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Students continue rotation, even with approaching Hurricane

With Hurricane Florence in the forecast, all eyes were on the Atlantic Ocean. As the hurricane got closer, Charleston County made the choice to close down schools and offices, and MUSC followed suit. Preparations for the hurricane began and only essential personnel were allowed on campus. With the announcement of a mandatory evacuation, members of the College of Dental Medicine either packed up their belongings and families in search of a safer area or began hurricane preparations. Four of our students didn’t do either.

The students, who were seeing patients at the Greenville free clinic, decided to stay and continue to treat patients rather than return to Charleston to prepare for the hurricane or evacuate with their family and friends. The students include Jordan Bronstein, Nathan Ewoldt, Parker Northrop, and Hunter Stinson.

When the students contacted Dr. McPherson (Interim Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs) they were told that they wouldn’t be required to stay in Greenville for the rotation. Jordan Bronstein emphasized that the decision to stay was a “collective decision” and all of the students ended up working the entire week with the free clinic.

Nathan Ewoldt said that they “all felt that we could make the biggest impact during that stressful and difficult time by serving those who needed our help”. This rotation is often something that fourth year dental students look forward to. Hunter Stinson said that these rotations are a “place where we get the opportunity to work in a different environment, use new materials, learn from other doctors/mentors, and grow in our skills”.

While Greenville isn’t on the coast, the path of hurricane Florence was uncertain until it was close to landfall. The commitment that these students had to their education and the patients that they served is to be admired. As Nathan said, “when tragedy has struck Charleston in recent years, the rest of South Carolina has reached out with helping hands so it was gratifying to return the favor in a small way”. 


The New STARs Recognition System

The Staff Leadership Council has come up with a new recognition program called STARs. The goal of this program is to provide day-to-day recognition for small, positive things that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Staff Congress is providing the recognition cards to CDM supervisors or a designated person who regularly works in a certain area and they will have them on hand to say “thanks, show appreciation, encourage, motivate, and compliment” a member of the staff. This recognition program aims to have more frequent positive reinforcement around the college, since previously, the monthly Staff Award and Applause Awards were the only Staff-based awards. This new program will not be replacing the current awards programs, but supplementing them.

The STARs recognition cards will come in eight difference designs with a space on the back for a note/comment from the supervisor. The cards will also include a button that comes in six different designs.

If you have any questions/feedback about the program or need more recognition cards email the Staff Leadership Council at


Junior Faculty Club

Since the inaugural Junior Faculty Club on January 25, 2018, the goal has been to provide information and knowledge for faculty development. The College strives to invest in each faculty member and help them have successful careers; and this monthly meeting was seen as a way to do this.

While these meeting were originally geared towards CDM Instructors and Assistant Professors, they are now attended by a wide range of faculty members and the recent ones have even been attended by College of Pharmacy faculty.

When first starting out, the Junior Faculty Club attendees brainstormed topics they would like to learn about and speakers they would like to hear from. Since this inaugural meeting, attendees have learned about topics such as getting started in Clinical Research, scholarly writing, and statistical considerations in research.

At the September meeting, Dr. Brad Neville presented on appointments and promotion and Dr. Angela Chi presented on the components of a tenure application.


Dr. Chi at September's Club                                                        Dr. Neville at September's Club

The Office of Faculty Affairs is always on the lookout for another interesting topic, so if you have something you would like to hear about reach out to Dr. Pilcher at


CDM has two staff members accepted to BRIHTE Academy

This year, the Enterprise’s Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion launched the David J. and Kathryn Cole BRIHTE Academy. The BRIHTE Academy, standing for ‘Building and Retaining Inclusive High-Potential Talent and Excellence’, is a two-year program focused on leadership training.

This program is designed to “identify and prepare BRIHTE participants for future leadership positions at MUSC, align with Imagine 2020 strategic goals, and implement an innovative approach to longstanding models of ‘grow your own’ talent and leaders”. In order to be accepted to this program, members of MUSC had to apply and get letters of recommendation from those who work with them.

The Medical University of South Carolina only accepted 15-20 members to this new academy. The College of Dental Medicine is proud to have two staff members who have been accepted to this program, Mr. Monterris Bradley and Ms. Shaquetta Ware.

