Category: Endodontics

Part-time faculty at VCU

Here in the Department of Endodontics, we owe a debt of gratitude to the part-time faculty who volunteer at the school. Whether it is for a half-day once a month or one day every week, they contribute so much to the department, the residents and the field of endodontics. We appreciate their time and commitment. Here are just a few of the people that give their valuable time back to the school.

FinklerDr. Timothy J. Finkler (D.D.S. ’01, Endodontics ’11) was raised in Chester, Va. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the Virginia Military Institute in 1990. In 2001, he received his D.D.S. from the VCU School of Dentistry. He followed dental school at McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, Va., for a two-year General Practice Residency.After time in private practice, he returned to VCU and joined the Department of Endodontics. In 2011, he received his certificate in endodontics and M.S.D. from the VCU School of Dentistry and retired from more than 20 years of service in the Virginia Air National Guard.In 2011, he joined Commonwealth Endodontics. He is the first endodontist to provide IV Conscious Sedation to patients in the greater Richmond area.Finkler currently resides in Glen Allen, Va., with his wife Kim and their four almost always perfect children. He enjoys sports, most any outside activity and spending time with his family and friends. Finkler finds teaching very rewarding and a great way to give back.  He has enjoyed teaching at the McGuire Hospital GPR and the VCU School of Dentistry general practice and endodontic departments.

photo_Madelyn GambrelDr. Madelyn Gambrel (Endodontics ’03) was born and raised in Bonham, Texas, a small town northeast of Dallas. She received a B.A. in Spanish from Baylor University in 1993 and graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio dental school in 1997. After receiving her D.D.S., she joined the U.S. Navy and served as a dental officer in Rota, Spain, until 2001. She then attended the VCU School of Dentistry, where she received her certificate in endodontics and Master’s degree in 2003. Upon graduation from endodontic residency, Gambrel moved to San Diego, where she completed her obligated service to the U.S. Navy in 2005. She then returned to Richmond, Va., in the fall of 2005 and joined Commonwealth Endodontics.

Gambrel is very active in the Richmond community and is a member of several local study clubs. She enjoys spending free time with her family, and her hobbies include attending live music concerts, movies, skiing, sailing, traveling and interior decorating.

Gambrel teaches at the VCU School of Dentistry because she loves interacting with the residents and giving them any advice she can to help guide them both clinically and professionally. The residents also help her stay current on the latest and greatest endo gadgets, technology and research.  So she learns a lot from them too!

DrJordanDr. Kalisha C. Jordan (D.D.S. ’05, Endodontics ‘11) received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She pursued a dental degree at the VCU School of Dentistry, graduating in 2005. Jordan continued her education with an AEGD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006.

Jordan practiced dentistry in Richmond, Va., from 2006 to 2007 and then joined the VCU School of Dentistry faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of General Practice. She taught from 2007 to 2009, after which she decided to specialize. Jordan received her M.S.D. in endodontics from the VCU School of Dentistry in 2011. She currently is in private practice in Williamsburg, Va., with Jordan Endodontics.

Jordan continues to teach at the school because she feels that giving back to the community and the specialty starts at the academic level. She, along with other adjuncts, devotes her time and experience to young endodontic residents, and they see that others care about their education and are committed to growth of the specialty of endodontics.

MartinezDr. Harold J. Martinez (Endodontics ’00) was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He attended Kansas State University and, in 1989, received dual B.S. degrees in exercise physiology and foods and nutrition. In 1995, he obtained his D.D.S. from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, University of Maryland Dental School. He continued his dental education as a Dental Officer in the U.S. Air Force where he completed an AEGD in 1996 while stationed at Barksdale A.F.B. in Louisiana. After serving two additional years as a general dentist in Tyndall A.F.B. in Panama City, Fla., he came to Richmond, Va., to attend the VCU School of Dentistry, where he earned his certificate in endodontics in 2000.

