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January Public Information Officer (PIO) Memo.doc


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January Public Information Officer (PIO) Memo.doc

  1. 1. January Public Information Officer (PIO) MemoVisit the AGD Leader Resource CenterIf you have not already, please take a minute to visit the AGD Leader Resource Center at From there, click on the“Constituent” tab on the left-hand side, then “Constituent Public Information Officer.”There, you will be able to find qualifications and responsibilities of the position, samplePublic Information templates and the Public Information document that containsinformation that is relative to public relations. This master document includes detail ontypes of media, how to work with the media and other useful tips that will help you growas a PIO. Also, Winter 2006 Dentalnotes are located on that page as a PDF. If you distribute the“newsletter” format to media outlets, this is a good way to get more copies. The e-version of Winter 2006 Dentalnotes is provided within this memo, along with hyperlinksto the stories that are posted on the AGD Web site.New PIO in your Constituent? Update Headquarters!In order for the PIO program to run smoothly and achieve success, it is important thatstaff at AGD headquarters remain updated on changes within each constituent. If youhave elected new officers within your constituent and the PIO position has changed,please e-mail Stefanie at Please include the name of thenew PIO, his or her contact information, the name of the previous PIO and indicate inwhich constituent this change occurred. Once we have that information, we can providethe new PIO with the materials he or she will need to feel prepared for the role. Thankyou in advance for your cooperation on this matter.The Value of PIOs: Why Every Constituent should have OneThe Public Information Officer (PIO) represents the grassroots public relations efforts ofthe AGD. The AGD implements national public relations plans; and the constituent PIOapplies public information ideas locally. PIOs are the vital communications link betweenthe AGD constituent and the general public. PIOs work with local media to increaseawareness of the AGD as a whole, the general dentistry profession and oral health issuesthat are important to the community. PIOs accomplish this by distributing Dentalnotes,the AGD’s media newsletter, to local media; developing local community programs suchas the state-wide, toll-free dental hotline SmileLine; and by dispensing information atlocal health fairs and educational visits.If your constituent is currently without a PIO and you know of someone who is well-suited for the position, please e-mail for more information.
  2. 2. Winter 2006 Dentalnotes: E-versionAs a PIO, you receive a complimentary subscription to Dentalnotes, the AGD’s medianewsletter. On the national level, the AGD public relations staff sends Dentalnotes tonational print and broadcast outlets and follows up the mailing with phone calls.To support this effort, you are encouraged to send Dentalnotes to the print, radio andtelevision media in your area. Sending Dentalnotes in an envelope with your returnaddress or distributing the e-version provides the media with a local resource for dentalinformation. Media professionals receive hundreds of press releases and letters each day,so it is challenging to get information printed. Using the e-newsletter version howevercan help cut through the clutter. The stories are provided within this document, and thelink their location online is also included. This would be a great way to refer journaliststo the AGD’s Web site for additional oral health resources and news.Winter 2006 Dentalnotes stories: • Periodontal Disease o A visit to the general dentist can prevent a major case of tooth loss • Children’s Oral Health o Sucking on pacifiers has negative and positive effects • Cosmetics o Dental techniques enhance smile and increase confidence • Mouthrinses o Swishing once a day poses no harm to dental work • Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome o Recurring and unexplained episodes destroy teeth • Q&A: VeneersThe PIO pitch letter is also included within this memo.
