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 Hottest Topics:

Up in Smoke:

"Up in Smoke: Current Trends in Smoking Habits Affecting Oral and Systemic Health"

"Cellular Dialogues: How Cellular Communication Impacts Oral and Systemic Health"

“Going Viral: Exploring Viral Infections and Their Impact on Oral and Systemic Health"

“The Other Vital Signs: Beyond Pulse, Respiration, Temperature and Blood Pressure Rates in Oral and Systemic Health”

“Microbes on Parade: The amazing roles they play in health and disease”

"The Science of Suppression: Understanding the Miraculous Immune System"

"The Bitter Side of Sweets: Understanding Today’s Dietary Sweeteners and Their Impact on Oral and Systemic Health"

“The Additive Effects of Additives:  Understanding the Impact of Dietary and Product Enhancers on Oral and Systemic Well-Being”

“Out of the Mouths of Babes:  How Maternal Oral Health Impacts the Health and Well-being of Infants”

"Inflammatory Remarks: The Role of Oral Inflammation in Cardiac Risk Assessment"

"The Stress Mess: Systemic and Dental Ramifications of the Stress Response"

"New Horizons in Periodontal Therapy"

“Diet Wars: The Effect of Diets on Oral & Systemic Health”

"Headliners: Breaking News and Its Effect on Health Care"

“Mugs and Drugs: A Look at Today’s Counter-Culture Trends and Their Impact on Oral Health”

"Points on Piercing: Oral and Systemic Health Considerations of Orofacial Piercings"

“Hormones, Heart, Health and Hygiene: Exploring How Oral Health Affects Women’s Systemic Well-Being”

"Pathos of Pathology: Puzzles, Perplexities and Paradigms"

“Drug Store Addiction: The Abuse of Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications”

“Allergy Nation: Asthma to Zyban”

“Nutrition News”

 More Detailed Descriptions:

Up in Smoke: (Available Spring 2016)

Current Trends in Smoking Habits Affecting Oral and Systemic Health 

Americans are using a variety of smoke-producing tobacco and non-tobacco containing devices that are impacting modern day society in profound ways.  The popularity of hookah bars and ‘little cigars’ (especially among young people) has renewed concern among oral healthcare providers that use of ANY tobacco-containing product negatively impacts both oral as well as systemic health.  The explosion in the use of electronic cigarettes (‘e-cigs’) has many concerned as well.  While e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, these devices have a mechanism that heats up liquid nicotine which turns into a vapor that smokers inhale and exhale.  Because they contain no tobacco, e-cigarettes are not subject to U.S. tobacco laws—meaning they can currently be purchased without proof of age and raises concerns that e-cigs may be particularly appealing to children and may encourage nicotine addiction among young people.  Course participants will learn about the latest research regarding these ‘smoking trends’ in a relaxed forum designed for interactive learning.

 Following the presentation, participants will be able to:

•             Recognize the ramifications of regular hookah use.

•             Discuss ‘little cigar’ use and elucidate possible side effects.

•             Assess oral changes associated with e-cigarette use.

•             Examine the effects of nicotine exposure.

•             Design appropriate smoking cessation therapies for implementation into the dental setting.


Cellular Dialogues:

How Cellular Communication Impacts Oral and Systemic Health

Cells in the human body communicate between one another using a variety of mechanisms such as the generation of various cytokines to mount an inflammatory response.  Microbes depend on unique communication strategies to form biofilm structures.  Knowing how cells ‘talk’ to one another is an integral component in overall understanding of cellular dynamics affecting health.  While the science of ‘cellular communication’ is still in its infancy, many recent discoveries have dramatically affected today’s practice of dentistry and dental hygiene.  For instance, experts are investigating stem cells (located in the periodontal ligament space) that are likely capable of generating cells of the periodontium—those studies have already positively impacted modern-day approaches to restoring periodontal health.  Another recent finding suggests that bacteria have a universal ‘language’ that allow them to interact with a variety of other microbial species.  Participants are encouraged to come prepared to be amazed, enlightened and entertained while learning in a relaxed environment.

Following the presentation, course participants will be able to:

•             Understand cellular interactions within the periodontal ligament space.

•             Assess hormonal impact on the periodontium.

•             Recognize how intricate microbial communication strategies impact biofilm development and control.


