Pre-Dent Day 2014

Hey Pre-Dents! We're so excited for Pre-Dent day this weekend. Please come to the dental school (305 W. 12th, Columbus, OH 43210) between 8 and 830am for breakfast and registration. Please enter the building at the entrance off Neil Ave. The day should be over between 1 and 130 after lunch. There is no dress code, but we don't recommend wearing your best business attire because lab activities tend to get a little messy! Can't wait to meet you all!.

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ASDA Halloween Party this Friday!

This Friday the 25th ASDA will be hosting its annual Halloween party at Callahan's from 9pm-12am. Dress to impress in your most creative costume as we celebrate the winding down of another semester on a reserved Callahan's second floor. 

Tickets for the event are $5 for ASDA members, $15 for ASDA members and a date (two tickets), and $15 for non-ASDA members and give you drink specials all night. Look for our table outside the Canteen the rest of the week in order to purchase your tickets.
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Register Now for the ASDA's Annual Golf Outing

Join the College of Dentistry's American Student Dental Association (ASDA) members for the 2013 ASDA Golf Open! (Proceeds support dentistry students' participation in future ASDA events.)
Who: All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend!
What: Scramble golf tournament with breakfast, lunch, and beverages included.
When: Saturday, May 18, 2013; Tee-off is at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Raymond Memorial Golf Course;  3860 Trabue Road;
Columbus, Ohio 43228

How do I sign up? Click Here

Need more info? Send an email to
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Participate in the ODA Leadership Institute!

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D1s have You Signed Up for Your Free Life and Disability Insurance?

If you are a D1 you should have recently received and email letting you know that you are officially a member of ASDA. That means you are now able to sign up for the best perk of being an ASDA member... FREE insurance! 

Click here to head over to the ADA website and sign up now. There is no reason not to take advantage of this opportunity.

You must fill out two separate forms, one for life and one for disability. It takes only a couple of minutes to fill out each form. Protect your family and your future.

Look for these two links on the ADA insurance website:

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Making a Statement

As I look back to dental school, I have many fond memories of friendships, challenges and accomplishments. I am a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry’s Class of 1981, and proud of it! I was asked by my son, who is a third year dental student, to write about my fondest memory in dental school. After thinking about it for two seconds I said graduation! 

My class was the last of the three year accelerated program to churn out dentists, due to the perceived dental shortage. What we did in 12 quarters over a three year program your current class is doing in 15 quarters in four years. I met many wonderful friends who studied, partied, cried, counseled and ate together. Our bonds were forged in the freshman pits, anatomy lab and library. We played cards and drank Little Kings. For three years we were inseparable, as my friends were my support network and colleagues. 

As with all professional colleges, the dental students were at odds with the administration on certain aspects of professionalism. We liked to celebrate life to the fullest and the administration liked a controlled situation. Traditionally, the College of Dentistry at Spring Quarter Commencement, tended to be loud and boisterous…and I’ll admit, borderline obnoxious. Some say the classes before us were “drunk with joy” after having endured 3 years of toughness and hardship. Others say they were downright drunk! I assume it was both, the emotions and the “spirit” that moved the previous classes to be loud! 

The dental class of 1981 was threatened to behave by the university officials or the following class would not be able to participate in the graduation ceremonies. We took this threat to heart, especially since there was not a dental class in 1982, due to the four year conversion! Being dentists who like to be the center of attention, who enjoy a good time and who stand up for their rights, we decided to make a fashion statement at the graduation ceremony. Along with our gowns we wore, not our caps, but a head covering. My friend, Lee Shapiro and I wore Star Patrol helmets, Dave Urban wore a nylon stocking, and Pete Welnak was a conformist and wore a mortar board. A few cowboy hats were present along with aviators, ball caps, hardhats and visors. We were a sight to behold because we all also carried helium balloons, that as we were conferred our degrees, we released to the heavens! We were not loud in sound but were loud in sight and spirit. 

Thirty years have passed since that memorable graduation day and I remember it like yesterday. To the current dental classes I say enjoy the moment and live the day. Graduation is a time to celebrate your accomplishments, hard work and friendships. We have a wonderful profession. I hope that one day you experience the joy and happiness that I have experienced being “just a dentist.” 

~George T. Williams DDS, '81

Originally published in ASDA OSU's The Quarterly Rinse
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Are Keep 32 and other miracle molecules the end of dental caries?

The field of dentistry has seen a number of hallmark innovations, ranging from public water fluoridation to the ongoing development of increasingly lifelike restorative materials. Two announcements made over the past year boldly claim to make all of those advancements irrelevant to the dental care of the future with the development of molecules that could someday eliminate caries—entirely. 