  3. 3. DATE[PREFIX. FIRST NAME LAST NAME][TITLE][PUBLICATION][ADDRESS][CITY STATE ZIP]Dear [SUFFIX LAST NAME],Many parents worldwide give pacifiers to their children to ease their discomfort, andthere has been much debate regarding whether they are good or bad for children. Pacifieruse up until the age of two can reduce the cause of SIDS, increase sucking satisfactionand provide a source of comfort to infants, according to a study in the January/February2007 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) clinical,peer-reviewed journal.The study reviewed literature examining the positive and negative effects of pacifier use.Since sucking is a habit that is learned at birth, the study examined how breastfeeding,bottle-feeding and non-nutritive sucking affected an infant’s oral health. Data revealedthat children who use pacifiers during sleep caused them to not fall into the deep sleepthat causes SIDS, but pacifier use after two can affect the alignment of teeth and changesin shape of the roof of the mouth. A few suggestions from the authors can help to ensurethat pacifier use is as safe as possible for infants: • Pacifier use should be restricted to the time when the infant is falling asleep. • Look for ventilation holes in the shield, as they permit air passage. This is important if the pacifier accidentally becomes lodged in the child’s throat. • Dispose of the pacifier after use; it is not sanitary to keep it or give it away.With your help, we hope to educate consumers about the positive and negative qualitiesof pacifiers. Enclosed, please find the Winter 2006 issue of Dentalnotes, which containsmore research-based facts and articles on this topic and other health issues.As a Public Information Officer for the [CONSTITUENT] Academy of GeneralDentistry (AGD), I can help you add a local angle to this story. Please contact me at[] or [E-MAIL] if you have any questions or wish to arrange an interviewwith a local AGD spokesperson.Best wishes,[YOUR NAME]Public Information Officer[CONSTITUENT] Academy of General DentistryEnclosure: Winter 2006 Dentalnotes
  4. 4. Periodontal DiseaseA visit to the general dentist can prevent a major case of tooth lossDo you know what common oral disease has been associated with heart disease, stroke,diabetes and preterm low-birth weight babies? According to the November 2006 issue ofAGD Impact, the monthly newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD),it’s periodontal disease and can be easily prevented through regular visits to a generaldentist, daily brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning. Periodontal disease is alsoknown as gum disease and it can affect three out of four people in their lifetime.Gum disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue.The primary cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque which is a sticky, colorless film thatconstantly forms on the teeth. Toxins (poisons) produced and released by bacteria inplaque cause fibers that hold the gums tightly to the teeth to break down, creatingperiodontal pockets that fill with even more toxins and bacteria. The pockets may extenddeeper, destroy the bone that holds the tooth in place and eventually cause the tooth tofall out.Anne Murray, DDS, FAGD and AGD spokesperson, says that “risk factors forperiodontal disease can include genetics, diet, tobacco use, medications, stress, poornutrition and clenching or grinding your teeth.”“As a general dentist, we are our patients’ primary care provider and that means that wemanage their overall dental health care,” says AGD President Bruce DeGinder, DDS,MAGD. “A general dentist takes responsibility for the diagnosis, treatment, and overallcoordination of services to help meet our patients’ oral health needs.”Treatment will consist of scaling and root planing, which involves removing plaque fromaround the tooth and smoothing the root surfaces. In the early stages of gum disease,called gingivitis, scaling and root planing and proper daily cleaning will achieve asatisfactory result. More advanced cases, however, may require surgical treatment.“Sticking to a regular oral hygiene regimen is crucial for patients who want to sustain theresults of therapy,” says Dr. Murray. “Patients with gum disease should visit their generaldentist every three to four months as well as floss daily and brush their teeth and tongueat least twice a day.”What are the warning signs of gum disease?• Red, swollen, or tender gums that may bleeding while brushing or flossing• Gums that pull away from teeth• Loose or separating teeth• Pus between the gum and tooth• Persistent bad breath• A change in the way teeth fit together when the patient bites• A change in the fit of partial dentures
  5. 5. This article is available online at
  6. 6. Children’s Oral HealthSucking on pacifiers has negative and positive effectsIt’s one of the hardest habits to break and can require a great deal of persuasion: Parentsoften struggle with weaning their child off of a pacifier.There is much debate regarding the use of pacifiers, but there is evidence to show thatthere are both pros and cons, according to a report/study that appeared in theJanuary/February 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s(AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.