 Going Viral:

Exploring Viral Infections and Their Impact on Oral and Systemic Health

Viruses are the smallest living things known to science and yet they pack a big pathological punch when it comes to modern-day disease outbreaks.  Because many viral infections manifest in the oral cavity, it is incumbent on healthcare providers to be aware of the oral signs and symptoms associated with commonly-encountered viral pathology in order to properly treat and refer infected patients. 

Because members of the human herpesvirus (HHV) and human papillomavirus (HPV) families cause the most common primary viral infections of the oral cavity, an in-depth review of viral dynamics, systemic and oral complications and treatment options will be included in this presentation.  Other viruses such as the coxsackievirus and the hepatitis family of viruses will also be discussed in this enlightening and entertaining presentation.  Come prepared to be fascinated and captivated as you learn about the life and times of these mighty microbes.

Following this presentation, course participants will be able to:

•             Discuss viral structure and replication strategies

•             Identify the eight types of human herpesvirus and the diseases they cause

•             Recognize oral manifestations of human herpesvirus infections

•             Understand the correlation between human papillomavirus infection and oral cancer risk

•             Know the signs and symptoms associated with infection by the coxsackie virus

•             Differentiate between the five types of human hepatitis infections

 The Other Vital Signs:

Beyond Pulse, Respiration, Temperature and Blood Pressure Rates in Oral and Systemic Health

Oral and medical healthcare providers regularly check vital signs such as heart beat, breathing rate, temperature, and blood pressure to determine the health status of patients seeking their care. These signs may be watched, measured, and monitored to check an individual's level of physical functioning and to provide treatment modification strategies to render safe, effective treatment.  While monitoring these vital signs is an integral component of determining health status, clinicians often overlook other components of vitality that play important roles in oral and physical fitness.  This course is designed to provide clinicians with valuable information about how to identify and address patient vitality deficiencies in order to maximize oral health.

Following the course, the participant will be able to:

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 Microbes on Parade:   The amazing roles they play in health and disease

Microbial organisms are phenomenal creatures capable of impacting our lives in a variety of positive and negative ways.  Because the oral cavity contains a large, diverse population of microbes, in or on the human body, it is imperative that the oral healthcare provider understand bacterial and viral dynamics in order to render effective care and provide patients with appropriate homecare recommendations.  Microbiology—an often daunting field of study to master—will be presented to course participants in a relaxed, fun, dynamic manner that maximizes learning while providing truly amazing facts to ponder and incorporate into treatment strategies.  Be prepared to be amazed by the microscopic world!

 Following the course, participants will be able to:

•Understand microbial dynamics

•Relate bacterial cell wall structure to pathological potential

•Recognize how microbial resistance develops and impacts treatment protocols

•Understand biofilm dynamics in recommending oral care treatment strategies

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 The Science of Suppression:

Understanding the Miraculous Immune System

Immunology is an evolving science integral to our understanding of health and disease.  As new discoveries are made and challenges taken on, our knowledge of just how phenomenal the immune system is continues to amaze and perplex us.  This course is designed to provide a basis for comprehending the important roles immunity plays in maintaining oral and systemic health and well being.  A look at autoimmune disorders and diseases affecting immune response will also be included.  Participants are encouraged to attend this seminar with a sense of wonder and leave with information that will help explain clinical manifestations of the immune response.  Come prepared to laugh and learn as you take on this often daunting science!

 Following this presentation, attendees will be able to:

•Differentiate between innate (‘natural’) and acquired (‘humoral’) immunity

•Recognize the roles of various cells involved in mounting an immune response

•Understand immune hypersensitivity reactions and their clinical sequelae

•Identify oral and systemic ramifications of autoimmune disorders

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 The Bitter Side of Sweets:

Understanding Today’s Dietary Sweeteners and Their Impact on Oral and Systemic Health

Since saccharin made its U.S. debut at the 1893 World’s Fair, Americans have been continuously introduced to a variety of artificial and naturally-derived products designed to replace sugar in their diets.  From high fructose corn syrup to aspartame to sucralase to agave syrup, new sugar substitutes continue to be brought to market and added to a wide assortment of food and beverage items.  Consumers and clinicians alike need to keep abreast of the benefits and potential hazards these products pose to oral and systemic health.  Come prepared to learn and laugh as the latest research is presented on this ‘sweet’ topic.

