After Earning a Four Year Undergrad Degree...

A Guest Post:
After earning a four year undergrad degree, most recent graduates move onto the real world with their biggest concern to be finding a job. You on the other hand, have more years of studying, research and all-nighters ahead for dental school. Before even applying to dental school, there are many action items that you can cross off your list to ensure you end up at the right school that will help you succeed the most.

Narrow Your Choices
Interviewing and applying for dental school starts way before graduation. Because you are still in school and have to commit to your studies as well, it is important to focus your time on one or two dental schools. Applying to multiple dental schools will not only be very time consuming with applications and interviews, but also gets expensive as well.

Make Connections
We've all heard the saying "It takes someone to know someone", and that saying isn't too far from the truth. As you apply to schools, start networking and reaching out to other potential dental students and professors. This not only will help you feel more comfortable with staff and students when you start school, but may also help you get your foot in the door to other opportunities as a dental student. Networking also shows that you are dedicated to this industry and are eager to start your career.

Show Me The Money
Dental school is one pretty penny, especially if you have undergrad to pay for as well. When researching prospective dental schools, look for scholarships( or schools that will fit within your budget.  If you plan on moving away for dental school, remember where to save on other expenses. For example, reach out to other students and find a roommate to cut down on the expense of living.

After all, you are going to school to help improve someone's dental health and smile. So show off those pearly whites! Above all, find a dental school that genuinely makes you happy. Finding a school that best fits your comfort and learning style is most important. Although you have a few tough years ahead, it will all be worth it in the end when you can add DDS or DMD to your name.

Kristen Bradley is a writer for (, a leading online resource and community for all college students.

Reasons to Date a Dentist

By eHarmony Staff

You might have seen this eHarmony article floating around the web, making it's way into your facebook news feed or being re-tweeted on twitter. It's a compilation of 15 reasons to date someone is the #1 most awesome profession!

Here are the reasons:

If your cute-and-single dentist asks you out for dinner next Friday, say yes. Floss before you go. Why?

1. Sweet kisses. Expect impeccable dental hygiene and fresh breath.
2. Dentists are smart. Smart is sexy
3. Your parents will be impressed.
4. Not that money is everything…but most dentists make a great living.
5. Dentists work consistent, family-friendly hours. Unlike others in the medical field, most dentists have their evenings free.
6. Obvious perk: free checkups and immediate access to emergency dental work.
7. You’ll never be scared to visit the dentist again.
8. Because they often deal with anxiety-ridden patients, dentists are patient, reassuring and gentle.
9. Your significant other will look forward to date night. After a long day of talking to people with their mouths stuck wide open, chatting with someone who can move their jaw is a nice change of pace.
10. Dentistry is a noble profession: your date alleviates discomfort and make people’s lives better.
11. For the more ”adult-minded,” there are plenty of “drill” jokes to reference.
12. After spending the day in scrubs, your dentist date will “scrub up” well.
13. Not sure which toothpaste to buy? Your partner can help you make that decision, or even supply a free tube or two.
14. Dentists aren’t easily grossed out. After spending the day staring at infected gums and hygiene disasters, nothing you bring to the relationship health-wise will faze your date.
15. Dentists wash their hands – well. If you’re a germaphobe, a dentist is your dream date.

Some of these are atually true so ladies and gents, you may be someone's latest catch because of this article. Still can't believe this is serious advice. Is it?
Orginial Article: eHarmony Advice 

Oral Cancer Awareness!

It's April! and in the dent-world it is known to be Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Though oral cancer screenings are usually typically done during a routine dental visit/check-up, this is the month that the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) has dedicated to creating awareness of the prevalence of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

The Facts:
Did you know that head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is among the top ten most fatal cancers in in the US? It is estimated that close to 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Oral Cancer this year which will result in approximately 8000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour!  It has a 5 year survival rate of 75% percent if caught early and a mere 20% if it goes undetected. The major risk factor is smoking and tobacco use. However, more and more cases have been found linked to the HPV virus. Needless to say, dentists are at the front line of defense when it comes to oral cancer, which is why the OCF is urging dentists to screen every patient and organize various events to create awareness of this deadly disease.