Mr. Bradley, a current member of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, has often expressed desire to become a better leader. Within the college, he greets everyone with a smile and is known for his willingness to help. Mr. Bradley is also currently working towards his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Human Resources.

Mr. Monterris Bradley

Meggan Gindhart, Business Manager for the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, said that Mr Bradley is “approachable, determined, organized, and trustworthy” and that when the Department was restructured he “emerged as a leader”. His willingness to adapt to internal changes is notable and that is an important quality in a future leader.

Ms. Ware is also known around the college for her smile. She has been the recipient of countless Applause Awards from patients and each person she meets knows that she cares about them as an individual.

Ms. Shaquetta Ware

Ms. Ware knows that investing in individuals is important. She is one of five children and has two brothers who have autism. She says that her mother emphasized servitude as she was growing up and she tries to reflect this character in her everyday life. Ms. Ware worked for the Disability Board of Charleston County for five years and she uses those experiences and her faith to make an impact on every life she touches. She said that the patients she saw at the Disability Board “approach you out of love, they love you as you are, where you are” and she works to do the same.

As the next two years go by Mr. Bradley and Ms. Ware will further their leadership skills and work to make MUSC a better place. The college is looking forward to seeing the impact they have.


Distinguished Faculty Service Award

Dr. Pilcher with Dr. Cole and Lisa Saladin

From left to right: Dr. Lisa Saladin, Dr. Elizabeth Pilcher, Dr. David Cole 

Each year, a Faculty Convocation is held as a way of ushering in a new year filled with opportunity and reflecting on the success of the past year. Faculty members are recognized for their accomplishments in the areas of education, clinical practice, and research. This year, the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine’s very own, Dr. Elizabeth Pilcher, was honored for her leadership and contribution to not only the College of Dental Medicine but to the entire MUSC Enterprise with the Distinguished Faculty Service Award. This is the highest honor a faculty member can receive for service at MUSC.

Dr. Pilcher, known as ‘Betsy’ by many, has been a familiar face around the college for many years, starting with her time as a student. Her beginning at the University set the tone for the rest of her career and she has continued to be a pioneer for change.

Throughout her career with the college she has always been devoted to her work in the clinic and as an academic professor. She has been an advocate for special needs, gender equality, and college development. She has been a leader in interprofessional programs, developed the student teaching assistant program and has mentored both student and faculty members. At the University level, Dr. Pilcher served as director of the 2010-2015 strategic plan, worked to implement it, and ensure its success. At a state level she has served as a member of the SC Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Disabilities Board of Charleston County and at a federal level she has mentored faculty through the American Dental Education Association’s merging leaders program. The impact she has made is monumental.

During Dr. Pilcher’s time at the college many have considered her a mentor, a colleague, and a friend. She quoted the great Winston Churchill in her acceptance speech by saying “you make a living out of what you get, but a life out of what you give”; and her career shows that there is no limit to what she is willing to give.

To view the Faculty Convocation program with the full list of honorees please visit


Drs. Chi and Krayer Appointed to Specialty Boards


Dr. Angela Chi                                                                       Dr. Joe Krayer

The James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine is pleased announce that Dr. Joe Krayer and Dr. Angela Chi have been appointed Directors of the Specialty Boards.

Dr. Krayer will serve as Director of the Board of Periodontology (ABO).  He will serve a five-year term and work to “certify the achievement of in-depth knowledge and proficiency in the full scope of periodontology and dental implant surgery through examination and periodic recertification”. Dr. Krayer serves as Professor in the Division of Periodontics in the Department of Stomatology.

Dr. Chi will serve as a Director of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. She will work to “represent the interest of oral and maxillofacial pathologists within the profession itself, in the dental and medical community, and to the public at large”. Dr. Chi serves as Professor in the Division of Oral Pathology in the Department of Stomatology.


Impactful Gifts

At the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, scholarships are a way to help prevent the cost of tuition from becoming a limitation. If you were to ask anyone in the college, most would agree that the success of our students is one of the most valuable things to all past and present members.

