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Contents SPRING 2018 | VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 1

3 4 6 8 10 11 13 14 16 18 20 22 24 25




FEATURE: How to Be an Effective Leader




STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: Adjusting to Clinic Life


CAREER CHOICES: Navigating Residency




NEWS: #head4thehills


TRENDING: Charcoal + Teeth


ALUMNI CORNER: The Millennial Dentist


WELLNESS: Awareness & Acceptance




GUIDE TO MEMPHIS: Blues, Brews, & Barbecues


BITEWING: Cinnamon Sugar Cheesecake Bars


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Leading the way 

We may all be dental students, but we are not all the same. We each have different motivators, priorities, and stories. Someone’s favorite aspect of dentistry may be another’s worst nightmare. That is what makes our future profession so intriguing. Our individual attributes allow us, as the future of dentistry, to collaborate with and learn from each other.

By nature, dental students are driven, ambitious, and motivated. We face challenges head-on and are not afraid of Morgan Rebeck, ’19 committing ourselves to something that Chapter Editor-in-Chief might test our limits. We are the future National ASDA Editor leaders of the dental sector in an ever evolving healthcare system. Through individually unique trials and tribulations, we have each learned how to communicate, interact, and motivate others to reach their highest potential. As healthcare providers, we are gifted with the opportunity to change people’s lives. As leaders, we are afforded the opportunity to shape the future of dentistry.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”

– John C. Maxwell

This issue of theTENNESSEALANT, aims to expand your perspective on leadership. You’ll learn about the qualities of effective leaders and how to build your personal brand. Gain insight from leaders in the dental field on life after graduation and applying to residency programs. Learn how to approach the trend of charcoal usage in dentistry. First and second year students can catch a glimpse into what it is like to move from manikins in the GEB lab to patients in the Dunn Clinic. All this and more can be found in the following pages.


t r a t s o l a


“In every age and country, even among the rudest and most barbarous nations, these useful and beautiful organs have attracted attention, and been regarded as being of great importance for the purpose of giving beauty and symmetry to the face” – The Dental Art: A

Taylor Enochs, ’19 Chapter President

Practical Treatise on Dental Surgery by Chapin Harris, co-founder of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery which was established in 1840.

In that same year, Alexander S. Wolcott was given the first U.S. patent for a camera; he was a dentist. Some would say these two occurrences made our chosen field what it is today. The camera gave people the opportunity to critique what was natural but somehow wrong and dentistry gave them a way to finesse and create. It is easy to get caught up in giving everyone the perfect smile by showing your patients their flaws and giving them a reason and way to “fix” them. I am currently going through my own personal experience of having all my oral and maxillofacial flaws pointed out to me. If you have seen me in the last six months you may have noticed the small ceramic brackets, the metallic wire, and the ever changing brightly-colored O-ties I have chosen to deck out my changing smile. When I first walked into the orthodontic office I was excited about the change that would come: fixing and re-aligning my chipped teeth. Before

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I knew it, I was in a conversation with an Orthodontist and an orthodontic resident about how my lower lip sticks out past my esthetic line, one side of my mandible is longer than the other, my midline is significantly off, and I’m an Angle Class II. These are just a few of the things they pointed out to me. The best way to put my facial structure into “normal” parameters is surgery which would involve separating my mandible into two pieces, wiring it back together, and genioplasty. The proposed treatment plan would also include extractions to reduce the fullness in my bottom lip and correct my Class II occlusion. With all this information whirling around in my head I came to the following conclusion: I like the way I look. I have looked this way for 27 years and I am not so sure I am willing to risk changing. Our patients go through this same experience almost every time they come see us, whether here at our school’s clinic or in private practice. Most often, when your patient hears all this information on what they can fix and what we deem to be less than ideal they will all say the same thing: “You are the doctor what do you think I should do?” Being a D3, I have been asked this by almost half of my patients in some way or another. It is our professional responsibility not to take advantage of or perform unnecessary procedures without the patients fully understanding of the consequences whether they are good or bad.


Patient education, in my opinion, is a lost art in dentistry. Once we all graduate and time literally becomes money to us, we stop taking time with our patients. Most everyone has heard the now adage “brush your teeth two times a day, floss, and use mouthwash…” but that is not the extent of patient education. Explaining the disease process in layman's terms, helping the patient understand why it is important to floss, and the difference between brushing your teeth and just using mouthwash are a few examples of integral parts of patient education. Perhaps by helping the patients better understand why we as dentists are concerned about their personal oral health habits, the patients will start to understand how their oral health is a gateway to their overall physical wellbeing. If dentists do not take the time to ensure patient education then we are simply treating the symptoms of a bigger issue, ignorance.

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Thankfully in my case, not only have I been blessed with education but my chosen field is dentistry. So,
 when I was presented with an overwhelming amount of information, I did my own research, got some second opinions, and met back with my orthodontists. I let them know my concerns, and we formed a treatment plan which made me more comfortable. It is YOUR responsibility, both legally and ethically, to make sure your patient is educated on the decisions they are making.

Try to keep all of this in mind while you are studying biochemistry, trying to get all the contacts right in occlusion lab, fumbling through Axium, or cementing that last crown.