Recently at my school, the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) of which I am the president, conducted our annual Oral Cancer Walk. This walkathon is in line with the mission of the OCF,which is to create awareness of the incidence and prevalence of the disease as well as organize a screening event to have patients screened for the disease. A brief lecture was given to first and second year dental students on what oral cancer is, it's prevalence, incidence, mortality rate, etc., followed by live demonstrations. Patients were simultaneously being screened for oral cancer by third and fourth year dental students. After all the hard work, we took to the streets of Washington DC to create awareness.

A small group of students from Howard University College of Dentistry
creating awareness of oral cancer in Dupont Circle, Washington DC
Encourage your friends and family to get Screened! Stay away from cigarettes, tobacco and the HPV Virus!

Sources: ADA
              Dental Practice

Another Day, Another Scandal

 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Infection Control, Universal Precaution!!! I cannot begin to count the amount of times these topics are drilled into our heads on a daily basis. Dental students at my school are trained to practice and always take universal precautions, infection control and wear PPEs which is why I was appalled, alarmed and in total shock to hear of the oral surgeon in Tulsa, OK who has potentially exposed his patients to HIV and hepatitis due to "filthy conditions."

I am truly saddened by the alarming number of dentists who are popping up in the news these days. Generally , people are scared of the dentist. Just when we think we are making head way into eliminating that phobia, news like this surfaces and brings us right back to square one. Not good!

See article here

Another Extraction Gone Horribly Wrong

Just today while browsing news articles on the web, I happened upon a very unfortunate incident that occurred very recently in California. Marek Lapinski, a 24 year old male visited the Oral surgeon to have a third molar removed. This seemingly simple procedure ended the life of this young man. Apparently Mr. Lapinski woke up coughing mid procedure and was given the medication propofol. Shortly after receiving the medication Mr. Lapinski stopped breathing. Resucitation was unsuccessful and he was later pronounced dead.

While I, as a dental student who is currently treating patients, understand the many things that can go terribly wrong during dental procedures if all precautions are not taken, it breaks my heart every time there is unfortunate news surrounding dental treatment - and frankly, it is unacceptable! Not all the information surrounding this case is known to the public as of right now So I will pass up any judgement until further investigations and information becomes available.

Until then...

See article here

Oh, Lord Jesus it's a Toothache!

Sweet Brown, the lady from Oklahoma City who made the line "ain't nobody got time for that" popular, is at it again. Now she stars in an ad for Shortline Dental, a dental practice based in Tulsa, OK. Check it out below:

 At first watch my first impression was, you have got to be kidding me! but as I watched it again I saw a bigger picture. I saw a practice who knew who it's target audience (patient pool) was and marketed accordingly. I'm sure this practice is making bank! It's genius, and I must agree with Sweet, a toothache? ain't nobody got time for that!!

Trash in my Scrub Pockets, Prostho and Some Exciting News!

Do you also go home with a bunch of stuff in your scrub pocket from clinic or lab? Everyday I go home and empty my pockets I pull out random stuff like radiographs that were probably non-diagnostic, unused gloves, head bonnets, disposable bib clips/tape, dentoform teeth, sticks of wax, etc. Then they get placed all around my apartment. It's seriously a horrible habit. Am I the only one who does this?

Films in my candle holders

Disposable bib tape on my tv stand

In other news, I am trying to change my attitude towards removable prosthodontics. I honestly detest making dentures and all the lab work that comes with it. So, in trying appreciate it more, I'm excited to start setting teeth for a complete denture I'm currently working on!!


Remember I mentioned that I presented my research poster for a competition in the Nation's Capital Dental Meeting the other day? In very exciting news, I am pleased to announce that I was the first place winner for the competition! 

81st Annual Nation's Capital Dental Meeting

Last week I attended the 81st Annual Nation's Capital Dental Meeting put on by the District of Columbia Dental Society. It was a great opportunity to network with dentists, pick up some real world advise , learn a thing or two from the various classes and seminars, and of course snag some freebies!

