News + Issues, Wellness

Dental Infection Control Awareness Month: Commitment to safety

September not only marks the beginning of cooler weather and fall fashion but also Dental Infection Control Awareness Month.

Each year the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention dedicates this month to providing the dental community with information and materials to stay current with the latest dental infection control guidelines and to ensure every dental visit is safe. This year OSAP is focusing on hand hygiene, dental unit waterlines, PPE and instrument reprocessing.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted what can happen when underestimating the power of microorganisms or protein entities to facilitate the spread of a virus or disease. Patients and the dental team should both feel protected from risks of disease transmission. This comes from adequate knowledge about current infection control and safety practices.


Six ways to wellness

As dental students and soon-to-be dentists we are groomed to juggle many things at once and multi-task to the max.

Know the patient’s allergies. Recall last semester’s pain lecture. Cavicide the chair. Recite procedure protocols. Always remain pleasant and professional.

These are just a few tasks we perform daily. Aside from meeting constant academic and clinical expectations, we also work to maintain our personal lives. Sunrise to sundown is usually set for us, filling all the time slots with the most to the least priorities in our lives.

We often hear time management is our best friend while in school. The truth is, time isn’t on our side. We battle each day with our inner selves to choose the “most important” item on the to-do list, and what items to keep for the day or push to the next. It’s exhausting.

News + Issues

Equal education opportunities for pregnant and parenting students

The first test I took in dental school was a pregnancy test.

I spent the first two semesters pregnant and gave birth to my daughter during finals week in the spring of 2020. While my classmates took a physiology final, I was in a labor and delivery room.

I planned my maternity leave based on the parental leave policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. However, not all schools have a parental leave policy. Without a clear policy, soon-to-be parents don’t know how to proceed.

To continue their studies, students will need to adjust how, when or where they complete their academic work during the perinatal and postpartum period.

Predental, Student Spotlight

Threads of my white coat

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I believe my journey to obtaining my white coat is a testament to that.

I come from a family of healthcare professionals. All of my relatives had a career in this line of work, from dentistry to medicine to nursing. Because of that, I had an early exposure to a variety of fields and quickly became fascinated with dentistry. I found dentistry was different from other professions because it borrowed traits from two monumental aspects of my life: arts and communication.

Management + Leadership, Predoctoral

First-year tips: Didactics, pre-clinic, clinic

Congratulations on making it into dental school! Take a moment to soak it all in because soon enough it’ll be time to get down to work. Dental school will certainly be an adjustment compared to your undergraduate studies but entering it with the right strategies and mindset can make school much easier.

Here’s what worked well for me and my fellow students during our first year.


5 tips for applying to dental school as a foreign-trained dentist

“Congratulations on your acceptance to our dental program.”

No, I was not dreaming! In that one moment, all those tears and sleepless nights, hours of prepping plastic teeth, days of interview preparation and hundreds of dollars spent on applications and travel felt worth it. This is the one email every experienced dentist seeking to practice in the U.S. yearns to see in their inbox.

Yes, the most daunting yet exciting time for foreign-trained dentists applying to U.S. international dental programs is around the corner. How can you stand out and make the process less stressful? Here are five tips based on my recent experience applying to and graduating from an advanced doctoral program.

Career Compass

Who’s serving whom? Fulfillment through public health dentistry

WelcomeHealth Northwest Arkansas Free Health Center was my first dental observation at a nonprofit healthcare facility. Here I experienced patient-centered care in its true form. One particular encounter with a mother and her eight-year-old daughter changed my perception of the dental profession and inspired me to pursue a career in public health.

The mother spoke fluent Spanish and limited English. Her daughter, the patient that day, served as the translator for her own primary tooth extraction. The two-member dental staff and I spoke only limited Spanish.