 Following the presentation, course participants will be able to:

•Compare and contrast commonly available sugar substitutes

•Understand how various sweeteners impact oral health

•Recognize how dietary sweeteners impact metabolism

•Identify naturally-derived sweeteners in food and beverage products

•Incorporate relevant information on dietary sweeteners into patient education

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 The Additive Effects of Additives:

Understanding the impact of dietary and product enhancers on oral and systemic well-being

As the American population continues to rely on fast food as dietary stables and look for ‘energy’ in mass marketed beverages, the dental hygienist must keep abreast of the multitude of food products containing additives that may impact oral and systemic health.  The implications of dietary trans fats and high fructose corn syrup on oral health and overall well being will be explored.  Additives found in oral health care and cosmetic products can have dramatic, detrimental effects on systemic and oral health.  Come prepared to learn what’s been ‘added’ to food, beverage and personal hygiene products in a fun, relaxed environment designed to enlighten audience members and enhance their ability to deliver comprehensive oral hygiene care.

 Following this presentation, audience members will be able to:

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 Out of the Mouths of Babes:

How Maternal Oral Health Impacts the Health and Well-being of Infants

Recent research has supported the connection between poor maternal oral health and adverse pregnancy outcomes.  This course will offer participants information on the connection between periodontal infections and pre-term, low-birthweight babies.  How and when babies acquire oral bacteria that will impact their oral and overall health will be included.  Additionally, audience members will be given tools to prepare mothers-to-be and new mothers for challenges associated with her baby’s oral health.  During the presentation, headline-making research findings concerning these issues will be presented.  Come prepared to learn in a relaxed forum designed to enlighten and educate.

Following this course, participants will be able to:

•Identify mechanisms by which oral bacteria influences pregnancy outcomes

•Recognize the roles female hormones play in maternal oral health

•Understand how microbes colonize an infant’s oral cavity

• Relate pediatric health issues to restorative and oral hygiene intervention strategies

•Formulate methods of educating expectant and new mothers on oral health care issues affecting the health and well-being of their offspring

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 Inflammatory Remarks:

The Role of Inflammation in Oral and Systemic Health

This course will provide participants with an in-depth look at recent research supporting oral inflammation as a main contributory factor in development of a variety of systemic maladies.  An understanding of how microbial biofilm impacts treatment of the periodontically challenged patient will be provided.  Treatment options and appropriate home care recommendations will be explored.   Come prepared to share ideas and clinical experiences with your colleagues in a relaxed forum.

 Following this course, participants will be able to:

•Understand the role of inflammation in cardiac risk assessment

•Define ‘biofilm’ as it relates to plaque development, maturation and control

•Develop in-office and at-home strategies for controlling biofilm

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 The Stress Mess:

The Impact of Stress on Oral and Systemic Health

Stress has become an integral part of everyday life.  Whether rushing to an appointment across town during rush hour or dealing with difficult patient scenarios, we are often “stressed out” by the end of the day.  How does stress affect our ability to make clinical decisions?  How does chronic stress affect overall health?  How can people better manage stressors to decrease its adverse effects on well-being?  This course will help the participant answer these and many more questions through a fun, interactive program based on the latest research findings.  Also included in this program will be how chronic stress impacts oral and systemic health.  As a recognized risk factor for periodontal diseases, stress reduction strategies for patient care will be presented in order for the participant to devise and implement treatment plans addressing stress-related sequelae.  Because stress effects can be gender specific, a portion of the course will be devoted to how men and women differ in stress management, stress responses and stress manifestations.  

Following the presentation, the participant will be able to:

•Relate the physiological aspects of the stress response to systemic and oral manifestations

•Understand the effects of stress on immune system function

•Recognize how stress impacts periodontal health

•Emphasize dietary strategies designed to minimize detrimental effects of stress to dental hygiene patients

•Understand gender differences in stress responses

•Incorporate stress relieving strategies in the office and home setting

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 New Horizons in Periodontal Therapy

This course is designed to provide the oral healthcare provider with current, ground breaking strategies relevant to today’s comprehensive patient care approach to periodontal therapy.  An historical review of the advances in periodontal disease treatment and prevention will provide the participant with a fun, interactive understanding of how we have arrived at today’s approaches in patient care strategies.  Amazing research will provide the course participant with a newer understanding of microbial and immunological considerations to preventive care and maintenance treatment planning.  Linking the oral inflammatory response to a variety of systemic disease processes (such as diabetes, malignancy, dementia, etc.) will be included.  Audience members are encouraged to come fully prepared for an interactive, entertaining program designed to enhance current treatment options available.  