I don't know about you but I love free! Which is why stopping by the various booths and snagging the freebies was the best part. I also enjoyed seeing new technology that's out on the market and getting a chance to use some of them.

Dental goodies!

Score! With my frequent attendance of these conferences I really cannot remember the
last time I bought a toothbrush...or toothpaste.

Even got myself a brand new Restorative Cassette!

I also presented my research! Winner of the table clinic/poster session gets $500 so I really hope I won. I think I did an awesome job!

This picture was actually taken at the American Association for Dental Research  (AADR)
Annual Session last year. Didn't take a pic at this meeting.

Tech Devices & Services For Students

A Guest Editorial

For busy graduate and professional students, there seems to be no end to work and communication. No matter how diligently you apply yourself to your work, there is always a new email to respond to, a new project to start on, or a new assignment to complete. But this is old news. Fortunately, with new technology coming out every year aimed at improving the ease and efficiency with which students and professionals alike conduct business, there are many devices, systems, and trends that you can take advantage of to help simplify your life as a student. Here are a few specific technologies and services you may want to take advantage of if you haven't already.

Smart Phones & Tablets
This is the obvious tip, but any discussion on devices and services that can simplify life for students requires mention of smart phones and tablets. Despite the popularity of such devices, many students have held off from purchasing them because they can seem pricey and unnecessary. However, it is increasingly true that students are expected to be accessible for work and communication at all times, and this level of connection can only be achieved with a portable smart devices with Internet access.

Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is one of the hottest trends in technology right now, largely for online businesses. However, cloud services offered by a company like ShareFile can also be very useful for a busy student. Essentially, cloud storage allows you to back up your work and projects "in the cloud" rather than on a specific device. This provides you with a sense of security, allows you to work remotely from any device that can access the Internet and log into your cloud, and also encourages easier collaboration with other students/workers.

Another simple tip, but one that many students still have yet to take advantage of, is to invest in an eReader. Electronic reading devices allow you access to an incredible variety of textbooks, relevant magazines, etc. that can help you with your studies. The ease with which you can download and store these sources is well worth taking advantage of (and also saves you from having to lug heavy textbooks around!).

Professional Networking
Finally, when it comes to electronic services for students to take advantage of, nothing tops professional networking. Social media services like LinkedIn exist to help people make connections that can be useful in professional settings, and getting yourself connected can eventually make for a smoother transition to your eventual professional environment. In fact, even basic social media is worth mastering, as more and more professions are relying in some capacity on social networks.

IHS Externship Round Up

I had the opportunity at the tail end of my first year of dental school to visit the Indian Health Services (IHS) - White Earth Health Center in Ogema, MN. It seems like such a long time ago but I never really got a chance to make a post about my experiences. Although at that time I was not allowed to "touch" or work on patients, I went with some upperclassmen from my school and was their assistant for this 2 week externship experience.

The clinic/health center was in Ogema, MN and we had accommodations just a couple miles away in Fargo, ND. The facilities at the White Earth Health Center were state of the art and very up to date. Everything was digital which makes the practice very efficient.  The staff and doctors were very nice and friendly! They have many many years of experience and was able to teach us things we wouldn't have the chance of learning in dental school. My favorite was Dr. Woodard, she was very funny and very helpful. I love the fact she gave students the opportunity to work and show their skill-set without micro-managing them.

There were two other clinics a couple miles away in Bemidji and Naytahwaush, MN that we were able to visit. Both clinics were much smaller than that of the White Earth health center but serviced a smaller population.

 Just about 6 of us went on this trip and we all learned a great deal!

Me, and other participants (blocked out to protect their privacy)

Sometimes It was just easier standing! < Assisting> 

More assisting. I was a great assistant btw *toot
We also got the opportunity to visit two other IHS clinics - The Naytahwaush clinic in Naytahwaush, MN a few miles away and another in Bemidji, MN. They were much smaller clinics with smaller patient pools due to population of the area.

