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.
Earlier this year, we joined Kobe Bryant in bidding farewell to a successful twenty-year professional basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers. His retirement letter (written as a poem and published by the Players’ Tribune), aptly titled “Dear Basketball,” brought us back to his humble beginnings, shed light on his difficult choice to retire and highlighted his incredible legacy.
Kobe’s journey to retirement holds important lessons for all of us. As future dental professionals, there will come a time when we also have to make the difficult choice to retire. Using Kobe’s journey as an example, here are some key factors that will help direct us to a successful and happy departure from our day jobs.
Imagine if all the patient information you record could be seen with interactive charts. Do you think patients would be better educated about their disease progression if they could see computer renderings of their bone receding over time? Could interpreting pocket depth measurements graphically help with diagnosis or patient education?
Dentists are meticulous, analyzing and recording patient information and perfecting our preparations to the millimeter. Yet there is a general lack of awareness regarding dental informatics, a spectrum of dentistry dedicated to data collection, analysis and interpretation of what we practice regularly.
After my fiancé got down on one knee and placed the ring on my finger, there was about a 24 hour time lapse before I felt the world closing in on me. I had already over-committed to extracurricular activities and I had both my NBDE and clinical entrance exams to prepare for this year. How was I going to manage planning my dream wedding on top of that?