Annual Dental Camp Enables Young Students to Explore Careers in Dentistry
One Saturday in February, the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry hosted Dental Camp, a free annual event geared toward middle- and high-school students interested in learning about careers in dentistry. Held each winter, this year’s Dental Camp brought more than 75 young students to Pacific Dugoni where they were treated to a day of hands-on activities and learning opportunities.
Event attendees learned about dentistry and oral health by spending time in the school’s main clinic, simulation laboratory, and labs. They were given the opportunity to learn about how an oral cancer screening is performed, make molds of their own teeth, drill a cavity in a mock tooth, and more. Dental Camp participants also interacted with volunteer dental students, faculty, and staff.
We had tremendous interest in this year’s Dental Camp and the attendees were very excited to learn about dentistry and talk with our dental students, says Torri Keever, Senior Admissions Advisor and Dental Camp Program Coordinator. Over the years that I’ve been coordinating this event I’ve seen that it really can make an impression on young people and help guide them as they consider their future schooling and careers.
One parent who had two children attend the event says, On behalf of my sons, Russell and Justin, thank you for the opportunity to attend Dental Camp. They both learned about the dental profession while having a lot of fun doing it. They connected with the volunteers and were inspired by their stories. Russell, a junior in high school, and I have had chats about college and this event made him even more interested.
Craniofacial Anomalies Program Receives Accreditation
The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) has awarded initial accreditation to the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Dentistry’s Craniofacial and Special Care Orthodontics Fellowship Program. The U-M program becomes the fourth in the nation to be established after the specialty was formally recognized by the ADA in 2009. CODA is an accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
The 12-month certificate program is designed to give orthodontists the specialized training they need to enable them to provide long-term orthodontics care to children with craniofacial anomalies in communities or to become members or leaders of craniofacial anomalies teams in hospital- or university-based programs.
Kostas Kazanis, D.D.S., is the first U-M craniofacial fellow. Katherine Kelly, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., is the Director of the new program. An orthodontist and Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of dentistry who has been on the craniofacial anomalies team since 2000, Dr. Kelly regularly collaborates with specialists at U-M hospitals.
The Craniofacial Anomalies Program includes a team of specialists from across U-M working together to ensure the physical health, growth, and development of patients from birth to 21 years of age. The specialists are from 12 disciplines including orthodontics, pediatric plastic surgery, pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgery, genetics, speech pathology, and neuropsychology.
Orthodontic treatment is provided to children with craniofacial anomalies during their growing years. It is an essential prerequisite for successful reconstructive surgeries. Some craniofacial conditions are the result of a birth defect (congenital). The most common anomalies include cleft lip, cleft palate, and craniosynostosis, a premature fusing of the bones in the skull and face during fetal development.
Children who have suffered facial trauma or have undergone treatment for childhood leukemia or other cancers may subsequently experience alterations in facial growth that later result in craniofacial anomalies. Since craniofacial conditions affect the growth of jaws, teeth, muscles, and nerves and can also make eating and speaking difficult, care from multiple specialists is frequently needed.
Dr. Kelly says approximately 3,000 children in Michigan have been diagnosed with craniofacial anomalies. About 700 from across Michigan and even some surrounding states receive care from the U-M craniofacial team.
“I’m grateful to be the first craniofacial fellow at the U-M School of Dentistry and help launch this new program,” Dr. Kazanis says. “The opportunity to work with Dr. Kelly, these special needs patients, the parents or guardians of the patients, and specialists at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”