LEADER The concept of leadership to some is a natural thing, while to others it can be overwhelming. We as student dentists need to get a grasp on leadership, as someday we will be leading our own dental teams. Whether you plan on ownership, associateship, or partnership in the future, there will be a group of people that look to you for the final answer in everyday situations. Some of these situations will be as small as deciding which brand of composite to purchase and some will be much tougher decisions like hiring and firing of employees, so learning leadership qualities sooner rather than later is essential.

Jim Hollingsworth, ’18 Chapter Immediate Past-President

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I had the honor of serving as the president of our ASDA chapter last year, and I learned a lot about leadership and myself during my time as president. I’d like to share with you some of the most essential qualities that I believe a leader should possess. The great thing about these qualities is that they apply to Type A’s, Type B’s, extroverts, and introverts – we all can be and should be great leaders. Below are four of the most essential qualities I believe a leader must possess, and, of course, in the acronym ASDA:




A great leader must be authentic and lead how they want to be followed. Always follow Golden Rule – do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. Your team will look to you, the way you handle day to day operations, your morals, and the way you treat them and patients and from there decide how they will act. If you are respectful, prompt, and kind, your team will give you that in return. While leading our executive council, last year I always tried my best to lead as I would want to be led, and I could not have had a better response from our council members – the mutual respect really made us a well oiled machine.

Ultimately when running a dental practice or a large organization like ASDA, the final call falls on one person – you! So be decisive! Your team will look to you to make the tough calls and to make them well. Being decisive doesn't mean being hasty or controlling. There is nothing wrong with seeking counsel from others, or asking your team what they think about certain situations. This shows humility and wisdom. But after a certain amount of time, the final decision comes from you! Make a decision, stick with it, and be able to give a well thought out reason why you arrived at that decision. Your ability to be decisive during difficult times will win the respect of your team.

STRATEGIC A part of great leadership is having a strategic plan, and keeping your team focused on those specific goals. As the leader of your team, you will be expected to communicate the goals you have come up with and to keep everyone focused on these goals. As president of our chapter, I had to communicate what the expectations and goals were for our chapter as a whole, as well as the specific goals for each position. This gives everyone an overall goal to work towards as well as communicating how we will all work individually to meet those goals as a whole. Another important part of being strategic is finding the strengths of your team members and then encouraging these members to use those strengths. Taking the time out of your day to sit a team member down and encourage them will only strengthen the bond you have with your team! When everyone is working as a team towards a specific goal, you’ll be unstoppable.

ACCOMMODATING A big part of leadership is being able to work together as a team and getting your team members to work for you because they want to. You can get people to work for you by being open and accommodating to their ideas and by making your team members feel valued. By creating this sense of community and purpose, your team will work in a more effective manner and therefore, your results will be much better. I know that I could not have accomplished what our chapter accomplished last year on my own and with my own ideas. It was through our sense of camaraderie and through open discussions that we became so successful as a team. Being a leader doesn't mean you know it all – it’s being willing to admit that you don't and then find those people that can strengthen your weak areas. I believe that if these four qualities are put into practice, your team will be unstoppable. And notice, no where in here does it say that you have to be the loudest, most commanding person to be an effective leader – that has nothing to do with it. A leader is simply someone that people want to follow. Always be the type of person that others will want to follow and that you would want to follow yourself, and if you are, then you are being an effective leader. Now go lead!

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Building Your


Imagine going and picking up a bag of ice.

Envision the container that you get it from. Chances are you’re thinking of a large white container with a silver door and snow-capped red lettering that spells “ICE.” Even ice has a brand. Building your brand is a hot topic we throw around, but what is branding? And how do we go about building our own brand?

Anna Hill-Moses, ’19 Chapter Secretary District 4 Treasurer

L u ke S u m m e r fi e l d , a g u e s t w r i t e r f o r, defines branding as “the process of forming memories, emotions and a relationship in the consumer’s brain.” The ultimate goal of creating your brand is for your audience to take ownership of it and take it to be their own. Ashley Deibert, the Vice President of marketing at iQ Media says that your brand should “communicate and deliver value to your prospective customers.” As prospective dentists, our audience is extremely vast, where everyone technically needs a dentist, so why is branding necessary in a culture where dental patients are, theoretically, so easily attainable? Recognizing its necessity lies within

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comprehending how diverse our audience is in addition to its immensity, in which marketing and 
communicating the core values of each dental practice to match a targeted patient population is essential for success. A successful brand will communicate these core values and mission, which ultimately guide future patients to choose your dental practice over another. First, you need to acknowledge what influences your brand. Dr. Ryan Dulde held a breakout session at the ASDA National Leadership Conference in 2017 about building your brand. According to his presentation and resources, there are six major influences: (1) personality, (2) environment, (3) sustainable interests, (4) skill set, (5) professional reputation, and (6) uniqueness. The first three of these influences are predetermined, whereas the last two are created by you, so your skill set is both predetermined and created. These influences need to be acknowledged while building your brand. On the following page you can find some prompts to help you get started. As the face of your practice, your brand will be the very first judgment most people make. As your practice and brand grow, you will need to determine what is known to your intended audience versus values you may need to strengthen. Maybe you are known as the “calm dentist” but your goal is to be the “trustworthy, calm dentist.” Determine what type of dentist you would like to be known as and ensure your brand’s personality conveys this. A brand encompasses a logo, signature colors, and typography, but it also leverages a purpose. An exemplary brand will convey the three-to-five core values that differentiate your practice within the dental community. In addition, it will communicate two-to-three areas of how your patients will be impacted by your practice. Speak with your team, and have them help you figure out what is marketable versus what may be fluff. This will drive

