Archive for the ‘Education’ Category


On July 17, 2015, Dr. John and his wife, Anne, traveled to Ireland with a group of US dentists (most from Texas) for a Continuing Dental Education course that also provided time to explore this beautiful country. The course was sponsored by the University of Texas Health Science Center and featured Dr. Brian Mealey. Dr. Mealey is the director of the Specialist Division in the Department of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio School of Dentistry. He has published extensively in the scientific literature, with an emphasis on inter-relationships between oral and systemic health. Dr. Mealey is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and is a consultant to the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs. He currently serves as a Director of the American Board of Periodontology. Long story short is that Dr. Mealy is not only a preeminent expert in the field of Periodontology, but also an engaging and gifted teacher. His lectures focused on the relationships between periodontal health and diabetes, immune compromise, pregnancy, and cardiovascular disease. With so many Americans affected by periodontal disease, his presentations, which included summaries of the most current research studies and data on this topic, were both informative and timely. Ask Dr. John more about this when you are next in the office. On a lighter note, Dr. John and Anne had the opportunity to spend time in Dublin (and the required visit to the Guiness Storehouse), Kilkenny, Killarney, and Cong. We hope you enjoy these pics from their trip.

IMG_1155 IMG_1067 IMG_1035 IMG_1029 IMG_0832 IMG_0699 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender-2 FullSizeRender-1

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Dental Implant Training

Drs. John and Kate, along with assistants Brenda and Amber, recently traveled to an all-day conference in Milwaukee, WI to hear Dr. Louis Al-Faraje lecture on advances in dental implants.  Dr. Al-Faraje is a well-known leader in the world of dental implants.  In addition to his private practice, he has authored numerous textbooks and has a training facility in San Diego, CA, called the The California Implant Institute.  Through generous sponsorship with the Wisconsin Academy of General Dentistry, Wisconsin dental professionals were able to hear Dr. Al-Faraje lecture without needing to travel across the country.

We are excited to bring the information we learned back to the office!

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(L to R: Dr. John, Dr. Kate, Dr. Al-Faraje, Brenda, Amber)

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Ask the Dentist!
Tuesday, February 17, 1:00 pm
Verona Public Library
500 Silent Street, Verona, WI  53593 

If you have a baby or toddler, you may have questions about thumb sucking, your child’s first dental visit or how and when to clean your child’s teeth. If so Main Street Dentists invites you to attend this free program. Parents will learn about when children should have their first dental visit, ways to prevent early childhood caries, when to expect changes from primary to permanent teeth, proper brushing and flossing techniques, thumb sucking, dental sealants and the importance of regular dental examinations. Parents and children welcome.


Thank you to the Verona Public Library for hosting this event!

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Drs. John and Kate, Assistants Brenda and Jean and Hygienists Tanya and Denise had a great mission trip to Siguatepeque, Honduras 10/31/14-11/7/14.

Patients were seen from noon on Saturday through noon on Thursday.  Here are some highlights of the trip:

  • 146 patients were treated
  • Over 75% of those treated were children under the age of 12
  • All children without decay on permanent molars received dental sealants
  • All children and most adults received fluoride treatment
  • All patients seen received toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss
  • Thanks to CUNA Mutual of Madison, all children seen received their choice of toy or stuffed animal

Thank you to Henry Schein Dental, Holt Dental, Colgate, and CUNA Mutual for their generous support and donations of dental products and toys for kids that help make these trips possible.

Below are some photo highlights of the Fall 2014 trip.

We were able to spend time at the school on this trip teaching about brushing and flossing.















We also had some happy kids with “No Cavities!” at their visits






Unfortunately, we still saw some instances of bad decay in children that had never seen a dentist before.


Here are some candid shots of the team in the clinic:






Here we are outside the hotel on the last night:


A big thank you to our families that support all of us while we are away!

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Welcome New Teachers!

There will be 50 new teachers in the Verona School District this year and Main Street Dentists is happy to welcome them to Verona by participating in the Verona Chamber of Commerce’s “New Teacher Welcome Bags.”

We put together goody bags for the teachers that had toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss and then threw in some fruit snacks.

(Don’t worry, they’ll be able to brush afterwards!)

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Welcome to Verona!

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January 14-19, 2014 Drs. John and Kate, along with Dental Assistants Brenda, Jean and Jaika, traveled to Phoenix, Arizona for the Damon Forum, an international orthodontic conference on the Damon Bracket System.  Over the multi-day conference they heard lectures from doctors from around the globe in large and small group formats.  With over 1100 doctors and team members in attendance, it was a unique learning opportunity.

Dr. John has been using the Damon System for several years and Dr. Kate will now be offering this system to her patients.  The Damon System allows for more efficient tooth movement which means shorter times in braces for all patients. Ask us about the Damon System the next time you’re in the office.



DSC00079Math???  You bet!

