top of page
Image by Timothy Eberly


Anne Guignon MPH, RDH, CSP:
Gaggers, uptight, and upright folks – Strategies for treating
“those patients”


Video Overview

Do you really know how to best serve an anxious patient? What about one who
resists reclin
ing, or the person who can’t turn their head, or is confined to a
wheelchair? How do you deal with a patient who complains that every tooth is
sensitive? And what about those gaggers? And what is the best way to respond to the patient who gives you a big eye roll while you’re just trying to do your job?

No one ever said practicing dental hygiene would be easy, but if you’ve been in
practice more than 5 minutes, you know these real-world challenges exist. Who
wants to be annoyed with a patient? No one! Learn how to decrease these
frustrating experiences with creative accommodations where you can provide
better treatment that does not leave you feeling so depleted.

  • Recognize how to defuse patient anxieties and gain their trust

  • Discover more effective ways to position yourself and the patient

  • Appreciate how medical conditions can complicate a dental visit

  • Learn to effectively identify and treat dentinal hypersensitivity

  • Understand why people gag and how to minimize the episodes

  • Increase team support when treating complex patients

Anne Guignon MPH, RDH, CSP:

WORKSHOP: Caries and Erosion - The Ultimate Environmental Catastrophe

Breaking the cycle of blame and shame


Video Overview

Caries and erosive tooth wear are global public health problems that create pain and discomfort, impact nutritional intake, affect self-esteem, and are co-morbidities for a wide range of systemic diseases and disorders. Numerous research studies have demonstrated that both conditions are pH mediated. Both salivary pH and buffering capacity impact heavily on the development of caries and erosion. 

The economic burden of treating damaged tooth structure is an additional consideration. It is now possible to conduct efficient and cost-effective salivary testing in the clinical setting. This gives both clinicians and patients accurate baseline data, and the ability to monitor subtle changes over time. In addition, patients can use these tools to track their progress between professional appointments. 

The data derived from salivary pH and buffering measurements provides a more accurate picture about why these conditions occur. Using this data, clinicians can create a custom strategy to stimulates salivary flow, raise the oral pH level to neutral, and a range of remineralization options. This course guides dental professionals away from the blame and shame game and into a new era of patient partnership and success. 

Course objectives 

  • Learn about the prevalence caries and erosion 

  • Review risk factors that lead to problem saliva

  • Test salivary risk factors – pH and buffering 

  • Understand hidden caries and erosion risk factors

  • Appreciate how xylitol and arginine products improve salivary health

  • Develop a protocol for initial and ongoing professional salivary testing 

  • Devise a plan for ongoing salivary monitoring

  • Create a patient engagement salivary monitoring strategy

Dr. Art DiMarco, DMD:
Minimal Sedation Review and Then Some 

This course will review some selected aspects of minimal sedation along with updates in local anesthetic pharmacology that can significantly impact successful appointments. This course is not intended to be a replacement for nitrous oxide curriculum; however, it will satisfy two of the seven hours of CDE that dentists who administer N2O-O2 minimal sedation must accumulate every five years. 

Dr. Art Dimarco, DMD:
Leveraging Pharmacology for Success and Safety

This course will discuss appropriate drugs in specific situations in dental local anesthesia, as well as some techniques that can significantly impact appointment success by leveraging pharmacological characteristics of the drugs, including epinephrine. A case that resulted in a preventable medical emergency will be highlighted. This course satisfies two of the seven hours of CDE dentists must accumulate every five years when administering N2O-O2 minimal sedation. 
Sam Low: Utilizing Laser technology in a Periodontal Environment: Hands-On Worskhop

Lasers are a very safe and effective alternative for a wide range of dental procedures from periodontics to facilitating quality restorative dentistry. Advantages include increased precision, controlled bleeding, accelerated healing, reduced post-operative issues, shorter procedure time, less pain, greater case acceptance and a more relaxed experience for the patient. Roll up the sleeves and get direct hands-on experience with diode to all tissue lasers from frenectomy to crown length gingivectomy. 

Dr. Joel H. Berg, DDS, MS, 

"Medical Management of Dental Caries”



This lecture will provide the attendee with the most up-to-date information regarding emerging technologies to manage caries in your practice, also in non-restorative ways.   Dental caries, the most prevalent disease in humans, affects 97% of the population in their lifetime.  Yet, dental professionals are still primarily using old technologies to diagnose dental caries lesions, and also are treating it with mostly older techniques. This course will review the science behind caries management developments, and will provide specific methods, to deploy the newest methods in practice for children.  You will bring a lot of pearls to your practice right after attending this course.