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT| Once you have developed your brand’s personality, purpose, and promise, you will need to effectively communicate this. Imagine a billboard for your practice. In 1-10 words, 
 you should be able to convey what your brand is all about. At the other end of the spectrum, you should also be able to articulate the full story. In this story, contrast yourself with others, describe the patient’s experience and describe how you began. A good brand will make your patients believe in you. Your dental practice will move from being a patient’s solution for oral hygiene and care to becoming the only practice that will meet their dental needs. Just remember, this is not something that happens overnight. It takes direct thought, conscious effort, and is a progression. Maintain flexibility, and use data to reflect what your branding is doing for you. The following are some questions Dr. Dulde created for dental students to start thinking about the influencers of their personal brand:


Those who know me best would tell you I’m _________ . My patients would describe me as _________ .

Your Image Your Mission


The environment I see myself working in is _________ . My ideal type of patients to work with _________ .

Sustainable Interests:

An area I’ll never lose interest in is _________ . I get so focused I lose track of time when I _________ .

Skill set:

My assistant will tell you I’m the best at _________ . A skill I would like to learn and use in practice _________ . I am naturally good at this area of dentistry _________ .

Professional Reputation:

I will be known as a dentist who always _________ .


My patients would tell you I’m different from other dentists because _________ . For more information visit the following links: Entrepreneur: How to Build A Brand that Attracts Die-Hard Followers Forbes: Successful Brand Building

Your Values Your Vision theTENNESSEALANT | 9


Adjusting Life

Jordan Dunn, ’19 Chapter Community Service Chair

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be the best thing that ever happens to you. It is the point in our career when things start falling into place. 
 Everything we have studied and learned our first two years of school suddenly start to make sense. Your patients depend on you and make you feel important and appreciated. It makes the first two years of blood, sweat, and tears worth it, but with that being said, the hard work is still “cut out for you.”

Learning to manage eight-hour work days along with studying at night for weekly quizzes or exams was a reality check. Don’t get me wrong, it is much better than par tests, but an adjustment nonetheless. It is really easy to “throw off your shoes” and “kick back on the couch” after a long day in clinic, especially during your first few months. You learn something new every minute of every day, and by the time you walk out of the clinic doors at night, you are mentally exhausted, and your head wants to explode. But yet, you are still thinking about your patients for the next day. It is a never-ending cycle. The first several months of clinic is spent learning the computer system and learning how to be time efficient. Not only are you the dentist, but you are the dental assistant, the dental hygienist, and the scheduling coordinator. You are being thrown clinical requirements while you are still expected to maintain your academic requirements. Clinic is overwhelming, but you are not alone! The upperclassmen and group leaders are there to help you. Clinic is tough but you have a great support system and that is what makes it possible. Here are some of my 5 best tips for surviving your first semester in clinic: 1. LEARN AXIUM. Sit down and take the time to learn how to navigate the computer system. It will save you loads of time and make you feel less incompetent in front of your patient. 2. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE. Your group leaders will sometimes have a long line of your classmates waiting in line for help. Burning time in clinic can be a big frustration. Be courteous and understanding. Patients are paying with time rather than money and most of the time they will understand. 3. GET ORGANIZED. Staying organized is crucial to saving time and time is money. Ask your upperclassmen how to organize your lockers and separate your supplies in a way that will make you more time efficient. There’s nothing more stressful than having to spend 30 minutes digging through your stuff for a specific bur your group leader tells you to use. Guilty. 4. BE PREPARED. Review your patient’s chart ahead of time. Download a medical app (I use Epocrates) and take time to look up their medications and understand why they are taking them. Listen to your patient and be adaptable to their specific needs. 5. DON’T SLACK OFF. You have the freedom to schedule your own patients. Be wise and use the time you have to get your requirements done. Two years in clinic may seem like a lot but it flies by. Get as many patients as you can through orientation and oral diagnosis in the beginning because a lot of them will surprise you and not show up. Don’t waste time on patients who won’t commit. The best advice I have to give is to treat each day like a new adventure. Take the time to learn as much as you can. You will make mistakes. You will learn from them. Life goes on, and in the end, your mistakes will mold you into a better dentist.

