every other year, and how satisfying it is when the whole town turns out to thank us at the end of a visit.

In 2007 I took along a group from the School of Dentistry: Abby Perschke, Amy Gehant, Kristen Bothen, Nick Lowe, Jenny Nguyen, Lindell Kemmet, Chia-Yin Lo, Arly Goulding, and Sean Laidig. The experience I had with them made it possible two years later for me to say yes to a request from Boston University Dental School to take their senior dental students with me. My only requirement is that they have finished their oral surgery rotation. What a boon these students are — especially for heavy lifting!

In November of 2010, the head of the local health program volunteered to put up a building for us if we would furnish it, a goal I have had all along. We have some equipment, but need much more: instruments, especially oral surgery; dry heat sterilizer, amalgamators, curing lights, ultrasonic cleaners, cavitrons, and on.

My friends Dr. Lewis Pierce and Katie Craft, retired prosthodontist and microbiologist, respectively, are on board for this project, and Dr. P has already put together two such clinics in Africa recently.

A friend of mine, Dr. Tom Alderson, U of M ’66, was killed in Viet Nam in a helicopter crash on a “winning the hearts and minds” mission. These missions took dentists and doctors to small villages to provide care for the local people. If this newest project comes to fruition, we would like to dedicate the clinic to Dr. Alderson.

We and the Tarahumara Indians we serve need the continuing help of volunteers and donations of equipment, instruments, and supplies. For more information about these trips, you may go to www.dentalvolunteermission.com, www.ligainternational.org, or www.canyonscholars.com for the scholarship program.

Northeastern District

Gary Hedin

Associate Editor

324 W. Superior Street, Suite 828

Duluth, MN 55802

Winter Light

You guessed it — another Northeastern District report hot off the press. This time I am actually writing it ahead of the deadline. I am not sure how that’s possible, but we’ll see how I do without the pressure of a deadline breathing down my neck.

Winter came early to the Northeast, and to Minnesota in general. The weather folks tell us we are on track for a very snowy winter, and they don’t appear to by lying. The snowmobilers, skiers, snowshoe enthusiasts, ice fishers, and snowman-building parents among you are celebrating. Many of you may not be so excited. I can definitely see both sides, but as a fan of winter, I am pretty happy right now.

The December NEDDS meeting was held at the Kitchi Gammi Club in Duluth, on a brisk but sunny day. Dr. Michael Rohrer, an oral pathologist from the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry, was our speaker. He presented a talk entitled “Cold Sores, Canker Sores, and Other Sores”. Now that is truly a lecture that only a dentist could love. Can you honestly see anyone else in their right mind paying money to hear about that stuff?? I can’t either. Truthfully it was an excellent talk, and Dr. Rohrer did a fantastic job of discussing an issue that we are frequently faced with. The myriad lumps and bumps we encounter in the oral environment every day can be very confusing, and having some simple guidelines for diagnosing and treating them is worth their weight in gold. Well, maybe not quite that much, considering the current price of gold …

The half day meeting was very well attended, and Dr. Rohrer took the time to answer plenty of questions. Many of us who had him as a professor in dental school were shaking in our shoes the whole time, waiting to be pinned down with a tough question. You see, in dental school Dr. Rohrer had us sit alphabetically so that he could remember our names and ask questions like “Dr. McDonald, can you give 66 differential diagnoses for the 2 millimeter red bump on this patient’s lip?”, or “Dr. Pedersen, what are 24 potential causes for these little white striations on the patient’s cheek?” He went easy on us, and we can be thankful for that!

During lunch, an award presentation was made to one of our own. Tim Smith was presented with the Northeastern District Guest of Honor award. This is an award that is given to an outstanding dentist in our district each year who has demonstrated a passion for dentistry, sharing knowledge with colleagues, and a high level of involvement in our dental society. Tim easily meets these criteria and more, and was a very fitting honoree. He was lightly roasted by some of his colleagues, including Kyle Kolquist, Tom Seidelmann, and Matt Anzelc, and gave a very nice speech. In his speech, Tim related his formative years and how they have made him the person that he is today. It was really nice to have Tim’s wife Linda and some of his family in attendance as well. Please take a minute to congratulate him the next time you run into Tim at a meeting!