Since graduating from the endodontic program, Martinez has been in private practice with Commonwealth Endodontics and serves as a part-time clinical instructor with the Department of Endodontics at the VCU School of Dentistry. He genuinely enjoys teaching the residents in the graduate endodontic clinic and providing them with the clinical knowledge gained through his years in private practice.

Martinez lives in Short Pump, Va. with his wife, Conchy, and their two children. He enjoys sports and nutrition, baseball, traveling and spending quality time with his family and friends.

Dr. Vaughn Mayo graduated from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in 1979. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy and completed a GPR at Balboa Hospital in San Diego in 1980. The GPR helped prepare him for assignments in Gulfport, Miss., Puerto Rico, Diego Garcia, and New Orleans. Following his military service, Mayo completed an endodontic residency  at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio.

Immediately after completing endodontic training in 1985, Mayo moved to Virginia Beach, Va., and practiced endodontics as part of a group for 24 years, including 17 years in practice with Dr. Rick Archer. Mayo started a solo practice, Mayo Endodontics in 2009.

In July 2010, with coaxing from Archer, Mayo joined the VCU School of Dentistry as an adjunct professor in the Department of Endodontics. He enjoys teaching and sharing his perspectives and experiences handling challenging endodontic cases with the residents. He find their intelligence and enthusiasm contagious. Working with them helps him stay current on research, literature, technology and provides a great break in the routine of a solo endodontic practice.

On the personal side, Mayo is married to Jill, and they have two children plus a yellow lab. Their son, Chet, is a fourth-year student at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, and their daughter, Katie, is a fourth-year engineering student at the University of Virginia. He enjoys spending time with his family outdoors and especially likes to fly fish and engage in archery activities including bow hunting. Mayo is active with All Saints’ Episcopal Church.


Dr. Nick Schroeder (D.D.S. ’12), a 2012 graduate of the VCU School of Dentistry, is the current intern and will matriculate into the VCU School of Dentistry Endodontic Residency Program as a first-year resident in 2015. Schroeder is newly engaged to his fiancée Erica, and, during his free time from planning the wedding, he is either cooking or playing with his two dogs.

Dr. James Stanley (D.D.S. ’80, Endodontics ’91) is a native of Virginia and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., a Master’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree with honors at the VCU School of Dentistry. He also completed a general practice residency at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Ill., prior to completing his endodontic residency at the VCU School of Dentistry in 1991. Stanley holds a faculty appointment as associate professor in the Department of Endodontics at the VCU School of Dentistry.

Stanley routinely takes continuing education courses so he can keep abreast of the latest endodontic advances. He introduced the use of advanced microsurgical endodontic techniques into his practice in the early 1990’s, one of the first in Virginia to do so. These techniques allow him to provide exceptional care, usually in a single appointment. Stanley is certified by the American Board of Endodontists. By taking the initiative to achieve Diplomate status, Stanley has gone beyond the endodontic specialty education and licensing requirements of the American Dental Society and the state Board of Dentistry. Stanley also has completed a comprehensive training program in implant dentistry offered through the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry, Atlanta Institute for Advanced Education and American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

Stanley, who has practiced endodontics for more than 20 years, remains an active member of several dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, the Virginia Dental Association, the Lynchburg Dental Society, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and the American Association of Endodontists.


Dr. Ronald N. Vranas (D.D.S. ’96, Endodontics ’02) was born and raised in Mesa, Ariz. He attended the University of Arizona and received a B.S. in chemistry in 1990. In 1996, he obtained his D.D.S. from the VCU School of Dentistry.

After completing dental school, Vranas joined the U.S. Navy as a dental officer and completed an AEGD in 1997 while stationed with the marines at Parris Island in South Carolina. After serving three additional years as a Navy dentist at the Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan, he returned to the VCU School of Dentistry, where he earned his certificate in endodontics in 2002. Vranas has been with Commonwealth Endodontics since 2002.

