Practitioners in the Midwest Region Present at Symposium Sponsored by Minnesota Dental Association

The Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) has a long history of advocating for and helping to develop resources to promote evidence-based dentistry (EBD). Friday, October 12, 2012 was the fourth in a series of annual meetings devoted to the topic of EBD in Minnesota and featured the activities of the National Dental PBRN. The event was held at the University of Minnesota Conference and Continuing Education Center in St. Paul, MN. In attendance were approximately 50 individuals from across Minnesota including dentists and specialists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental assistants, dental office administrative and managerial staff, educators, and researchers, as well as MDA leadership.

Gary Anderson, DDS, MS kicked off the meeting with “From EBD to PBRN: How did we get here?” followed by Pat Foy, DDS who shared “Studies that have changed my life,” a personal and humorous account of how involvement in practice-based research has positively impacted the way he thinks and communicates about the treatment options he presents and provides to patients.
In a discussion panel moderated by Dr. Foy, National Dental PBRN practitioners who participated in studies and meetings from 2006-2012 shared how involvement has impacted their practice both practically and philosophically. They described the experience of involving their teams and colleagues in the process. Panelists were Dr. Alejandro Aguirre, DDS, MS, Vince Riehm, DDS and Don Worley, DDS.
Dr. Don DeNucci from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) elaborated on the federal investment in dental practice-based research, shared outcomes of the regional PBRNs funded by NIDCR from 2005-2012, and outlined goals for the new national network. Dr. Brad Rindal underscored what providers, patients, and the profession as a whole stand to gain through the activities of the National Dental PBRN. Midwest Regional Coordinator, Emily Durand highlighted practical aspects of participation and the role of regional staff. She encouraged enrollment as the absolute best way to stay connected and learn about opportunities for study participation, meetings, and results.
Lunchtime discussions involved clinical questions that might inform future study topics and engaged many new participants who are enthusiastic to enroll.
MDA has set a goal that 10% of its membership be actively enrolled in the National Dental PBRN and continues to champion the work of the network through national, state, and district dental activities and initiatives. Upcoming district dental society meetings on EBD and involvement in practice-based research are being planned for early 2013. For others in Minnesota interested in this opportunity for their dental society or study club, please contact Bridgett A. Rassett LDA, Regulatory Affairs and Research Coordinator, Minnesota Dental Association for resources including speakers: 612-767-8400 brassett@mndental.org