Bulletin of Dental Education

Research, IPE and Service at Old Dominion University

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The Gene W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene at Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, VA, has an active student community, is engaged in research and embraces interprofessional education (IPE). 

The school offers three programs: an entry-level B.S.D.H., a post-licensure B.S.D.H. and an M.S.D.H. Ten full-time faculty and 16 adjunct faculty compose the school’s teaching faculty, program directors and chair, plus three full-time staff members who provide support to the students, clinic and faculty. 

From left: Lynn Tolle, B.S., M.S., Gayle McCombs, M.S.,
Aaron Arndt, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Recently, School of Dental Hygiene faculty members Gayle McCombs, M.S., and Lynn Tolle, B.S., M.S., teamed up with Aaron Arndt, Ph.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor in the Strome College of Business, to lead a series of research projects to determine perceptions held by consumers, dentists, dental hygiene students and dental hygiene program directors of dental hygienists with visible tattoos. This collaboration resulted in five publications and six presentations, with three graduate students completing thesis research in this area. Katie Search, a 2017 graduate, took first place at the Dentsply Sirona Graduate Research competition at the 2017 American Dental Hygienists’ Association Annual Conference for her research with dental hygiene program directors on perceptions about tattoos. Results of her study indicated that many respondents were not as critical of tattoos as expected, though results did provide a cautionary warning
for prominently displayed tattoos. 

Ann Bruhn, B.S.D.H., M.S., combined her expertise in radiology with the forensics knowledge and leadership of Tara Newcomb, B.S.D.H., M.S., to procure two internal grants for radiographic forensic odontology research, resulting in seven publications and multiple presentations at ADEA and national forensic conferences. Their recent article in the Journalof ForensicSciences reported on a test of a 3-D printed imaging device for use in forensic odontology. 

ODU students and faculty gave three presentations at the 2017 International Association for Dental Research meeting in San Francisco. Denise Claiborne, Ph.D., M.S., presented her doctoral research, “Children’s Oral Health Practices of Nurses Following an Educational Intervention,” as a poster. Master’s degree graduate Futun N. Alkhalifah also presented thesis research as a poster presentation. Jafar Allabdullah, M.S., a current Ph.D. student, presented a poster titled “A Systematic Review on the Validity of Teledentistry.” Susan Daniel, Ph.D., served as the Chair of Dr. Claiborne’s dissertation committee and Ms. Alkhalifah’s master’s degree committee, and she currently serves as Chair of Mr. Allabdullah’s dissertation committee. 

ODU undergraduate and graduate students and faculty are also engaged in IPE and community service. In a current project, students from the dental hygiene program and eight other health professions education programs are provided written cases with knowledge of a patient and family member or caregiver. Interprofessional teams then assess standardized patients face-to-face and through telehealth at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Additionally, the Sentara Ambulatory Care Center student-operated interprofessional clinic provides another IPE opportunity for dental hygiene students and faculty.

Sharon Stull, M.S., who coordinates community education and service for the school of dental hygiene, has developed an extensive educational experience for students throughout the Hampton Roads area to travel to Ireland and Guatemala. Lee Melvin, D.D.S., and Ms. Stull also work with students at Mission of Mercy and Chesapeake Care Center community service days. Moreover, during the 2016–17 academic year, dental hygiene students delivered free preventive services to over 4,000 residents in the Hampton Roads area, totaling over $106,000 of care.

Courtesy of SusanDaniel, A.A.S., B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Program Director, Dental Hygiene, Old Dominion University

Published on November 8, 2017
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