As this school year appeared on the horizon, Dean Sarandeep Huja shared his desire to provide more scholarships for students. Due to this, and the hard work of Dr. Tariq Javed, his staff, and the Academic Performance and Professionalism Committee, the college was able to award $80,500 in scholarships for this upcoming year. In addition to college-specific scholarship funds, The Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity offered each college $10,000 for students who are identified as under represented minorities.

Katy Tamblyn, from the Office of Academic Affairs, said that while they “had a record number of applicants this year, the students have been incredibly appreciative of the awards and have expressed their thanks to all involved”.

While relatively new to the college, Katy had a big part in the success of this year’s scholarship program. Katy said that she is “confident that the scholarship dollars given to our students will continue to rise, and that maybe one day some of the current scholarship recipients will return the gift and endow a scholarship of their own”.

Two scholarships given this year have stories that hit close to home. One, the Harry H. and Adela N. Tetrick Scholarship, was gifted in 2014 by Adela Tetrick in honor of her late husband, Harry. The second is the George C McTeer scholarship.

Harry Tetrick worked as a maintenance supervisor at the college for many years and became known for his passion for fixing the unfixable. He emphasized preventative measures when it came to dental equipment, and his lessons on equipment maintenance became part of the curriculum for all dental students.

Harry and Adela Tetrick

Grace Eichler, one recipients of the Tetrick Scholarship, said that "Mr. Tetrick’s legacy at the college is an important piece of students’ clinical history. Now that I am working so closely with clinic staff, I am continually humbled by the dedication they show to students and patients. As our clinic advances into the future and receives newer, faster technology, it is important to remember our foundation and appreciate the skills and equipment we have used as we progress”.

The George C. McTeer Endowed Scholarship also has its roots right here at the College of Dental Medicine. Dr. George McTeer was the first African-American dentist to graduate from MUSC. With his graduation in 1974, he paved the way for other minority dentists and solidified his role as an ambassador. In the years following his graduation, Dr. McTeer ran a practice that prided itself on oral health education and advocacy for access to care. This scholarship, established by faculty and the College of Dental Medicine’s Office of Diversity in 2002 was permanently endowed in 2011, and is to provide support to minority students studying dental medicine.

Dr. George McTeer

One of the recipients of this scholarship is known for her involvement within the college. Malikah Christie said that “the selfless efforts of those who worked to change the status quo played a pivotal role in the representation that we now see at the college. It is truly an honor to have been recognized among such a trailblazer”.

All of the scholarships that were awarded this year have impacted the students who received them and will continue to impact students for generations. Each scholarship has its own unique story and the McTeer and Tetrick Scholarships are no exception.


*Photos courtesy of James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine Alumni Website.

To read more about the Harry H. and Adela N. Tetrick Scholarship please visit here.

To read more about the George C. McTeer Endowed Scholarship please visit here.


Department Feature: Population Oral Health

Dr. Joni Nelson Composite


Dr. Joni Nelson Composite                          

Dr. Joni Nelson                                                     Dr. Amy Martin

In 2014, the Division of Population Oral Health saw its creation. This small office on the first floor of the college has made a big impact since the day it opened its doors. With Dr. Amy Martin and Dr. Joni Nelson at the helm they have focused on teaching students, health services and policy research, outreach, and increasing access to oral health care.

The Division of Population Oral Health, often referred to as the DPOH (dee-po), focuses their research and teachings on strengthening the dental safety net in the state of South Carolina. The dental safety net, as defined by Burton Edelstein, includes “the facilities, providers, and payment programs that support dental care for underserved populations including those individuals disadvantaged by a variety of social, economic, and health conditions”.

With this in mind, the DPOH begins at the base level, by teaching students. They focus on providing experiential learning opportunities to students and work to equip them with the resources to practice in safety net communities after graduation. They also conduct health services in population health research, often funded by grants.

One of these research projects is ‘Rural Oral Health Advancements through Interprofessional Practice’. The DPOH is fond of acronyms and this project is often referred to as ROADTRIP. This project focuses on students and training them to increase their understanding of the dental safety net. The creation of the Dental Safety Net Certificate Program in 2015 is a direct result of this. This program offers 4 courses, two of which are already mandatory for students. The courses help build the willingness of students to practice in the safety net after graduation as well as give an introduction to interprofessional competencies. Students can take these courses and join the dental safety net research club, led by Dr. Martin and Dr. Liete, to get a full understanding of the work that the DPOH is doing around the college, as well as the state.