IMG_1324What’s up with the red and green tabs?

The plastic colored tabs are on while the brackets are placed to help ensure the doctors have the brackets in the perfect position.  They pop right off when the brackets are bonded on–they won’t go home with you!




A highlight was the Great Gatsby-themed dinner on Friday night.


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December Training

Dr. Kate, Anita, and Jaika recently traveled to Lake Geneva where they learned great information to make our practice even more fantastic! After the conference, they enjoyed all of the beautiful Christmas decorations at the Grand Geneva Resort and indulged in some decadent desserts.





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This x-ray made us all laugh!

Do you think that your teeth look like jellyfish?

Dr. Kate received this x-ray (along with the original) for a second opinion.

With permission, we are sharing this x-ray as a reminder that not everyone looks at dental x-rays the same way.

If you think this is funny, click here to read about how medical radiologists can miss gorillas hiding in plain sight.

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Dental Sensitivity


Do cold foods make you say “Ouch!”?

The following entry was written by Kari F., dental hygienist:

The subject I talk about numerous times each day is dental sensitivity. Over 50% of patients between 20 and 40 have some sensitivity to hot, cold, sweets or even touch. The cause can be due to periodontal disease, cracked teeth, abrasion, tooth fracture or most commonly, gingival (gum) recession. All of these problems result in exposed dentin.


Dentin is the substance that covers the root surface of your tooth versus enamel, which covers the crown of your tooth. Nerves run horizontally through your tooth. Enamel protects the open tubules that the nerves run through, from external stimuli. Dentin does not.

Dentin sensitivity is usually short in duration and often hard to pinpoint. We can often visually spot the area in question fairly easy. If not, we become the bad guy, and will squirt cold water or blow air to help us determine where your pain is originating.

So what can we do to solve this problem? When the cause of sensitivity is due to gingival (gum) recession, we recommend always brushing in a vertical motion or circular, never horizontally. We also recommend using a soft or extra soft toothbrush. Brushing with toothpaste for sensitive teeth is also a great idea. Make sure to look for potassium salts and fluoride at the top of the ingredient list. You should use this type of toothpaste for at least 2 weeks to determine if it is helping. We also have pastes in our office that contain Recaldent, a substance that can also help close tubules in the root surface that are allowing you to feel the irritating stimuli. Another option is having a fluoride varnish applied at your dental appointment.

You may need to experiment with different products or a combination of products before you fund relief. We will be happy to help you find a solution to this very common problem.


Fluoride Varnish


Sensitivity Toothpaste

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Last weekend Dr. John, Dr. Kate and dental assistant Brenda traveled to the exotic locale (haha) of Pewaukee, WI for training on new Cerec computer software, new Cerec crown materials,  and on how to make those Cerec crowns beautiful with a new line of custom colors and glazes.

Needless to say, all were very impressed with the new products coming out and can’t wait to get them in the office one available.  Here are some photos of the class taken by Dr. Kate of Dr. John and Brenda at work:


Matching up the correct colors using a color guide


Who knew that the color blue would be used on teeth?


Following the PDF instructions


A careful balancing act

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Honduras 2013


We are returning to Honduras!  We are happy to announce a penpal partnership between an elementary school in Waunakee and the school we serve in Honduras. Look for updates on the trip in mid-February.

We are also pleased to provide books and toys to all of the children at the end of their appointments.  We have had several wonderful people make donations of new and gently used books and toys.  If you are in the process of sorting out books and toys and would like to donate any items, please let us know.  We will provide you with photos of the children gratefully accepting these item. Additionally, at the end of the school year before throwing away  crayons, partially used notebooks, etc., consider donating these items to the Honduras school.

For more information, do not hesitate to ask anyone at our office at your next appointment.

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September Recap

We have had quite the busy month this September at Main Street Dentists:

Dr. John, Denise, Amber and Diane are back from Honduras after a very rewarding trip.

Watch for pictures by the end of next week.  We have so many to choose from that it is hard to pick our favorites!

Dr. Kate attended a course in Naperville, IL on a new root canal treatment system.  For the majority of patients who undergo root canal therapy there is no discomfort during the procedure; however, the main inconvenience is the length of treatment.  During root canal therapy the tooth roots are cleaned using several different instruments.  The new system is based upon our existing system and combines many of the instruments into one instrument.  This will save patients time sitting in the chair while still allowing for excellent root canal treatment.  We’re sure that most patients won’t mind have their procedure completed more quickly!

Earlier this month Tanya traveled south to the Chicago-area for a laser certification course.  Tanya is now our first hygienist to be certified in laser therapy for treatment of periodontal (gum) disease.  This is an incredible service that can be used to try and prevent the need for periodontal surgery.  Lasers have a high success rate in their ability to aid in the treatment of periodontal disease.  Tanya did an outstanding job in her course and received 100% on her certification exam.  We are so proud of her and her commitment to providing the most advanced, highest-quality care to our patients.