He lives in Richmond, Va., with his wife of 22 years and their four children. Vranas loves teaching part-time as an adjunct professor in the Department of Endodontics at the VCU School of Dentistry and has been teaching since 2002. He loves meeting and teaching the new residents, learning their stories and watching their knowledge of endodontics grow during their time in Richmond, Va.


Captain Terry D. Webb, Dental Corps, U.S. Navy, is currently the chairman of the Endodontics Department, program director of the Endodontics Residency Program and Specialty Leader for Endodontics to the U.S. Navy Surgeon General, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. He received his D.D.S. from the University of Tennessee in 1992. After a brief private practice experience, Webb joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed at NDC, San Diego. From there he spent 28 months stationed onboard the U.S.S. Fort McHenry (LSD-43) in San Diego and Sasebo, Japan. After a three-year tour at NDC Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Webb entered residency training where he received his certificate in endodontics in 2001 from the Naval Postgraduate Dental School along with an M.S. from George Washington University. After tours at 2D Dental Battalion, 2D FSSG, 12th Dental Company Cherry Point, N.C., and NDC, Mid-Atlantic in Norfolk, Va., he joined the staff of the Naval Postgraduate Dental School in 2006. He has served as the endodontics residency program director since 2008. He is a fellow of the International College of Dentists, an associate professor at the Postgraduate Dental College of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Endodontics at the VCU School of Dentistry and a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics.

The reason why Webb sought out the additional educational experience with VCU was to gain experience with a civilian residency program and also to gain a better understanding of how an endodontic residency program operates with a university setting and a dental school it supports. He continues to volunteer at VCU because he believes in the philosophy of giving back and enjoys working with the residents in a clinical setting. He appreciates how valuable an outsider’s perspective can be and hopes to help the residents in the clinic as well as help the staff in any way.

Past chairman spotlight

Dr. Gary R. Hartwell
Dr. Gary R. Hartwell

Dr. Gary R. Hartwell earned his D.D.S. from West Virginia University School of Dentistry in 1966. He graduated from the U.S. Army Dental Corps Endodontic Residency Program in 1973 and earned an M.S. in special studies (oral biology) the following year from George Washington University. In 1980 he completed the certification process and became a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. During his 20-year military career, he served as director of the Endodontic Residency programs at both Madigan Army Medical Center and Eisenhower Army Medical Center. He was the Consultant in Endodontics to the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army from 1983 to 1987.

Upon retirement from active military service in 1987 at the rank of colonel, Hartwell became a full-time faculty member in the Department of Endodontics at the VCU School of Dentistry. In 1992 he was promoted to associate professor with tenure and appointed chair of the Department of Endodontics. He was promoted to the rank of full professor with tenure in 1999. In 1996 he also assumed the position as director of the VCU Postgraduate Program in Endodontics. He then served in both positions until his retirement in 2003. At some point in time during his 16 years at VCU, he also served as course director for every predoctoral endodontic clinical, didactic and laboratory course.

In 2003, he was appointed professor and chair of the Department of Endodontics at the New Jersey Dental School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers School of Dental Medicine), Newark, N.J. At the time of his appointment, he also became director of the UMDNJ Postgraduate Program in Endodontics. He held both of these positions until his retirement from UMDNJ in January 2013.

He has authored or co-authored more than 100 manuscripts and abstracts in dental journals and seven chapters in three endodontic textbooks and has lectured extensively at the local, state, national and international levels. His honors include election to membership in the Order of Military Medical Merit, International College of Dentistry, American College of Dentistry, Pierre Fauchard Academy, Omicron Kappa Upsilon and as a Virginia Dental Association Fellow. He was selected as the 2009 recipient of the I. B. Bender Life-Time Educator Award given by the American Association of Endodontists and the 2012 recipient of the Dr. George Feldman Memorial Award for Endodontic Excellence given by District II of the American Association of Endodontists. In October 2012, a scholarship was named in his honor by UMDNJ. He was awarded professor emeritus status by both VCU and UMDNJ in 2013.

