Great Expressions opens office in Wixom
Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) (Southfield, MI) expanded its reach across the state of Michigan with an office opening in Wixom. The opening increases the total number of offices in the U.S. to 334. GEDC’s Wixom office provides quality and affordable dental services for the entire family, including general dental care, orthodontics (braces), pedodontics, periodontics, endodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgery. Consistent with all GEDC locations, the organization’s Smile Protection Plan, a dental insurance alternative for patients without insurance looking to live a healthy lifestyle, and Invisalign will be offered to patients.

NIH awards $1.5M to Case Western Reserve University for HIV oral inflammation study
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH) researchers $1.5 million over five years to study HIV-related inflammation in the mouth and throat. The team of scientists will study the mechanisms some white blood cells use when battling HIV in oral and throat tissues. The ultimate aim is to increase the number of beneficial cells and decrease the number of dysfunctional ones that lead to chronic inflammation.

Delta Dental makes leadership changes in California, Kentucky
Clifford Maesaka Jr., DDS, who has been CEO of Delta Dental of Kentucky since 1995, resigned March 30. No reason for the resignation was given. The company named Jude Thompson as interim CEO. Thompson has been a member of the organization’s board since 2009. Additionally, Delta Dental of California named Kevin Jackson as SVP of strategy. In this role, Jackson will be responsible for developing and steering the company’s corporate strategy and developing new revenue sources for the company’s existing business lines. Jackson has worked for the company for 31 years.

State of California awards $150M to local dental pilot projects
The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) in February announced the 15 selected proposals for Local Dental Pilot Project (LDPP) funding, with awards totaling $150 million over four years. Local Dental Pilot Projects are one of the four domains of the “Dental Transformation Initiative” and part of California’s 115 waiver, or Medi-Cal 2020. The goal of the Dental Transformation Initiative is to increase access to care, identify and treat dental disease, and incentivize continuity of care for the approximately five million California children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program. The selected proposals use strategies focused on urban or rural areas, care models, delivery systems, workforce, local case management initiatives and/or education. Progress toward reaching pilot project goals and objectives will be measured, tracked and reported by selected applicants with the potential for regional and statewide expansion of pilot projects demonstrating a positive impact on the oral health of target Medi-Cal populations. For more, and to see the list of winning proposals, visit

Western Dental acquires 14 Smile Wide practices
Western Dental (Orange, CA) has completed the acquisition of 14 Smile Wide (Irvine, CA) practices. This is the first acquisition the company has made in more than a decade. The 14 Smile Wide offices are located in the Southern California cities of Anaheim, Bellflower, Carson, Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Irvine, Loma Linda, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Riverside, and Van Nuys. Western Dental is an integrated, full-service dental and orthodontics organization that offers convenient, affordable, high-quality care to patients of all ages and incomes. It is the largest orthodontics provider in California and Arizona, and an orthodontics leader in Texas through its affiliated Brident Dental & Orthodontics offices. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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