News at One Kneeland: March 2017

CODA approves two postgraduate programs

The Commission of Dental Accreditation (CODA) granted accreditation status to two postgraduate programs at the dental school at their February 2 meeting. The advanced general dentistry program in orofacial pain received its initial accreditation. The program offers a full-time, two-year certificate in orofacial pain and craniomandibular disorders. Chao Lu, DG10, assistant professor and program director of orofacial pain, Aruna Ramesh, DI04, associate professor and chair of diagnostic sciences, and Shuchi Dhadwal, assistant professor in diagnostic sciences and director of the craniofacial pain center, led the accreditation process. CODA also re-accredited the oral and maxillofacial surgery program, which was first accredited in 1966. Maria Papageorge, D82, DG86, DG89, A12P, M18P, professor and chair of oral and maxillofacial surgery, and Constantinos Laskarides, DI09, DG03, associate professor and postgraduate program director in oral and maxillofacial surgery, led the re-accreditation process.

Tufts joins PerioChip study site

Dexcel Pharma recently chose the dental school as one of the sites for a study related to its product PerioChip. PerioChip is a biodegradable chip made of chlorhexidine gluconate to aid in fighting bacteria when used after a scaling and root planing procedure. Athena Papas, J66, G91P, A97P, A04P, the Dr. Erling Johansen, D49, Endowed Professor in Dental Research and division director of oral medicine, is the principal investigator.

March Dentist on Display: Aundrea Eady, D11, DG14

It was a ten minute conversation with a few prosthodontists in Hawaii that prompted Aundrea Eady, D11, DG14, to take the leap and make a bold career decision. Read her full story.

Hacking dental education at Tufts

The dental school hosted the Annual ADEA New England Curriculum Hack-a-thon on February 18. Tufts cohosted the event with Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) and Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (BUGSDM). The initiative provided a setting for students, residents, and faculty to discuss the dental school curriculum and its reform. Students and faculty from nine schools in the northeast region were invited to the event. Students were tasked with creating a fictional dental school and developing new curriculum based on CODA accreditation standards. Richard Valachovic, president and CEO of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), delivered the keynote address opening the event. “Think of all the faculty that made a difference in your life and the next generations of students,” said Shawheen Saffari, D16, and one of the event’s original creators. “We have a critical role to inspire the upcoming students as our faculty members have inspired us.” See photos of the event.

Guide dogs by the dental chair

Rachel Tanenhaus, program coordinator in the health and disability program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity, stopped by the dental school to speak to students about providing services to patients with disabilities as part of the Introduction to the Dental Patient 1 course. Tanenhaus, accompanied by her guide dog Echo, presented “The Other ADA – the Americans with Disabilities Act,” to raise awareness on how dental providers can facilitate access to care for all patients. Among other topics, she discussed the proper etiquette for interacting with guide dogs in dental settings. After class, Tanenhaus allowed Echo take a break from her work so some of the students could pet and play with her.

Tufts alums team up with Boys and Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Club of Manchester, New Hampshire announced that they are collaborating with Virtudent to increase access to dental care for members of their club. Virtudent, along with Richard Bolduc, D07, will provide care to 600 children aged 10-18 across the Manchester and Concord area. Club members will receive dental x-rays, intraoral photographs, screenings, sealants, and fluoride varnish. Licensed New Hampshire dentists will review each patient’s record using telemedicine to make recommendations and referrals. Virtudent’s founder and CEO is Hitesh Tolani, DG13, who previously won the 2014 Tufts 100K New Ventures Competition for Virtudent.

Awards and Honors  

  • Athena Papas, J66, G91P, A97P, A04P, a Distinguished Professor, will receive the 2017 Healthcare Professional Leadership Award at the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation’s National Patient Conference on March 31.
  • Carole Palmer, professor of comprehensive care and head of nutrition and oral health promotion, will receive the American Society of Nutrition’s  2017 Roland L. Weinsier Award for Excellence in Medical/Dental Nutrition Education. Palmer will receive the award during the society’s awards ceremony on April 23 during ASN’s Scientific Sessions at Experimental Biology 2017.
  • Diana Esshaki, D11, DG17, was one of only 12 finalists for the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics (JCO) Eugene L. Gottlieb Student of the Year Award. Esshaki said her nomination and selection as finalist would not have been possible without guidance from orthodontics faculty members Sercan Akyalcin, associate professor and postgraduate program director, Georgios Kanavakis, DG08, DG09, DG11, assistant professor, and Unae Han, volunteer faculty member. “They were truly instrumental in helping me achieve this,” Esshaki said. “I could not have done it without their assistance.”
  • Harvey Levy, D74, will receive a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Tufts University Alumni Association during the 2017 Tufts Alumni Awards on April 20. Levy and his staff have developed methods and procedures to treat individuals with special needs, which he enthusiastically shares with dental practitioners through numerous publications, courses, webinars, and mentoring.

Publications and presentations  

  • Robert E. Johnson, III, D18, and Morton Rosenberg, D74, A09P, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery, publishedWhat every dentist should know for patients taking suboxone,” in the Winter 2017 issue of the Journal of the Massachusetts Dental Society.
  • Diana Esshaki, D11, DG17, was invited to attend the 2017 American Academy of Orthodontics Emerging Leaders Conference, which took place on February 9.

Staff and Faculty Changes  

  • Arani Barrios started at the beginning of February as a patient registration assistant in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
  • Eden Bedaso started at the beginning of February as a dental assistant in prosthodontics.
  • Olivia Goold-Horne started in early March as the new staff assistant for the office of advanced and graduate education.
  • Virginia Mcclelland started in early March as the administrative assistant for the Office of the Executive Associate Dean.