Students

What you need to know about silver diamine fluoride

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is the newest buzzword in dentistry. What can this new formulation do? As an oral health care provider, here’s what you need to know about it.

Although SDF has only recently started making headlines in the U.S., it has been approved for use in Japan for more than 80 years. Currently, it has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for use in adults 21 and older.

SPEA can guide you through difficult decisions

The Student Professionalism & Ethics Association (SPEA) is a student organization that helps prepare dental students for the difficult choices they will face in practice. When you look at your patient’s medical history, the state of their teeth and gums, their finances and their commitment to hygiene, you are incorporating these variables into a decision for treatment. You try to make the decision that is best for the patient and for you. One challenge of providing oral health treatment is combining the many variables into the best treatment decision. Dentistry is not a binary profession with simple inputs and outputs. Comprehensive care requires comprehensive thought and foresight. The actions we take as professionals affect the patient, us and the profession. What ought to be done and what you will actually do may differ. SPEA is there to help guide those decisions.

Investigating the mouth-body connection

We all know the expression “the eyes are the window to the soul.” As oral health professionals, we view the mouth as the window to the entire body. Studies have shown that good oral health correlates to better overall health. Contrarily, poor oral health has been linked to a long list of systemic diseases. A 2011 article in Diabetologia found a prominent link between oral health and diabetes.

What to expect while expecting in dental school

May 14, 2016 is a day that I will never forget. My first year of dental school was behind me, and I was standing at the altar marrying my best friend. Since then, life has exceeded my expectations and filled me with wonderful memories. On September 25, 2016, my wife approached me with a worrisome look. I had seen her worried before, but this was different. I listened as she said three words that changed my life forever: “I am pregnant.”

As an expecting father and dental student, balancing life and school can be difficult. Although it is not as difficult as it would be if I were the one who’s pregnant. The hardest part for me is missing some of my wife’s appointments. While it is frustrating, it does not compare to the obstacles faced by pregnant students. To better understand the challenges of being pregnant, I interviewed two expecting student mothers from my dental school. Justina Boles (D1) is expecting her second child in September and Leigh Lloyd (D4) is expecting her first child in June.

Applying to dental school as an international dentist

I wanted to improve my skills after graduation in 2011. I had received my Bachelor of Dental Surgery in India and desired advanced training. I decided to apply to an accredited U.S. dental school.

The decision seemed simple, but I soon realized the amount of materials required for the application.

My experience with refugees

April 7, 1994 was a normal Thursday for most people. But in Eastern Africa, this date marked the start of the Rwandan genocide. An estimated 800,000 lives were lost during the subsequent 100 days. As the genocide transitioned to the Congo, 500,000 Congolese citizens sought refuge throughout central Africa. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates there are more than 18 million refugees in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 3 million refugees have settled in the U.S. since 1980, and many are unable to access health care.

Why I quit med school for dentistry

Changing career paths from medicine to dentistry was the hardest decision of my life. Cultural and familial expectations made me pursue medicine. After some personal reflection, though, I realized that my heart, my convictions and my talents belong in a dental career.

Growing up, my family and culture stressed certain educational paths. My role models were the physicians in our family who encouraged me to follow in their footsteps. Our close bond and passion for the biological sciences pushed me, my twin brother and my cousin all toward medicine. All roads seemed implicitly to point to the medical field.