In July, an article published in the Chilean periodical Diario Financiero detailed the discovery of a molecule dubbed “Keep 32,” a nod to its purpose of preserving the 32 teeth in the mouth. The molecule, discovered by two Chilean researchers, is reported to specifically target the Streptococcus mutans bacteria that spearhead caries development, and could be engineered into mouthwash, gum, or even foods. One of the researchers, Erich Astudillo, says that they are ready for clinical trials and could be on the shelf in 14-16 months. So we should all pack up our caries removal instruments and start focusing more on periodontal disease, fracture repair, and purely esthetic dentistry, right?

Not so fast. Closer inspection of the Keep 32 article yields too few details to render the claims as indisputable, at least for now. Primarily, the original newspaper article remains the only public source of information about Keep 32, as it has not been published scientifically. That means that a great deal of uncertainty surrounds the molecule’s structure, method of action, and effect on the other resident flora. Moreover, the article only presents the perspective of one of the molecule’s creators, who also happens to be the CEO of Top Tech Innovations, the company now trying to draw interest from financial backers in the U.S. 

This is not the first time someone has claimed to have designed a molecule that specifically targets Strep mutans. UCLA researcher Dr. Wenyuan Shi and his collaborators have published several papers, including one in Antimicrobial Research and Chemotherapy in 2011 that detailed how they had used “STAMPs,” or specifically targeted antimicrobial peptides, to selectively kill Strep mutans—even within biofilms (Eckert RL, et. al.). According to the UCLA School of Dentistry’s webpage, the resulting mouthwash has undergone small scale trials and was scheduled for more extensive clinical trials in March of this year. The STAMP molecule, with the lessglitzy moniker “C16G2,” is the subject of repeated experiments and clinical data; so it’s somewhat surprising that it has flown under the radar while Keep 32 popped up in dozens of prominent blogs, The Huffington Post, and 

While the idea that a molecule could selectively kill Strep mutans in the oral environment could be proven with further testing, touting it as the cure for caries remains grandiose. Dr. Elaine Mokrzan, an OSU researcher who studies the bacteria responsible for caries, explains: “Caries is a complex disease involving mixed bacterial biofilms. S. mutans is only one bacterium that is associated with caries. You can have bad caries without S. mutans, and you can carry S. mutans in your mouth and not have any caries. Elimination of S. mutans from the mouth, even if it were possible, would not be a cure for caries.” In favor of this viewpoint, Dr. Mokrzan pointed out two papers in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology that have shown that Strep mutans is present in the mouths of caries-free individuals (Gross EL, et. al.) and is not even detectable in 10% of cases of rampant caries (Aas, JA, et. al.). For these reasons, today’s practitioners stress limiting or removing those food products that can shift the balance of power in favor of acid producing bacteria, like Strep mutans. In the past, attempts to completely eradicate harmful bacteria as a method of caries control were associated with a host of other problems, including harming beneficial bacteria and the omnipresent possibility of selecting for antimicrobial resistant strains. 

Since the etiology of caries is complex and the role of specific bacteria varies between cases, it is safe to say that a miracle molecule, while unquestionably a scientific breakthrough, would not herald the end of caries cases walking into dental offices. In the meantime, it is important that the dental community stay informed of such advances and their possible repercussions. More alarming than the news that caries might someday disappear from our society is the response from some social outlets suggesting that dentists would be disappointed by the findings, or would actively try to discredit the research. One need only look to dentistry’s promotion of community water fluoridation, and note that most of this research takes place in dental schools, to know that isn’t the case. Nonetheless, it is imperative that society knows unequivocally that we are on the same side in the ongoing battle with dental caries, whatever new molecules in shining armor may, or may not, be riding to our aid in the near future. 

~Mark Schibler '15

Originally published in ASDA OSU's The Quarterly Rinse
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Residency 101

Specialize or general dentistry? Residency or go straight into practice? For most dental students, this is a tough question that we grapple with all four years of school. Our curriculum and clinical experience expose us to every field, but let's be honest, doing a few canals won't inspire you to do Endodontics, an Invisalign case won't inspire you to do Orthondontics, and scaling and root planing definitely won't inspire you to do Periodontics. A certain GPR might prepare you perfectly for your career or maybe you'll need the freedom to learn what you choose in private practice. Unfortunately you don't become a D4 and suddenly know exactly what niche of dentistry matches your career interests and aspirations. In fact, it might be harder to pinpoint your interest after seeing rewarding aspects of each field. This article can't answer your deep personal career questions, but I hope it does encourage you to begin planning ahead. Obviously your career choices in dental school have lifelong effects and you don't want to be cornered into a certain decision because of timing. The purpose of this article is to give you an overview of what to keep in mind as you approach residency applications, and the application process timeline. Many of the D4s just completed the application process for residency, and I hope by sharing some of our experiences, you find the process a little smoother.