“Contrary to popular belief, there are some positive effects that result from sucking onpacifiers,” says Jane Soxman, DDS, author of the study and Diplomate of the AmericanBoard of Pediatric Dentistry. “One is that they assist in reducing the incidence of SIDS.Babies who are offered a pacifier do not sleep as deeply as those who sleep without apacifier. Pacifier sucking makes it possible for the infant to be aroused from a deep sleepthat could result in the stopping of breathing. Pacifiers also increase sucking satisfactionand provide a source of comfort to infants.”Breaking the habit is not always easy, and there are several methods parents can use tostop it. Parents can dip the pacifier in white vinegar, making it distasteful; pierce thenipple of the pacifier with an ice pick or cut it shorter to reduce sucking satisfaction;leave it behind on a trip; or implement the “cold turkey” method.Parents should be aware of the effects of pacifier sucking on an infant’s oral health.“Children should stop using pacifiers by age two,” says Luke Matranga, DDS, MAGD,ABGD, AGD spokesperson. “Up until the age of two, any alignment problem with theteeth or the developing bone is usually corrected within a 6-month period after pacifieruse is stopped. Prolonged pacifier use and thumb sucking can cause problems with theproper growth of the mouth, alignment of the teeth and changes in the shape of the roofof the mouth.”Tips and recommendations:• Pacifier use should be restricted to the time when the infant is falling asleep.• Pacifiers can cause severe lacerations if the shield is held inside the lips.• Look for a pacifier with ventilation holes in the shield, as they permit air passage.This is important if the pacifier accidentally becomes lodged in the child’s throat.• In order to prevent strangulation, do not place a cord around a child’s neck to holda pacifier. Look for pacifiers that have a ring.• A symmetrical nipple permits the pacifier to remain in the correct suckingposition.• Dispose of the pacifier after use; it is not sanitary to keep it or give it away.This article is available online at
  7. 7. CosmeticsDental techniques enhance smile and increase confidenceWhat are the characteristics of an attractive smile? While not every person is born with aperfect smile, qualities such as straightness, cleanliness or whiteness of teeth may cometo mind. Thanks to developments in the field of cosmetic dentistry, people can changethe smile they were born with into a smile they love.General dentists are able to perform a variety of cosmetic procedures to improve patients’smiles, according to an article in the December 2006 issue of AGD Impact, the Academyof General Dentistry’s (AGD) monthly newsmagazine. These procedures range fromsubtle changes to major repairs, fixing flaws such as discolored, chipped, misshapen ormissing teeth.Cosmetic procedures include bleaching, bonding, veneers, reshaping and contouring.Bleaching is a common and popular procedure that is used to whiten teeth and can beperformed by a dentist in the office or under supervision at home. Dentists can also use avariety of methods to correct misshapen or crooked teeth. Veneers are thin shells ofporcelain or plastic that are cemented over the front of teeth, and bonding is the use oftooth-colored material to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth. Tooth reshaping orcontouring are used to alter the length, shape or position of teeth and are ideal for patientswith normally healthy teeth but seek subtle changes in their smile.Some cosmetic procedures are not permanent, however. Craig Valentine, DMD, FAGD,AGD spokesperson, notes that “bleached teeth may fade back to their original color, andmight require more bleaching or veneering to cover dark enamel.” Dr. Valentine addsthat, as with all dental procedures, “the patient must maintain the health of the teeth andgum tissue through daily flossing and brushing to keep the smile beautiful.”Questions to ask before undergoing treatment:• What will the changes look like?• May I see before and after photos of other patients?• What should I expect throughout the course of treatment?• What type of maintenance will be required?• What type of continuing education courses in cosmetics have you completed?This article is available online at
  8. 8. MouthrinsesSwishing once a day poses no harm to dental workPeople have been paying more attention to the effects certain liquids like coffee, citrus-containing drinks, and even toothbrushes have on teeth. Mouthrinses are no exception.Mouthrinses contain essential oils, which include eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, alcohol,sorbitol, and others. People use mouthrinses for many reasons, ranging from whiterteeth, better breath, or cavity protection. But are there any risks to using mouthrinses thatcontain essential oils?In a recent study in the November/December 2006 issue of General Dentistry, theAcademy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal, authorsexamined mouthrinses containing essential oils and the effects they have on restorativematerials in the mouth. Restorative materials studied in this article included amalgams(silver/mercury mixture used for fillings), glass ionomers (used to cement gold andceramic crowns to teeth), and composite resins (fillers that are tooth-colored).The authors subjected these materials to continuous exposure to mouth-rinses anddistilled water for 10 days. The materials were placed in mouth guards that had threeholes, each of which contained a specimen of each type of restorative material, andvolunteer patients wore the mouth guards 12 hours per day for 10 days. The patientsrinsed twice daily with a commercial mouthrinse and after the 10 days, the materials wereremoved from the devices and were inspected. Strength and appearance of the materialswere observed and compared.Overall the study found that even long-term exposure to a mouthrinse containingessential oils has a minimal effect on the strength or surface of dental restorations of anykind.J. Anthony von Fraunhofer, PhD, the lead author of the study, says that “this is a positivefinding since patients are often concerned that rinsing the mouth with alcohol-containingmouthwashes could affect their fillings. Fortunately, this was found not to be the case.”However, because many mouthrinses do contain a wide variety of ingredients, Dr. vonFraunhofer is looking to see whether they may have an effect on dentures and evenorthodontic appliances. These studies are in progress and are yielding some interestinginformation. He indicated that he will report his findings to General Dentistry as theybecome available.What are restorative materials? • Amalgams – silver/mercury mixture used for fillings • Glass ionomers – material used to cement gold and ceramic crowns to teeth • Composite resins – fillers that are tooth-coloredThis article is available online at
