Student research: Regulation of ltgA in Neisseria gonorrhoeae

research-spotlight-thumbnailIn today’s Student Research Spotlight, a predental member explains her research into Gonorrheal DNA enzymes.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae are gram-negative bacteria that can be transmitted sexually or during childbirth, leading to infections of the genitals, rectum and throat. Although gonorrhea is a treatable disease, many people are asymptomatic and go undiagnosed. If left untreated, gonorrhea can result in infertility. Recently, the development of antibiotic resistant strains has become an increasing public health concern. Research teams are focused on learning more about the bacteria so that new antibiotics can be developed.

Detroit Lions and TeamSmile make a difference in Detroit

photo 1Recently, a team of three dental students, including myself, partnered with TeamSmile to provide dental care to the children of William Loving Elementary School in Detroit. TeamSmile, a mobile dental clinic, is unique in that it collaborates with professional sports teams across the nation to bring awareness and dental care to underserved populations.

I was blessed to have played professional football for the Indianapolis Colts under the likes of Peyton Manning and current Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell. Utilizing these connections, I reached out to my former coach to propose the potential partnership.

A custom tray hack using Play-Doh

Ah, the custom tray, the standard by which the dental profession is judged. At least that’s how it sometimes seems to me when we are tested on making them in the sim lab for multiple hours and with rigorous criteria. One day we will all use triple trays, or maybe just scan our patients’ mouths and send the file off to the lab. But in the meantime, we will work with the slightly fishy-smelling triad material. I use Play Doh to block out my casts for custom trays. Not only is it easy to work with, but leaves little to no residue on your casts, a common problem when using baseplate wax on your casts…

Diabetes and the impact on oral health

diabetic checking glucose levelsPeople with diabetes are in a higher risk of oral health problem due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. According to American Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes. Due to less control of their blood sugar, these patients have a higher chance of developing oral health problems. Hyperglycemia, or high level of glucose in the blood, makes the saliva have too much glucose. This helps bacteria grow in the mouth. These bacteria could progress plaque formation which could later cause tooth decay or gum disease. If some plaque does not move over a long period of time, they stay above your gum line and turn to calculus. Calculus makes it difficult to brush and floss between your teeth. The gum may become swollen, tender and easily bleed, especially during brushing. These are signs of gingivitis. Read on to learn more about the oral complications associated with diabetes…

New year’s book review and giveaway: ADA’s Expert Business Strategies guide

The American Dental Association provides countless resources, both tangible and intangible, to dental students. One book I’ve recently read, “The ADA Practical Guide to Expert Business Strategies,” opened my eyes to many business and practice management aspects of dentistry that we may not be exposed to in dental school. This guide is organized into 10 chapters that highlight important practice management criteria that can help your business succeed. For students graduating this spring, this guide is ideal for you to help with the transition from dental school to private, corporate or associate practice. Though targeted at readers who will soon manage a practice, this guide also has relevancy to current dental students to help manage their patients in their dental clinics. Here are brief synopses of a few chapters that I believed are critical to know of when managing a practice, though all 10 chapters are important reads:

Top 5 dental music video parodies of 2014

Shake it off screenshotThis year has been an exciting one. Some students were accepted to dental school. Some students graduated dental school. Some passed boards. Some did their first procedures on real patients. And some made videos.

I am a huge advocate for video—especially the type that UCLA ASDA is making as a part of their predental video series—but when dental school gets tough, sometimes you just gotta shake it off and break it down.

As the last Media Monday post of the year, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at all of the not-so-dental related videos that have been made and highlight the fun that can be had while in dental school. And so, without further ado, I give you the top Dental School Music Videos of 2014.

Racial violence is a public health crisis #WhiteCoats4Blacklives

10432465_10152462170235588_3041522259078267570_nIn the wake of the recent high profile police brutality cases, protests have erupted all around the country. Many of the protests have been highly visible, like the Millions March in Washington DC or NBA players showing support with “I can’t breathe” shirts.

A unique movement, “White coats for Black lives”, staged “die-ins” at over 70 universities in the effort to draw a parallel to the racial bias in police to the iniquities in the health of people of color. Physicians for a National Health Program organized the movement using social media and the hashtag #Whitecoats4Blacklives. Most protests were conducted with the full support or administrators and school deans. The events involved medical students laying en masse on the floor of campus grounds, libraries, and public spaces. Some protestors carried signs saying, “#publichealthcrisis” and “End Police Brutality.” The initiative hopes to open a dialogue and draw attention to poor health outcomes for minorities in the United States and systematic racism in health care education, administration, and delivery.