2021 MasterTrack Program

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Friday, April 8, 2022

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Continental breakfast & lunch are provided

Maritime Conference Center
Classroom A-100

692 Maritime Blvd | Linthicum Heights, Maryland
Free parking in garage adjacent to the conference center

Caring for Medically Complex Adults

Linda Niessen, DMD, MPH, MPP

AGD 750 - Special Patient Care

CE Credits: 8 Lecture/Participation 

Course Description:

Many adults today have special health care needs. In addition, as today’s adults reach 70, 80 and 90, many expect to maintain their natural dentition as they become more frail with aging.  Oral health doesn’t have to decline in the face of multiple chronic diseases and medication usage but sometimes it takes greater efforts on the part of dentists and their teams as well as the patient and their caregivers. The linkages between oral infections, oral inflammation and systemic diseases become evident in these medical complex and special needs adults


This program will discuss the unique oral health needs of a medically complex adult population. It will identify the linkages between chronic diseases, multiple medications and oral health. When should you provide antibiotic prophylaxis for the patient with a hip implant? What should you do for the female patient taking anti-resorptive drugs for her osteoporosis?  


The program will discuss practical approaches to caring for dental patients with cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis. The program will address the importance of antibiotic stewardship and when antibiotics are indicated for infective endocarditis and for patients with joint replacements. The session will discuss the role certain chronic diseases play in increasing a patient’s risk for coronal and root caries and periodontal disease. The program will provide an approach to treatment planning for frail adults and emphasize the importance of prevention. Patient cases will illustrate the issues the dental team faces in helping patients to maintain their oral health in face of multiple chronic diseases.

Learning Objectives:

Participants in this course will become knowledgeable in the following areas:


  • List the common medical conditions adults present to dental offices with, the medications they take, and any dental modifications required;

  • Identify when to provide antibiotic prophylaxis to a patient with cardiovascular disease;

  • List the new recommendations for antibiotic use in patients with hip implants;

  • Enumerate the types of medications that contribute to dry mouth in adults and strategies to management it;

  • Outline the various strategies to prevent caries in a medically complex patient.

  • Provide recommendations to assist caregivers in providing daily oral care for their frail or medically complex family members


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About the Speaker:

Dr. Linda Niessen serves as Vice Provost for Oral Health Affairs for Kansas City University (KCU) and Founding Dean and Professor for the KCU College of Dental Medicine in Joplin, Missouri.  Kansas City University has a College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City and Joplin, MO and College of Biosciences.

Dr. Niessen is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and the American Board of Special Care Dentistry. Dr. Niessen started her career as a Commissioned Officer in the US Public Health Service working with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma at the Talihina Indian Hospital, in Talihina, Oklahoma. Her academic career includes serving as a clinician caring for medically complex and geriatric patients at several VA Medical Centers. While a faculty member at the Baylor College of Dentistry, (now Texas A&M College of Dentistry), she served as the news anchor for weekly dental news segment, “Dental Health Check” on WFAA-TV (Dallas’s ABC affiliate) for 15 years, providing oral health news for consumers. She also served as Professor and Dean for Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Dr. Niessen has served as president of the Dallas County Dental Society, American Association of Women Dentists, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, American Board of Dental Public Health, Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. She has served as a member of Advisory Councils for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. She previously served as Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for DENTSPLY International (now DentsplySirona), where she oversaw the global clinical education and professional relations activities for the dental manufacturing company.

Dr. Niessen received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of New Mexico. She received her dental degree (DMD cum laude), her Masters in Public Health degree (MPH) and her Masters in Public Policy degree (MPP), all from Harvard University. Her passion lies in identifying programs, models and partnerships that improve the oral health of the public, whether through education, research, reimbursement, new technologies and/or community service programs.


·      Cancel 20 days or more prior to scheduled course, full refund.

·      Cancel less than 20 days, but more than 10 days prior to scheduled course, 50% refund.

·      Cancel less than 10 days prior to scheduled course, no refund.

With special thanks to our program sponsors:

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