The annual Dinner Dance was held the same evening as the continuing education meeting, and it made for an awesome evening. About 70 people enjoyed good food and conversation, pre-dinner music by the talented Michael Patterson, and after-dinner dancing to the music of the Shack Shakers. Northeastern District president Mike Hagley and his wife Mary Donnellan enjoyed the evening and did some dancing, as did Dr. Rohrer and his wife Cecilia. They were moving too fast for me to take any pictures, and I think Mike may even have been break dancing at one point. It seemed like everyone was having a great time, including my two-month-old daughter Linnea. She was definitely the youngest person in the crowd, and seemed to be enjoying herself in the ways that two-month-olds do. We hope that if you came to the party this year you will return again, and if you couldn’t make it, consider attending next year. It’s an important part of what makes the Northeast such a collegial place to practice and call home.

Now that you’ve heard what is going on in the Northeastern District, I hope you will come out to a meeting sometime soon, get some CE credits, visit with your friends, and meet some of the many new faces in our area!


Northwestern District

John E. Lueth

Associate Editor

P.O.Box 310

Bemidji, MN 56619

Dental Town Hall Meetings Conducted in Erskine and Bemidji

The brainchild of Roger Sjulson (Fosston), Dental Town Hall Meetings were conducted in Northwestern Minnesota in early December. Pursuing a proactive approach to educating their legislators about issues facing dentistry and patients, two separate meetings - in centrally-located Erskine, and the district’s most populated eastern city Bemidji – gave both dentists and legislators the opportunity to dialogue after the dust had settled from the November elections, and before legislator’s schedules got terribly busy.

Fifteen dentists, two newly elected legislators, and the MDA staff guy (aka Director of Government Affairs Tom Day) all met at Sparkling Waters Restaurant in Bemidji for an evening of conversation and the opportunity for the legislators to get to know the region’s dentists, as well as the issues facing dental offices, their patients, and the public. Following a welcome and introductions all around, Roger Sjulson, Northwestern District secretary/treasurer and immediate past-District Trustee, kicked off the evening with a summary of “How Dentistry Works”. Aside from being dental patients themselves, neither legislator present in Bemidji (a senator-elect and a representative-elect, both small business owners) has been otherwise particularly versed in the delivery of or issues relating to dentistry.

The areas of major MDA legislative focus for the 2011 session of fair contracting and critical care access for adults who are aged, disabled, or blind were conveyed. Limitation of fees for non-covered services, third party audits, effects of mandates (such as electronic recordkeeping) along with others brought up by both the dentists and the legislators were addressed and discussed, with Tom Day providing depth and breadth to the information. As an example of a suggestion from the legislators-elect, they encouraged dentists to inform them of ways to do what dentists want or need to do in the practice of dentistry which can be done in a way that saves money.

For our part, the main message to the legislators during the evening was delivered and received: The public’s oral health is important, the dentist is their caring oral health professional, and the MDA cares about the oral health of the public and is doing something about it.

There’s Still No Such Thing as Cyber-Pizza

If there were an award for attendance at dental webcast cyber-lectures, the dentists and auxiliaries from the Bemidji area Headwaters Dental Society would be accepting it. In their first year of remote-site learning participation, the dentists, hygienists, and assistants gathering at Northwest Technical College in Bemidji have sent more than 30 dental team members to each session.

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Clinical Grand Rounds for the Dental Team has been presented for the past six years, September through April, on the first Thursday of the month in evening presentations broadcast from 6:30-8:00 p.m. This monthly professional development opportunity is held at the School of Dentistry and transmitted to interested locales. Clinical Grand Rounds is a series of patient-centered continuing dental education courses devoted to diagnosis and treatment of complex cases and actual patient cases. Each presentation features cases selected from a different discipline in dentistry and provides, as well, opportunities for dinner and interaction with colleagues, faculty, staff, and students.

The Headwaters Dental Society group is open to members and guests, and judging from the high attendance is a convenient and well-liked way to gather, learn, receive CDE credits…and chow down on pizza. For those arriving between 6:00-6:30 p.m., free pizza and beverages are provided.

In fact, there is no cost for any attendee of any of the lectures due to the generosity of contributions from eight local dental offices which underwrite the entire cost each of the evenings.

Dr. Bob Mack (Bemidji) was instrumental in organizing the year-long event and serves as facilitator, contact, and host for each session. The Northwest Tech facility and cyber-arrangements are possible, in large part, due to the unique cooperative collaborative “alignment” relationship of NTC and Bemidji State University.

Thursday, January 6 was cold and blustery, but 38 post-holiday learners came to hear Dr. Nelson Rhodus present on “Oral Medicine and Xerostomia”. He related a number of conditions for which research has been done which translates into what practitioners can do clinically. Red lesions, white lesions, red-and-white lesions; risk factors, changes over time; epithelial dysplasia versus squamous cell carcinoma, transcription factors; saliva and its importance - all this and more was covered in a fast-moving and informative 70 minutes by Dr. Rhodus.