Image used with permission from University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Photographer: Jackie Denton)

to Clinic

Transitioning into clinic from boring lecture days will

Navigating Residency 

CAREER CHOICES | An Interview with the 2015-2016 National ASDA President

Applying to a residency program can feel like getting into uncharted waters for many students. With some residency programs beginning the application process as early as a year in advance, there can be pressure on students to rush their selection; in addition to that, all of the information to consider about the different specialty programs can be overwhelming and difficult to decipher. Dr. Christian Piers (CP), who is currently completing a residency program in Orthodontics at the University of North Carolina College of Dentistry, was kind enough to provide some important information to consider about residency programs. Dr. Piers is not only an expert on this topic but also an excellent communicator and teacher. Below are a few of his answers to commonly asked questions about residency:

Spencer Warren, ’20

Could you start by telling us a little about your journey to dental school and what led you to pursue a residency? CP: I have to say, my path to dental school and residency was a twisting one. I’ve always been interested in the sciences and healthcare, but I really wanted to be a novelist. In undergrad, I ended up triple-majoring in Biology, Chemistry, and English with a creative writing emphasis, and after that, I went on to complete a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in fiction. In total, I spent about 5-6 years with an almostevery-day creative writing habit, and I often sent out stories to contests and magazines for publication. At the end of that time I’d published exactly one short story, and I had to come to terms with the fact that I probably didn’t have the ability to support myself as a writer. I was working as a biologist at a seahorse farm in Hawaii at the time, and while I loved working with the animals, I also sensed that the best part of my day was usually the part I spent with people. I also realized there were two big things I had always wanted to approach through my writing that I could also address through healthcare—healing and the creation of beauty. Through orthodontics specifically, I realized I could accomplish some of that psychological (and more psychosocial) healing that I’d always wanted to bring about for the reader in my stories, and perhaps more importantly, do so for adolescents during a turbulent time if their lives when self-image was a constant concern. Adolescence had been a rough time for me, personally, but my orthodontic treatment (for overjet that made it impossible for me to close my mouth) had literally changed my life. I’d also always tried to create moments of beauty in my writing, and it was this aesthetic challenge in my stories that made orthodontics—and the creation of beautiful faces and smiles —incredibly exciting to me. I entered dental school with the intent to become an orthodontist, and while I unexpectedly grew to love general dentistry along the way, I stuck to that path and continued straight into my residency. … Continued on the next page


| CAREER CHOICES In your presentation, you talked a lot about the importance of finding the right residency program. Could you highlight some of the important characteristics you would suggest to look for when choosing a residency program? 
 CP: There are a few things you absolutely need to look for in a program, but they aren’t absolutes for everyone—they’re different for every

applicant because they all have to do with what each applicant wants out of the experience. The first and very broad question is whether or not the program is more clinically or didactically (academically) focused. If you want one but you end up in the other, you’ve wasted a good deal of the time you invested in your residency. In a specialty program (less so with GPR’s and AEGD’s), the second question is about research rigor. If you want to generate good, publishable research, you want a program with robust research requirements and funding. If you’re not interested in that, you should know that if you go to a program with rigorous research requirements, you’re going to spend a lot of time on something you don’t care about. Third, consider work/life balance. It may seem like a trivial thing to think about, but it can be a deciding factor for your sanity in some of these high-pressure environments. If you want a residency where you can truly internalize what you’re learning while still developing long-term relationships in your life, you should know that working 120-hour weeks without sleep won’t help you reach your goals. But if you’re looking for the opposite, you’ll be incredibly unfulfilled by a more “relaxed” environment that might be perfect for someone else. Other aspects to consider are teaching experience and academic reputation, financial prospects of the program, and of course, your gut feel, which encompasses the learning and social environment, as well as overall resident happiness.

Piggybacking off of that question, what are some of the resources you used to find information about each of the programs? CP: This process begins before submitting your PASS applications. I suggest building contacts with current residents now so you can connect with those residents to discuss all the schools you’re considering, as well as any schools they think you should add to your list. Current residents have often interviewed at many programs and have friends who have interviewed—or who are enrolled—at many more, so they can provide insider views that are much more important than what’s written on each program’s website. Ask them about all the characteristics of the programs we’ve discussed—clinical vs. didactic considerations, research rigor, etc.—and they can provide on-the-ground information about each one. (For example, about the “actual” financial prospects of the program—taking into account cost-of-living and unanticipated funding or fees.) Go through a variant of this process with your faculty mentors who practice in your field of choice to get a faculty perspective on these schools, as well. You’ll focus on getting deeper into each of these questions in your interviews, where you’ll work to build real connections with the residents so you can learn as much as possible about their day-to-day “reality” in each program. You’ll be surprised at how honest they will be about their experiences.

What does a normal day of residency look like? CP: A normal day of residency changes quite a bit from the first month to the last month of the program. For a second year orthodontic

resident at UNC, my day typically starts at 8am with a clinically-based seminar presented by the faculty member covering the clinic that day. We have 15-20 total faculty members, between full-time and part-time professors, so we get a diverse set of perspectives in these sessions. From 9am-noon we’re in clinic seeing patients—putting on braces or appliances like expanders, changing and bending archwires, and sometimes even using the soft-tissue laser or placing temporary anchorage devices (TADs, or bone mini-screws). We have an hour or two for lunch, and then from 2-5pm we either see more patients, work on our research projects, or attend more focused, 2-hour class periods.

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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT| What are some of the challenges of being a resident? 

