Predoctoral

Educating your patients about dental products

Shelves and shelves full of toothpastes, mouth rinses, teeth whiteners and more — which one to buy? In addition to having to choose from a multitude of items, patients may also have questions about the chemicals that make up these products. Dental professionals field questions about toothpaste and whiteners with ingredients such as fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), triclosan, and hydrogen peroxide and/or carbamide peroxide. Some patients favor products free of these elements and move toward what are perceived as better, natural products. Dental professionals should know about research regarding chemicals in dental products that patients are likely to encounter.

Using Engage, ASDA’s action alert system

Engage, ASDA’s advocacy action alert system, keeps members informed about key issues affecting dentistry and allows ASDA members to advocate for the profession by voicing their position to their legislators. ASDA Speaker of the House Ryan Twaddle says, “When our days are packed with studying, exams and clinic, [it’s easy] to think the end goal is graduation. However, lawmakers are continuously creating policies that you must follow after graduation.”

7 terms to know before advocating for student debt

With the rising costs of dental school and education, getting student loans are a common reality for many dental students. It is important to understand the terminology that will allow for better communication between you and your lender, especially before signing the promissory note. Additionally, this knowledge will help you effectively advocate for initiatives at the local, state and national levels that alleviate the student debt burden.

Call to action: Making outreach a priority

This year, ASDA continued the growth of the National Outreach Initiative, which was established in 2017 and brings attention to the oral health needs of underserved populations. The special populations highlighted this year included geriatric individuals, displaced populations and veterans.

Taking the licensure exam: A timeline

Each year, more than 6,000 dental students across the United States obtain dental licenses through a patient-based clinical licensure exam. As a dental student, I’ve learned all about what the test will entail: performing two fillings and a cleaning on a live patient, and then preparing a crown, bridge and an anterior root canal on plastic teeth. I’ve also learned about the controversies surrounding the exam.

Connecting with LGBTQ patients

While the fight for equal rights for LGBTQ individuals has made significant strides in the past decade — from the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the legalization of same-sex marriage — barriers within this community still exist, such as fear of ignorance, discrimination or mistreatment, especially with regard to health care.