There are a number of organizations available to dental students that help us enhance our education. By advancing our knowledge base, we develop as a dental community. One organization dedicated to expanding knowledge in the dental field is the American Association of Dental Research National Student Research Group (AADR NSRG). The AADR NSRG is student-run and supports students who wish to broaden their education through dental research.
Flap design and suturing are critical components of surgical dentistry due to their role in exposing otherwise inaccessible teeth or osseous structures during oral surgery. Under the mentorship of Dr. Jeffrey A. Elo at the Western University of Health Sciences, I investigated how the use of a novel incision and flap design with primary closure can drastically reduce the rate of alveolar osteitis (“dry socket”) following mandibular third molar removal, a phenomenon which reportedly affects 10-45% of patients.
DPSCs are multipotent type stem cells located in the pulp of our teeth. Since their discovery in 2005, recent research has shown their great potential for human therapeutic applications. For example, a 2015 study published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine found promising results in utilizing DPSCs in the regeneration and transplantation of corneal cells. However, in order to fully harness their regenerative therapies, improved cultivation techniques must be explored to increase their growth and proliferation following cryopreservation.
In treating many debilitating diseases, we are often faced with a difficult decision: how do we reconcile the potential benefits of treatment with the risks of adverse effects? Bisphosphonates (BPs) are widely used to treat bone cancers such as multiple myeloma and Paget’s disease of bone. Its role in inhibiting osteoclast activity has been shown to dramatically increase bone density and slow the course of aggressive bone malignancies. However, osteoclasts are needed for normal bone turnover and its inhibition by BP may lead to other devastating disorders such as osteonecrosis of the jaw.
In 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.