After attending this course, the participant will be able to:

  • List currently available caries detection devices

  • Describe new technologies and how they will detect caries at a very early stage

  • Describe methods of risk assessment for dental caries

  • Understand some of the emerging science related to oral biofilms and its impact on our understanding of dental caries

Dr. Laura Jordhen, MD and Dr. David Carsten, DDS

“Infection Prevention in your Practice”  

Learn about the most common nosocomial infections in your practice, modes of transmission, and multi-modal prevention strategies.  Including latest updates and a review of Washington State regulations and best practices for compliance.

Dr. Laura Jordhen, MD

“Avoiding Burnout”

Burnout affects affects all of us in health care.  The personal toll is significant, but so is the economic toll. This talk will explore the causes of burnout, individual strategies to improve resilience, but much more importantly systemic changes your practice can make to improve the purpose and meaning you derive from your work, and the bottom line.

Dan Wells

“WISHA After COVID – 2023”   

This presentation combines WISHA’s traditional standards—before COVID-19—and all things new in 2023. We’ll bring you up-to-date and address the issues, methods, and means to respond to WISHA’s post-COVID world. A discussion of the dental industry’s most commonly issued citations is included in presenting the requirements of WISHA’s three primary regulations: accident prevention (injury and illness prevention), hazardous communication (including GHS), and bloodborne pathogens (exposure control program). When combined with infection control requirements, such as barrier protection, operatory disinfection, and instrument sterilization, based on the DQAC’s new rules for the dental setting, it’s a morning well spent. Interlaced with nearly 25 years of direct dental office situations, amusing anecdotes, and attendee/presenter interchange participation, this is not like any other WISHA class you’ve taken. We believe if you can laugh when you learn, you’ll remember it longer. This class includes it all. 

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

  • Understand WISHA and infection control rules and the relationship between the two 

  • Learn the specifics of conducting the required annual facility hazard assessment 

  • Learn how to respond to an WISHA investigation 

  • Review disinfection and sterilization safest protocols and procedures 

  • Be able to establish an WISHA and infection control attitude throughout your practice. 

Dan Wells


In April, HIPAA celebrated its 20th birthday.  Twenty years ago, on April 15, 2003, the HIPAA Privacy Rule was enacted; it was followed over the years by the Security, Breach Notification, and Omnibus rules. Ransomware, Form Grabber, Scareware, Onion Routing, and Root Kit weren’t even words back then. Add in scammers, hackers, and bogus security systems plus the questions of what’s required and what’s not; what’s safe and what’s not; what’s secure and what isn’t are definitely moving targets. 

HIPAA stated recently that it was going to get the best return for its buck,” so now is definitely not the time to be guessing what to do. And with recent rule amendments, increased attention to auditing safeguards, patients’ rights of access, and confusing new laws like the Cures Act, dental practices are plagued more than ever with what’s required and what’s not. 

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

  • Better understand the provisions of the HIPAA privacy and security rules 

  • Objectively examine the compliance level of their individual HIPAA programs 

  • Identify their program deficiencies and implement current compliance procedures 

  • Implement, update, and maintain a compliant HIPAA program 

  • Communicate compliance responsibilities to all staff members

Dr. Andrea Pizzini, 

“ New classification of Periodontal, peri-implant disease and conditions”


This lecture will cover from A to Z the 2017 AAP and EFP classification for periodontal, peri-implant disease and conditions. 

Cindy Ishimoto:

“Unlocking the Power of Leadership at Every Level”

Develop a high-performance culture that will light a fire within team members rather than under them. What businesses need to ensure growth and sustainability cannot be purchased with a paycheck. Trust and respect are the currency of winning cultures fueling everyone on the team to generate exceptional results.


If you satisfy employees’ needs, they will trust you. If you satisfy the needs that ignite passion, your employees will trust you and be passionate about what they do AND what they bring to the organization. When everyone on the team is on the same page, all team members are clear about what they are doing and why they are doing it. They become committed to fulfilling their responsibilities to achieve the team’s goals. As a result, highly aligned teams become high-performing teams. This level of alignment can only be achieved when there is a high level of trust in the team.


Join us and learn clear steps to building a culture of trust, aligning teams, and developing passionate leaders.

