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Women dentists the focal point of much of ADA 2016

August 15, 2016

By David Burger

2016 ADA Meeting logo
Photo of Ms. Yousafzai
Ms. Yousafzai
Denver — With the growth in the number of women entering the dental profession, ADA 2016 – America’s Dental Meeting will inspire and feature education that promotes the health and well-being of female patients and clinicians.

A highlight should be the ADA Distinguished Speaker Series, featuring 19-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai Oct. 21 at 5 p.m. The Distinguished Speaker Series is presented by ACT Oral Care.

Ms. Yousafzai, who has campaigned for the rights of girls to receive an education since she was 10, attracted international attention in 2012 after the then-15-year-old was shot by the Taliban in a school bus in northern Pakistan. The Taliban has at times banned girls from attending school.

Photo of Ms. Yousafzai
Dr. Steinberg
Following the attack, Ms. Yousafzai made a remarkable recovery and became well enough to return to school. Now living in Birmingham, England, with her family, she continues to campaign for the right of every child to go to school, and has refused to be silenced. At 17, Ms. Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

Another highlight on Oct. 21 is Taking Care of #1: An Interactive Women’s Panel, a three-hour program (6118) that commences at 1:30 p.m. and will end in time for attendees to attend Ms. Yousafzai’s speech.

The panel — featuring Drs. Barbara Steinberg and Laura D. Braswell, as well as dental hygienists Judy Bendit and Ann Spolarich, Ph.D. — will, examine the physical, emotional and social issues involved with staying healthy while achieving fulfillment, balance and success in women dentists and dental hygienists’ lives, said Dr. Steinberg, the moderator.

Photo of Ms. Bendit
Ms. Bendit
Dr. Steinberg is a clinical professor of surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine, as well as adjunct associate professor of oral medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. She is an internationally invited lecturer in the field of dental treatment of the medically compromised patient and women’s health. “We want women to participate, to pick our brains and to share with us,” she said of the panel.

Ms. Bendit is on the faculty at the Temple University School of Dentistry and will speak on ergonomics. “Everyone has developed bad habits when it comes to ergonomics, but women have more challenges because most of the equipment was designed by men for men,” she said. “This program will review many of the concepts and products that are new or re-engineered to help us work smarter — not harder — and ultimately feel better.”

Photot of Dr. Braswell
Dr. Braswell
Dr. Braswell, adjunct faculty member at the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University and at Emory University in Atlanta, is also the staff dentist for Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium, and will speak on work-life balance. “Surviving the peaks and valleys of life is difficult, especially when you are trying to balance a career and family along with your own mental and physical health,” she said. “By establishing a personal and professional ‘safety net’ we can navigate these rough patches and truly enjoy the good times.”

Photo of Dr. Spolarich
Dr. Spolarich
Dr. Spolarich is a practicing dental hygienist as well as a physiologist. She is also a professor and course director of clinical medicine and pharmacology and director of research at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, and will speak about stress. “Women are highly susceptible to stress-related illnesses and are at risk for developing poor coping behaviors,” she said. “Positive coping skills and stress reduction strategies will be explored to help women stay physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.”

There are other offerings that educate and empower women, including:
  • American Association of Women Dentists 95th Annual Meeting: The AAWD and women from across the country will meet Oct. 20-22 for networking, CE, exhibits and a silent auction. Visit for more information.
  • Join your fellow women dentists in an informal small discussion in one of the “Campfires” featuring peer-to-peer conversations on top issues for women dentists. At least one session will be held each day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. These conversations will be 60 minutes in length and one hour of CE will be provided and limited to 20 participants per session. Check for the schedule in September.
ADA 2016 – America’s Dental Meeting will convene in Denver Oct. 20-24.

All CE courses are listed at

ADA 2016 registration is open. Registration and course fees increase after Sept. 16.

For the most updated information, visit Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #ADADEN.