Next up was Dr. John Ofstehage on “Geriatric Dentistry”, just about the time this issue went to press.


A Story from the Northland

A patient of Dr. Perry O. Dontell recently shared this with the good doctor. After much wheeling and dealing on vehicle price and extras, the Red River Valley rancher purchased a new pick-up for the ranch with all the extras he wanted. Then the car salesman decided to buy a cow from the rancher. The bill was itemized as follows:

1 cow                               $400.00

2 muted horns @ $25.00 each           50.00

Two-tone color finish                125.00

Automatic fly swatter                 25.00

3 extra stomachs @ $20.00 each        60.00

Liquid reservoir, 4 valves @ $50.00  200.00

Genuine leather upholstery           115.00


Total Price       $975.00

Southeastern District

Travis A. Schmitt

Associate Editor

204 4th Street SW, Suite 144

Austin, MN 55912-4427

Who’s Ready for Spring?

With our near record snowfall amounts in December and a nice blast of Arctic air in January, the question must be asked: Who’s ready for spring? With that in mind, I have included some photos to warm all our hearts. Last issue we had Joel Michelson pictured with an elephant. This issue features Eric Overby and Travis Schmitt on a Caribbean adventure on the Norwegian Epic cruise ship!

I hope everyone is having a great 2011. For those who have seen some color and felt some warmth, these pictures will hopefully bring back fond memories. For those who have not, hopefully they will warm your spirits ‘til we get to spring!

Part of the travelogue presented here is to once again broach the subject of the SEDDS hosting a meeting in a more exotic place. The West Central District tried to pull off a fantastic meeting at the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall in Jamaica, but came up a few people short. So if this is something that MAY be of interest, please let your District Executive Committee know, or email me at tschmitt@smig.net.

Finally, please remember our Annual Meeting will be held most likely in August! More information on this meeting will be forthcoming. DO NOT MISS IT! Tim Holland (Owatonna) is going to out-do the Austin effort of 2010, which was a spectacular meeting, so this meeting in Owatonna will be stupendous! Talk to you again in April. Be blessed!



Southern District

Grant R. Sorensen

Associate Editor

1029 Third Avenue

Worthington, MN 56187-2398

Sun Dogs and Ice Dams

The holidays have come and gone, and we are now into the cold snowy days of January, which only means our Southern District Midwinter Meeting has also come and gone. The fortunate thing is that by the time you read this we will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring.

We were honored this past weekend to be enlightened and entertained by Shelly Ryan of Advanced Practice Management. Many of you have likely heard Shelly or one of her colleagues speak. Her discussion focused on the “Team Approach to Dentistry”. Some of the key areas she covered were:

• ways to reduce cancellations and failures,

• the team approach to case presentation/acceptance, and

• collections made comfortable - the team approach.

The day wrapped up with the ever-popular game show “What Do You Say When …?” The game featured the offices of Ken Windschitl, the Anti-Dentites, vs. Steve Danielson’s Know Nothings. After some fierce competition, the duel ended in a draw. Hard to believe Ken wasn’t able to talk his way into victory! I am sure all of us were able to take a few ideas back to incorporate into our offices.

We were privileged to have our District Trustee Ed McNiece and MDA Director of Government Affairs Tom Day bring us up to date on the happenings at the MDA and the Capitol. We are lucky to have such good communication from the MDA office that most of what they said was not completely new information. However, it was nice to have the opportunity to discuss things as a group. Needless to say, it will be very interesting to see how things play out this year at the Capitol with all of the changes there and a 6.8 billion dollar deficit. Perhaps the best bit of information we heard was there will be an increase in reimbursement from Delta Dental this year.

If you have any District concerns, comments, or thoughts on future speakers, do not hesitate to contact one of the District officers. Your president is Tom Smyth from Mankato, vice-president Grant Sorensen from Worthington, Jeff Taylor from Mapleton, and Paul Roggow from Jackson.

Our Fall Meeting is tentatively scheduled for the last Friday in August, but more on this later. Until next time, have a great day!

Student District

Adam Swingdorf

Associate Editor

515 Delaware St., 15-106

Minneapolis, MN 55455

Clinical Explorations:A New Student-Run Lunch Lecture Series

By Zach Lechner (D4)* and Paul Buck (D3)

Co-chairs of Clinical Explorations

Minnesota Chapter of the American Student Dental Association

Students are taking an active role in their educational destiny at the School of Dentistry. In one of the newest campaigns of the Minnesota chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), senior dental student Zach Lechner and junior dental student Paul Buck have created a new seminar series titled Clinical Explorations. The idea for Clinical Explorations developed as a student initiative in coordination with the school administration, the dental school’s Division of Continuing Dental Education, and local ASDA chapter leadership. Student demand for more intellectually rigorous and less commercialized information than was sometimes presented in traditional industry-sponsored “Lunch ‘n Learns” is growing in accordance with national conflict of interest concerns in the health care professions.