And of course we ventured out some 3+ hours to Minneapolis and visited the Mall of america and rode all the fun rides!

Downtown Minneapolis

It was overall a great experience and  would highly recommend anyone to apply for an externship with the IHS. The knowledge and experience gained is priceless!

*I had tons of photos but they were all group shots. I decided not to post them to protect the privacy of the group*

Listerine 21 day challenge

Did you know that brushing alone can leave up to 75%  of your mouth untouched causing bacteria to thrive? Listerine has teamed up with Oral Health America to donate to them $6.40 for each person who signs up for the 21 day challenge. Since it takes about 3 weeks to form a habit, the challenge is for you to start using mouthwash twice per day for 21 days. The Listerine brand will then donate to Oral Health America's Smiles Across America Program to help meet their goal of reaching 210,000 children in need of dental care.

And if keeping your mouth healthy while donating to a worthy cause didn't sound good enough, they are offering a coupon for Listerine when you sign up. Get more info on Listerine's facebook page then head over to sign up for the challenge here.

Giving Kids a Smile :)

The American Dental Association (ADA) began the Give Kids a Smile Program in 2003 as a way for members to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. This has become an annual event in dental schools across America. Each year, approximately 450,000 children benefit from the efforts of the dental students, dentists and other team members who volunteer their time

This year, my school - Howard University hosted the Give Kids a Smile Day on February 4th. Approximately 200 children from the Bruce Monroe Elementary School was treated. For some kids, it was their first visit to the dentist and we all made sure their visit was enjoyable! It was an exciting day giving back to the community and making sure the kiddies had wonderful, bright, healthy smiles.

Howard University College of Dentistry students and faculty, DC Dental Society volunteers
and community representatives are about to Give Kids A Smile Feb. 1, 2013.

                  Photo by Dr. Chester Stein

Sources: GKAS Partnership Thrives at Howard U.
Helping Children Through GKAS

Dental goodies on Pinterest

I am low key addicted to Pinterest. From the DIYs to fashion to fitness and all the dental goodness I have managed to find a way to make good use of my study breaks waste time when I am supposed to be studying.

I even have a "Dental Diary" board for all things dental. I couldn't resist. Take a look and follow if you like.

7 Hours of Study Tunes to get Through Studying!

Awesome gift for a dentist friend!


Dental Humor

Click on any of the pics above to check out the entire board.

Same Book, Different Page...

I started the second semester of my third year a couple weeks ago. I am really excited to be moving right along with my dental school career. Before You know it it'll be graduation and I'll be your friendly neighborhood dentist (smile).
The pace this semester has slowed down tremendously, in terms of classes. I still have the second half of Pharmacology to get through which is probably my most challenging course. Besides that nuisance of a class, all my energy will be geared towards fulfilling my clinical requirements for the Junior year and begin the said for the senior year.

This whole process has truly been the ride of my life - with highs, lows and some emotions I don't know how to even begin describing. In retrospect, I am proud to have come this far and I am filled with glee at the prospects to come.

Thanks to all my readers for sticking with me, even through times when blogging became an after thought, and thank you soo much for all your wonderful emails of inspiration and praise.

Here's to semester 6 and a happy 2013!

The Safety of Amalgam Fillings

On a segment of The Doctors TV show, an investigation of the safety of amalgam fillings was conducted. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces that the fillings are not associated with adverse health effects, an interview was done with one woman who believes that these fillings contributed to her multiple sclerosis. See below:

See the recent video here: The Doctors TV show - Are mercury fillings safe?

Follow-up video:

According to the ADA: 
Should your patients ask you about amalgam fillings, consider the following points:
  •  Amalgam has been used for generations to help save decayed teeth in more than 100 million Americans.
  •  Amalgam has been thoroughly studied, and no properly designed research studies have linked dental amalgam to serious health problems.
  •  (If appropriate) I have amalgam fillings in my mouth. 
  • An amalgam filling is just one of a variety of dental filling options available to you. Let's talk about what's best for you.
 Source: ADA, The Doctors
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