Following the course, the participant will be able to:

•Understand how microbial concepts have evolved in order to identify the role bacteria play in periodontal disease processes

•Identify challenges in rendering comprehensive periodontal therapy based on immune function and bacterial interaction

•Relate how oral inflammation affects systemic health

•Define the concept of ‘biofilm’ in periodontal diseases

•Develop home care strategies based on current understanding of the periodontal disease process

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 Diet Wars:

Looking at Today’s Dieting Trends and Their Impact on Dental and Systemic Health

South Beach?  Atkins? The Zone?  Weight Watchers®?  Caveman?  Confusing???? You bet!  Because obesity has become a major health crisis for people of all ages, it is understandable that Americans are seeking out weight loss strategies through a variety of dieting strategies.  The quest for weight loss has lead to increasingly complex dieting fads that impact general and oral health. This course will provide participants with an overview of metabolic considerations in dieting trends in an effort to minimize confusion and maximize understanding of the effects of today’s dieting revolutions.  Additionally, course participants will learn how certain types of adipose tissue act as an inflammatory organ.  Presented in a relaxed forum, clinicians will be able to incorporate information garnered in this course to provide more comprehensive nutritional counseling to dental and dental hygiene patients as well as recognize possible sequelae of dieting trends. Come prepared to learn, enjoy and share your insights.  Following this seminar, participants will be able to:

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Breaking News and Its Effect on Health Care

As the dental patient population continues to become more aware of the impact overall health care strategies have on oral health, the dental hygiene professional needs to likewise keep abreast of breaking news involving dental, medical and other scientific breakthroughs in order to appropriately address patient concerns and develop truly comprehensive treatment plan protocols.  Recent, potentially ground-breaking topics will be explored in an interactive, relaxed forum utilizing a variety of information sources—from radio broadcasts, newspapers and television to refereed professional journals, popular consumer magazines and laboratory studies.  Following this seminar, participants will be able to:

•Recognize the potential impact of many recent research findings on the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene

•Discuss with confidence current topics of interest to the discerning dental patient

•Evaluate sources of information available to the consuming public based on validity and reliability

•Design in-office and at-home treatment strategies to reflect current research findings

•Incorporate relevant research into patient education recommendations

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 Mugs and Drugs:

A Look at Today’s Counter-Culture Trends and Their Impact on Oral Health

This course is designed to give course participants an understanding of the impact certain counter-cultural trends have on oral health care delivery.  Head and neck piercings, their healing dynamics and possible impact on oral structures will be discussed utilizing case studies to enhance learning.  The faces (‘mugs’) of today’s counter-cultural movement come with a set of treatment variables not commonly encountered previously in the field of dentistry. Recognizing substance- and self-abuse patterns will aid the dental professional in recognizing potentially life-threatening behaviors.  Abuse of ‘drugs’—including alcohol, methamphetamine, over-the-counter remedies, and prescription medication—by today’s dental patient can play an important role in the delivery of oral health services and greatly impacts home care recommendations.  This course will provide participants with the necessary resources to recognize, treat and provide supportive services for patients indulging in many of today’s counter cultural trends.  Come prepared to learn in an environment that is relaxed and conducive to audience participation.

Following this seminar, the participant will be able to:

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 Points on Piercing:

Oral Health and Home Care Considerations

Orofacial piercings continue to be a popular trend and, as a result, the oral healthcare professional must be familiar with the unique healing dynamics, potential post-piercing effects on the oral cavity, piercing care strategies, and treatment modifications necessary to render safe, comprehensive care to today’s pierced patient.  Other body modification trends involving the head and neck area will be included for a more comprehensive look at today’s piercing trends.  Presented in a relaxed, multi-media forum utilizing specific case studies, the participant will learn about in-office strategies and home care recommendations to meet the oral health care needs of the pierced dental patient.  Following the presentation, participants will be able to:

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 Hormones, Heart Health and Hygiene:

Exploring How Oral Health Affects Women's Systemic Well-Being

This course is designed to enlighten audience members on how gender specific issues impact women's oral and systemic health.  Presented in a relaxed forum encouraging audience participation, attendees will learn about the effects of estrogen and progesterone on the oral cavity.  Discussion of hormonal gingivitis, the impact of periodontal diseases on pregnancy outcomes, and other oral maladies associated with hormonal fluctuations will be included. Because cardiovascular disease continues to be a leading cause of death of women in the United States, dental hygiene clinicians need to keep abreast of the latest findings involving the effects of inflammation on cardiovascular health.  An in-depth look at how oral inflammation impacts heart attack and stroke incidence will be presented in conjunction with treatment protocols designed to positively impact cardiovascular health.  Come prepared to learn, laugh, and leave the course with valuable information on how dental hygiene care can make a positive difference in the health and well-being of the female patient.