CP: The challenges of being a resident aren’t so different from that of being a dental student. Balance is a perpetual challenge. It’s easy to lose yourself in your work in residency because you’re very aware of the fact that the more effort you put into your years of training, the better clinician you will be for 30 or 40 years. You obviously want to put as much work in as you can, but it’s difficult to know when it’s healthy or appropriate to stop, and this can place strain on relationships in your personal life (if you go too far) or with your program (if you don’t go far enough). In essence, the challenge is to find out what the right balance is for you—as it is in every phase in your life.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student applying for a residency program, what would it be? CP: Talk to those who have gone through the process before you! Your best guides are the students who applied to residencies one and two

years ahead of you. They’ve experienced an almost identical set of challenges and have the best memories of the tactics they used to overcome them. Many residents have themselves been the beneficiaries of great advice from the residents who came before them, and they’re only too glad to “pass it on.” Cultivate those relationships now so that you’re not caught asking strangers for advice at the last minute.



Dr. staley coLvert

Dr. Colvert is a Group Leader on the clinic floor and a faculty member in the department of General Practice Dentistry. He was chosen as the Faculty Spotlight for this issue of theTENNESSEALANT because of the positive energy he brings to every situation and his undenied passion for dentistry and dental education.

DID YOU KNOW? Dr. Colvert is an actor and has appeared in movies such as The Longest Ride (2015) and Footloose (2011). Image from: Weis Radio









Icy Roads, endless traffic, and 12 hours later, we

Jack Kang, ’19 Chapter Webmaster

finally arrived in Asheville, North Carolina! Despite the driving difficulties, being part of the District 4 Annual Meeting was an incredible experience. The meeting involves students from seven dental schools in the Southeast region, including the following: University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Meharry Medical College, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of North Carolina, Dental College of Georgia, Medical University of South Carolina, and East Carolina University. This year, the meeting had record breaking attendance with 37 members attending from UTHSC ASDA and 294 total from all seven schools. First, we had our very own UT graduate, Dr. Richard Sullivan (host of The Millennial Dentist Podcast), speak on “Don’t Just Survive, Thrive… Life After Dental School.” Dr. Sullivan gave us three key points to achieve success in the private practice, where he first emphasized that education should never cease. There are many ways you can gain more knowledge, such as signing up for continuing education courses and learning through dental forums. Specifically, the Dental Hacks Nation is a great resource through Facebook that allows dentists from all over the country to post about complex cases and access solutions on how to approach them. His second key stresses that it takes a village (AKA a team) to build an effective practice, which includes all of your dental staff and dental suppliers. Dr. Sullivan’s final point is one

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that doctors, stereotypically, neglect: be smart with your money. Different suppliers will attempt to sell you their product at any cost… “my composite resin is the best because it never shrinks.” It is always an intelligent idea to research and consult with other doctors before buying an unfamiliar product. Not only was Dr. Sullivan’s presentation informative, but I also got a rare opportunity to speak on his podcast the following day, where he interviewed my classmates and me on dental school life and stressors. We were asked to share challenges, such as balancing between clinic and classes, and to share a rewarding moment, such as when you have transformed a patient’s smile.

NEWS | Another highlight of the conference was the breakout sessions. In one session, different residents spoke on their residency programs. 
 Pediatric, orthodontic, and endodontic residents touched on how and why they chose their specific career pathway. One resident encouraged working in general practice before choosing a specialty. Working for a year or two will provide additional insight and strengthen our job applications. Another breakout session emphasized the importance of education during dental school. One point that really stuck out to me is that if you make mistakes, dental school would be the place to do so. You can always turn to faculty and seek resources. Often, you learn the most from your mistakes and it is much better to make more mistakes in school than in private practice. Additionally, do not just book through dental

school to fulfill your requirements, but do more, such as molar endo or implant cases. The 3-day conference concluded with the Stainless Steel Awards luncheon. UTHSC ASDA received Stainless Steel Crown Awards for the “Best Chapter Newsletter” and “Excellence in Predental Involvement.” Tennessee represent! Not only did I take away so much educationally, but I was also able to meet and connect with other dental students. This allowed me to see what other schools are doing and gave me ideas on how to boost our dental school involvements. If you have never attended the district meeting before, make sure to go next year--it’s an invaluable experience!

Stay connected with District 4 ASDA

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Charcoal + Teeth THE

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TRENDING | What do a perfectly cooked burger and whitening toothpaste have in common?

