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Women in dentistry an expanding focus of ADA 2017

June 27, 2017

By David Burger

Atlanta — In 1978, 15.9 percent of first-year dental students were women, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute.
In 2015, it was 48.8 percent.

The rising prevalence of women in the dental profession is not lost on the ADA Committee on Annual Meetings, which has scheduled a number of leading female speakers at ADA 2017 – America's Dental Meeting.

Dr. Spolarich

Dr. Morgan

Dr. Morell

Dr. Cram
Drs. Ann Spolarich, Jane Morgan, Maritza Morell and Sally Cram are just four of the many female presenters at the annual meeting, each providing unique insight into their spheres of research and education.

Dr. Spolarich is a professor, course director of clinical medicine and pharmacology and director of research at A.T Still University's Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, where she also teaches part time. She serves as associate director of the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research and Practice.

Dr. Spolarich will present Comprehensive Health Prevention for Older Adults (7126), Oct. 21 from 2-5 p.m.; and What's New and What to Review (8106), Oct. 22 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. This is a pharmacology-related course.

Dr. Morgan received her D.D.S. from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She divides her professional career between clinical practice and teaching. Her lectures have spanned the globe, from the United States to Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. Dr. Morgan will present Minor Tooth Movement Using Clear Aligners Fabricated in the Office (5210), Oct. 19 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2-5 p.m (5226).

Dr. Morell is a pediatric dentist and a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Besides maintaining her pediatric dentistry private practice in Andover, Massachusetts, she is an active teacher, researcher, lecturer and advocate for children's dental access. She will present Hot Topics in Pediatric Dentistry (7105), Oct. 21 from 8-9:30 a.m. and Dental Management of the Medically Compromised Pediatric Patient (7125), Oct. 21 from 2-5 p.m.

Dr. Sally Cram, a 2016 New and Emerging Speaker Series winner, is a graduate of Georgetown Dental School and the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has held previous teaching positions at the Georgetown University School of Dentistry and Northern Virginia Community College's Dental Hygiene Program. She has also lectured extensively.

Her presentation is Love the Ones You're With: Reducing Life Stress and Improving Your Health (5301), on Oct. 19 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

There is also the new Women in Dentistry Leadership Series, consisting of three talks on successive days of the ADA annual meeting. Mel Robbins, CNN commentator and author; Molly Fletcher, former president of client representation for sports and entertainment agency CSE; and Tiffany Dufu, Levo chief leadership officer, will each give 90-minute talks during the meeting.

  • Oct. 19, 2-3:30 p.m. — Ms. Robbins will present It Takes 5 Seconds to Change Your Life (5122), in which she will demystify neuroscience research and the latest social science research to explain how to identify the mistakes they're making and create lasting change.
  • Oct. 20, 8:30-10 a.m. — Once hailed as the "female Jerry Maguire" and having negotiated more than $500 million in sports contracts, Ms. Fletcher will present Winning in a Male-dominated Field (6128), in which she will seek to empower people to carve out their own paths and find fulfillment without sacrificing personal or professional goals.
  • Oct. 21, 8:30-10 a.m. — Ms. Dufu, a launch team member for Lean In (a nonprofit that offers educational resources and programming that encourages female leadership) and a voice in the women's leadership movement, will present Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less (7110). She will recount how she learned to re-evaluate expectations, shrink her to-do list and meaningfully engage the assistance of others — freeing the space to flourish at work and develop deeper relationships at home.
There are savings for purchasing all three parts of the leadership series. The cost for the series is $95 per session, or $250 for all three if purchased by Sept. 22. After Sept. 22, the cost increases to $125 per session or $350 for all three. Each session is worth one hour of continuing education credit.

The series is sponsored by Crest + Oral-B.

ADA 2017 – America's Dental Meeting runs Oct. 19-23 in Atlanta. To register or learn more, visit