Other notable activities include: two-year terms as president for both the U.S. Army Association of Endodontists and the Virginia Academy of Endodontists; chair of the Section on Endodontics of the American Dental Education Association; president of the Richmond Dental Society; delegate to the Virginia Dental Association; two terms as a Consultant in Endodontics for the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation; six years as a director of the American Board of Endodontics (two years as secretary and one year as president); two terms as a trustee of the American Association of Endodontists Foundation; two three-year terms on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Endodontists (one term representing District I, which includes the commonwealth of Virginia and one term representing District II); 10 years as an Endodontic Specialty Examiner for the Northeast Regional Dental Testing Board; reviewer for the Journal of the American Dental Association and Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; more than 20 years of service on the editorial board and as an associate editor of the Journal of Endodontics and a reviewer and member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Journal of Endodontics. He served as vice president of the American Association of Endodontists for 2011 – 2012, president-elect from 2012 – 2013 and as president of the American Association of Endodontists for 2013 – 2014. He just recently completed a nine-month appointment as the acting executive director of the American Association of Endodontists. In October 2014, he was elected to serve a four-year term on the Appeals Board of the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the departments of endodontics at both the VCU School of Dentistry and the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine.

VCU School of Dentistry residents win research awards

Dr. Erika Lentini and Dr. Matthew Detar
Drs. Erika Lentini and Matt Detar
Dr. Matt Detar received one of 10 research awards at the AAE 2014 Annual Session.
Drs. Al Best, Patrice Wunsch, Erika Lentini and Karan Replogle in front of Lentini’s award-winning poster.

Dr. Matt Detar (D.D.S. ’07) of the Department of Endodontics and Dr. Erika Lentini of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry are about to graduate from their residency programs, and they now can add research awards to their résumés.

Detar received a prestigious research award from the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). During the AAE 2014 Annual Session, he presented his findings on the prevalence of intrapulpally cracked teeth and shared the first-ever classification system, of his design, for intrapulpally cracked teeth. Detar competed with many other residents and faculty to receive one of the 10 monetary awards.

Lentini won the poster presentation at the VCU School of Dentistry 2014 Research and Clinic Day for her landmark work – the first ever pediatric/endodontic clinical research study to be conducted at VCU. Lentini collaborated with another graduating endodontic resident, Dr. Claudia Colorado, to conduct a clinical study that merged the fields of endodontics and pediatric dentistry. She answered the clinical question of the prevalence of vital teeth with radiolucencies in the pediatric population, a heretofore undocumented clinical presentation.

Dr. Karan Replogle, director, Advanced Education Program in Endodontics, served as the research mentor and principal investigator for Detar’s and Lentini’s projects. Dr. Patrice Wunsch, director, Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry, collaborated with Replogle to form a clinical and research partnership between the two departments.

“These studies represent the alliance that has been formed between the Department of Endodontics and the Department of Pediatric Dentistry,” shared Replogle. “It is our goal to continue to investigate interdisciplinary clinical questions together.”

Endodontics residents present, receive AAE research awards

Residents of the Class of 2011 presented research findings at the 2011 AAE Annual Session.

Drs. Suren Paravyen and Kalisha Jordan presented a poster session representing the joint research venture “Comparison of Adhesion and Sealer Penetration of Gutta Percha/AH Plus® and Resilon/Epiphany® SE™ after a Final Rinse with Different Concentrations of Ethanol.”

Dr. Stephan Zigo received an AAE Poster Presentation Award for his research presentation “A Comparative Study of Rotary Instrumentation of the Maxillary First Premolar Buccal Root Uti-lizing Cone Beam Computed Tomography.”

Dr. Fawaz Al-Foraih orally presented the results of his re-search “An In Vitro Comparison of Cyclic Fatigue of ProFile® Vortex and EndoSequence™ Rotary Nickel-Titanium Files” and received an AAE Oral Presentation Award.