Britta Ristau, ’20 Chapter Vendor Fair Chair - Elect

Charcoal. What was once known for its use at a cookout on a warm day has turned into the “it” beauty ingredient. From facemasks to cleansers, charcoal is being used for its ability to absorb toxins. Charcoal teeth whitening products have become the latest trend in the line of charcoal products, but is charcoal toothpaste effective? Are they safe to use? These are the questions we as dental professionals must ask to ensure the ideal, oral health of our patients. Let’s start with the underlying question: how does charcoal absorb pollutants? The charcoal used in toothpaste and beauty products is termed “activated charcoal.” According to Sarah Jampel, this charcoal is activated via heat or chemical agents that precipitate expansion of its carbon structure. As the charcoal expands and its surface area enlarges, pores are formed, which act as pockets that trap unwanted materials. Thus, when the charcoal is washed away so is the all of the material trapped in the pores. So, is this black-colored paste able to trap the toxins on the surface of teeth to leave behind a whiter, brighter smile? According to the September 2017 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association, there is no conclusive evidence supporting the cosmetic benefits of charcoal teeth whitening products. In fact, Brooks concluded that there is a need for larger-scaled studies on the correlation between charcoal products and their safety and effectiveness. Since the rise in the charcoal teeth-whitening trend, many dentists have publicly expressed their concerns about the safety and effectiveness of these products via large platforms, such as Fox News and Colgate. Yes, charcoal has absorptive characteristics that could prove beneficial, but it also has an abrasive nature that could have detrimental effects on oral health. In a study conducted by Pertiwi et al. on the effects of charcoal on the enamel of teeth, using charcoal-containing toothpaste was found to significantly increase the surface roughness of tooth enamel, where the size and shape of the charcoal particles prove to have the hypothesized detrimental effects on surface integrity of teeth. Charcoal products may appear to be a quick fix to coffee-stained teeth, but the risks could in fact outweigh the benefits. Repeated use of such an abrasive product could remove more and more enamel, leaving behind a darker color as dentin begins to show through. Based on the knowledge available right now, I would err on the side of caution when it comes to charcoal products. The bottom line is the following: we need more research on the longterm effects of charcoal whitening products to make an educated conclusion on their safety and effectiveness. For more information visit the following links: Charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices: A literature review Activated Charcoal: The Science & the Exaggerations Surface changes of enamel after brushing with charcoal toothpaste

Image from: Image from:



The Millennial Dentist 







At the ASDA District 4 Meeting, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Richard “Sully” Sullivan (RS) about leadership in dentistry. Dr. Sullivan is a graduate of the UTHSC College of Dentistry and host of the “Millennial Dentist” podcast. The following are excerpts from our conversation:

What is a time in your career where you were in a leadership position and were forced to make a difficult decision? How did you make that decision? RS: Probably the hardest decisions surround hiring and firing people, it’s pretty involved. Another

Reed Turpin, ’20 Chapter President-Elect

big decision is when you are deciding what companies your practice will partner with. What I think you have to do with big decisions is lean on your mentors. Because if we as young dentists try to lean on our own knowledge, we are going to learn the hard way. We are silly to not talk to the people who have done this more and ask how they made their decisions and what was good and bad about the outcome.

What in your career has most contributed to developing your leadership skills? RS: Probably education — one of the misconceptions about leadership is either you have it or you don’t. I think with any skill set, you can improve it. Education is huge because you have to know how to do things and do them well, so if you can do them well and lead by example, then people tend to follow that. It’s hard to be a leader when you are doing crappy work!

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ALUMNI CORNER | What would you recommend to a current dental student looking to improve their leadership skills? RS: Ask questions. When you see someone doing the things you want to do, ask them questions, pick their brains, find out how they do 

that. My goal is to extract the best information from people who are really good at what they do. Find good leaders and ask them: What makes you a good leader? How do you command the room? How do you motivate your team? What are things you do that work well? Those types of questions

Other than implant related CE courses, what CE courses do you recommend? RS: Honestly, I wish I had one on communication. Anything that has to do with communication skills, I think would be great. You talked about knowing when to spend money and when to save money, how do you make those decisions? RS: Again, lean people who have done it. You DO NOT lean on the sales rep. That’s a big one because they all will say, “Oh this will make

you so much money!” Maybe it will, but it may not be the right time to do it. So, when I make these decisions, especially when it comes to CE, its all about a return on your investment. The way I do it is say an implant course costs me $6000, and we are going to charge $1500 per implant. So how many implants do I have to place to pay that off? So that’s like 5 implants, and all of a sudden, you’re back to zero. CERAC is another example. If you break it down, and you need to do 30 crowns a month to pay for the unit, but you are only doing 10, then it probably is not the right time to make that investment.

Want more advice from Dr. Sully Sullivan? Check out his podcast at the following link: Millennial Dentist Podcast theTENNESSEALANT | 19







Emotional wellness encompasses many dimensions, such as the ability to express positive and negative

emotions, coping skills, relationship building, and conflict resolution. The relationship between mind, brain, and body is complex – much too complex for this short overview – however, remembering how complicated the connections are will hopefully ease the stress to understand it completely. When it comes to the aspects of health that are unseen, it helps to remember the two “A’s” - awareness and acceptance. Being aware of your feelings is the first step to understanding them. Accepting them, however, has to happen before any action can take place to better your emotional wellness.