  9. 9. Cyclic Vomiting SyndromeRecurring and unexplained episodes destroy teethHealth risks are everywhere and as many as people know about, there are still many ofwhich people are unaware. Parents face even more concerns when it comes to protectingchildren. Some diseases and problems are more prevalent in children—like cyclicvomiting syndrome (CVS).CVS mainly affects children, and is something of which parents should be aware.According to a recent report in the November/December 2006 issue of General Dentistry,the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal, CVS ischaracterized by a number of symptoms, the most evident being recurrent episodes ofnausea and vomiting that are not caused by any specific disease and occur betweenperiods of otherwise normal health.The study’s author, Eric T. Stoopler, DMD, says that the disorder generally lasts betweentwo and six years and fortunately commonly resolves during adolescence. With regard tooral health, CVS affects the mouth and teeth in similar ways to diseases associated withchronic vomiting, such as bulimia, gastritis, or peritonitis, and can cause tooth sensitivityand erosion, caries, periodontal disease, xerostomia, salivary gland enlargement, andtrauma to the oral tissue.So what can parents do? Dr. Stoopler advises parents to watch for anything unusual andto make sure both the child’s pediatrician and dentist are informed. “If an otherwisehealthy child develops chronic episodes of severe nausea and vomiting in conjunctionwith systemic, gastrointestinal, urologic and/or neurologic symptoms, parents shouldconsult with a pediatrician. If a child’s dentist obtains a medical history that is suggestiveof CVS, the patient should be referred to a pediatrician for further evaluation.”CVS: What to look for• Nausea and/or vomiting not caused by any specific disease• Lethargy• Headaches• Phonophobia (sensitivity to sound) and photophobia (sensitivity to light)• Vertigo (a dizzy or spinning sensation)• Ulcers or infections in the mouthThis article is available online at
  10. 10. Q&A: VeneersQ: What are veneers?A: Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded tothe front of teeth. This procedure requires little or no anesthesia, and can be the idealchoice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Porcelain veneers are placed tomask discolorations, to brighten teeth, and to improve a smile.Q: Why a porcelain veneer?A: Porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations. Theyprovide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color, size, or shape.Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as staining, and are ideal formasking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth orteeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers. Generally, veneers willlast for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properlyperformed.Q: What about maintenance?A: For about a week or two, you will go through a period of adjustment as you getused to your “new” teeth that have been changed in size and shape. Brush and floss daily.After one or two weeks, you’ll return for a follow-up appointment.Have realistic expectations Porcelain veneers are reasonable duplicates of natural teeth, not perfectreplacements. It’s not uncommon to see slight variations in the color of porcelain veneersupon close inspection, as this occurs even in natural teeth. Nevertheless, this procedurecan greatly enhance your smile, and can heighten inner satisfaction and self-esteem.This article is available online at
  11. 11. SmileLine Online:In December, consumers posted 32 oral health care questions on the SmileLine OnlineForum. Volunteer members worked continuously to make sure responses were posted ina timely manner and included links to more information on the AGD Web site and thetoll free number to find an AGD dentist.Some Reminders: • If you did not request a local media list when returning your survey but would like one e-mailed to you, or if you would like to receive additional hard copies of Dentalnotes, please e-mail • Additionally, all constituents are encouraged to contact the headquarters’ office to sign up for Vocus free of charge. Please e-mail for more information. • If you were unable to pick up a copy of the PIO Workbook at the Leadership Conference, please request one by e-mailing in ActionPennsylvania PIO Carl Jenkins, DDS, FAGD, informed AGD headquarters about anupcoming opportunity for Dr. Shawn Casey to work with local media. Members of thePAGD are working to inform reporters about “meth mouth,” so the AGD provided themwith articles on the condition and other free resources. Way to go!Have a success story you would like to share? Please see instructions below on how tosubmit them.PIO Efforts:The Public Relations department is featured in a monthly section of AGD in Action, inAGD Impact. This will help spread the word on what our PIOs are doing on a local levelto get the AGD’s message out. If you have had a successful program or campaign, pleasee-mail so we can pass this information on through AGDpublications.