The most recent graduating class saw the first certificate completers since the beginning of the program. These include Dr Brandy Rollins Hair and Dr Chanel Moses. Dr. Hair is now working for BronxCare Health System as a General Practice Resident. This program is located in New York, New York, in a district that has a poverty rate of almost double the national average. They serve a high volume of patients with Medicaid insurance and patients who primarily speak languages other than English. Dr. Chanel Moses is serving in the military with a focus on population oral health and is actively pursuing dental public health. Dr. Nelson said that one of the ways she has seen her work at the DPOH make a difference is by seeing the difference that students, like Dr. Rollins Hair and Dr. Moses, are making in their postgraduate practice.

The DPOH is in the middle of some other projects. One is the ‘NC-SC Oral Health Research Agenda. This is a partnership with East Carolina University, the University of South Carolina, the University of North Carolina, and the Medical University of South Carolina. All universities are working to identify opportunities to work together and improve oral health. Another is the ‘School-Based Oral Health Program Expansion in NC & SC’. This program is a partnership with Duke and worked to identify weaknesses and strengths in school oral health programs and education while working to move children in these schools from treatment to prevention.

The DPOH just wrapped up a research project called ‘Rural Oral Health Advancements in Delivery Systems’, called ROADS. The analysis part of this project is ongoing and it worked with a dental delivery system. The DPOH partnered with rural health clinics to help with referral management, identifying areas of improvements, oral health integration competencies (such as including fluoride varnish and oral screenings), and relating oral health back to diabetes management. The ongoing project ‘McLeod Oral Health Leadership Referral Program’ also works to incorporate oral health care as a diabetes management program. The McLeod Health Center and MUSC have a long standing partnership and the teachings are incorporated into their residency program.

Dr. Amy Martin recently received a grant for a project called ‘Prioritizing Oral Health Workforce & Education in the Rural Pee Dee’, also known as POWER Pee Dee. The goal of this project is to strengthen the dental safety net in the most underserved region of South Carolina. This will be achieved through MUSC telehealth, the Division of Oral Health in the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the DentaQuest Institute. Many people around the college and state are excited to see what this project will accomplish. For an overview of current grants and projects for the DPOH, please see their website.

This Division of Population Oral Health continues to have a great impact on the state of South Carolina. The grant dollars that rural dental clinics receive from the various grants that the DPOH has been awarded give the clinicians freedom to learn and understand new competencies and help with their practice management.

When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Dr Nelson emphasized the collaboration that occurs in their office. She said that they “get to serve, truly actually serve the communities that we’re trying to improve their access to oral health, and then we actually get to see it work”.


2018 Junior Faculty Awards

Drs. Huja, Ravenel, Bowers, Novince, and Pilcher

From left to right: Dr. Huja, Dr. Ravenel, Dr. Bowers, Dr. Novince, Dr. Pilcher

This year was a first for the College of Dental Medicine, with the introduction of new Junior Faculty Awards, sponsored by Dean Huja. These awards were given at the CDM annual faculty retreat, held on August 20, 2018. These awards were introduced to recognize Junior Faculty (defined as a rank of instructor or assistant professor) for excellence in the areas of research and teaching. Teaching awards would be given to both full time and to part time faculty. These new awards are nomination-based and the recommendation letters received for these nominations showed just how accomplished the College of Dental Medicine faculty members are.

The recipient of the Junior Faculty Award in research was Dr Chad Novince.  Many would agree that Dr. Novince’s award is well deserved. He has many contributions to the world of research, including his recent Rising Star Award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research for his progress in the bone field. Some of his other accolades and contributions include publications in many journals and additions to textbooks, industry recognitions such as the Recognized Research Innovator Award, and his commitment to mentorship. Dr. Novince regularly provides research mentorship to students who have gone on to receive their own recognition for research.

Drs. Huja, Novince, and Pilcher

From left to right: Dr. Huja, Dr. Novince, Dr. Pilcher

The teaching awardees were Dr. Leah Bowers and Dr. Theodore (TR) Ravenel. This year, two teaching awards were given to full time faculty as there were no nominations for part time faculty this year.