Kipley Powell, ’20 Chapter Treasurer

Imagine a situation when you did not do well on a big test (which is probably easy to think of considering our crazy lives in school). You are upset, stressed, and immediately start to wonder how many more questions you can miss just to survive that class. Now, consider if you took a moment to understand where these emotions are stemming from – maybe you are worried and anxious about failing, or maybe you feel a little guilty that you did not prepare. Feelings do not necessarily reflect reality, but they reflect your perception of reality. With that in mind, take the stress and anxiety for what it is (a valid response to the realization of a tough test), and then, set it aside. Life is going to press on! With some of these practical methods, you can incorporate emotional wellness into your daily life: • Find a healthy way to decompress and lose the stress. This looks different for everyone! To name a few: work out, watch a TV show, grab dinner with friends, or play video games. • Learn from your mistakes and move past them. Do not get hung up on shortcomings, but accept it as a learning experience. • Stay positive! Remember how happy you were just to get into dental school. You have already accomplished so much! • Do not stretch yourself thin. It is okay to say no! In fact, practice saying NO. You will have plenty of opportunities available for the next four years, i.e. organizations, social functions, etc. It is imperative to know how much you can handle. Think back to the self-awareness piece: the sooner you come to learn your limits, the sooner you can begin to implement your boundaries. • Do not lose your faith. Whether you are spiritual or not, being centered on something more than day-today life can help you keep perspective. Dental school is HARD. You are in the top tier of education, so do not be so tough on yourself. Lead a happy, meaningful, and rewarding life!

For further information on the topic, ASDA has provided resources that can be found through the following link:

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GET PUBLISHED NATIONALLY Did you know that ASDA has a blog? MOUTHING OFF! provides a wide range of tips and tricks to get you through dental school and off to a running start after graduation!
 Want to be published in a magazine? CONTOUR is ASDA’s national magazine. Reach thousands of dental students with innovative and current content related to the dental industry and student advocacy. Just send an email to our Chapter Editor-in-Chief and National ASDA Editor, Morgan Rebeck, at! Image by: The Pictographers on Iconfinder

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Class: 2021
 Hometown: Morrilton, AR

If you were a dental instrument, which would you be and why?
 If I were a dental instrument, I would be an explorer because I am adventuress and enjoy exploring new things.

When did you realize that you wanted to be a dentist?
 I never had a big awe-inspiring moment that pointed me towards dentistry; however, my mother is a dental hygienist, so I decided to start shadowing her boss in high school and have been on the dental path ever since.   If you were the tooth fairy, how much would you pay for a molar?
 According to the Huffington Post, inflation has brought the going rate of one dollar in the 90s to somewhere between four and five dollars a tooth. I would opt for the one dollar a tooth because I would not want spend a one-hundred-dollar bill on every child’s set of baby teeth. 


Class: 2020
 Hometown: Birmingham, AL

If you were a dental instrument, which would you be and why?
 If I could be a dental instrument I would be an explorer. I find it the most useful instrument and I love to explore new places!  

When did you realize that you wanted to be a dentist?
 I first realized I wanted to be a dentist when I assisted a dentist on a mission trip in Nicaragua. I enjoyed serving people through dentistry and I look forward to doing more in the future!  

If you were the tooth fairy, how much would you pay for a molar?
 I would pay kids big money for molars right now since I’m always looking for them to use for our endodontics lab. I would leave at least $20 under someone’s pillow!  

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Class: 2019
 Hometown: Adairsville, Ga 
 If you were a dental instrument, which would you be and why?
 Cleoid/Discoid because I’m sharp and curvy When did you realize that you wanted to be a dentist?
 When I went to a nursing home and I saw an old lady take out her teeth next to me. I had figured out that it wasn’t the facial expressions that fascinated me, but it was teeth! It was at that moment it occurred to me that teeth make the face. If you were the tooth fairy, how much would you pay for a molar?
 Depends on if I can use it for an Endo Sim or not… Probably $20


Class: 2018
 Hometown: Wichita, KS

If you were a dental instrument, which would you be and why?
 A composite brush. I recently got carried away using one in a tense situation. Kind of a got ahead of myself you could say. My assistant and I ended up laughing hysterically at the whole thing, so I will forever remember that time I picked up the composite brush. When did you realize that you wanted to be a dentist?
 I have always known I wanted to work in the medical world, but it wasn’t until my mid to late 20’s that I found dentistry had everything I was looking for. After completing two years of college, I was able to play drums professionally for several years. I figured I would get to travel and really experience the world before embarking on my career in dentistry. I was able to meet some really great people, in the dental world, that really opened my eyes to the artistic value dentistry offered. I am excited for the next chapter, after school, and have made some long time friends playing music in dental school along the way. If you were the tooth fairy, how much would you pay for a molar?
 I guess it depends. If it were a primary molar lost prematurely, I’d foot the bill for a band and loop!



blues, brews, & barbecues 






Memphis is a diamond in the rough. One building has broken windows and the dimness

Hannah Farrar Greer, ’19 D3 Class Representative

of a past life, and the next building is a historical marvel adorned with chandeliers, new paint, and a second chance. In my past three years in this city, I have explored many nooks and crannies despite the limited free time our school schedule allows. My love of Memphis is stemmed from my love of food, in which our city offers some seriously wonderful places to dine! I understand that with the dawn of the new year, we are fueled on resolutions and subsequently find ourselves in a heated war on carbs… but stretch out those pants, and give some new and old dining spots of Memphis a try!

Classic Memphis spots to please even the pickiest eaters: GREEN BEETLE



Green Beetle stakes claim as the oldest tavern in Memphis, but that’s not the best part of this lovely holein-the-wall. When you take a seat at Green Beetle on your first visit or twentieth visit, you feel like a local and a regular. The atmosphere gives comfy-vibes, the tap flows with local beer, and the menu provides delectable pub food enjoyable any time of the day. Have a seat at the bar under the stained glass green beetles, and be a part of Memphis history.

