Media Monday

The dentist as a motivational speaker

speakingAs dental professionals, many of us act as motivational speakers. We influence and educate our office staff and fellow students. We reduce patient anxiety and explain why treatment is recommended. We even inspire ourselves to take continuing education and learn about new dental technologies. This type of communication can be used to stimulate change or simply encourage others. Motivational speaking is a skill that anyone can improve with practice and guidance. In her article “The Key Components of a Motivational Speech,” Laura Woods describes four basic techniques to engage your listeners.

Top 5 dental music video parodies of 2014

Shake it off screenshotThis year has been an exciting one. Some students were accepted to dental school. Some students graduated dental school. Some passed boards. Some did their first procedures on real patients. And some made videos.

I am a huge advocate for video—especially the type that UCLA ASDA is making as a part of their predental video series—but when dental school gets tough, sometimes you just gotta shake it off and break it down.

As the last Media Monday post of the year, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at all of the not-so-dental related videos that have been made and highlight the fun that can be had while in dental school. And so, without further ado, I give you the top Dental School Music Videos of 2014.

Breaking the culture of dental disease

smileA smile matters a lot, perhaps more than you think. In a recent TEDx talk, Dr. Steven Lin, reports that “smiling has been shown to decrease blood pressure, boost your immune system, and release mood-lifting endorphins.” Thus, when someone is unable to smile, due to either dental disease or tooth loss, their self-esteem and overall well-being are negatively affected. Why then does society often separate oral health from general health? After all, the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body. Dr. Lin proposes that by changing the way we think and talk about oral health, we can break society’s culture of dental disease.

Facelifts and dentistry

187935219Crows feet… wrinkles… frown lines… just thinking about these natural parts of aging gives me anxiety! Botox is probably one of the first remedies that comes to mind as a solution to the effects of aging. And if you think you’re alone in the stress of aging, you’re wrong! The demand for cosmetic procedures and surgery has skyrocketed in the past decade. According to a review by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “Botox injections jumped 700 percent since 2000”. Wouldn’t it be great if patient acceptance of dental treatment jumped by those statistics?

But what does this have to do with dentistry?

Cheapskates taking dentistry into their own hands

Gone are the days of how-to books and manuals. Technology has given DIY (do it yourself)-driven people the option to ditch paper resources and utilize the power of the index finger to click, scroll, and select videos on websites like YouTube and Vimeo to learn how to accomplish certain tasks. Taking it a step further, some self-proclaimed home-based professionals believe they can save money here and there by doing repairs and fixes on their own instead of having trained professionals to solve the problem. True to the definition of “DIY”, Grant Hearn took home dental care to another level in TLC’s Extreme Cheapskates. Read more to see how he performed oral surgery on his wife…

A video is worth a thousand pictures

We have all heard the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This saying refers to the idea that a large amount of information can be communicated through a single image. This concept is one of the reasons why I believe that PowerPoint presentations are such a popular teaching tool. Well, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then I believe a video is worth a thousand pictures—and at 30 frames per second (which is a standard frame rate in television and digital cinema), a 30 second video literally can be. The power of a video cannot be overstated.

Uncovering the truth behind ancient dental implants

celtic grave and pinOne of my favorite courses at UT Houston was the study of implantology. I had originally though implants to be new technology relying on sophisticated materials and techniques. In fact, the practice of replacing teeth was actually attempted as early as 400 B.C.! Civilizations in Egypt, South America and China are now known to have used materials such as stone, ivory, wood, seashells, animal and cadaver teeth, and gold to fill the holes in their mouths. I don’t know about you, but placing a sharp piece of anything into my jaw bone sounds less than desirable. Yet, all over the world archeologists are finding examples of humans practicing ancient dentistry.