Cleaning Dental Photography Mirrors

June 24, 2020 Lee Ann Brady DMD

It can be very frustrating to take a series of dental photos only to realize there were scratches or watermarks on the mirrors when you review the images later on a computer. Cleaning mirrors without damaging them can be a challenge.

I happen to like the [chromium or titanium] coated buccal, lingual, occlusal and anterior contact Intraoral Handle Mirrors from PhotoMed®. These feature a stainless steel handle that keeps fingertips out of the photograph. And, if your patient is cooperative, they can hold the mirror to free up your assistant. All of the handle mirrors from PhotoMed are single-sided, autoclavable, and can be cold sterilized.

In my practice, we try to protect our mirrors as much as possible from scratches, because once they happen, there is nothing you can do about it. Watermarks, on the other hand, can be eliminated and also cleaned away.

To avoid watermarks, we always wrap our mirrors in a paper towel before putting them in the autoclave bag. To clean away fingerprints and water spots, we use premoistened lens cleaning wipes that are designed for cleaning eyeglasses. They can be purchased in bulk, and we find them economical, efficient, and effective in cleaning our intraoral mirrors for crisp intraoral photo images. We keep a box in every operatory, where they do double duty in cleaning our eyeglasses and loupes.

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DATE: July 25 2025 @ 8:00 am - July 29 2025 @ 2:30 pm

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Understanding that “form follows function” is critical for knowing how to blend what looks good with what predictably functions well. E3 is the phase of your Essentials journey in which…

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Lee Ann Brady DMD

Dr. Lee Ann Brady is passionate about dentistry, her family and making a difference. She is a general dentist and owns a practice in Glendale, AZ limited to restorative dentistry. Lee’s passion for dental education began as a CE junkie herself, pursuing lots of advanced continuing education focused on Restorative and Occlusion. In 2005, she became a full time resident faculty member for The Pankey Institute, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2006. Lee joined Spear Education as Executive VP of Education in the fall of 2008 to teach and coordinate the educational curriculum. In June of 2011, she left Spear Education, founded leeannbrady.com and joined the dental practice she now owns as an associate. Today, she teaches at dental meetings and study clubs both nationally and internationally, continues to write for dental journals and her website, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and DentalTown Magazines and is the Director of Education for The Pankey Institute.

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The Four Universal Promises of Leadership - Part 2

June 18, 2020 Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced you to a discussion about leadership and four universal promises of leadership. My next goal is to discuss the first of four universal promises of leadership.

The First Universal Promise

You will set the right direction and create meaningful work.

Each of us needs structure to live and lead effectively. Setting the right direction requires you to be clear on what your destination is. What story do you want your life and your life’s work to tell? Is it a story worth telling? Will it inspire other people to want to go with you? What will it take to get there? How and where do you start?

Clarity Will Transform You

The structure of destination and meaning comes from your vision, mission and values. Your vision is critical to communicate a clear picture of your destination. Your mission is critical to understanding what you must overcome and connecting each person’s role to it. Values guide us from deep within.

The process of clarifying your vision, mission and values sets into motion self and organizational transformation.

Your vision transforms you into an Inspiration Maker.

Your mission transforms you into a Meaning Maker.

Your values transform you into a Behavior Maker.

Vision is the inspiration maker for the organization. It is the destination that the organization is traveling to. Jason Bourne’s vision was to get his identity back from the evil CIA unit that stole his identity. His mission was the very dangerous actions that he had to undertake in order to get rid of the bad guys and get to the truth.

Mission is the meaning maker for the organization…It is about the conflicts, barriers, and work that must be overcome to reach the destination. In a Nike commercial, the athletes are pushing their physical limits in training (Mission) to become a champion (Vision).

Values are the rules of behavior for everyone in the organization, including the leader. They are the boss. When anyone violates the values that they have agreed to, it becomes obvious to all. The leader makes himself/herself accountable to the team and asks for them to confront him/her if he/she violates them. Values are grounded in our most deeply held beliefs and often integrated to the framework of our faith.

In other words, vision-mission-values are for the benefit of the organization. And, yes, the leader must become them as well.

When your vision, mission and values saturate your organizational culture, you begin to enjoy the rewards of that effort. The shared mental model provides structure for thinking with one mind, speaking with one voice, and feeling with one heart. Your energy and effort are channeled into one powerful coherent force that is aligned at all levels and moving in the direction of your destination.

After Action Reviews

Here’s an example of how in my dental practice we routinely review whether we are on course to our destination in alignment with our values. Recently, in our morning huddle today, we did an After Action Review (ARR) of our performance as a team on the previous afternoon. It was a routinely busy day that got pushed in the last two hours with several important emergency appointments.

An AAR examines the performance of the entire team and asks key questions:

What did we intend to do?
What did we actually do?
What were the results?
What would we do next time?
Were our actions consistent with our values?

I started the discussion. Quickly, several key team members expressed their thoughts and emotions that our performance as a team did not produce the results that we want and were not consistent with “Who We Are” and “Who We Hope to Be” at our best. It was a difficult but very productive conversation…and I think essential to creating better future performance.

These kinds of conversations invite every team member to have a voice in the critical moments of how we perform as a team, which increases the meaning of their work and recognizes the value of their contributions. It also allows us to evaluate if our behavior and performance as a team is moving the practice in the direction of our vision. Clarity wins. These conversations clarify.