Drs. Huja, Bowers, and Pilcher

From left to right: Dr. Huja, Dr. Bowers, Dr. Pilcher

Dr. Bowers may be a recent addition to the College of Dental Medicine, but her lectures are getting a reputation of their own. Upon her arrival she helped teach portions of a General and Systemic Pathology course and received the highest student evaluation score in the college, a remarkable feat. This award for teaching reflects Dr. Bowers’ diverse educational background and how her hard work lends itself to the success of her students.

Drs. Huja, Ravenel, and Pilcher

From left to right: Dr. Huja, Dr. Ravenel, Dr. Pilcher

While not quite as recent as Dr. Bowers, Dr. Ravenel’s arrival to the Endodontics department has ushered in quite a few changes, all of them for the better. Dr. Ravenel has consistently recognized changes that needed to be made within the department and has worked tirelessly to implement these changes. Since his arrival, he coordinated logistics and set up a clinic rotation at the Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach creating an opportunity for students. He also started an endodontic newsletter for students, and has given various lectures. As time passes Dr. Ravenel continues to be a significant asset to the endodontics department.

The intention of the Junior Faculty Award is to recognize those who have accomplished great things and made a significant impact on the college. Dr. Bowers, Dr. Ravenel, and Dr. Novince are valued members of the College of Dental Medicine and we are honored to be able to celebrate their achievements with this year’s Junior Faculty Awards.


Dr. Jeanne Sinkford: An Extraordinary Legacy



At the beginning of June, the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine had the distinct honor and privilege of hosting Dr. Jeanne C. Sinkford; an internationally known pioneer in advancement of under-represented minorities and women in the field of dentistry.

Dr. Sinkford serves as a role model for many. She graduated first in her class from Howard University’s College of Dentistry and is known as a dental educator, administrator, researcher, and clinician. During her career, Dr. Sinkford served as Dean for Howard University College of Dentistry from 1975 to 1991, making her the first female dean of any U.S. dental school. She served as leader and member of numerous committees and has spent her career working to increase the representation of women and minorities in the dental profession. Some of the councils and organizations she has served on include the National Institutes of Health, National Academy of Sciences NRC Governing Board, White House Conference on Aging, Food and Drug Administration, and the Veteran’s Administration. Dr. Sinkford has also received a remarkable number of awards, the most recent being the ADA Distinguished Service Award. This is the highest honor one can receive from the ADA and their president, Dr. Maxine Feinberg, commended her for being “a true leader in dentistry”.

One of the many hugs that occurred at the reception      From L to R: Dr Javed, Dr Sinkford, Dr Brown, Dr Williams

The MUSC College of Dental Medicine’s Office of Diversity was founded in the fall of 1996. Since then, they have worked to increase the number of under-represented minority applicants and enrolled students. Dr. Gwendolyn Brown, Director of Diversity, and Pearl Givens, Student Services Program Coordinator, currently work in the Office of Diversity.

Dr. Brown has met Dr. Sinkford before at various minority and student recruitment functions and said that “sometimes you question whether you are making a difference and she [Dr. Sinkford] confirms that every little thing you do makes a difference”. She was delighted when Dean Sarandeep Huja asked Dr. Sinkford to come speak at the college.

Two Howard Alumni      

At the beginning of Dr. Sinkford’s visit, student hosted tours preceded a reception in the grand lobby of the Clinical Education Center. This reception was widely attended by members of the MUSC family including faculty, students, and alumni, as well as Howard University alumni. Dr. Sinkford said that she was surprised at the number of former students and colleagues from around South Carolina that traveled to the event.

Dr. Sinkford with Dr. Brown

The next day Dr. Sinkford met with many leaders in the College of Dental Medicine from the Student National Dental Association, participants from the Summer Careers Academy, the Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and from the American Association for Women Dentists along with female faculty members. Each of these meetings allowed Dr. Sinkford to share her experiences on the evolution of women in dentistry and fostered conversation about inclusion and diversity within MUSC. In addition, Dr. Sinkford prepared a presentation called “Legacy and Opportunity: The Fork in the Road”, which was attended by staff, faculty, and students. This presentation served as a culmination of her experiences and allowed members of MUSC to truly see the impact she has made during her career.