Cindy Ishimoto:

“Narrowing Generational Gaps”

There is a wealth of information today but a poverty of understanding.

Today’s multi-generational, vastly diverse, high-flux, technology accelerating, info-inundated, headline-reading culture demands that we seek more understanding of teammates.

Now that our workplaces are more generationally diverse than at any time in history and at risk of conflict because of this, how do we all work together harmoniously?

It is crucial to be aware of generational tension. When leaders and employees recognize that they each have different skills and bring other things to the table, they will find common ground to create strong working relationships.


  • explore strategies for improving multi-generational team performance.

  • Improve inter-generational communications by understanding the generational common grounds.

  • Develop verbal and relationship skills to manage generational differences that increase quality and productivity, reduce conflict, and maximize the contributions of all team members.

  • Learn to focus on individual strengths rather than on generational differences for greater workplace satisfaction and organization profitability.

Jessica Martin:

“Dental Anxiety is Costing you Thousands of Dollars – 3 Strategies for Creating a Calmer, More Relaxing Patient Experience”

Dental anxiety impacts a large portion of the population and has a major impact on the production of a dental practice. Jessica Martin is an expert in understanding how teams can reduce dental anxiety to increase patient acquisition, case acceptance, and overall practice profitability. A largely overlooked aspect of the patient experience is appealing to the sensory system in a positive versus negative way. Jessica has developed systems for training teams on how to create a dental office known for addressing dental anxiety.


  • Understand the impact dental anxiety has on practice production and growth

  •  Learn how to positively impact patient mindset before the dental appointment Identify strategies for putting patients at ease and providing positive sensory input during the dental visit 

  • Discover atmospheric changes that can impact anxiety Dental anxiety impacts a large portion of the population and has a major impact on the production of a dental practice. 

Jessica Martin:

“Elevate Your Dental Office – Through the Eyes of Your Patient” (Workshop)

Space has energy. Your patients are making decisions about how they feel at your office when they enter the building. Jessica Martin provides an inspiring and uplifting discussion about how enhancing the look and feel of your dental practice can have a positive impact on the bottom line. Create a space that helps to make patients feel more welcome, at ease, and more likely to want to return.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover simple atmospheric adjustments that can improve the feel of the office

  • Obtain checklists for reducing clutter and better-allocating space 

  • Acquire strategies to help your office feel less clinical and more inviting Create a vision of your ideal office and start bringing it to life

Dr. David Carsten and Dr. Joel Berg:

“What’s Happening to Dentistry?”

The high debt of graduating students and how that guides their decisions is very concerning. These high debt new doctors are reluctant to specialize for the reason of taking on more debt. I worry about the expansion of dental service organizations and the disappearance of small practices. I wonder about the disappearance of small dental laboratories and schools that teach technicians.


The low reimbursements from dental insurance companies and how that affects the quality of care is disturbing. I strongly object to dentistry being paid almost entirely by surgical procedures and not by diagnosis and prevention that get at the cause. Our aging and gradually sicker population is more challenging to treat and has greater needs. I wonder about the push for midlevel providers gradually becoming providers for more and more patients.


I strongly support evidence-based practice and despair how little dentistry is evidence-based. The advent of artificial intelligence systems is welcomed since that will focus on evidence but there is a lack of understanding of artificial intelligence systems and a tendency to always believe the black box. Robotic providers are arriving now. The doubling of biological scientific knowledge happens roughly quarterly and I know that the increasing knowledge of the disease process and treatments will outmode current practice. Primary care in medicine is woefully short and I wonder who will pick up the reins and how. I am disappointed in seeing the number of healthcare educators decrease when we need many more to work through all these changes. The changes are numerous, increasing, and accelerating.


Action cannot wait or dentists will be asking themselves, “What happened?”

Paula Quinn:
“Maximizing Your Schedule with Today's Rising Cost”


With today's rising cost in owning a dental practice it is more important than ever to always be
looking fo
r opportunity. Getting the most out of your hygienist and dentist schedule to offset
these rising costs is imperative. Paula Quinn, RDH & Founder of Next Level Consultants, will
walk you through strategies on; how to increase treatment acceptance, scheduling more
efficiently, maximizing the schedule, and how to reduce cancellations and no shows.
Normalizing your daily production is the key to more profitability. Join us as we untangle the
pitfalls of the schedule to increase dollars and offset rising costs of the practice owner.
Learning Objectives:

  • Objective 1: Strategies and Verbal Skills on Increasing Treatment Acceptance & Overcome the PatientObstacles

  • Objective 2: Strategies and Verbal Skills on Scheduling More Efficiently &  Steps to Maximizing the Schedule

  • Objective 3: Strategies and Verbal Skills on Reducing Cancellations & No Shows in the Schedule

Michael Dinsio
“Buy or Build, Which is right for you?”