The only thing you need to know is that Elvis loved this place. Arcade is the oldest restaurant in Memphis and has remained on Main Street since 1919. If you are craving diner-style food, check this place out! Breakfast is served all day so you can get my favorites, the Eggs Redneck or Sweet Potato Pancakes, at any hour. If you are lucky, you can even grab a seat in Elvis’ old booth.

The battle for best BBQ in Memphis will continue as long as Memphis is on the map. While I won’t throw in my BBQ bias, I will say Rendezvous knows its way around a BBQ pit. Situated in the heart of downtown with a somewhat hidden side alley entrance, it feels like you found Memphis’ best-kept secret. But don’t let the entrance fool you, this place has been visited by legends since 1948. Stop by for a rack of ribs and a cheese and sausage platter coated with the famous Rendezvous Seasoning. You won’t regret it!

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MAJESTIC GRILLE While newer in the restaurant world than the others, Majestic Grille sits in a historic downtown Memphis building, which once functioned as a silent film theater in 1913. Today you can enjoy a romantic dinner of classic steak, grilled chicken, or salmon while still enjoying a silent black and white movie projected onto exposed brick walls above the dining floor.


New places to grub: THE GRAY CANARY



The Gray Canary is opening late February in the Old Dominick Distillery in the South Main Arts District. Operated by the chefs and owners of Hog and Hominy, Catherine and Mary’s, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, and Porcellino’s Craft Butcher, we know this restaurant menu and ambiance won’t disappoint. Soft opening with limited hours will occur until the grand opening February 20, 2018!

This restaurant trifecta is nestled in the back of the newest eye candy in the South Main District, the South Main Market. The market has many great local shops to fill your coffee, bagel, cocktail, and live music needs, but these vendors’ menus put them at the top of my must-try list. At a shared bar, you have the option of vegetarian dishes at Coco, comfort food at Kinfolk, or Asian inspired small plates at Magnolia. South Main Market is the newest craze in downtown Memphis and it needs to be at the top of your to-do list!

New to the ever-changing Medical District, Sunrise also has owners who have a history of success in the kitchen. Owned and operated by the restaurateurs of Central BBQ, Sweet Grass, and Next Door, Sunrise has already grown to popularity with their mouthwatering breakfast and lunch menu. Check out their Instagram for photos of biscuits so flaky and buttery even your grandmother will approve.

New places to quench your thirst: CIVIL POUR



Civil Pour is also located at the above-mentioned South Main Market. That place seriously has a lot to offer. This cocktail bar is stocked with a selection of local beer, wine, and an interesting cocktail list. With the open floor plan of the market, Civil Pour is the perfect place to grab a drink before a show at the Orpheum or an afterschool wind-down.

The Carolina Watershed is a new downtown gem. Creatively situated in a silo, this building will provide you with a lot more than just grain storage. Stop by this new bar for some tasty cocktails in a cool environment that is new to Memphis.

The tastes of paradise have come to Memphis. With little time for beach vacations, this new bar allows you to trade scrubs for floral print shirts and leis. You have the freedom to act like your toes are in the sand and proudly order an umbrella accented piña colada. However, shirts and shoes are required so don’t get too carried away in the paradise theme.

But hey, don’t just take my advice, explore Memphis yourself! You are tied to this city for at least four years so you might as well learn to love it. And if you ever find yourself without a dining partner, give me a call! I have some stellar food recs.

Want even more recommendations on what to do and eat in Memphis? Visit



Cinnamon Sugar Cheesecake Bars Cinnamon, flaky crust, and cream cheese, OH MY! This sweet treat is sure to be a winner at your next get-together.

What you’ll need:

Editor - Elect

2 tubes of crescent dough 16 ounces of cream cheese, softened 1 egg 1 cup of sugar 2 tablespoons of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of vanilla

1st Place Winner at the UTHSC ASDA and Psi Omega Fall Fest

How-To: • Start off by preheating your oven to 350℉. • Divide 1 cup of sugar into equal halves into two separate bowls, and add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to each. • In another bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. • Add 1 bowl of the previously prepared cinnamon sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 egg to the cream cheese, and continue to beat until smooth. • In a greased 9 by 13-inch baking dish, sprinkle half of the remaining cinnamon sugar. • Roll out 1 tube of the crescent dough in the bottom of the dish, and pinch together seams. • Spread the cream cheese filling over the crescent roll layer. • Roll out the other tube of crescent dough on top of the cream cheese layer, pinching together seams. • Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top. • Bake for 30 minutes until crescent roll is golden brown. • Refrigerate until completely cool. Then, cut and serve!

g n i w ite


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Image from:

Allison Poget, ’21

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HELP US FILL THE VOID: Want to be featured in the next issue of TENNESSEALANT? Interested in being part of the UTHSC ASDA Editorial Board? All you have to do is email our Editor-In-Chief, Morgan Rebeck, at for more information!



































DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the various authors in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the American Student Dental Association at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

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TENNESSEALANT | Spring 2018  

Volume 7, Issue 1

TENNESSEALANT | Spring 2018  

Volume 7, Issue 1