While Dr. Sinkford’s visit came to an end, the ideas she brought with her will endure. As Dr. Brown said, “she was at the forefront of change and is still working at the forefront of change”, and if the past proves anything, it proves that Dr. Sinkford will continue to make an impact in the world of dentistry.

For more pictures of the reception visit our Facebook album


Impressions Day 2018

Dr. Brown with participants of Impressions Day

Each year, the Student National Dental Association at MUSC proves that student outreach is their top priority. While their annual Impressions Day event is just one of many that strives to educate pre-dental students, it is their largest outreach initiative and makes an impact on many students. The success of this event is proven by its continual growth. This year, 35 students and 5 faculty members volunteered their time so that 60 students were able to participate in a day filled with hands-on activities and useful advice.

A female student working in the simulation lab      

Throughout the day participants were able to make impressions and diagnostic casts, prep a tooth and fill it with composite, and design a front tooth using wax in the MUSC simulation lab. Each lab activity was led by a faculty member while 3 dental students assisted.

Dr. Joe Vuthiganon gave an informative presentation on the dental school application process, interviews, and admissions. Since most dental schools require an interview in order to be considered, SNDA also uses Impressions Day as an opportunity to conduct mock interviews. A participant said that they “loved the mock interviews because it was a one-on-one with a student. They critiqued us, but also had a conversation with us”. During these interviews participants are invited to practice their skills and receive constructive feedback from current dental students. Current dental students also take part in a panel where Impressions Day participants are encouraged to ask questions to get a dental students perspective.

An impressions day participant working on interview skills with a CDM student

This year, SNDA included a new portion of Impressions Day. The participants were able to donate oral hygiene products and create gift bags that were donated to the ICU department at MUSC Health. SNDA members said that they were overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of donations they received in response.

gift bags that were donated to the ICU

At the end of the day participants are provided with a virtual folder as part of the SNDA’s continued ‘going digital’ initiative. This folder gives permanent access to information on the dental school application, dental careers, financial aid, military, pre-dental involvement, DAT tips and specific information regarding MUSC’s program.

MUSC SNDA’s President, Malikah Christie, hopes that Impressions Day will “continue to grow and leave a positive impact on all participants”. Their motto “Enriching Dentistry Through Diversity” certainly is achieved as they prepare the next generation of dentists each year.

JBE CDM students that helped make Impressions Day a success


Staff Congress Update


*Photos are from the most recent Staff Development Day

At MUSC, Staff Congress’ are formed to act as a voice for staff members. They often focus on areas such as overall staff morale, staff development, and communication within the college. When the topic of implementing a Staff Congress within the College of Dental Medicine was raised by leadership at the end of 2017 a poll was sent out to members of the college to evaluate interest. Response was positive with 83% of the staff being in favor of forming a Staff Congress. Officers were then elected in January of 2018. The members elected were Sara Thigpen, Chair; Irina Pechenaya, Assistant Chair; Angela Stevens, Secretary; Jessica Cash, Treasurer; Dionne Bennet, Clinical Member At-Large; Evelyn Gaskins, Clinical Member At-Large; and Angela Pinckney, Administrative Member At-Large.

Once the new Staff Congress was formed, the newly elected members spent time figuring out their roles and working with the dean regularly to discuss updates, concerns, and questions. Since January, the Staff Congress has changed the staff recognition and award system so that they are entirely managed by staff members and are now a monthly award. They also hosted a Staff Development Day that received incredibly positive reviews, and left them wondering how they were going to top it for the next one.


The Staff Congress aims to be a voice for the staff and to be their representation working towards positive change. Their focus is staff development and improving our ‘in-house’ community. They know how important each individual that makes up the College of Dental Medicine is and want them to feel valued.

In the next few months the Staff Congress is planning on getting all staff together for a holiday meal, a possible chili cook off, and launching small group activities.

If you have any feedback for the Staff Congress feel free to email them at


Special Smiles at the Special Olympics

Dr. McGill and students who volunteered for the Special Olympics

On May 12th dental students from James B. Edwards headed to Fort Jackson in Columbia to volunteer at the Special Olympics Summer Games. 