Dr. Timothy Finkler presented “Effects of Insulated Conduc-tors on Electronic Apex Locators in Determining Root Length In Vitro” at VCU Research Day.

Congratulations to the Class of 2011! You set the bar high as the first ever class to receive multiple presentation awards!

Lances receive awards

Jim Lance receives Spirit of Service Award

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Lance who received the 2011 American Association of Endodontists Spirit of Service Lifetime Dental Volunteer Award.

Dr. Lance has provided endo-dontic care to countless individuals in Virginia through his work with Mission of Mercy (MOM) Projects. Prior to Dr. Lance’s participation, restorable teeth would have been extracted due to lack of endodontic services. He has personally provided endodontic services at 21 MOM Projects, completed more than 400 root canals and mentored endodontic residents to do the same for the past nine years. His example has inspired other endodontists to actively volunteer.

Dr. Lance credits his mentor, Dr. James Marshall—his endodontic program director at OSU, with instilling the desire to give back. And give back he has! His lifetime of community service exemplifies his spirit of service.

Jocelyn Lance awarded ADA honorary membership

Jocelyn Lance, wife of long-time adjunct faculty member Jim Lance, was awarded honorary membership in the American Dental Association at the 2011 Annual Session in Las Vegas.

Jocelyn received this honor in recognition of her lifetime service to the dental profession. She served as president of both the Alliance of the American Dental Association and the Alliance of the American Council on Government Affairs and the ADPAC Board of Directors. She currently serves on the ADA Oral Health Literacy Advisory Committee.

Endodontics faculty, alumni complete AAE board certification

Kudos to alumni and faculty of the VCU Department of Endodontics who completed the American Assocation of Endodontists College of Diplomate’s Board Certification in 2009, 2010 and 2011:

Nicole Yingling—Class of 2001
Mark Kerr—Class of 2001
Madelyn Gambrel—Class of 2003
Todd Mellin—Class of 2005
Paul Clark—Class of 2007

Karan Replogle—Faculty
Rick Archer—Faculty

Drs. Archer, Clark, Gambrel and Mellin will be acknowledged on April 19, 2012 during the Louis I. Grossman Luncheon at the AAE Annual Session.

Cone beam computed tomography comes to VCU

2011 saw the installation of a Kodak 9300 CBCT for shared use among the Departments of Periodontics and Endodontics. Currently, endodontic residents and faculty are using the images for diagnosing and treatment planning of all surgical cases, internal and external resorption, suspected missed canals in refractory cases and dental anomalies just as dens en dente.

Patients have been receptive to imaging. Cost is minimal and residents are able to manipulate the images in each operatory and show findings to the patient. Selective diagnostic images from each scan are placed in the patient’s digital patient record.

First-ever endodontic postgraduate fellow

Dr. Fawaz Al-Foraih currently is serving as our first-ever postgraduate endodontic fellow. This is a one-year fellowship created to provide an endodontist with additional training in areas such as CBCT and surgery and additional private practice experience while facilitating completion of the Board certification process. Dr. Al-Foraih is the first VCU resident to attempt Board certification under the new rules in which oral boards can be challenged immediately after passing the written exam. Dr. Al-Foraih successfully completed the written and oral portions and will be submitting his case portfolio in April. He will complete the fellowship in May and return to Kuwait for private practice.

Drs. Spatafore and Skidmore spend a day at VCU

Dr. Spatafore at the 2011 AAE Annual Session

On February 25, 2011, AAE president Clara Spatafore and AAE Foundation president Eddy Skidmore visited VCU for a day-long CE event. More than 30 endodontists from around Virginia attended. Dr. Skidmore lectured on “The Importance of Root Canal Morphology,” and Dr. Spatafore lectured on “Acquiring, Training and Maintaining Qualified Staff Members.” Dr. Skidmore also spoke about the outstanding work being done by the AAE Foundation.

We are grateful that the AAE has wonderful professionals, such as Drs. Spatafore and Skidmore, who dedicate so much time to our specialty.

Powered by VCU blogs