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.

Treating patients in prison

According to 2016 data from the World Prison Brief, released by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, the United States has the highest national rate of imprisonment: 655 jailed persons per 100,000 of the national population. Canada and Mexico have rates of 114 and 164, respectively. The United States houses over 2 million inmates in 4,455 facilities that may fall under local, state or federal jurisdiction. Inmates are a huge sector of the American population. They’re a group that may not come to mind when thinking about our country’s most vulnerable populations, yet they face significant barriers to accessing adequate health care.

Understanding dentistry’s role in combating opioid abuse

There is no shortage of news, facts or statistics on the opioid epidemic. As a dental student, you’ve probably been inundated with this information. ASDA’s Council on Advocacy wants to help you make sense of the crisis and the ways you can advocate for your patients. The council held an expert panel to assess the epidemic through the dental profession lens. Perspectives on organized dentistry, interprofessional efforts and legislative actions were discussed to help students understand the issue. Here are the key takeaways you should know as you begin to combat the opioid epidemic.

Licensure reform: How to get started in your state

Navigating the licensure landscape can be tricky. It’s hard to know where to start or who to talk to when attempting reform in your state. ASDA wants to help. This video provides six easy steps to help you achieve reform in your state. The first step is to contact your ASDA district trustee. Watch to learn what the other five steps entail.

Therapy-dog patients help craniofacial patients smile

As we began setting up the sports-themed carnival at Penn, we heard the sound of dogs barking. Just like us, they were getting ready for the exciting and emotional day ahead. The Operation Smile Club from Temple Dental teamed up with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to help make the sixth annual Best Friends Bash (BFB) spectacular. After seeing child after child smile and laugh on June 2, 2018, the day proved to be nothing short of spectacular.

The celiac patient: Our role in referral, diagnosis and treatment

Wheat, barley and rye are my arch nemeses. Since being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2014, I look for these common food ingredients in everything I eat. Every single meal. Every single day. Luckily, I am not alone. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder estimated to affect one in 141 people in the United States, according to the October 2012 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology, and most people don’t know they have it.

Mental health as a barrier to care

My patient was escorted to our urgent care clinic wearing an ankle monitor. Her chief complaint was that she felt pain around every tooth. When I took a closer look, the source of her pain became apparent. She had a mouth full of non-functional root tips. Almost every root tip showed signs of infection. My patient was from a local drug rehabilitation center, and she was 10 months sober from a heroin addiction. As a result, she wasn’t allowed any prescription narcotics or nitrous oxide, as instructed by her program due to fear of relapse.