Following this presentation, course participants will be able to:

•Understand the roles of progesterone and estrogen in oral inflammation

•Recognize the impact of oral inflammation on pregnancy outcomes

•Discuss the link between inflammation and heightened cardiovascular risk

•Understand gender differences in responding to stress

•Discuss home care options designed to reduce inflammation to the female dental hygiene patient

•Describe how puberty, monthly hormonal cycles, use of oral contraceptives, pregnancy, and menopause impact a woman’s oral health

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 Pathos of Pathology:

Puzzles, Perplexities and Paradigms

This course will offer the participant an opportunity to understand the many nuances associated with oral and systemic disease.  An in-depth look at microbiological challenges in today’s world will be included along with immunological considerations.  Specific viral and bacterial infections will be explored.  An overview of cancer dynamics will also be included.  Participants will receive a glimpse of pathology as a way to understand the puzzles, perplexities, and paradigms of disease.  Presented in a relaxed forum utilizing many case studies, participants are encouraged to be prepared to learn and have fun during this informative seminar.

Following the presentation, course attendees will be able to:

•Understand differences in bacterial structures and functions

•Understand pathological potentials for commonly encountered microbes

•Identify head, neck and oral manifestations of bacterial, viral and fungal infections

•Recognize early signs and symptoms of malignancy

•Implement appropriate treatment strategies for in-office and at-home therapy

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 Drug Store Addiction:

The Abuse of Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications 

Who’s the new drug dealer for today’s abuser and addict?  The answer in many cases is the pharmaceutical industry.  While ‘street drugs’ such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana continue to be problematic, abuse of legal prescription and over-the-counter (‘OTC’) mediations is becoming more commonplace among people of all ages.  From anti-anxiety medications to sleep aids to opioid abuse, today’s drug culture is experimenting with drugs in dangerous combinations.  An overview of commonly abused prescription and OTC medications will be explored.  Breaking news items of regional interest will be included to ensure current relevancy.  Presented in a relaxed forum encouraging audience participation, this course is designed to provide participants with a comprehensive overview of this alarming trend.

Following this presentation, course attendees will be able to:

•             Recognize oral and systemic manifestations of prescription medications

•             Differentiate between stimulant and depressant abuse

•             Understand how opiate abuse impacts the dental community

•             Integrate appropriate pain management strategies that minimize abuse potential

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 Allergy Nation: Asthma to Zyrtec

Allergies and asthma are affecting Americans of all ages at alarming rates.  Food allergies—especially gluten and peanut sensitivity—impact thousands of individuals on a daily basis.  Latex sensitivities in the practice setting have plagued clinicians and patients for decades.  Asthma rates have exploded in our society during the last few years. Countless prescription and over-the-counter remedies for allergy and asthma control have intra-oral and systemic sequelae.  This course will provide an eye-opening look at how allergies and asthma impact oral health care delivery.  Come prepared to be amazed in a relaxed forum designed to encourage audience participation and fun-filled learning.

Following the course, participants will be able to:

•Recognize the signs and symptoms associated with an allergic reaction

•Analyze oral hygiene products for allergen content

•Understand the impact of allergy and asthma medications on the oral cavity

•Comprehend the impact of environmental factors on allergy and asthma development

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 Nutrition News:

Updates Affecting Oral and Systemic Health

Today’s focus on fitness and well-being continues to stress the importance of a good diet in achieving oral and systemic health.  Nutritional counseling in the dental hygiene setting has proven to be a valuable, often overlooked aspect of delivering comprehensive patient care.  Participants will be provided with countless ways to integrate ‘nutritional news’ into their patient education strategies.  Come prepared to laugh and learn!

Following the course, attendees will be able to:

•Understand the roles vitamins play in overall health

•Recognize the health ramifications of certain food additives

•Identify oral conditions associated with dietary

•Discuss the oral and systemic health effects of dietary sweeteners