The six CE topics new dentists want to explore

Want to learn from your peers?

Discover the top CE subjects they are searching for online. According to ADA CE Online, new dentists want to study topics that will advance their success in practice, improve patient care and deepen their knowledge of dental specialties.


Here are the six most popular terms your peers are searching for right now:

  • Infection Control & OSHA
  • Anesthesia & Sedation
  • Radiology
  • Oral Surgery
  • Practice Management
  • Implant Dentistry

If these topics interest you, don’t delay. Stay ahead of the curve by visiting to explore courses on each subject. Gain the support you need any time of day, from anywhere. Your practice and patients will thank you for it.

7 free (or almost free) things you can do that will make you a better dentist (and person)

7 free (or almost free) thing you can do that will make you a better dentist (and person)As dentists we’re constantly looking to make ourselves better. Whether it’s that new piece of equipment or a new procedure, we’re looking for constant improvement. Onward and upward!

These things usually cost a bunch, though. My ability to diagnose increases significantly with a cone beam CT in the office. For a mere $100k, I will be a diagnostic super hero. I get it. Getting better has a price, right? Well…not always. There are some really inexpensive things you can do to become a significantly better dentist.

  • read: Our ability to communicate is really important. As dentists. As parents. As humans. Much of our communication depends on language and our ability to use and understand language. With this in mind…when was the last time you took any kind of course in language arts? I know you’ve taken treatment planning courses, implant placement courses, veneer courses, business management courses and on. And on. I get it. Dentists don’t take courses in language. We’re just automatically great at it, right? Ummmm. No. This is why you should read. I personally have a hard time sitting down and reading books with my eyes. I’m more of a blog post reader or the occasional newspaper reader. Books are fantastic, though. I’m actually OK with comic books. Regular reading is kind of like a quick refresher course in using the language and it helps you use part of your brain that doesn’t necessarily get engaged with other kinds of media.
  • learn to meditate: I know what you’re thinking. “Meditating is for hippies. I’m not sitting cross legged and saying “om” to the universe. I’ve got things to do.” I thought this, too. For me, meditation has been a really healthy habit. I’m not perfect about making time for it, but I find my days get better when I do. All human beings are emotional creatures. You may not think of yourself as emotional, but remember being angry or stressed…that’s your emotions. Much of my stress and anxiety is linked to not recognizing my feelings. It sounds silly, but just recognizing that you’re feeling a certain way is enough to help move through it. Much of the time we’re too busy to think about the actual emotions we experience. Meditation and mindfulness is ALL about this. I’ve learned a lot from my friend Dr. Dawn Kulongowski and her private Facebook group for dentists. You should check it out.
  • listen to podcasts: Yes, this is self serving. But it isn’t wrong. I am a podcaster. I have two dental podcasts that you should be listening to. The Dental Hacks podcast is the show I’ve been doing with my friend Dr. Jason Lipscomb for 3 years. It’s fun, it’s informative and it’s free. The Alan Mead Experience is a new show that I started last month. It focuses on conversation and storytelling. I love them both. But if you don’t like those, there are 50+ podcasts about dentistry available on iTunes or most other podcast listening software. There’s something for everyone. Podcasts are great because they make time that’s often not productive (working out, driving to work, mowing the lawn) into a chance to learn and hear some different perspectives. Podcasts are awesome.
  • write: Many people that communicate very well through speech struggle with similar communication through writing. The spoken word is more comfortable for most people because the ear is more forgiving and so much of spoken communication is nonverbal through tone, expression and even hand gestures. Writing is harder. But it’s still really important. The good news…the writing muscle gets stronger with exercise. The more you write, the easier it will get and the better you’ll be at it. So spend some time writing. Write a letter to someone you haven’t talked with in awhile. When was the last time you got a letter from someone? It’s guaranteed to make someone’s day. Start a blog. Write a novel. Again…it doesn’t matter so much what you write as much as you give those muscles a little workout.
  • take photos: You’re thinking “that’s not free. You said the stuff was free!” True. You can spend a bunch of money on clinical photography set ups. But you don’t have to. If the Kois Center is recommending that you use a smartphone or tablet to take your intake images, that should be good enough for you! If you take photos (or even video) of your work, you will get better. End of story. There is nothing more frustrating (or educational) than taking photos of the perfect resin you just placed only to see some flash you missed or some anatomy that looks less than ideal that you just didn’t see clinically. Taking photos makes you better. Period.
  • take time off: I’m terrible at this. Seriously. Most of the time I take off from work involves dental CE. That’s pathetic. There’s something magical about having time away from the office and NOT doing dental stuff. I’m in the middle of a week off from work that has been incredibly energizing. I’m essentially doing work around my house and single parenting my children. Knowing that there is life outside of your dental office and that the whole world doesn’t end when you’re not in the office is valuable. It makes you better when you’re there and it helps make you realize that you’re human before you’re a dentist.
  • have lunch with local colleagues: I have a ton of dental colleagues. Many of them are from “away.” I interact with dentists across the country and across the world on a daily basis because of podcasting, blogging and social media. I’ve learned much of what I do in my office from people I’ve actually never met in person. However…there is something to having regular interaction with your local colleagues, too. I generally don’t think of local dentists as competition. It doesn’t serve me well and frankly, we compete against other things patients can spend money on (smartphones, lawn tractors) much more than other dentists. It’s really great to be able to communicate or commiserate with a real live person. Having local colleagues that you can lean on for second opinions and referrals is really important. Plus, it helps you realize that you’re doing OK, even though you aren’t posting all of your cases on Style Italiano or Tomorrow Tooth.

