Archive for September, 2011

2006 through 2011 Dental School Graduates

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

**This post has been added by a new contributor – Mary Fusco – With the joint purpose of finding out more about the shortage and access to dental care. Thank you in advance for your input. We appreciate your time and efforts to contribute to this study.**


I was a dental assistant for 12 years right out of high school and I have maintained an interest in dental workforce issues ever since. After completing my bachelors and masters degrees, I worked in non-profits where I devoted my time to dental workforce issues. I am now working at a dental school and I’m a PhD candidate in the dissertation phase with a topic focused on dental workforce shortages affecting access to care.


I’m interested in finding out if experience with dentistry prior to and during dental school affects how a person feels about their dental skills and abilities, and then finding out if these experiences (such as community outreach) influence practice preference. I believe the results of my study will help with dental admissions processes and with dental clinic recruitment and hiring. I’m focusing on dentists who have graduated between 2006 and 2011 to complete a short (10 minute) survey. I’ll share the results of my research with those who are interested.


Anyone interested in learning more about the research study and taking the survey please go to:


Thank you, in advance, for your participation!
Mary Fusco, MA, PhD ABD

Trick to Treat with Warming Composites

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

In the last issue of The New Dentist, I wrote about flowable composites and their use in restorative dentistry. Since the publication of the article, my flowable usage has decreased significantly. Many clinicians use flowable composite to line the floor and line angles of class II composites. In addition, I use flowable for ultra-conservative preparations that are too small to consistently pack regular composite into. Recently, I have begun modifying regular composite to allow for this ultra-conservative use. By heating regular composite to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the viscosity of the composite is increased greatly. This causes the regular composite to flow much more like flowable composite and conform to the small preparation better.


I am now using heated composite for almost all posterior resin restorations. The composite can be heated in a couple of different ways. A messy but cheap way is to let the composite compules soak in a hot water bath for about 15 minutes prior to placement. This way works, but is not as nearly slick as the CalSet Compule Heater. This handy piece of equipment can be purchased through almost any dental supply house and costs around $300. It keeps 4 compules of composite at the prerequisite 130 degrees and can maintain that safely all day long. My assistants turn it on in the morning and load it with compules. The composite stays hot all day long and is not affected by repeated heating and cooling cycles.


Heated composite is a great way to make the material more viscous and flowable without trading strength and wear resistance. Try it!