Kelly Tanner, PhD, RDH


Williamsburg, VA
With a Ph.D. in Business and Leadership, Dr. Tanner uses her skills to train teams in a group practice setting. Kelly’s Ph.D. focused on organizational metacognition, in-depth study of group dynamics, and how to elicit permanent personal and organizational change. 
Through measured assessments and interaction, she helps create sustainable systems for personal and professional productivity and accountability. Her ability to motivate the team to take ownership for case acceptance builds trust and strengthens the relationship with patients and the dental team.

Additionally, Dr. Tanner has served in areas of dental hygiene including academia, corporate, clinical, entrepreneur, and researcher. She has been recognized for her outstanding leadership within health care and university settings and is a recipient of the ADHA and Johnson & Johnson Award for Excellence. 

She loves educating about leadership and clinical concepts that help teams THRIVE in their profession and their career. Dr. Tanner offers customizable courses in the areas of clinical concepts, leadership, and team empowerment courses. 

Courses Offered

The Art of Listening: A Dental Practices’ Guide for Success

Effective communication is crucial for success of dental hygienists in any role. We take classes on public speaking, but not listening. …and don’t you agree that it is more important to be interested than interesting? This course will discuss principles of emotional intelligence that are essential to communication, building trust, conflict management, and influential negotiation.

  • Learn how the principles of emotional intelligence drive communication and decision making.
  • Apply principles of negotiation in instances of conflict management, negotiation, and leadership.
  • Discuss the psychology of communication and how to build

Why Emotional Intelligence is the Key to Your Success

In an environment when COVID and social factors affect our lives, we may be conflicted about what we believe and feel unable to find our ground inside and outside of the workplace. As healthcare providers, all aspects of social and emotional awareness are integral to our ability to connect for career and self-fulfillment.  This course will help you understand the importance of emotional intelligence as a dental professional, understand how to identify blind spots, and help understand how to rewrite feelings and reverse triggers, which will increase your impact personally and professionally. 
  • Understand the importance of emotional intelligence to dental teams
  • Recognize triggers, reactions, emotions, and trace them to their source
  • Utilize emotional intelligence to redefine goals and create career fulfillment

How Do you Stand Out?  Consumerism and the Impact on Dental Practices

Patients make decisions about our practice before they ever meet us. Are we putting off the right vibes to attract them and keep them once they meet us? What are the blind spots in our everyday interactions and services with patients and team members that patients notice? With patients not relying on insurance to make decisions on which dentist to see, how do you stand out? 
  • Understand the factors influencing patient decisions in choosing a practice.
  • Discuss the factors that lead to patient attrition.
  • Identify the blind spots in your practice that are affecting treatment acceptance and retention. 

Utilizing 3D Scanning to Educate Hygiene Patients and Save Time

More than 90% of patients who can visualize their oral conditions are better prepared to make health-related decisions, explore treatment, and discuss payment options. Digital health scans help the average person grasp the importance of their dental health and help patients make decisions easier to understand. Visualizing oral health connects oral health to overall patient health, which improves health outcomes, case acceptance, patient retention, and referrals. 
  • Help patients visualize their oral to improve patient health outcomes. 
  • Create understanding with patients on how oral inflammation caused by pathogens induces a systemic increase in inflammatory markers.
  • Visually encourage case acceptance and increase patient rapport and referrals.

What Occlusion Really Means: Things We Didn’t Learn in Hygiene School

What is the occlusion on the right? How about the left? What does this mean other than knowing the difference? Occlusion tells you if there is potential for increased tooth loss due to tooth trauma or periodontal issues, airway issues, and TMJ and migraines that play a vital role impacting the overall health of the patient. By conducting occlusal evaluations with our patients, we can reduce the immediate and physiological impacts of malocclusion. 
  • Understand what Angles classifications tells us about the patient 
  • Appreciate how occlusion is related to dental and overall health.
  • Understand how to perform a 1-minute ortho evaluation and how to discuss it with your patient.

Know Your Flow: Technology and Techniques for Dental Implant Success

You know dental implants require specialized care, but do you have a WHY and HOW behind your workflow? This course will provide insight into how to create a diagnostic and maintenance workflow, utilizing the latest technology and homecare recommendations that set your patients up for a lifetime of success.
  • Differentiate between a healthy, inflamed, and diseased implant.
  • Understand technology and techniques available for implant maintenance.
  • Understand when and where specific technology is indicated on implants based on periodontal condition and type of implant. 
  • Apply knowledge of what tools to recommend to patients for homecare around implants. 

Cultural Competency and the LGBTQ IA+ Community

Cultural competence is a term that has been saturated in the news, in journals, and in the learning arena. In an increasingly diverse society, it is necessary for dental professionals to be culturally competent health care providers. But how does a dental health care provider become culturally competent? Attaining cultural competence includes awareness and understanding of the many factors that influence culture and how that awareness translates into providing dental services within patients’ cultural parameters to ensure the best possible care for all patients.
(1 hour course)

  • Define cultural competence terms and ideas of health and wellness      
  • Describe communication issues associated with working diverse populations       
  • Use effective cultural communication strategies when interacting with others       
  • Be able to assess one’s own biases, stereotypes, and level of cultural competency

Don’t be in the Dark: Managing Your Legal and Ethical Risks in the Dental Practice

The purpose of this course is to provide dental professionals with a review of ethics that pertain to the profession. The content of this course is not intended as legal advice for patients or practitioners but serves as guiding principles for care.  
(1 hour course)

  • Define ethical risks
  • Understand the legal obligations of your role as a dental healthcare provider.
  • Understand that ethical and legal practices are integrated
  • Identify how to mitigate ethical and legal risks as a dental healthcare provider. 

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