Evening Programs

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Vaping – Seeing through the “Smoke and Mirrors”

Have you ever had a patient enthusiastically tell you, “you are going to be so happy…I quit smoking!” And just about the time you break into your happy dance, they finish by saying, “I switched over to e-cigarettes because they are not bad for you”.

Because of decades of research, dental professionals feel comfortable educating patients on the negative effects of smoking and using chewing tobacco. However, when confronted with questions about the risks of vaping, we are unsure of how to approach these questions because of the lack of past research and abundance of misinformation available to our patients. However, that is about to change! 

Fortunately, a push from the CDC and FDA has sparked new studies done at major universities that now shed light on the many risks of using vaping products. We will uncover the truth about the chemicals that are produced during vaping, and discuss the cancer-causing risks from breathing these vapors. We will unravel the mysteries of vaping and JUULing, the latest craze among adolescents. We will uncover how kids are using vape pens to conceal marijuana use at school and dive into the risks of the hookah bar scene.  Finally, we will design protocol that will help us incorporate E-cigarette and vaping education into our practice.


At the conclusion of this course, attendees should be able to:

  • Identify the types of e-cigarettes/vape pens and how these devices are used by our patients. 
  • Recognize the chemicals that are produced during the process of vaping, and the cancer risks of these chemicals.
  • Understand the current and future laws and regulations on e-cigarettes and discover the best places to find the latest clinical research to share with our patients. 
  • Design a patient education plan for the dental practice that includes e-cigarettes, vaping both e-liquid and cannabis oil, JUULing, and hookahs.


What people are saying about this program:

“I wanted to let you know that your seminar greatly impacted me today.  I came home and started to talk about the various topics with my 16 and 14-year-old children.  I was shocked to hear how many of their peers vape.  My children said that their friends post tons of pictures of themselves vaping on social media.  My children were aware of how many different types of “cool” vape pens there are out there and how their friends show them off.  They also said how their peers think the e cigs are safe because it’s just water!  I was so glad I could pull out your course notes and show them the truth!  My kids were shocked when reading through some of the statistics for all the different topics!  I just want you to know that you have made a difference in our home.  I have started my dental therapy education with my kids and I will try to make that same difference in the dental chair too!”

Christina Griguoli

May 9, 2018 Hygiene Extravaganza Attendee

Red Bank, New Jersey


HPV and Oral Sex – You want me to discuss WHAT with my patients?orHPV and Oral Cancer - Saving Lives

Do you remember when smoking cessation discussions were the most difficult conversations we had with our patients? Do you recall the first battles we had discussing the harmful effects of chewing tobacco? The discussion of smoking and chewing as risk factors for oral cancer have become, for many of us, as common as discussing the effects of bacteria in periodontal disease. In the 21stCentury, smoking and chewing are among the easier topics we have to discuss with our patients. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has changed the way we look at cancer risk and detection and has made patient education a bit more complicated.  

Discussing the cause and effect relationship between oral sex and oral cancer is not easy for anyone. However, since nearly every person who is sexually active will have an HPV infection in their lifetime, and since HPV is now the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer, it has become a topic worth investigating and sharing with our patients.

In this course we will explore how to improve cancer detection in our dental practice. We will uncover ways to create protocol for patient education. We will discover methods to involve the entire dental team by providing the tools necessary for effective HPV communication.


At the conclusion of this course, attendees should be able to:

  • Identify the risk factors associated with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.
  • Recognize the obstacles clinicians face in providing HPV education in the dental practice.
  • Discover the tools necessary for patient education and discussing HPV with our adult and adolescent patients.


What people are saying about this program:

Thank you for an informative and entertaining night of dental hygiene continuing education. The venue and meal were great…but the dynamic speaker made the night! I have so much information to share with our office and appreciate the speaker’s dynamic way of delivering current and important information.

Marianne DiFlorio

Hygiene Study Club of Rochester Attendee

March 30, 2017

Rochester, New York

Dental Hygiene – The Good, The Bad, The UglyDisplay real testimonials

Remember the days of Dental Hygiene School?  We had good days, bad days; we were brilliant and had moments of failure. We experienced the stress, hardship, fulfillment and success of hygiene school - and we did it together.  We always had our fellow hygiene students to bounce ideas off of, problem solve with and share or successful breakthroughs.

Now that we work in private dental practice, it is even more important to have these opportunities to share with other hygienists.

This interactive workshop will provide an opportunity to problem solve specific issues of hygiene practice.  We will work together to break down each situation to create solutions that can be implemented instantly in your office.  We will wrap up the session with the sharing of our success (SOS).  We will share our clinical, product, education and practice management successes to provide ideas that will allow us to grow as hygienists, educators, and members of a successful dental team. 


At the conclusion of this course, attendees should be able to:

  • Recognize the steps required for problem solving every day dental hygiene practice issues.
  • Understand the importance of sharing our practice successes in the development of new protocol we can implement in our offices.
  • Learn the value of sharing our knowledge with each other to renew our passion in dental hygiene.


What people are saying about this program:

“On Thursday, April, 19th, the Heartland Hygiene Study Club welcomed Catrice Opichka, RDH, BS, back for a 3rdtime.  Previously she presented “Sex, Drugs & Alcohol – The 21stCentury Dental Therapist” over two separate visits.  Our members have really connected with Catrice because she is one of them, has walked in their shoes and understands the daily problems they face in hygiene.  This time she presented a new program, “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” – a round-table problem solving workshop.  The members were given an opportunity to submit problems to Catrice ahead of time. Catrice picked one of the submissions, presented the steps for working through to reach a solution and walked the large group through the process.  Then, each round-table of 4-8 members discussed problem ideas and settled on one to work through the steps to find a solution.  Finally, each group shared their results.  It was so awesome to see the peer to peer comradery.  The members really had a fabulous time working together finding solutions, learning others share the same issues and building support for each other.  Catrice brought a few door prizes plus we had a few gift certificates that we gave out to members who volunteered ideas and served as recorders or reporters for the workshop!!  They loved it!!

If you have a hygiene study club, I highly recommend inviting Catrice to share her wisdom, energy, humor, and contagious positive attitude.  You and your members will enjoy every minute of her visit”.

Barb Glader

Heartland Hygiene Study Club Coordinator and Program Attendee

April 19, 2018

St. Cloud, Minnesota