When you’ve grown up in a town with a population totaling 9,074 people, wanting to become a dentist at the age of 12 might seem a bit far-fetched. What I didn’t realize at the time was how a rural hometown would benefit me in the process of becoming a dentist as well as when I return home to practice after graduation.
The dentists that have become my mentors are a husband and wife team, and they have known my family and me since I was in preschool. They have invested their attention in me for years and shown me the ropes of a dental practice. Since they both grew up in my little hometown, they knew exactly the position I would be in going into school. They also told me how financially beneficial it could be to come back and work in my hometown after graduation.
You know how every chef movie has an aspiring sous chef who admires the head chef, but the head chef either doesn’t have the desire or can’t seem to find time to mentor the sous chef? In this regard, the dental profession is no different from the food preparation profession.
Everyone talks about mentor relationships. Some people have them, but would like more. Some people would like to find just one. No matter how you slice it, if you’d like a mentor, you will probably have to do something to initiate the relationship. So how do you go about creating a mentor relationship with a faculty or senior colleague?
Known as ASDA’s “best week ever,” Annual Session is the flagship event of our year. Approximately 600 ASDA members attend each year, taking part in the House of Delegates, choosing their district and national leaders and celebrating Gold Crown Award winners. They enjoy four days of camaraderie, education and networking, while also carrying out the business of the association. For those who don’t get a chance to attend, we offer just a taste in this video flashback to ASDA’s time in Dallas in March 2016.
Just like Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson in Parks & Recreation, I can’t imagine why “anybody would ever eat anything besides breakfast food.” According to a recent survey by Kellogg’s, more than 50 percent of adults would like to eat breakfast daily, but only a third take the time to actually do so.
These statistics are baffling, because I couldn’t imagine skipping breakfast. But while I don’t skip breakfast, I have been known to eat breakfast at my desk. That’s a behavior I’m trying to stop.
It’s 11:45 a.m. My heart is pounding and my palm are sweating as I prepare to run downstairs. Although the event doesn’t start until noon, I cannot possibly risk missing my free lunch. Yes, folks, there is a lunch and learn today and I want — no, need — to get my hands on that free lunch. Some students may turn to leave as soon as they find out that it’s “only pizza,” but I choose to stay. After all, you can never really have too much pizza.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why are these event organizers so nice to us? Why do those vendors and companies provide us with free perks like pizza and toothpaste in exchange for an hour of our time?
Flap design and suturing are critical components of surgical dentistry due to their role in exposing otherwise inaccessible teeth or osseous structures during oral surgery. Under the mentorship of Dr. Jeffrey A. Elo at the Western University of Health Sciences, I investigated how the use of a novel incision and flap design with primary closure can drastically reduce the rate of alveolar osteitis (“dry socket”) following mandibular third molar removal, a phenomenon which reportedly affects 10-45% of patients.
Dentistry is a door to many unexpected opportunities. This was certainly the case for Dr. Sam Smiley of Dublin, Ohio. 13 years into his career, Dr. Smiley received a fateful call from the Columbus Zoo. A 350-pound western gorilla was not eating properly and was in obvious distress. Dr. Smiley was asked if he’d perform a dental exam during the gorilla’s routine physical. He agreed, and so began his career as a volunteer dentist for the Columbus Zoo.