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The Catalyst

Dental students shine, share research discoveries

By Cindy Abole
Public Relations

Dental students explored the use of composite products and amalgams as effective dental filling materials for posterior dental restorations. This project was among several where students showed off their research prowess with South Carolina dentists and statewide practitioners in Myrtle Beach earlier in May.

The students attended the research poster session and luncheon of the South Carolina Dental Association, held May 2-5 in Myrtle Beach.

Dental Medicine instructor Dr. Joe Vuthiganon, left, joins dental students as they prepare to present their research posters at the SCDA meeting.
Dental Medicine instructor Dr. Joe Vuthiganon, left, joins dental students as they prepare to present their research posters at the SCDA meeting.

Students Jessie Suggs and Michelle Gray worked together to study a variety of time-saving methods that dentists use to maximize productivity. They compared three restoration methods – the ET3000 Composite Manipulation Instrument, the SonicFill system and conventional dental filling method.

The ET3000 uses an oscillating motion to apply composite materials, sealants and resin cements. The SonicFill system features a special tip design using sonic energy that adapts the material to the cavity walls. The dental filling method involves drilling away the tooth structure and placement of an amalgam filling. Judges questioned the students and were able to see and compare the restoration devices at their poster display.

“Dentists were immediately attracted to our table because they recognized SonicFill and were interested in the various composite systems. They were intrigued with the ET3000 because it is fairly new. We were excited to present to local dentists and talk to them about how different composite systems can save precious time in practice,” said Suggs.

Suggs and Gray were among 15 dental students invited to present their work relating to dental, oral and craniofacial research. In early February, these students won second place and honorable mention performances at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine Scholars Day Mini Symposium.

Also participating were Andrew Ambrose, Katie Carnes, Tomek Charowski, Michael Defee, Ben, Dunlap, Peter Green, Daniel Knause, Manning Lloyd, Tiffany Lovelace, Whitney Meek, Charlie Moore, Ashley Price and Dave Sentelle.

Joe Vuthiganon, DMD, an instructor in the Division of Restorative Dentistry and Scholars Day student coordinator, helped and mentored dental students to prepare for this event.

“Students who received an honorable mention or second place award as part of the Scholars Day Mini Symposium were invited to present their projects for the second time at the SCDA annual session,” said Vuthiganon. “With 15 student-participants, the school had a much larger presence at this year’s meeting than in previous years. It was rewarding to see students share their projects with attendees and receive genuine interest in their results. The effort also proved to be a good networking opportunity as some students were approached about job opportunities for next year.”

Students placing first in the session are invited to attend and present at the American Dental Association annual session in New Orleans this October. Second-place winners will present their research at the Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta in March 2014.

May 29, 2013

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