So there you have it. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to improve yourself or your dentistry. And a lot of these suggestions can help you be a better human being, too. Which is a pretty good side benefit, right?

If I missed any please or leave some suggestions in the comments section. If you found this helpful, please share it!

ADA-endorsed student loan program rebrands to Laurel Road

Darien Rowayton Bank — the student loan refinancing program endorsed by the ADA — announced June 15 that its online lending division inclusive of its student loan refinancing program is now officially called Laurel Road.

The rebrand includes a new logo, visual identity and website. Although the online lending division is rebranding under a new name, terms of ADA members’ loans will remain the same, and the lender of ADA members’ loans will continue to be DRB.

Borrowers will receive student loan statements from MOHELA, a student loan servicer, for Laurel Road starting June 15, and its new website,, is live. Completed student loan application and applications for new lending products can now be found on

According to letters the company sent to borrowers, the new name is more reflective of the company’s growing customer base, evolving product set and recent technology advancements.

“The name embodies both the journey (i.e. ‘Road’) it takes for our customers to achieve their life goals and the inherent satisfaction once those goals are earned,” according to a Laurel Road FAQ.

In 2015, the ADA announced the endorsement of DRB’s student loan refinancing program, which allowed ADA members an opportunity to refinance existing federal and private loans at a lower rate. As with other Laurel Road product offerings, ADA members receive an extra 0.25 percent discount on their student loan refinancing rate as long as they maintain their membership. As of December 2016, the typical ADA member saves nearly $33,000 over the life of their loan after refinancing with DRB.

In addition, the ADA announced earlier this year that students going into any one of the nine ADA-recognized specialties and general practice residencies are able to refinance their entire student loan portfolio as soon as they are matched to a residency program. For ADA members who qualify and regardless of how much is refinanced, their payment will be only $100 per month throughout training. Rates for the Resident Student Loan Refinancing program range from 4.48 percent to 6.95 percent, including an extra discount for those that set up autopay.

For more information on Laurel Road and student loan refinancing, visit For information on ADA debt resources, visit

Your patients’ top fluoride questions — explained!

Need answers to your patients’ common fluoride questions? Dentists recently asked an ADA expert their questions about nature’s cavity fighter, based on what they hear from their patients, during a Facebook Live event the ADA hosted April 18.

The event featured explanations from Dr. Kevin Donly, a member of the expert panel the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs convened in 2013 to create the ADA’s most recent topical fluoride guideline. Dr. Melissa Lee Davis, former vice president of the Chicago Dental Society, Northwest Suburban Branch, interviewed him.

Dr. Donly answered several questions on fluoride, such as:

  • Why is fluoride important? Is it really necessary?

If there is one thing dentists know, it’s that fluoride is great. Fluoride is a natural mineral in our environment and back in the 1930s, it was noticed that parts of the country that were naturally fluoridated at higher levels had fewer cavities in the population, so for the next 20 years, a lot of research was done. We came up with water fluoridation in the 1940s and then we went on to professionally apply topical fluorides today, which has probably been the greatest thing to reduce the caries level in our population.

  • What would you tell parents or patients who are concerned about the risks of fluoride?

The first thing I tell them is that fluoride is safe. Then, I refer them to the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry because the best reference materials patients will ever find on fluoride are available there. I also remind patients that small levels of fluoride are certainly safe. We have years and years of evidence to support this. The American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, The United States Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization recommend fluoride, so there’s a lot of data that shows it’s safe and effective.

  • Should adults get fluoride treatment?
    Fluoride treatments can be effective for adults when we extrapolate from studies on children. For instance, research shows that fluoride rinses can help adults who have lost part of the bone on their teeth and have exposed roots.

For more ADA-approved fluoride explanations, watch the full video of Dr. Donly’s interview from April 18 on the ADA’s official Facebook page and read responses to more than a dozen fluoride questions in the video’s comments section.

Values: Our Promise To The Community

Choosing health care providers for your children is a decision that you take very seriously. You want to choose providers whose values align with your own. You also want a pediatric dentist who can build a trusting relationship and instill good healthy habits for your child for years to come.

