Latest Posts

Sugar taxes sweep the ballot

hand holding soda can pouring out sugar content Election season is always an exciting time in the United States. On November 8, 2016, Americans took to the polls to not only vote for elected officials, but to also weigh in on state, local and federal measures. This year, residents of three California cities – Albany, Oakland and San Francisco – and Boulder, Colorado, had the opportunity to voice their opinions on ballot measures to implement taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Additionally, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted on implementing a sugar tax in Cook County, Illinois on November 10, 2016.

Making the most of my summer as an ADPAC extern

ADPAC externs Elieza Tang, Midwestern-Arizona '19, and Nancy Mo, Columbia ‘19After completing my first year of dental school at Midwestern, I was thrilled that we were given a long summer break. I knew that this would be my last “true” summer vacation, so I wanted to make the most of it. I could not think of a better way to spend my summer than serving as one of two Washington D.C. ADPAC externs along with Nancy Mo (Columbia ‘19). It was an unforgettable experience. In just four short weeks, I learned more than I ever expected.

ADPAC, or the American Dental Political Action Committee, is a bipartisan organization dedicated to educating dentists on legislative issues and supporting political candidates who support issues related to dentistry. ADPAC is one of the nation’s largest medical PACs and it represents the voice of over 150,000 dentists. The main goal of ADPAC is to advance the dental profession and voice our collective concerns regarding the issues that impact our profession.

New technology advances simulation training

mouthingoff-november“Practice makes perfect.” It’s the cornerstone of dental and medical education and training; but how do we obtain hands-on, practical experience in treating the rare or unusual case, or the life-threatening emergency? A generation ago, dental and medical students largely relied on textbooks, lectures, videos and slide presentations to learn about atypical situations that did not often present themselves during their clinical rotations.

Today, we can and are doing better. Evidence-based methodology, technology and a renewed emphasis on a culture of safety in the dental and medical office have opened up new and innovative learning opportunities. Simulation training is one of the fastest growing and most exciting of these ventures.

Is the media making dentists look bad?

newspapers-tabletThis article originally appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Mouth. At the time, Stephanie Mazariegos, LECOM ’15, was the trustee from District 5. To read more from Mouth, click here.

For every headline that indicates dentists rank high among “most trusted professions,” there’s another condemning a dentist for fraud or patient mistreatment. As you enter a profession that relies on public trust, consider that the actions you take are a reflection on both you and the profession itself.

Is the media making dentists look bad?

Ethical terms such as nonmaleficence, autonomy and beneficence stand at the forefront of quality patient care…

Exploring the world of dental research at the IADR

Stem cell researchDPSCs are multipotent type stem cells located in the pulp of our teeth. Since their discovery in 2005, recent research has shown their great potential for human therapeutic applications. For example, a 2015 study published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine found promising results in utilizing DPSCs in the regeneration and transplantation of corneal cells. However, in order to fully harness their regenerative therapies, improved cultivation techniques must be explored to increase their growth and proliferation following cryopreservation.

Dentistry and performance: creating characters from a smile

Smiling woman with movie clapper [Curtain rises.]
[Spotlight, stage center]
[Loupes flicker on and illuminate an ensemble of teeth]

This is Broadway, and these aren’t just any teeth. What if all the actors playing the revolutionaries in Les Misérables had bleached, orthodontically straightened teeth? Would you believe Dracula to be a successful vampire if he were a severe bruxer? An actor’s presentation on stage conveys their character’s story to the audience. Similarly, the appearance of the teeth can speak volumes about its owner’s experiences.

[Enter stage right: theatrical dentistry]

When NOT to put money into a retirement account

crunching numbersYou’ve probably heard that you need to start early when it comes to saving for retirement. I often get asked by dental residents (some of which have $450k of outstanding debt) if they should save for retirement while in residency. For your average resident and recent grad, there are some very good reasons NOT to put money into a retirement account. Here are a few…