As a D1 and D2, it is difficult to worry about much outside your didactic and lab courses; however, the earlier you begin spending time in your specialty of choice, the better it looks on your application. If you think you might be interested in oral surgery, anesthesiology or orthodontics, you need to start laying down the framework for a successful application first year. Endodontics, pediatrics, pathology and periodontics are also competitive, especially at top ranked programs such as the ones at Ohio State. Additionally, certain GPRs and AEGDs can be very competitive. In short, for the large number of students that choose to do some type of residency, the feel good mantra of "I just need to pass" doesn't apply. Early on, you have to decide what "success" is for you in dental school, and what options you want to have when you begin applying to residency programs.

In January of third year, the application process for residency really gets going. The timeline in this article is a rough framework of what to expect, and includes the dates that were used during the 2012-2013 application cycle. You can expect them to stay about the same each year. The rest of the article will talk more specifically about different parts of the application. Try to get started as early as possible, but expect to be confused and feel behind! It happens every year but everyone manages to make it happen. Talk to instructors, residents and classmates and compare notes. I found that everyone tried to be helpful. They remember the craziness of the application process!

Identifying programs

Once you have chosen your specialty, the next big issue is identifying programs. This is something you should start researching early. It takes a lot of time to peruse websites and talk to residents to get a well-rounded view of programs. Also, you may want to extern during your third year if you are really interested in a certain program. I found that talking to current residents was the best way to find honest and relevant information. Your first priority should be identifying how the program fits into your life trajectory. Decide if location, finances, research, clinical experience or reputation is most important to you. Now you can begin to generate a list of programs.  Specifically with programs, consider the learning environment, resident “personality”, program “personality”, research opportunities, faculty relationships, operative experience and program balance. A lot of this information will require an interview or externship to really understand the ins and outs of a program, so you should generate a list, but expect it to change as your learn more.

Develop CV

Most programs will require a curriculum vitae, or CV. It is similar to a resume but expanded to 2-4 pages with an academic slant. There are tons of resources online so you can find a template and make it your own. Our ASDA chapter has an example on www.asdaosu.comas well. Using a resident’s or classmate’s as a template is quickest because they likely have the same types of experiences you have. The sections will include Work Experience, Research Experience, Volunteer Experience, Leadership Experience, Honors & Awards, References and Professional Affiliations. They can be in any order so put your strongest material on the first page and avoid having one section bridge multiple pages. If you’re an ASDA member, you are also part of the American Dental Association and Ohio Dental Association so make sure to include that in the professional affiliations. You want to show how you specifically made a difference in your activities so explain each item in your CV and include action verbs. Quality is more important than quantity so try to make each activity sound important and your contributions sound important. Make sure to have multiple people review your CV. It should be perfect.


An externship may be a good idea. The various types of residencies will prioritize these experiences differently. For example, in OMFS, externships are very important. You can spend 1-4 weeks at the clinic and expect your time there to be an extended interview. For other residencies, an externship is not mandatory. Some people will recommend doing an externship while other people will advise against. Also, programs within each type of residency do them differently. Some do not even offer them while with others it will be beneficial. Check the program website and talk to residents and classmates. You can usually choose the number of days to spend at each program. I found 2 days to be sufficient to let them get to know you without being overbearing. You will do a lot of standing around, and it is tough to know how to act. You need to be fun but serious, interested but tactful, and open to learning but not a brown noser. Only do an externship if you’re up for the challenge because they might not invite you back for the interview if it goes poorly. However, a good externship is invaluable and can secure an interview spot. Additionally, they make the interview much easier since you already know so much about the program.

Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation are an integral part of your application so do your best to develop meaningful relationships with faculty throughout dental school. You want them to know you well enough to show in a page that you would be a great addition to a program. Each program will have different requirements for the number and type of letters, but expect to need at least two. The Office of Academic Affairs will need two letters to generate the Dean’s letter, and PASS will allow two PEF submissions per program (the Dean’s Letter and the PEF will be explained in subsequent paragraphs). You will need at least one professor in the field in which you are applying. Also, most programs will accept additional letters, so if you have three or four professors that would write strong letters, include them. Although professors are used to this process, they are doing you a big favor and you want to be as accommodating as possible. Approach them in person first, then email them with your personal statement and CV. If possible, it is best to give them two months to complete the letter. When they are ready to submit, you will need to give them self-addressed envelopes for every program and a list of the online submissions they will need to complete. You might need to politely remind them of your deadlines. Make sure to write a thank you letter and keep them posted on your progress. They are giving you their time so make sure they feel instrumental in your success.