Lecture Description:  You're ready to own your own dental practice, but which way to go: start
from scratch or buy an existing business? Opportunities and challenges abound with either

option, and you want to know exactly what those are. Michael Dinsio, founder of Next Level
Consultants, will take you through all the details and considerations so you can walk through the
door to ownership with confidence and success.

Learning Objectives: 

  • What it takes to be an owner.

  • The options you have to become an owner.

  • The opportunities and challenges of all the ownership options

  • Initial steps for purchasing the right practice for you

  • Initial steps for creating a dental office from scratch with you vision in mind

Dr. Erin Elliott, DDS
“Toothaches, Implants, and Sleep, Oh My!  A Tale of a Cone Beam Driven General Dental

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) has ushered in a new era of 3-D imaging for
clinicians. It enables dentists to SEE more, but how does it empower them to DO more? And
what does this actually look like in a dynamic dental practice like yours?
In this course, Dr. Erin Elliott will share best practices about how to optimize CBCT for
diagnostic and treatment planning of patients. From implant planning and placement to common
incidental findings and sleep apnea, general dentists will leave this program with actionable

 Attendees will:

  • Understand diagnostic capabilities of 3-D imaging

  • Identify common incidental findings

  • Grasp implant case planning and surgical guide planning

  • Recognize CBCT's role in treating snoring and sleep apnea

  • Consider criteria for CBCT procurement

Christine Taxin:
“Compliance Risk and How to Audit Your Own Practice”

“Why do most offices wait to get a letter or call that the insurance company wants to audit

Learn how a dentist is flagged, so you can also become the detective for the practices.
The big myth is I am not in network so I cannot be audited is FALSE! Your NPI is on every bill,
claim or patients can get online. You do not need to be in network!


  1. Learn the proper documentation keys that are needed in your clinical notes. It is not a text message!

  2. Learn the HIPPA rules that cover you with treatment plans prior to the consent for treatment.

  3. Learn how the insurance companies look at claims so you can recreate that for your office.

  4. Learn how to utilize a daily, weekly, monthly plan

  5. Learn how to use AI in your office

  6. Managing Overpayments learn the law and tricks.

  7. If you have been flagged let us talk about becoming unflagged

Christine Taxin

"Dental Starts Your Medical Billing Journey”

Billing has been changing in many ways and this year it has added more new codes that are
medically related. In fact, your CDT updated books, contain the ICD-10-CM codes. If you have
the updated books, please bring with you.

This web program will allow you to build knowledge as to how to change the patient’s perception of dentistry, from drill and fill to a comprehensive addition to the care of the whole body.


  1. Understand the new dental codes being added

  2. Do not depend on your computer system to understand how to use them.

  3. Everyone in office needs to learn what the codes are and how to utilize them.

  4. Changes that must be made for you to bill additional dollars both to dental and or medical.

What you will learn:

  1. How to read the dental codes and ICD-10-CM codes

  2. Understand the additional benefits available to patients with systemic issues.

  3. The forms that need to be used in all dental practices.

  4. Update your notes to meet the criteria both dental and medical plans want

  5. Become more efficient and compliant with tips.

Dr. Sam Low, DDS, MS, M.Ed :

WORKSHOP: Utilizing Laser Technology in a Periodontal Environment


Ready to enter the laser world?        


Or have an “unused” laser in the closet? 

Lasers offer a very safe and effective alternative for a wide range of dental procedures from periodontics to facilitating quality restorative dentistry.  Advantages include:  increased precision, controlled bleeding, accelerated healing, reduced post-operative issues, shorter procedure time, less pain, greater case acceptance and a more relaxed experience for the patient. Roll up the sleeves and get direct hands on experience with diode to all tissue lasers from frenectomy to crown length gingivectomy.


