MESA, Ariz. – Joseph C. Creech, Jr., DDS, associate professor and director of pediatric dentistry,  A.T. Still UniversityArizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, has been elected president of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD).

“As President of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, it is my honor to lead the continued legacy of the Board,” said Dr. Creech. “This legacy is based on standards of excellence that lead to high quality oral health care for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special health care needs.”

Creechfinal[1]Dr. Creech was elected at the Annual Session of the ABPD held on May 26 in Orlando, Fla.  He will serve as president of ABPD for one year.

“ABPD is further committed to lifelong learning through a renewal of certification process and values the provision of the highest quality dental care for children,” said Dr. Creech. “Such dental care is thoughtful, careful, ethical and based on the most recent scientific evidence. It takes into account the best interest of the patient and their parent.”

Dr. Creech is also a partner with Pediatric Dental Specialists in Gilbert and Chandler and has been in practice in the East Valley since 1980.


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MESA, Ariz. A.T. Still Univeristy’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) is proud to announce phase two of its Text2Floss initiative made possible by a generous grant received from DentaQuest Foundation’s Innovation Fund for Oral Health.

A total of $199,985 was awarded to support the Text2Floss project, which will fund its next phase of development. The proposal, An Innovative Option to Improve Oral Health Behavior, outlines a plan to advance and expand the platform’s HIPAA compliant and standard messaging system (SMS). The expansion introduces funding for an iPhone oral health app and integration of the Text2Floss SMS program with Dentrix Enterprise software. Both facets focus on the mission of raising awareness about the importance of oral health and to encourage flossing as an important daily hygiene habit and its impact to overall health.

The integration with Dentrix software will facilitate two-way messaging between patient mobile phones and electronic patient records, while the feature offered to iPhone users will create easier access to the Text2Floss text messaging program.

Both products will be pilot-tested at the ATSU-ASDOH-affiliated San Ysidro Health Center in San Diego County. A phase one pilot study was conducted in 2012 using the standard SMS technology.

“The phase two project will allow ATSU-ASDOH oral healthcare experts and its generous partners to continue collaborating to expand and refine this unique platform to promote healthy oral habits,” Tony Hashemian, DDS, Text2Floss founder and director, assistant dean, Global Oral Health at ATSU-ASDOH said. “We are excited, optimistic, and so grateful for the generosity of DentaQuest Foundation.”

The DentaQuest Foundation was established in 2000 with a mission to support and promote optimal oral health. The Foundation collaborates with partners in communities across the United States, connecting key stakeholders, raising awareness, and supporting solutions.

Also leading the Text2Floss initiative are ATSU-ASDOH partners CellTrust Corporation and RIESTER.

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MESA, Ariz. – A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) has teamed up with AJ’s Fine Foods for Smile Forward, an ATSU initiative that provides funds to those in need of dental care.

Throughout the month of March, customers have the opportunity to donate to Smile Forward at all Arizona AJ’s Fine Foods locations.

ASDOH 088Program funding is provided through the generous support of donors, civic organizations and corporate partners. Smile Forward has granted services to hundreds of individual patients, community programs serving children, women at risk, and medically-compromised patients equating to more than $170,000 in services since 2005.

“ATSU thanks Bashas’ Family of Stores for allowing us to feature Smile Forward at their AJ’s Fine Foods store locations,” said Jack Dillenberg, DDS, MPH, dean, ATSU-ASDOH. “Funds raised will allow us to continue supporting the oral healthcare needs of underserved individuals in our community.”

Donations can be made at check-out in any increment, and 100 percent of proceeds raised will go to fund Smile Forward patient care.  Patients receive treatment at two University-affiliated clinics: ATSU-ASDOH Clinic in Mesa or Dental Care West located in Glendale.

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BA0B0893MESA, Ariz. – On Feb. 15, A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) in partnership with Arizona Dental Foundation (ADF), hosted its eighth Give Kids A Smile® event providing dental treatment free-of-charge to more than 360 Phoenix-area schoolchildren on its Mesa campus.