Dean’s Letter

You will find an ‘institutional evaluation’ component to the PASS application. Many people refer to this as the Dean’s Letter. The Office of Academic Affairs will meet with the class during third year to discuss the process for obtaining this letter of recommendation. It is written by Dean of Academic Affairs (Dr. Kalmar) and will include feedback from instructors, while including your class rank and board scores. They try their best to make you look your best. To formulate the letter, they will need a CV, Statement of Intent, Biographical Sketch and at least two letters of recommendation from faculty members. Once they have that material, they will be able to generate the Dean’s Letter in 3-4 weeks. The statement of intent is a description of your short-term and long-term personal and professional goals. The biographical sketch is a description of your personal and educational background. Often the personal statement you submit on PASS is a combination of the statement of intent and the biographical sketch. You will work with Beth DeLong on this component of the application, and will need to send her your preaddressed envelopes for non-PASS applications that require a Dean’s Letter.

Personal Statement

This might be the hardest part of the application process because PASS’s prompt is incredibly vague. It provides you a chance to explain why you want to pursue that specific postdoctoral dental education. As mentioned in the Dean’s Letter paragraph, often the personal statement is a combination of the statement of intent and biographical sketch. It can be up to 5200 characters and needs a title. Try to look at a few people’s to get an idea of how you want to present yourself. Your accomplishments and experiences will be in the application already so use this as a chance to show your personality and capitalize on some meaningful events. You will not need to finalize your personal statement until submitting your application. However, for the letters of recommendation you will either need to give professors your personal statement, or both your biographical sketch and letter of intent. Plan ahead so you can give them plenty of time to write a good letter.


PASS is similar to the ADSAS application we completed for dental school. There are sections for biographical data, background information, professional experience, test scores, awards and extracurricular activities. You will also find an ‘additional information’ section that allows you to provide a description of interests, activities, goals and other endeavors that you would like programs to know. They give you 800 characters and this is completely optional. Some people wrote about an intern year, others said they loved sports and others left it completely blank. Basically, I don’t think this section does much for you unless you have something really special to talk about. In addition there is an academic history for undergraduate, graduate and dental school records. You will need to order official transcripts once you reach this section. The evaluations section has three components: institution evaluation, personal potential index and professional evaluation. The institution evaluation is the Dean’s Letter mentioned earlier. The professional evaluation is just an online version of your letter of recommendation. You can submit as many letters as you want into the system; however, you can only send two PEFs to each program. If you have more than 2 letters, they will need to be mailed directly to the program. The personal potential index (PPI) is a list of scales where a professor ranks you on various personality traits.  It only takes 15 minutes or so to complete. You can include up to 5 PPIs and they are averaged on your application when they are submitted. You don’t want your two PEF writers to be the only two people to complete the PPI. They like variety here, so you will probably have some people complete a PPI that do not write a letter for your application. However, if you are having five people complete a PPI, two of those can definitely be your PEF evaluators. Some programs require that some of your PEF evaluators be in your field of specialty, which leaves you little choice. Entering the information into PASS does not take a long time to complete, but waiting for transcripts, scores, and evaluations can take a few weeks.

Supplemental Applications

Most programs will require additional materials or money in addition to PASS. You will find it frustrating, repetitive and expensive. Make sure to check each website, and to check the PASS system under PASS Program Search. Sometimes the information will not match between the two sites so you might have to call programs to make sure you are sending them the correct material. Some programs will confirm they have received your completed application, while others stay silent. I called programs to confirm they received everything a few weeks before the deadlines.


Interviews will be one of the most exhausting, but rewarding experiences in dental school. You will feel like you are never at the school for a few weeks and scheduling patients will be a nightmare. If you know the approximate weeks of your interviews, you can talk to Kevin Levings and ensure you are not scheduled for Ohio Project during that time. Look for travel deals during this time because the expenses really add up. Southwest doesn’t charge to switch flights so I highly recommend booking with them. You will get interview invites over the period of a few weeks and it is really expensive to wait until the end to book all your tickets. You will need to let your clinic director know which days you will miss from clinic. Make sure to research the programs before the interviews. You have a few hours to be memorable so make the most of your time! After a few interviews, the programs will begin to blend together so keep detailed notes about each place. Each program will have its pros and cons. You should microanalyze the differences, but in the end, hopefully you find a program or two that just feels right to you.

