Good news for teeth in Kansas

Photo courtesy

The state that served as home to the practice of first female dentist, Lucy Hobbs, is shifting gears for its dental hygiene students.

The Kansas Board of Regents recently recommended that all dental hygiene programs in the state align, which could inadvertently open more spots for those interested in pursuing the competitive field.

“Within the last five years there were 44,000 qualified applicants that applied to dental hygiene programs across the state and there were only 7,000 openings,” said Cheryl Bosilijevac, registered dental hygienist, one of two full-time staff members at Flint Hills Technical College. “It is really competitive.”

According to ental hygiene programs are few and far between in Kansas. One of the seven available programs is located at Flint Hills.

In an interview with Wagoner, Rhonda Weatherbie, a registered dental hygienist and another of Flint Hills two full-time staff members discussed the requirement changes and how they will affect the program there.

“The problem is that the program at FHTC was accredited unlike any other program in the state,” Weatherbie said. “We have what they call a one plus one program.”

Currently, students go through the first year of dental assisting and then a year of dental hygiene. Other programs throughout the state require two years of dental hygiene.

“We are now being required to go to the two-year program rather than the one plus one,” Weatherbie said.

The requirement changes requested by the Kansas Board of Regents will result in not only a need for more faculty, but will lead to curriculum changes and the need for location expansion.

Read more about the changes in Kansas and the need for support and funds for the dental hygiene program at Flint Hills:




Don’t wait. Another reason to tackle gum disease pronto.

HIV-infected H9 T cell

Dental and medical researchers from Case Western Reserve University discovered that byproducts of bacteria in gum disease, called metabolic small chain fatty acid (SCFA), can work together to wake up HIV in dormant T-cells and cause the virus to replicate.

Their findings help explain why people with the HIV -infections and periodontal disease have higher levels of the virus in their saliva than HIV patients with healthy gums. For dental patients with HIV, it shows how important it is to treat bacterial infections in gum disease early.

“This interaction by SCFA and T-cells surprised co-investigators Fengchun Ye, assistant professor of biological sciences at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, and Jonathan Karn, director of the Center for Aids Research and professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Case Western Reserve’s medical school,” said Science Daily.

Their findings can be found in the article, “Short chain fatty acids potently induce latent HIV-1 in T-cells by activating P-TEFb and multiple histone modifications,” published in January 2015 in the journal Virology.


Lying through her teeth.


In the Steven Spielberg‘s 2002 film Catch Me If You Can, Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a criminal who before his 21st birthday worked as a doctor, a lawyer, and a co-pilot for a major airline using his powers of deception.

His character, loosely based on con artist Frank Abagnale Jr., did it all without the help of YouTube.

He never actually practiced medicine, though.

This week in Thailand, a 21-year-old woman arrested for illegally straightening people’s teeth has told police she learned her skills from the video-sharing website, according to 

Thararat Thaptimtae was arrested after police and public health officials raided a room in a dormitory after responding to complaints that its occupant had been providing illegal dental alignment for vocational students and other teenagers.

Thaweesak Sukkhasem reported police said Thararat, a former vocational student, confessed that she had never studied dentistry or worked at a dental clinic but charged her teenage customers between 800 and 1,200 baht (USD $25 and $37).

Abagnale Jr., who now helps the FBI catch fraudsters, forgers and embezzlers, said his crimes tallied $2.5 million, which today would be about $20 million.


Houston’s time to shine

Field of Light, a dazzling art installation by internationally-acclaimed artist Bruce Munro is now on display along the Brown Promenade through  Feb. 22, 2015 and it is illuminated from 3 to 11 p.m. daily. The prime viewing hours of the exhibit are after dusk.

And shine it will for all visitors during The Star of the South Dental Meeting. Especially if a visit to Brown Promenade, after dusk, is on the itinerary.

Field of Light, a dazzling art installation by internationally-acclaimed Bruce Munro is on display along the Brown Promenade through  Feb. 22,  illuminated from 3 to 11 p.m. daily.

Munro originally conceived the idea in 1992 during a trip through the red desert of central Australia, when he sketched a landscape of illuminated stems that would wait like dormant seeds in a dry desert, to bloom at night. It has since been specifically re-imagined for sites across the globe, since 2004. The Discovery Green Field of Light comprises 4,500 radiant, frosted glass spheres atop slender stems connected by illuminated fiber optic. The spheres and stems wait quietly until dusk and then bloom with gentle rhythms of colored light as darkness falls over the park.


George R. Brown Convention Center will host the Star of the South Dental Meeting today through Jan. 24.

It is sure to inspire, along with the innovations in dentistry on display through Saturday at The Star of the South, when The Greater Houston Dental Society’s annual meeting brings dental professionals to the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Founded in 1904, The Greater Houston Dental Society (GHDS) is the fourth largest component society in the United States, with a current membership of over 1,600.

Don’t miss the Friday Night Star Party, which will begin as the Exhibit Hall closes and will be held in the back of the Exhibit Hall on Friday at 6 pm.

For more details involving registration, visit

For a sneak preview of Field of Light:

They’ve got the white stuff, baby.

Teeth whitening blue accelerator light, shown,  is part and parcel of the White Tooth  app.

(Photo courtesy

A number of photo editing apps, such as Pictr and FaceTune allow users to digitally makeover their  selfies and other images —   brighten their smiles, enhance their eyes, spray hair onto bald patches, even reshape their faces.

Makers of the White Tooth app take it one step further. They aim to give users the benefits of professional tooth bleaching at home.

According to a recent story in by @NidhiSubs, the free Android app (one for iPhone is due this month) created by Pearly Whites Express Teeth Whitening Center in Boston, turns your smartphone screen into a blue LED. When paired with a whitening agent — store-bought whitening strips or Pearly Whites gel — it promises to speed the process.

A 40-minute session (which, according to Pearly Whites founder Justin McFadden, will keep your teeth glistening for 90 days) costs $3.98.

Talk about full service: Clients can send pictures of their teeth to one of Pearly Whites Express’ smile technicians for a professional tooth shade check or ask questions via text.

Does McFadden’s app have the white stuff?

Read one first-person review at:

Find out the American Dental Association’s views on bleaching lights: