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SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015

FACEBOW SUDA Newsletter | Issue 1 | March 2015

Welcome back to school! And welcome to the first issue of Facebow, the quarterly newsletter of the Sydney University Dental Association (SUDA). I would like to especially welcome the new students joining us in 2015, DMD1 and BOH1. I hope that the next couple of years will be as exciting and fulfilling as mine have been.

President’s Report By Priyanka Ponna, SUDA President

SUDA is the student body representing DMD and BOH students at the University of Sydney. In short, we are one big family (aww shucks) and every student is encouraged to get involved with the various social and sporting activities throughout this year. Importantly, SUDA is here to support students throughout their dental school years. We are a group of friendly shoulders to lean on and students should feel welcome to contact any of the SUDA reps for any concerns you may have.

The year of 2015 for SUDA has already kicked off with First Year Camp, a 100% guaranteed good time, as well as one of the best nights of the year to gather around our little dental family, the SUDA Welcome Drinks. In a few short light years away (1 earth week to be exact) we have the Space and Sci-Fi themed Harbour Cruise, set to blast off for a big bang of a night. This year is shaping up to be an amazing year with many more events to come. Most notably

the upcoming sure stir up colleagues at 100% certain

Roland Bryant Cup which will for some old rivalry against our Charles Sturt University and I’m that Sydney Uni will come away

SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015

with our first win of the trophy (100% certainty not guaranteed, but 100% hopeful). I am extremely excited to start my final year of dentistry, but I am even more excited for my peers in lower years and the adventure you are about to embark on. I wish everyone the best of luck for the upcoming year and make the most of it! As Dr. Seuss once said ‘These things are fun, and fun is good’. Too right Dr. Seuss, too right. xoxo Gossip Girl

IN THIS ISSUE DMD1 Camp 2015 REPORT By Tom Cocks and Mark Keresztes, DMD2 Social Reps

Dean’s welcome REPORT By Annie Dou, SUDA Vice Secretary



UPCOMING: DENTISTRY CRUISE By Bhavisha Thankey and James Zvirblis, DMD3 Social Reps


UPCOMING: ADSA CONVENTION By Darian Karunaikumar, ADSA Liaison


An insight into the life of a recent graduate FEATURING MICHAEL SKILBECK By Annie Dou, SUDA Vice Secretary

For more SUDA news and events, check out or ‘like’ our Facebook page at

SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015

DMD1 Camp 2015 By Tom Cocks and Marck Edward, DMD2 Social Reps

“The pyjama party was such a blast that some people didn’t even bother to change before going to bed!” The sun was shining and smiles were easy to find at Shelly Beach this year. Dent Camp is one of the main social events of the academic year and this year we had an excellent turnout with 60 first-year, 19 second-year, 5 third-year and 8 fourth-year dental students. The DMD1 students arrived in a bus on Friday night and the social festivities began with a BBQ and a meet and greet. Saturday was a perfect day to enjoy the sun and the beautiful ocean waters of Shelly Beach. The activities of Saturday night included a pizza party followed by a pyjama party. The pyjama party was such a blast that some people didn’t even bother to change before going to bed! Unfortunately, the end of the weekend came too quickly and we all had to pack up and leave early on Sunday morning. However, the weekend left us excited to return to Shelly Beach Cabins again in one year’s time. The success of the weekend is due in part to all those who were eager to help and we would like to thank all those who offered a helping hand. Additionally, we would like to thank all those who attended Dent Camp this year and we hope that everybody had as much fun as we did. Your DMD2 social reps, Mark and Tom

SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015

Dean’s welcome By Kate Jung, SUDA Vice President

2015 kicked off with a great start at the end of the first week for our new first year DMD and BOH students. The traditional Dean’s Welcome drinks took place at The Grandstant on campus. The venue was bustling with academic staff, new students, SUDA representatives from across all years of DMD and BOH. A warm welcome was given by speakers of the event - Deborah Cockrell, president of ADA NSW branch; our dean, Professor Peck; and SUDA president Priyanka Ponna. The ever so eager first year students made new acquaintances and scooped up ample advice and insight on the course from their upper

year counterparts, while older students caught up with each other and staff after the much deserved summer break. It was no doubt an exciting start to the new year for everyone.

SUDA WELCOME DRINKS at gt’s By Kate Jung, SUDA Vice President

The annual SUDA Welcome Drinks held at GT's hotel was a night to remember with lots of laughter to be had. The new kids on the block (DMD1/ BOH1) were welcomed to the dentistry family, and the other more seasoned dental-professionals-intraining had a great time kicking back after another long (but rewarding!) day at the hospital. Some came dressed in their purple party pants! Food disappeared fast and there were smiles all around. We were lucky to bring in a special guest, Mr Graeme Hickey, the communications manager from Australian Dental Association. He shared some of his wisdom and wishes us good luck for the year ahead. The great energy of the night set the tone for the rest of the year, and we hope to see more of you at the next SUDA event!

SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015


The executive committee of SUDA and DMD4 year representatives were invited to the ADA office where we had the pleasure of meeting the first female president of ADA, Deborah Cockrell, and the NSW president of ADA, Ian Burgess. Deb and Ian shared some great insight and wisdom about the real world dentistry that students will face upon graduating. On this basis, some exciting ideas for the future direction of SUDA were discussed and we hope to see these ideas come into action to benefit the students. So make sure to follow SUDA and watch this space!

DENTISTRY CRUISE By Bhavisha Thankey and James Zvirblis, DMD3 Social Reps

Sydney dental students this year are about to enjoy their annual harbour cruise. This year the theme is space and sci-fi and the students are ready to embark on the USyd starship denterprise. Assigned a four year galaxy patrol, the bold crew of the giant starship explores the excitement of strange supernumeraries, uncharted dentitions, and exotic patients. These are their requirements. We're looking forward to having a great night!

Boldly go where all the dental students before you have gone, and join us on the 2015 Dentistry Boat Cruise! Blasting off at 7:30 pm on Saturday 14th March from a yet to be determined intergalactic wharf, so grab your space pen and save the date!

For tickets, check your year’s official DMD Facebook page for details.

SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015

ROLAND BRYANT CUP By Kyle Schaltz, DMD3 Sports Rep

Hey everyone, it’s that time of year again to start thinking about sports competitions, perhaps the Roland Bryant Cup?! The date has been set, location carved in stone, and after party guaranteed!

The event will take place at CSU in Orange this year and the events held on the 2nd of May. But what about Mothers Day you ask? It’s the next weekend silly, so no excuses not to come! Make the trip out and enjoy a weekend of sport and camaraderie with your fellow

colleagues. The sports will remain the same with one exception. There will be men’s basketball and soccer, mixed touch, women’s soccer, and netball will be changed to a still TBD sport.

ADSA CONVENTION By Darian Karunaikumar, ADSA Liaison

Tickets on sale in April, that’s next month! Details coming soon so keep a lookout.

SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015


An insight into the life of a recent graduate

By Annie Dou, SUDA Vice Secretary

Michael Skilbeck was the SUDA Treasurer in his final year of BDent. He is now a new grad working in Inverell in northern inland NSW. He is doing the Voluntary Dental Graduate Year Program (VDGYP) at an Aboriginal health service called Armajun.

What do you miss most about being at uni? I am currently working in Inverell, a small country town in northern inland NSW. The thing I miss the most here is being able to catch up with and socialise with my friends although it has given me the opportunity to make new friends. Regarding work it is a daunting experience being on my own and at uni there was always a tutor to help if I had gotten into a situation beyond my depth or at least go over what I did or what I plan to do in a situation.

Now that you are a dentist, what have you found to be the most challenging aspect of working life? Mostly it is how fast paced it can be as opposed to being a student. I currently do one hour for most procedures and 30 minutes for an exam which is still pretty generous compared to how I would be if I were in private. It is one thing that I hear everyone gets used to but trying to build up speed is tough and stressful. It is for this reason that I recommend that if people care about their careers and their advancement that they start with a public job.

What is it like working in multiple clinics? what do you like most and what do you like least about your current arrangement? I am currently working most of my time at the main Armajun clinic in Inverell but I do an outreach at Glen Innes and Tenterfield once each fortnight. The thing I like most about outreach is that it gives me the opportunity to get out of my main clinic for the day and go for a nice country drive and combine it with dentistry. The thing that is tough about these outreach clinics is that they are underresourced and I have no access to small films and have to rely on

SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015

OPG’s for everything. It means unless the case is very simple such as a simple extraction or small filling, I would rebook most stuff for the main clinic.

What is your schedule like? My schedule is mostly at the main Armajun clinic in Inverell, that is, from Monday to Thursday. Friday is for study purposes as well as conducting administrative work that I may need to do. Every second Monday is spent in an outreach clinic in Glen Innes and alternate Tuesdays are at outreach clinics in Tenterfield.

What types of dental treatment do you carry out on a typical day? Due to our budget constraints we can only perform services such as fillings and extractions for patients and this is the major work that I do. There is a new graduate hygienist at my clinic and most of my simple periodontal treatments are sent to them although I do take a few of these on myself. Root canal treatments and crowns are only done at cost price to the patient so considering most of my patients are of a low socioeconomic background these are rarely performed.

How easy or challenging was it for you to find employment after graduating? I was lucky to get my position as a part of the VDGYP and employment was finalized before I finished university which was lucky as opposed to some of my classmates. I did have other interview offers a couple of which were unsuccessful so it makes me wonder how much I would have struggled if I was not offered VDGYP.

how does it feel, transitioning from student clinics into the workforce? I have tried to implement the protocols from student clinics to my working life as much as possible especially in examinations and treatment planning all within reason. The time I have which is patient has been the biggest shock and since we are a charitable organization with minimal funding, we are actually underresourced compared to even the student clinics so I have become a lot more resourceful with materials and methods.

Have you undergone any additional training since graduating? If so, which? And if not, do you plan to any time soon? I have not done any continuing education as of yet but it is still early days. My practice is considering purchasing reciproc rotary system so I am going to be trained in that and I would like to undertake some implant and simple orthodontic courses before transitioning to private practice so I at least know how to treatment plan for them and some crown and bridge courses because chances are I will go all of 2015 without any fixed pros cases.

SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015

What are three things you have learnt as a graduate that you were not taught at uni? The first thing is treatment planning to a budget is something I have picked up on more so especially since patients have to pay for RCT’s at the clinic whereas they only have to pay a nominal $10 for extractions for instance. This may mean your ideal plan gets rejected and you have to work more to a compromise. The second thing is that referral may not always be an option in a country town where there are no prosthodontists, periodontists, endodontists, paedodontists etc. It is important to come up with a plan regarding how you are going to work without them if the patient doesn’t take up the option which more than likely they do not. Thirdly always try to review your relief of pain patients, the patient will like it because they have a dentist that cares and it will be a good educational experience for you as a clinician to see what works and what doesn’t in given situations.

In hindsight, what were the three most useful things you have learnt from uni? The first is how to blend composite with anterior fillings and getting good aesthetic results so that there are no join lines. The second is carve back from a tofflemire on the buccal and lingual when placing a complex amalgam is the best way to avoid the amalgam fracturing when you take the band off. Thirdly get the tooth as moving as much as possible before applying forceps and extractions become so much easier.

And to which areas would you have paid more attention during uni now that you have graduateD? Placement of posterior composites, I still feel that I am a few restorations away from perfect here. Occlusion is another area that is a working progress for me as is endodontic diagnosis in those complex cases.

who was your favourite sydney uni professor or tutor, and why? This is a tough one. I thought third and fourth year oral pathology was the most well taught subject probably in all my university life so it would be difficult to move past Prof Hedley Coleman, I really enjoyed pathology and his approach to how to diagnose and manage such conditions and his dedication as a teacher. I would also like to honorably mention Dr McEachen, Dr Kan and Dr Naim as helping to foster my love for surgery. Dr Sally Clark my rural tutor for preparing me for what I would face in the workforce in a rural environment, anyone who goes to Bowral is definitely lucky and should make the most of it and other mentions go to Prof Duckmanton, Dr Heffernan and Dr Frizzo.

Where do you think you’ll take your dental career from now on? I like to take it one day at a time. It is good to have dreams in the future of specializing or doing all sorts of complex work but I feel I want to get really good at the simple stuff first and then branch out. I do often think about going into a surgical or biological field of dentistry as they are where my true interests lie in dentistry but whatever road is a long road and overlooking your day by day life means you are going to waste a lot of life thinking about the future.

SUDA Newsletter

Issue 1 | March 2015

Do you have any advice for our current students? I understand DMD has no sort of elective system. Knowing that I reckon it is in everyones best interest to do at least one or two holiday placements for a week or so each. If you have any particular interest in a specialty or procedure go and find someone who is either a specialist or does a lot of that procedure or ideally both. Many specialists get into their fields because they are extremely interested and like to teach and they would be more than willing to take on a student for a week.

Issue 1 | March, 2015  

Welcome to 2015! This issue features reports on the first events of the year, information on upcoming events, and an interview with Michael...

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