The mission of Clinical Explorations is to be “a local student-organized committee within the Minnesota ASDA chapter that seeks to enrich the academic experience of current University of Minnesota School of Dentistry students. It introduces students to the lifelong pursuit of continuing education in dentistry and enhances their commitment to learning and professional growth in general dentistry.”

Clinical Explorations aims to provide quality educational opportunities for students on a monthly basis by recruiting engaging guest lecturers from within the School of Dentistry as well as the wider community. Clinicians, researchers, and technicians invited to speak will provide clinically relevant, non-commercialized, evidence-based reviews of important dental topics chosen by students, with a focus on case-based diagnosis, treatment planning, techniques, and materials. It is the goal of Clinical Explorations to ultimately enrich student understanding and appreciation for the scope of general dental practice and improve clinical decision-making. To accomplish this, lecturers are asked to proactively challenge student’s clinical decision-making and case selection by answering the question, “What are common mistakes made by general dentists and how can they be avoided?” with hopes of pre-empting potential pitfalls.

Clinical Explorations held its inaugural lecture on November 2 and featured an engaging presentation by Minnesota periodiontist Dr. Roger Ettel titled “The Periodontal Patient: Diagnosis, Treatment Planning & Co-Provider Care”. Lunch was provided through a grant from the American Academy of Periodontists. Future lecturers include Dr. Brent Rundquist, President of the Minnesota Association of Endodontists, who will be presenting, “The Endodontic Patient: A Case for Difficult Diagnosis and Treatment” on January 11, with lunch provided through a grant from the American Association of Endodontists.

Additional support comes from generous donors to the School of Dentistry who contribute to the Dentistry Fund for Achievement and to funds that support the education and research initiatives of the Division of Periodontology in the Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences. A special thank you to Dr. Patrick Lloyd, dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, and to Dr. Larry Wolff, professor and interim chair of the Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences. Without their support, guidance, and enthusiasm, implementing the entirely grant-supported Clinical Explorations seminar series would not have been possible.

We welcome all constructive comments, concerns, and guest lecturer recommendations.

 *Student member of the Rural Health Care Committee of the Minnesota Dental Association.

West Central District

Jeanni R. Foss

Associate Editor

15167 Edgewood Drive, Suite 240

Baxter, MN 56425

New Beginnings

The new year is quiet in the West Central District as we are all hibernating in a frozen tundra with our cups of coffee pulling double duty as hand warmers. Roads to our frozen lakes are indifferent at best, as they are covered in a primary layer of ice and caked with large drifts of snow. However, a few more fish are being plucked from the holes punched in lakes than from the roads in our area. And crappies are biting people. Let it be known among the districts that several offices in the West Central needed to shut down during the holiday blizzard, and we had to walk to work uphill both ways in our Carhartt’s and snow shoes.

I have nothing to report this quarter other than we will have had our yearly FANTASTIC Continuing Education meeting January 28 at Grandview Lodge on Gull Lake, an event that will have fallen through the cracks in the editorial calendar by the time you are reading this. We will report on the fabulous time people had listening to Dr. Scott Rake speak on oral surgery, coyote hunting, and cross country skiing in the area.

I have taken various pictures of the season as it is always fun to see what it looks like in the great outdoors of Minnesota. Again, if anyone has any breaking news of dental do-gooders or has pictures to submit of a great trip that they can link to amalgam fillings, please email me or call. I have received some great notes from dentists in the district who have enjoyed recent events we have planned…so thank you!

Finally, we are in need of a new officer for this year. The position of vice-president will become available as of February 1, 2011, and the position is not only quite prestigious, but comes with minimal work attached. The District wishes to express a very big thank you to our current/immediate past-president Kevin Dens! He did a great job this year and is a very diligent leader in our district. We will figure out just what that title is at a later date. And now we get to welcome new president Matt Rindal, who comes to us from the Pequot Lakes area! I know he will be a lot of fun to hang out with this year. Also, please start thinking about the House of Delegates meeting this fall and consider adding that to your “to-do” list. The increased interest in our society makes me think I am cool and feeds my brain warm fuzzies, thereby allowing my narcissism to flourish in future articles. If your area society is interested in being a host for a future CE meeting, please contact me at (218) 828-0565.