Approximately 240 ATSU-ASDOH students provided critical treatments that included sealants, fillings, stainless steel crowns, pulp therapy (root canal) and extractions to the Valley’s youth, who many, have never been to a dentist.

Several ATSU-ASDOH faculty dentists as well as University alumni dentists, community dentists, endodontists, hygienists and staff volunteers helped lead the student-driven event.

The American Dental Association began the Give Kids A Smile® program in 2003 as a way for members to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. ATSU-ASDOH Give Kids A Smile® is one of 1,700 events benefiting approximately 450,000 underserved children nationally.

Children miss 52 million hours of school annually due to oral health problems, according to The National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research. Fortunately, Give Kids A Smile® offers a long-term solution in helping to lower that number so that our youth are happy, healthy and able to function productively on a daily basis.

“The students were so eager to make a difference,” said ADF Executive Director, Ginger Froncek. “It has been amazing to watch young ATSU-ASDOH student volunteers move through their education and on to their own practices.”

Initiatives like Give Kids A Smile® strengthen the mission of ATSU in aspiring students to become high-quality, community-minded leaders to serve those most in need.

Photos from the event may be found on ATSU’s official Facebook page.

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MESA, Ariz. – A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) hosted its second annual Day for Special Smiles in late November, providing dental care to people with developmental disabilities, including athletes from Special Olympics Arizona. An astounding 45 patients needing extra dental attention were given oral healthcare free of cost.

Day for Special Smiles is an expansion from the pilot program that was launched in 2011. Fall 2012 marked a full-fledged launch by 30 ATSU-ASDOH students, key faculty members, and generous organizations and donors. ATSU-ASDOH students organized screenings where individuals with developmental disabilities were evaluated and recommended for the Day for Special Smiles initiative.

Unique initiatives like this are especially critical for this population as dentistry is not a covered service. Most patients have Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, so many do not have the financial means to get care. As a result, these individuals suffer from untreated oral diseases.

It was the interaction with one of the patients, Quincy Jones, that particularly touched Abrahim Caroci, D4, clinic director, Special Olympics Special Smiles Arizona.

“His happiness and positive attitude, despite the fact that he was in pain and in need of extensive dental care, touched my heart,” said Caroci. “Interactions such as this are a constant reminder of the many challenges the underserved face every day and the pain a special smile can be hiding. It also reminds me of the role we can play to improve their overall health and quality of life.”

Special guests included Cindy McCain, chair, Hensley & Co., ambassador, 2013 Special Olympics World Games in Pyeongchang, Korea; Steven P. Perlman, DDS, MScD, DHL (hon.), founder, Special Olympics Special Smiles, an oral health Initiative for the athletes of Special Olympics International; Tim Martin, president and CEO, Special Olympics Arizona; and Larry Clausen; executive director, Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

“We are excited by the win-win situation of this event. Our students get a great opportunity to meet and treat our special patients in a real-life service learning model, and folks who really need it the most get some very necessary dental care,” said Maureen Romer, DMD, associate professor, director, Special Care Dentistry.

Generous organizations and donors who helped make the Day for Special Smiles possible include Arizona Dental Foundation, Arizona Department of Economic Security Division of Developmental Disabilities, Arizona Department of Health Services—Office of Oral Health, Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, Delta Dental of Arizona, Special Olympics Arizona, and ValleyLife.

“This was a rewarding day for the faculty, as well as the students involved,” said Denise Frances, DMD, associate director of Special Care Dentistry. “It’s wonderful to be able to offer dental care to this vulnerable population. Not only would the majority of the Day for Special Smiles patients have difficulty affording the dental care they received, many would be unable to find providers skilled to treat them.”

A photo gallery from the Day for Special Smiles 2012 is available at the official ATSU Facebook page.

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