Our mission at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry is to serve our local community by providing an unrivaled standard of quality care within pediatric dentistry. Our teams promote a fun, safe, and nurturing dental home for infants, children, adolescents, and individuals with special needs by promoting optimal oral health through education and long-term impactful relationships with our patients.

To us, a mission statement is much more than a standard paragraph of promises. We hold ourselves to this standard every day, with every patient, and with every community interaction.

Our core values are what make us who we are – a dedicated practice with the best interest of our patients at heart.

Charlotte pediatric dentistry is caring, compassionate, and community focused.

QUALITY Dental Care

We take pride in being dental care leaders for the children in our community. Each patient receives individualized care without breaking the bank. We believe that quality care should be accessible and understandable, so we take extra care to make our processes transparent and easy for the patient and the parent.


“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

This quote embodies the perfect example of why we believe that oral health education is so important – for both children and adults. Children feel more comfortable at the dentist when they are involved with their dental care. We strive to keep them as involved as they are comfortable with, as well as ensure that parents are always in the know with their children’s dental care.

Because we take education seriously, we are always learning, too!

Dr. Hwang and Dr. Wilson of Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry


We often start seeing children at the recommended age of two years old, so we establish relationships with our patients early! We love to watch our patients grow with each appointment! Our patients become like family after they trust us with their care for many years. Helping each child start with good dental habits and healthy smiles prepares them for the future, and that’s what we do every day.

triplets on their visit at the dentist


Our community treats us so well that we give back as often as we can and in as many different ways as possible. From sponsorships to 5Ks, we find a way to give back and offer our gratitude for your continued years of support. Some of our most recent sponsorships included Girls on the Run and the Gastonia Grizzlies. We could not be the growing practice we are today if it wasn’t for all of you!

the charlotte pediatric dentistry team

POSITIVE Team-Oriented Work Environment

We’re a family at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry. We work together to make sure each patient has a pleasant experience each time they step foot into our practice. Dr. Moore is very selective in his hiring process. He only selects the most teamwork-oriented individuals who have a passion for helping children. From the front desk to the dentist, each one of our team members contributes a very important role to our practice. We employ talented individuals who come together as one dedicated team!

We invite you to experience the CPD difference for yourself and for your family. You will quickly see why parents and children actually look forward to coming to the dentist! We would love the opportunity to be your children’s dental practice for success.

The post Values: Our Promise To The Community appeared first on Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry – The best Pediatric Dentist in Charlotte, Davidson, Gastonia and UNCC area..

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Going to the dentist can be an anxiety inducing experience, especially when you’re not sure what your dentist will actually be doing inside your mouth or what all of those intimidating looking tools are for.

We want to help you understand exactly what happens when you sit down in your dentist’s chair by demystifying some of the most common tools of the trade.

There are two main types of dental tools: handheld and rotary.


Handheld Tools

Handheld tool are exactly what they sound like: much like scissors for a barber, a dentist’s handheld tools require no external power and can be used anytime, anywhere.

Some of the most common handheld tools include mouth mirrors, probes, tweezers, scalers, excavators, chisels, hatchets and hoes.


Mouth Mirror

Mouth Mirror

A mouth mirror is used to examine the inside of the mouth, the teeth, and the tongue.


Dental Probes

The dental probe comes in a number of different sizes and shapes but the three most common are:

The straight probe (used to examine cavities and to check the margins of fillings or restorations), the Briault probe (used to detect the gap between the enamel and the dentine and to look for tartar hidden in the gum pockets), and the periodontal probe (less sharp than the other two and used primarily for taking measurements inside the mouth).




Scalers are used to remove tartar (the hard plaque build up) on the surface of your teeth and hidden in the gum pockets. They’re also used to clean away any other surface deposits or to remove temporary crowns.




Excavators serve two very important dental functions: they remove softened dentine and temporary fillings, and the back of the blade can also be used to insert linings in filling materials.


Chisels, hatchets, and hoes

Chisels, hatchets, and hoes are used most often during the process of filling a cavity. Their purpose is to remove any unsupported enamel that might compromise the filling process and longevity.

Some other notable hand held tools are plastic instruments (used to shape filling materials, plastic instruments do not use heavy pressure) and condensers or pluggers (used to compress and form filling materials, they do use heavy pressure).


Rotary instruments (also known as the infamous ‘dental drills’) are the ones that tend to freak patients out the most. Rotary instruments have two speeds (high/air turbine or low) and the noise produced in high speed mode is the one most of us typically associate negatively with our dental visits.

As alarming as the loud noises produced by the rotary instruments may be, they’re a vital part of maintaining your oral health! Drills can perform all kinds of necessary functions like filling cavities, smoothing the surface of the teeth, removing decay, and repairing chips.

 Now that you’ve seen all of the tools of the trade, we hope to alleviate any anxiety you might normally feel next time you’re sitting in your dentist’s chair!