Ranking & Match

You will find that some programs participate in Match while others do not. This is confusing because a program’s participation in Match is not the same as participating in PASS. After all your interviews, you will create a rank list for the programs that participate in Match. The programs will also rank every candidate they interviewed. These lists are submitted to an independent company. As the name would suggest, this company matches residents to programs. Creating the rank list is tough. Thankfully, the system is created to favor students. Therefore, you should rank by your actual preference, not by where you think you have the best odds of matching. For example, let’s say you ranked 8 schools. We will say you had poor interviews at your top 7 schools on your rank list and those programs rank you last. If your #8 school ranks you #1, you will still match there even though you did not rank them highly. There is no drawback to ranking your dream school #1 because it does not hurt your chances at schools lower on your list. This makes the rankings easier in that you don’t need to play games or figure out the system. Make sure to submit your finalized rankings well ahead of the deadline. You don’t want any fluke accident to prevent you from submitting your finalized list. After a few long fretful weeks you will get an email saying where you matched. We received our email at 9 AM. This is the same day the programs find out who their new residents will be. It is an exciting day for everyone and you will probably receive some congratulatory calls and emails from faculty and residents at your future program. Enjoy the day! You went through a tough application process, and many years of hard work and dedication.


These were the dates used in the application cycle for 2012-2013. There will be slight variations in the future but this will give you a general idea of what to expect. In addition to the PASS and Match dates, a general timeline for creating different components of your application is included.

Early 2012
-Create biographical sketch, statement of intent and CV
-Line up your letters of recommendation
-Finalize program list
-Ideally, have your material to your letter writers 3 months prior to when you need to submit your application. This give your letter writers two months then the Office of Academic Affairs one month to generate the Dean’s Letter.
May 22, 2012
PASS opens
August 2012
Deadline for many of the specialty programs
Fall 2012
Interview season
November 16, 2012
Ranks due for Ortho and Anesthesiology
November 28, 2012
Match results released for Ortho and Anesthesiology
January 11, 2013
Ranks due for GPR, AEGD, OMFS and Pedo
January 28, 2013
Match results released for GPR, AEGD, OMFS and Pedo

Joe Pittman
Class of 2013
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Why Dental Students Should Attend the ODA Day at the State House

As dental students, we have a lot to think about, including getting our bearings in clinic, scheduling our own patients, classes, licensure, not to mention finding a job or applying for a specialty.   With so much to do, why should we add advocating for our profession to the list? 
The answer is simple.  The legislation that is passed today will affect the way we practice dentistry and care for our patients for the rest of our careers.  As students, we need to help voice dentistry’s messages to our state legislators.   

The goal of “Day at the Statehouse” is simply to connect with the state legislators that are making laws affecting how we will practice dentistry.  We must express to legislators that we will always be available to answer any questions they may have about dentistry.  We must also make ourselves available to educate legislators on what is in the best interest of our patients and our profession. 

Please join us on Wednesday March 20th for the ODA “Day at the Statehouse”.  Register by Feb. 20th at    

Nathan Prueter 
Legislative Liaison 
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Importance of Dental Medicaid

If the adult dental Medicaid program is cut, then the vulnerable citizens of the state of Ohio would face much higher costs of treatment and even more importantly, ineffective dental care when needed. Without this program, dental care for low-income adults would be eliminated and those with serious oral pain and infections would be forced to seek care in hospital settings in times of emergency. Moreover, most hospitals are incapable of providing sufficient dental care and can only provide temporary relief from pain and infection. Patients problems will not be resolved immediately and will require several visits to the ER, which effectively will cost taxpayers even more than if the condition had been treated properly at a dental clinic.

The adult dental Medicaid program is a vital aspect of dental care in the rural areas of Ohio. If patients in rural areas are denied dental Medicaid then not only will they be unable to seek dental treatment, but dentists and dental clinics in the rural areas of the state would also be forced to shut down.

 Ohio’s dental schools in part rely on the adult dental Medicaid program for clinic funding.  If this program were to be eliminated, then the Ohio State College of Dentistry would lose a large portion of its patient base and subsequently not be capable to care for some of central Ohio’s most at risk patients. The adult dental Medicaid program is essential for the health, safety, and wellbeing of the citizens of the state of Ohio, and it is imperative that it remains.

Ben Kushnir
Class of 2016 
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