We are looking ahead to more educational courses in October and November.

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I have spent more time recently than I care to admit struggling with the notion of a need to stay fueled and hydrated on long runs while not compromising my oral health.

Fact:  Every time we eat or drink anything with sugar or a low pH (acidic) our teeth can decay for 30 minutes.  This is the reasoning behind every dental association’s “Sip All Day Get Decay” public service announcement.

Fact:  People who exercise need to replace water and electrolytes lost through sweating in order to maintain balance within their bodies.

Fact:  Energy drinks all contain various forms of sugar.  This is good to help fuel during exercise but bad for one’s teeth if sipped continuously during exercise.

As a runner I have tried lots of different products during and after training: Gatorade, Ironman PERFORM, Endorox, Powerbar Gels, and Gu, to name a few.  As a dentist, I know that every time I take a sip of Gatorade on a run my teeth can spiral into that decay cycle for 30 minutes.  I also know that as my hydration decreases my mouth become dry, losing saliva that helps wash sugar and acid away from my teeth.

Here’s the balance I’ve found:  I now carry Powerbar Gels on my longer runs.  I take a gel every 45 minutes and then I sip water, making sure to rinse my mouth the best I can.  I was carrying energy drinks with me but then I was rinsing my mouth with a sugary drink. For me, this works well to keep hydrated and stay fueled.

Will this work for everyone?  Absolutely not.  Every body is different.  The key is to be aware of what you are putting in your mouth and to be aware of the increased risk for decay.  Regular check-ups are important to catching early signs of decay, and, should you get cavities, to catch them in smaller sizes.  As friends of mine who also participate in long endurance events have noticed, rinsing with water after using gels and drinks has cut down on decay.

What other advice can I offer?  Gatorade and other energy beverages have specific purposes for fueling and hydrating during or after exercise.  They are not meant to be casually sipped beverages in lunches or at one’s desk during the day.  Used in that respect, they are just like having a regular soda.

In summary:  Enjoy our cooler temperatures and get outside!

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Teacher of the Month!

Ms. Sarah Sweeney is our Teacher of the Month!  One of her sixth grade students at Savannah Oaks Middle School submitted a persuasive essay on why Ms. Sweeney is not only a great teacher but deserving of a $50 Target gift card. Congratulations to Ms. Sweeney!

Here is the essay submitted by her student:

“I think my language arts teacher Ms. Sweeney should get the $50 gift card because she makes sure each student knows what we are talking about in class, she tries to supply us with everything we need to be successful in her class, and she gives us fair grades based on how much time we had and how well we did the project.

Ms. Sweeney makes sure each student knows what we are doing in class. She comes around every day and checks in with us so see where we are on our project. If we are behind she helps us as much as possible. She goes over everything that we need to know in class so we are not left stranded. Also we get packets of how to write different types of writing. To keep us up to date with our class work she needs to keep up with supplies.

Secondly she tries to supply us with everything we need to be successful. Ms. Sweeney makes sure we all get packets to help us know what we are doing and for a packet she would need paper.  She could use the money to buy paper, pencils, colored pencils, markers, and much more.  She could use some more books that we might have to read later in the year for classes. 

Also she gives us fair grades based on how much she started us with and how well we did the work.  Ms. Sweeney starts us off with lots of supplies that we might need for our project. Those supplies help us get a better grade so we don’t have to find the supplies by ourselves. So we as a class can keep up our grades the $50 should go towards Ms.Sweeney’s class.

In conclusion I want to know what is going on in class, have everything I need to succeed in class, and I would love great grades.  Also all the students who have Ms.Sweeney as a teacher would love her to have the money too, so that they could also get good grades. I hope you will take this into consideration that we deserve good supplies for school.”

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On Friday, May 11, our entire team took a day out of the office to participate in the Wisconsin Dental Association’s annual spring session.  The spring session is a series of events and meetings that typically lasts from a Thursday afternoon through a Saturday afternoon.  The last two years, dental offices in Dane County have been lucky because the meetings have been held at the beautiful Monona Terrace in downtown Madison.

On Friday our team attended four meetings, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.  All of our meetings focused on teamwork and how to create an even better office experience for all of our patients.  Hands-down, our entire office’s favorite speaker was the dynamic Joy Millis, of Charlotte, North Carolina.  She had the entire audience engaged and hanging on her every word for the 2 hour lecture–not an easy task at 8am.  We all left excited and energized.

Between our afternoon sessions we had a lunch provided in a downstairs exhibit hall large enough to encompass booths for many of the top dental companies around the United States.  It was a terrific opportunity to view new services and products available to dental offices and patients and to see and try some of the products with hands-on demos.

We can’t wait for our team meeting Monday morning to talk more about all of our experiences at the spring session!

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