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.

The benefits of using a rubber dam

The use of rubber dams in dentistry is often a topic of debate. Dental schools teach us that rubber dams are the standard of care for all restorative procedures. In the profession, they are considered the standard of care in endodontics. Instead of a dam, many restorative dentists use cotton rolls or other isolation systems. However, studies have shown that dental restorations have more predictable results as well as better durability and longevity with the use of rubber dams.

The importance of monitoring your credit score

As busy dental students, our credit score is the last thing we want to think about, but it is never too early to start building your credit. Building my credit score and maximizing credit card spending rewards are two of my hobbies. In my downtime, I like to check my credit scores and online bank statements, as well as read financial articles. Earlier this year, the method in calculating credit scores was changed. The new scoring system is being implemented by a company called VantageScore, which was created by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These changes could affect your credit score overall, whether you have good or bad credit. But how is your score calculated in the first place? Here are some factors that impact your credit score.

Breaking a friend out of prison: How to help conquer an addiction

Look up the statistics and it’ll be apparent how big of a problem addiction is. Not just with drugs or alcohol, either. Every day, people face addictions related to drugs, sex, gambling and even food. Odds are, you know or will know one of these people. You may even be one.

Addiction is a serious disease, one that can consume a person. It’s a prison. And before you can break out of prison, you must first realize you are locked up.

This is where you, the friend, can help.

Improving oral hygiene and dental care access for elderly adults


The 2014 U.S. Census estimated 63.7 million adults 65 years and older will be living in the United States by 2050. Elderly adults are now more likely to keep their teeth, live independently and demand better care. However, they are also more likely to have xerostomia, physical or cognitive impairments and other comorbidities.

Should the fist bump replace the handshake?

fist bumpAn article about fist bumps. Trust me, I never thought I would be writing this either. But the other day a friend of mine really got me thinking about this topic. Does the handshake have an expiration date? Bold statement, I know. And if my 26 years of schooling has taught me anything, it’s to not make a statement unless you can back it up.

Mela and Whitworth, in the August 2014 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, published a study comparing the hygienic effects of the handshake, the high five and the fist bump. I would have loved to have been there for that grant proposal. The study finds that the fist bump had significantly less bacterial transfer than did the handshake or even the high five.