UW School of Dentistry

School holds COVID-themed virtual Research Day

Eric Xu was selected as the winner of the School of Dentistry’s annual student research competition in conjunction with the school’s annual Research Day this week. Xu, a second-year student who was mentored by Dr. Sumita Jain  and Dr. Diane Daubert of the school’s faculty, was recognized for his study titled “Veillonella demonstrates increased biofilm growth when exposed to titanium particles.”

As winner of the competition, judged by the school’s Research Advisory Committee and the Student Research Group, Xu received a $200 scholarship from the Omicron Kappa Upsilon national dental honor society. He will also represent the school in the American Association for Dental Research/Dentsply Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research in 2022.

John Scott
Dr. John Scott

Classmates Isabelle Hwang, mentored by Dr. Tracy Popowics, and Kevin Xu, mentored by Dr. Dan Chan, were selected as the second-place and third-place winners respectively and will receive $150 and $100 scholarships.

The winning students and the competition’s other entrants participated in the school’s Summer Research Fellowship Program (SURF), which is funded by the University of Washington Morell Endowment and the UW Dental Alumni Association. SURF gives School of Dentistry students a stipend and allowance for expenses to pursue research under faculty supervision.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Research Day, conducted on Zoom, was a marked departure from previous years, which featured research poster presentations in the Health Sciences lobby. Instead, presentations were delivered virtually, as were faculty talks. The theme of the event was “How research and evidence inform the future of dentistry in the post-pandemic world.”

Dr. John Scott, Professor of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the UW School of Medicine, gave the keynote address. Dr. Scott, who is Medical Director of UW Digital Health, spoke on “The effect of the COVID-19 epidemic on telemedicine and teledentistry: Looking to the future.”

School of Dentistry faculty speakers included:

  • Daniel Chan, Chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry: “COVID-19 pandemic research opportunity: restorative dentistry perspective”
  • Jacqueline Wong, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Oral Medicine: “Telehealth at the UWSOD during COVID-19 and beyond”
  • Mark Drangsholt, Chair of the Department of Oral Medicine: “Can telehealth advance dentistry?”

Fourth-year research elective dental students gave video presentations, as did graduate students and SURF students.

Noted researcher to lecture on craniofacial defects

Dr. Rena D'SouzaDr. Rena D’Souza, past president of the American Association for Dental Research, will lecture on “A Novel Paradigm for the Reversal of Craniofacial Defects” on Oct. 31 from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. in Room T-625 of the Health Sciences Center.

Dr. D’Souza, who holds a PhD as well as a DDS degree, is Professor of Dental Sciences, Neurobiology & Anatomy and Pathology at the University of Utah. She is the university’s Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Education for the Health Sciences, and also serves as Immediate Past President of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). Her presentation is part of the Scholars in Dentistry Seminar Series and is sponsored by the School of Dentistry’s Office of Research.

A researcher for more than 30 years, she received the 2002 Distinguished Scientist Award from IADR and the Presidential Award for Research Excellence from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center in 2010.

Children offered free dental care at UW clinic on Feb. 20

Sign-up spaces are still available for children’s free preventive dental care at the University of Washington’s Center for Pediatric Dentistry on Feb. 20.

Resident with patient
A young patient has a checkup at the Center for Pediatric Dentistry.

The annual Give Kids a Smile day, which is sponsored by Bartell Drugs, offers children free dental exams, X-rays and fluoride treatments from 1 to 5 p.m. The first 50 children to sign up will receive the free care.  Children ages 1-18 are welcome, although the event is limited to new patients at the Center.

The Center is located at 6222 NE 74th St. just inside Magnuson Park in Seattle. Appointments are required and can be made at 206-543-5800.

Give Kids a Smile comes during Children’s Dental Health Month, and it helps highlight the important of good oral health for youngsters. Tooth decay remains the leading preventable childhood disease, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children make their first visit to the dentist when that first tooth appears or by the first birthday, whichever comes first.

The AAPD also recommends that toddlers receive exams and fluoride varnish twice a year. School-age children should receive twice-yearly exams and sealants, which teenagers should receive twice-yearly exams and sealants and have their wisdom teeth evaluated.

Parents should also know the basics of good children’s oral health:

  • Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time
  • Flossing each day
  • Choosing healthy snacks that are low in sugar
  • Wearing a mouthguard when playing active sports

The AAPD, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Dental Association all recommend that parents establish a “dental home,” or a regular dental office for all of their children’s dental needs,  by their first birthday.

For more information about children’s oral health and the Center, visit the Center’s website.