Until next week and Part 3

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Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Dr. Edwin A. McDonald III received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Economics from Midwestern State University. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. Dr. McDonald has completed extensive training in dental implant dentistry through the University of Florida Center for Implant Dentistry. He has also completed extensive aesthetic dentistry training through various programs including the Seattle Institute, The Pankey Institute and Spear Education. Mac is a general dentist in Plano Texas. His practice is focused on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is a visiting faculty member at the Pankey Institute. Mac also lectures at meetings around the country and has been very active with both the Dallas County Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Currently, he is a student in the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a graduate certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching. With Dr. Joel Small, he is co-founder of Line of Sight Coaching, dedicated to helping healthcare professionals develop leadership and coaching skills that improve the effectiveness, morale and productivity of their teams.

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I’ve Learned a Lot About Face Shields

June 17, 2020 Lee Ann Brady DMD

Most dentists have some stories about buying and trying different types of face shields as we have started to practice again. The challenges of fit, being comfortable and working with loupes are common conversations. I have tried six types to date with more on the way.

I started with “What can we get?” Then I moved on to “What will be the most comfortable and best on our loupes?”

I and my two hygienists wear loupes. I wear a 4.0x power, flip-up loupe. The hygienists wear 1.5x power loupes. In addition to the loupes, we wear a light.

We’ve tried face shields that hang from a visor. This is the kind my assistants love and wear all the time. However, this type of shield does not fit over my loupe. It fits over my hygienists’ loupes but by the end of the day, they have a headache from the pressure of the temple pieces on the visor.

We tried the disposable face shields that hang from a headband with foam padding. They did not fit over loupes.

A third type from Bio-Mask® turned out to be my hygienists’ favorite and the one I wear when I am doing a consult and not wearing my loupe. This type of visor frame has replaceable face shields. It is lightweight and comfortable (due to its weight, adjustable head strap, and foam padding), and it is designed to be worn with loupes. The replaceable shields can be washed with hot soapy water. The shields are designed to protect from splatter and spray that might come over the top of the visor, so you have full-face protection. I can wear it over my loupe by enlarging the headband and resting the front of the visor frame on my light.

Just recently I came across a different face shield designed to wear over dental loupes that I really like. It’s the PRO-TEX® extra-wide 13″x 7″ shield (model FSX). It clips directly onto the frame of my loupe. I wear eyeglasses, a face mask, my loupe with a light, and then clip the face shield to my loupe frame. This is the least pressure on my ears and temples that I have discovered. The shield can be washed between patients with warm soapy water.

I know a lot of people are praising loupe face shields from Ultra Light Optics®. I am looking forward to trying these when they come in because they are designed so you can mount your light outside the shield and not have to reach under the mask to flip down your light.

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About Author

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Lee Ann Brady DMD

Dr. Lee Ann Brady is passionate about dentistry, her family and making a difference. She is a general dentist and owns a practice in Glendale, AZ limited to restorative dentistry. Lee’s passion for dental education began as a CE junkie herself, pursuing lots of advanced continuing education focused on Restorative and Occlusion. In 2005, she became a full time resident faculty member for The Pankey Institute, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2006. Lee joined Spear Education as Executive VP of Education in the fall of 2008 to teach and coordinate the educational curriculum. In June of 2011, she left Spear Education, founded leeannbrady.com and joined the dental practice she now owns as an associate. Today, she teaches at dental meetings and study clubs both nationally and internationally, continues to write for dental journals and her website, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and DentalTown Magazines and is the Director of Education for The Pankey Institute.

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The Four Universal Promises of Leadership - Part 1

June 8, 2020 Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Warren Bennis, in his book, On Becoming A Leader, says, ”Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it’s also that difficult…First and foremost, find out what it is that you are all about, and be that.”

In other words, leadership development is about developing yourself. As appealing as that sounds, it is one of the most resisted journeys that any human being can attempt to make. One of the most extraordinary writers, thinkers, and influencers I have ever read is Auschwitz survivor Victor Frankl. He said, ”When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Changing ourselves can appear to be a daunting task, but it is the work required to become a great leader.

Self-Deployment

My favorite definition of leadership says that Leadership is about the deployment of self into circumstances. But which of your selves is deployed? Is it your best self that shows up with clarity, conviction, courage, and compassion as the essential qualities of a great leader? Or is it some other less powerful version of you? The performance of the organization that you lead will be in large part determined by how you show up to the most important people that you have been given the gift of leading. That organization ranges from your family, to your community, as well as the business organization that you lead.

Four Universal Promises

When you decided to become a healthcare professional, you decided to become a leader, whether you knew it or not. That role as a leader comes with four promises that are universal. We will examine those promises in this blog series, and you will get the opportunity to determine how well you are keeping them. Your future and the future of the organization you lead depends upon it.

  1. You promise you will set the right direction and create meaningful work.
  2. You promise you will engage all stakeholders and hold them accountable for performance.
  3. You promise you will ensure that your strategies, systems and processes facilitate focus and execution.
  4. You promise you will lead effectively by maintaining relationships of trust to achieve and sustain results.

Until next week…

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About Author

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Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Dr. Edwin A. McDonald III received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Economics from Midwestern State University. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. Dr. McDonald has completed extensive training in dental implant dentistry through the University of Florida Center for Implant Dentistry. He has also completed extensive aesthetic dentistry training through various programs including the Seattle Institute, The Pankey Institute and Spear Education. Mac is a general dentist in Plano Texas. His practice is focused on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is a visiting faculty member at the Pankey Institute. Mac also lectures at meetings around the country and has been very active with both the Dallas County Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Currently, he is a student in the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a graduate certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching. With Dr. Joel Small, he is co-founder of Line of Sight Coaching, dedicated to helping healthcare professionals develop leadership and coaching skills that improve the effectiveness, morale and productivity of their teams.

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