The volunteers were the “Special Smiles” part of the Healthy Athletes program; a program that aims to educate those with intellectual disabilities on healthy choices and identify health problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. The athletes also received examinations from Opening Eyes, Healthy Hearing, FUNFitness, and FitFeet.

A student with a Special Olympics participant      A student with two Special Olympics participants            

Throughout the day the dental students worked to register the athletes and screen them for missing teeth, fillings, and signs or symptoms of inflammation and pain. At the end of the screenings the athletes were offered a Flouride Varnish and the students made protective mouth pieces for them. The athletes were also given oral hygiene tips and a goody bag, which included a tooth brush and toothpaste.

By the end of the day the dental students had registered and screened 140 athletes and provided both health care and health education.

Participants with goody bags      Another student with a Special Olmypics participant

The Fall Games are scheduled to take place at the end of October in Myrtle Beach, where over 1500 athletes from around the state will attend. The Fall Games will host seven sports, Bocce, Bowling, Disc Golf, Golf, Volleyball, Flag Football, and Soccer. Our dental students are already making plans to attend the Fall games, and will undoubtedly make a positive impact.


Yilmaz Becomes Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine

Dr. Yilmaz photo
The College is pleased to announce that C-COHR Center for Oral Health Research Director and Professor Ozlem Yilmaz was named a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) in England. The Royal Society of Medicine is one of the United Kingdom’s major providers of postgraduate medical education. Independent and apolitical, the Society promotes an exchange of information and ideas on the science, practice and organization of medicine as well as funding for students/trainees. Each year, an elite group of international physicians or scientists is asked to become a fellow following a nomination and the review by the RSM Members Committee. Other famous Honorary Fellows include Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, Edward Jenner, and Sigmund Freud.
Of the honor, Dr. Yilmaz said, “This prestigious opportunity will provide greater visibility for the College at international platforms and will further distinguish our research efforts nationally and institutionally. I believe that this very special recognition also attests to the quality of the research our former and present students have been conducting in my research lab.”

New Dentist Trustee

Dr. Davis Photo

Paul T. Davis, D.M.D., has been elected as the Medical Professions Representative to the MUSC Board of Trustees for the 7th Congressional District.

He attended Wofford College on a golf scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1994. He earned his doctorate from the MUSC College of Dental Medicine in 1999, where he also completed an advanced education in General Dentistry residency. After practicing in Mount Pleasant for six years, Davis and his family decided to move back to his hometown of Florence, where he has maintained his private practice since 2006.

Davis is a member of the Florence Dental Society and is the past president of the Pee Dee District Dental Association. He has served on the board of governors for the South Carolina Dental Association and is a member of the South Carolina Delegation to the American Dental Association.

At a local education level, Davis served on the board of trustees for All Saints Episcopal Day School and Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School, and is on the dental advisory board for Florence-Darlington Technical College. He volunteers his services at local medical clinics as well as participating in medical missions abroad. He is a member at First Presbyterian Church in Florence where he has served as an elder. A resident of Darlington, Davis and his wife, Tabatha, have two children, Haley and Thomas.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Davis to MUSC!


Donation Provides Patient-Friendly Alternative

Written by: John C. Comisi, DDS, Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Rehabilitation

The restorative process in dentistry is very demanding and helping our students and their patients with consistent proper isolation is imperative to achieving successful outcomes. That is why a very generous donation from the former Isolite Systems, now Zyris™ Isolite Systems, to the College of Dental Medicine and its outreach clinics is of great importance. 

The Isovac adapters and equipment that will be provided by Zyris™ will provide an effective, patient-friendly alternative to the traditional rubber dam isolation for dental procedures. These Isovac’s will be installed at every clinical chair in the College of Dental Medicine and training on their use will be provided to all rising Junior and Senior students and faculty members each year so that optimal, consistent use of these devices will be achieved with each succeeding class and as we add new faculty in future years. 

Controlling the oral environment during dental procedures is critical and the addition of these Isovac adapters in the dental clinics will be an incredible asset. Complete oral environment control allows the student clinician to maximize the efficacy of technique-sensitive dental material utilization’s and helps in delivering high quality dental treatment. Employing these isolation systems during their education will better aid them in providing better patient care during their time with us and after they have graduated from the College of Dental Medicine.


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