The history behind smiling in portraits

725px-Élisabeth-Louise_Vigée-Le_Brun_-_Madame_Vigée-Le_Brun_et_sa_fille_(1786)Modern dentistry has changed greatly in the past three centuries, but the advancements in the profession don’t come solely from developments in technology, materials and research. The smile is now synonymous with joy and excitement, and many people are willing to go to great lengths to have the perfect smile. Yet throughout history, the smile was analogous to foolishness, irrational emotion, and deceit. It’s no surprise that words smile and smirk in the English language share the same Old Norse origin.

However, it wasn’t until the 19th and 20th century that smiling became a widespread, popular cultural phenomenon. According to historian Colin Jones, a professor of art history at Queen Mary University of London, the point of inflection regarding the public opinion of smiling came about with a controversial self-portrait of Madame Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, a French artist. In her painting, Le Brun, a young mother, portrays herself smiling ever so slightly, showing the incisal edges of her maxillary incisors.

Ninja dentist in training

IMG_4344Believing that dentistry was my dream job, I knew that I needed to discipline myself to maintain a healthy lifestyle by training my mind and body. Staying fit wasn’t just about succeeding in dental school. I viewed every workout session as a personal battle and challenge to endure, persevere and test my limits. As I began to improve and see results, I wanted to challenge myself further. I decided to try out for American Ninja Warrior.

Tips for writing an effective medical consult

medication RXAtenolol, Prozac, Coumadin, Fosamax, Omeprazole, Lisinopril. We all have a patient with a long list of medications that, at a glance, resemble alphabet soup. Often, these are the same patients who are battling complex medical conditions and are being seen by multiple physicians. Obtaining a comprehensive medical history is crucial. I am always glad when my patient comes prepared with a detailed log of their past surgeries and medical diagnoses. Other patients are less certain about their history. Some patients report they are “taking a bunch of pills that [so and so] organizes for me every week” (obviously an unclear picture of their current medications).

How to sail through the PASS/Match process

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 2.43.07 PMOn January 26th, a flurry of Facebook posts popped up in my newsfeed from elated students announcing their match day results. For many, match day served as the end of a long application process to various specialty programs, general practice residencies (GPRs), and advanced education in general dentistry (AEGD) programs. For some, this served as a dress rehearsal in preparation for another attempt at matching next year. Regardless, going through the Match process takes some serious effort and persistence, but a little background knowledge will help you get through without breaking a sweat.

P’s get degrees: Pass/fail grading in dental school

pass/failUp until dental school, most of us took every exam looking for that desired “A” to stay academically competitive and turn our dental dreams into reality. Currently there are a number of dental schools breaking that mold and implementing a pass-fail grading system. Anything above a set point determined by the school or professor is simply considered passing or a “P” grade. While some people question the GPA-lacking method, in 2012 the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) announced the switch to pass-fail was being adopted by the NBDE. The JCNDE’s reason for the change was that numerical grades are not always reflective of the competencies needed to be a successful professional or resident…