Chew on This: Emerging Trends in Pediatric Dental Care

This fast-paced and interactive conference will present a variety of contemporary pediatric dental topics. The course is targeted to all providers who treat children, and it is designed to increase the comfort level and expertise of the entire dental team when it comes to treating today’s pediatric patient, from infancy through adolescence, including those individuals with special health care needs. The course has been designed to be stimulating and informative, welcoming audience participation through a series of clinical cases and challenging the participant to think “outside of the box.” From new preventive treatment options, patient motivation strategies, minimally invasive treatment, advances on pulp therapy, dental burnout, referral mechanisms, laser therapy, to diabetes and asthma management, this course is sure to give you valuable information to tackle some of the most challenging situations encountered in today’s pediatric dental patients.

Registration costs include course materials for 6 CEs, continental breakfast, lunch, and parking.

REGISTRATION: Register through our online portal.

7:30 a.m.                    Registration, College of Dentistry, First Floor

8–8:15 a.m.      Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:15 –9 a.m.     Minimally Invasive Treatment Techniques in Pediatric Dentistry, Michael J. Kanellis

Dr. Michael Kanellis is a professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. He received his DDS in 1979, his Master’s degree in Pediatric Dentistry in 1982, and his Master’s degree in Dental Public Health in 1995 — all from the University of Iowa. Dr. Kanellis spent 13 years in private practice in Muscatine, Iowa, before joining the faculty at the College of Dentistry on a full-time basis in 1994.

Michael Kanellis

At the end of this presentation, participants should be able to:

  • Define the concept of minimally invasive dentistry (MID) and understand its significance in the context of preserving the primary dentition.
  • Understand the application of minimally invasive techniques including atraumatic restorative treatment (ART), silver diamine fluoride (SDF), the Hall technique, and selective caries removal.
  • Compare treatment outcomes for traditional restorative dentistry and minimally invasive dentistry.

9–9:45 a.m.    The Art of Motivating Caregivers and Dental Patients, Karin Weber-Gasparoni

Dr. Karin Weber-Gasparoni is a Professor and Chair of the University of Iowa Department of Pediatric Dentistry. She is dual-trained in Pediatric and Public Health Dentistry and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She currently serves a member of AAPD Council of Clinical Affairs and is the PI of a multimillion-dollar research testing the effectiveness of self-determination theory of motivation for the prevention of ECC among low-income high-risk population.

Karin Weber-Gasparoni

At the end of this presentation, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the underlying psychological principles driving behavior change.
  • Effectively apply motivational strategies when making dental recommendations.

9:45–10 a.m.     Break

10–10:45 a.m.   Advancements in Vital Pulp Therapy: Exploring New Materials and Expanded Use, Matt Geneser

Dr. Matt Geneser is clinical professor of pediatric dentistry, and he currently directs the undergraduate clerkship experience for dental students in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Geneser is a past president of the AAPD’s North Central District and serves as a member of the Council on Government Affairs. He serves as a consultant for the AAPD’s Scientific Program Committee and as a board examiner for the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. 

Matthew Geneser

At the end of this presentation, participants should be able to:

  • Examine research for new materials used in vital primary pulp therapy, including calcium silicates.
  • Consider the utilization and limitation of vital pulp therapy for immature permanent teeth presenting with deep caries and symptoms consistent with irreversible pulpitis.

10:45–11:30 a.m.   Shedding Light on Dental Burnout: Understanding Its Impact on Your Practice, Polly Iben

Dr. Polly Iben is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. She received her DDS (1997) and Pediatric Dentistry certificate (1999) from the University of Iowa, after which she opened a private practice in the Iowa City area and was a longtime adjunct professor at the College of Dentistry. Dr. Iben served thousands of patients in her 20-plus years in private practice, and continues to see patients as an Iowa College of Dentistry faculty member. Dr. Iben is the 2023 recipient of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry’s Collegiate Teaching Award.  

Polly Iben

At the end of this presentation, participants should be able to:

  • Learn the current prevalence of dental burnout throughout the state, nation, and internationally for dentists and their staff.
  • Identify the signs, symptoms, risk factors, and possible impacts of dental burnout.
  • Learn where to find resources regarding dental burnout.

11:30 a.m. –12:15 p.m.  Keeping Cavities at Bay: Preventing Dental Caries in Children at Home and in the Office, Amy Lesch

Dr. Amy Lesch is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Board of Dental Public Health. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Pediatric Dentistry Associate Graduate Program Director at the University of Iowa.

Amy Lesch

At the end of this presentation, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the mechanisms of action of various preventive products.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of different preventive strategies and products in reducing dental caries in children based on current research evidence.
  • Develop personalized preventive care plans for pediatric patients based on their individual risk factors and preferences.

12:15–1:30 p.m.        Lunch

1:30–2:15 p.m.         The Anatomy of a Referral, Kecia Leary

Dr. Kecia Leary is the Associate Dean for Clinics and a Clinical Professor of Pediatric Dentistry.  Dr. Leary is currently the AAPD’s Public Policy Advocate for Iowa. She has served as a board examiner for the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and is a board member of the National Network for Oral Health Access.  She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and American Board of Dental Public Health.

Kecia Leary

At the completion of the program, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the referral process at the College of Dentistry.
  • Explain what is needed for a referral.
  • Demonstrate how patients move through our dental clinics.

2:15–3 p.m.  Juvenile Diabetes and Asthma Management for Pediatric Dental Patients, Jeff Young

Dr. Jeffrey Young established the Denver Health Pediatric Dental Residency in 2020 as the Program Director. He was the Director of Sedation for the Children’s Hospital Colorado Pediatric Dental Residency from 2011–2017. Prior to entering academics, Dr. Young was in private practice for 23 years. He received his DDS from the University of Iowa 1982; and a Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Eastman Dental Center in 1988.

Jeffery Young

At the completion of the program, participants should be able to:

  • Classify asthma severity and identify triggers to facilitate prevention and management of symptoms.
  • Provide routine and emergency management for patients with juvenile diabetes.
  • Know oral health changes associated with asthma and juvenile diabetes.

3–3:45 p.m.     Quick Review of Lesion Sterilization and Tissue Repair (LSTR) in Practice, Sean Whalen

Dr. Sean Whalen attended the University of Iowa for dental school and his advanced training in Pediatric Dentistry. He has been in private practice for almost 20 years in Denver Colorado. Dr. Whalen is also a faculty member at Denver Health’s Pediatric Dental Residency Program. Dr. Whalen is active in the Colorado Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; he is Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry. 

Sean Whalen

At the completion of the program, participants should be able to:

  • Better define LSTR and indications.
  • Understand armamentarium, procedure steps and follow-up.
  • Select appropriate cases. 


3:45                             Adjourn


The College of Dentistry will make every reasonable effort to assure that requested continuing education programs are provided but assumes no liability for failure to deliver beyond the refunding of fees paid to The University of Iowa. The University of Iowa reserves the right to limit registration to the size of the available classroom or clinical space.  Sponsorship of this course does not imply subject matter, product, or technical endorsement. 

REGISTRATION: You may register using our online portal:

CANCELLATIONS/REFUNDS: Fees paid will be refunded less a $45 per person processing fee following notice of cancellation. Refunds will not be granted for cancellations received after the course begins.

Friday, September 6, 2024 7:30am to 3:45pm
Dental Science Building
First Floor
801 Newton Road, Iowa City, IA 52246
View on Event Calendar
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Joan Smothers in advance at 319-335-2587 or