Bulletin of Dental Education

Dentistry in the News - May 2011

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 Oral Histology Course Provides Predental Students with a Competitive Edge 

The University of Texas at Dallas School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics now offers an undergraduate course in oral histology. In spring 2011 the first class of 35 students began the course, which will help them gain an understanding of the complexities of oral health.

Dr. Scott Wright, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and Director of the university’s Health Professions Advising Center, sought a way to provide students with a stepping stone to dental school. “I have had, over the years, many conversations with dental school admissions officers who encouraged us to have a course in histology,” he said. “I had wanted to offer it for a long time.”

The course is taught by retired Col. David F. Murchison, former Director of Dental Policy and Operations for the United States Air Force, who instructs students on the structure and function of the cells and tissues in the mouth and related regions. Col. Murchison draws on his personal clinical experiences and treatment developments from his three decades of military service around the world.  

 Maine, Arkansas Media Report Oral Care Shortages 

Maine has one dentist for every 2,300 residents (the national average is one to 1,600), and a 2010 study by the University of Southern Maine found that Mainers use emergency rooms, rather than dentists, to treat problems with their teeth. A bill was recently submitted to the Maine legislature to study oral health care in the state and make recommendations to address oral health care needs.

An Arkansas health professions educator quotes a figure of one dentist for every 2,500 state residents. Dr. Charles Cranford at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences says, "Arkansas, historically over a 10-year period, had about 35 new dentists coming into the state. That is only half as many new dentists we need over the next 10 years to maintain the number of dentists that we currently have."

Oral Bone Loss Research Leads to Mouthwash Development 

Mouthwash is one line of defense for preventive oral health care, and researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) have developed a new one. “It’s interesting. We actually stumbled into that,” Dr. Dong Wang said.

While researching ways to prevent oral bone loss, Dr. Wang instead developed a mouthwash that's different than what's on the market.

UNMC researchers said it does a better job at preventing bacteria and bad breath. "The current mouthwashes either don't stick to the teeth or stay in the mouth long enough to be as effective as they could be,” said Dr. John W. Reinhardt.

 Life After the NFL 

Dr. Matt Mauck has traded in football to practice dentistry in the Denver area. Dr. Mauck played professionally with the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans from 2004 through 2007. He obtained his dentistry degree from the University of Colorado Denver.

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