Learning Objectives

  • Review various laser wavelength therapies with attention to both the perio-restorative and perio-pathology uses

  • Understand indications for using laser in crown lengthening and pre-orthodontic procedures including esthetics and frenectomy

  • Differentiate laser technologies for periodontal indications (surgical and non-surgical), including laser bacterial reduction and laser-assisted periodontal therapy

  • Develop practice management systems for incorporating lasers into a dental practice (including third party coding and patient acceptance)

Dr. Sam Low, DDS, MS, M.Ed:
“The “New” Periodontal Disease: Inflammatory and Risky”

Periodontitis has entere3d into a new frontier as not only a major chronic infection but moreover
a disease of chronic inflammation. Recent studies demonstrate that the incidence of
periodontitis has been underestimated by 50%. Determining who is at risk and the
corresponding therapy and management is a significant component of effective treatment.
Dental school provides the science. This course transforms science into actual dental practice.


  • Learn an approach for managing inflammation as a systemic and local immune response with antioxidants and microthin ultrasonic laser combos

  • Determine the role of traditional and non-traditional therapies in controlling periodontitis.

  • Utilize rise assessment to determine susceptibility

  • Incorporate the new paradigm of periodontal medicine into the practice

Dr. Sam Low, DDS, MS, M.Ed

“How to manage the 4 Top Dental Conditions of Today’s Baby Boomer:”

We now see a major increase/ frequency of oral conditions associated with the “Baby Boomer

The four primary areas of concern are: 1) Chronic inflammation 2) Xerostomia at
greater than 40% with the compromised lifestyle and symptoms 3) Difficulty finding and treating
root caries 4) Implant disease.

We will analyze these primary diseases from initial diagnosis to lifetime disease management.
Additionally, we’ll explore case presentation strategies and best practices for increasing
treatment acceptance by understanding the generational characteristics of this age group and
what they want/desire.


  • Establish techniques for communicating with the Boomer generation including key words and communication that increase likelihood of treatment acceptance

  • Develop fast, effective screening for the diseases of the 55+ population

  • Implement innovative nonsurgical periodontal management therapies, as well as local and systemic therapies for the dry mouth patient

Infinite Hygiene Consultants:

WORKSHOP: Co-discovery and Restorative Partnership:

This workshop is designed to dentists and hygienists better partner with each other and their patient and move beyond the old sell and tell mode of dentistry. 


Helping patients understand what is going on in their mouths and also facilitating their ability to make choices as we move from needs-based model of care to relationship-based patient centered care.  This program can is impactful for clinicians wanting to connect and truly make a difference with and for the people they serve.

Infinite Hygiene Consultants:

Current trends in Periodontal Staging and Grading:

This course is a must for every member of the dental team.  Recently, the American Academy of Periodontology revised the classifications for Periodontal and Peri-implant diseases and conditions. This new classification will provide a higher level of definitive diagnosis for the patient and the clinician.


The new classification is a more comprehensive approach and incorporates more diagnostic tools, assessments and considerations in assessing the Stage and Grade of periodontal disease. Conditions and factors that influence a patient’s periodontal health will be discussed as it pertains to the use of the newly revised classifications.  We will also share communications skills on how to use the classifications to help with patients during periodontal conversions. 

Infinite Hygiene Consultants:

Team Approach to Airway and Occlusion:

Never before has airway and occlusion been in the fore front of dentistry. This course will help the dental team create an approach that leads each and every member into a leadership role in discovery and inquiry. As clinicians we have the opportunity to build relationships and trust to initiate an open dialog and invite patients into Co-discovery about their oral conditions.


In this course we will learn the importance of creating collaborative care with other health professionals. We will share the signs and symptoms of air-way restriction and malocclusion that a trained Dental Assistant or Dental Hygienist can identify and understand to facilitate the discovery process and elevate your standard of care, increase patient awareness and ownership.

Dr. Justin Bhullar, DMD

Thriving or Surviving?: 10 Tips To Thrive In The New Dental Economy 

In this engaging and informative session Dr. Justin provides 10 Tangible Tips that you must know to ensure your practice thrives. Post-Covid fall out, stagnant reimbursements alongside rising costs of dental operations makes for a significant uphill profitability battle. The good news is, there are factors within our control that will help us thrive instead of just survive for the next decade. You can expect to leave with actionable items to utilize immediately in your practice. Who Should Attend: Any current or soon to be practice owner/shareholder or Business Manager.

Plastic Floss

May 11-12, 2023
Spokane Convention Center

334 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201

Register Now For The 2023 Inland Northwest Dental Conference

bottom of page