School of Dentistry Researchers Help UMKC Wins $5.4 Million to Research Bone and Muscle Loss

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry received a $5.4 million grant award as part of a $10.4 million award to the Indiana University School of Medicine from the National Institute of Aging to continue research into the effects of aging on bone and muscle loss. UMKC researchers have led the way in recognizing and studying how the two conditions — osteoporosis and sarcopenia — often occur together and may interact.

“UMKC is excited to continue this important research that can help solve health problems that affect our families and so many of us as we age,” said UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal.

Bone and muscle loss both are widespread and costly. An estimated 25 million Americans have or are at risk for osteoporosis and resulting fractures, and a similar number of older Americans suffer sarcopenia or diminished muscle mass and function. Together, they are estimated to account for more than $40 billion in annual health care costs. Osteoporosis and sarcopenia often occur together. UMKC research has been at the forefront in recognizing how muscle and bones interact with each other and how one tissue affects the function of the other as well as studying how exercise and other factors can help prevent muscle and bone loss as people age.

Read more about the science and grant.

Scholarship Recipients and Donors Honored

The UMKC School of Dentistry held its annual Scholarship Recognition dinner Monday evening October 1, 2018, at Student Union on the Volker Campus. Assistant Dean Richie Bigham welcomed the audience and then Dean Marsha Pyle presided over the recognition of the scholarship donors and recipients. The School distributed 349 awards to 188 students from 171 endowed scholarship funds, totaling more than $993,000, an 8.17% increase over 2017. Additionally, 19 students received 25 awards from 15 regional and national scholarship funds. This year’s new scholarships included the Brown-Thompson Military Award Fund; Dr. S.V. Hanna Scholarship Fund; Jerome E. and Joan Holtzman DDS Scholarship; Bert W. Oettmeier, Jr., DDS and Mrs. Pamela G. Oettmeier Scholarship Fund; Dr. Ralph E. Younger and Mrs. Lynda L. Younger Scholarship Fund; The UMKC Class of 2002 Heidi Garren Everley Scholarship Fund, UMKC Dental Hygiene Alumni Association Diamond Scholarship.  Find photos from the event here.

School of Dentistry Faculty and Staff Honored

Dozens of awards and achievements, along with hundreds of years of service, were honored September 18, 2018 at the UMKC School of Dentistry Faculty and Staff Recognition ceremony.

At the annual event at the Diastole Scholars Center, Dean Marsha Pyle said its people were what made the school great, so it’s important to pause and recognize them. She took the time to announce the 155 recognitions. You can see them all here. By the numbers, they break down this way:

— 384 years of service among the 15 people retiring
— 440 years of service among 33 faculty and staff recognized at milestones of 5 to 35 years of service
— 29 new faculty and staff members
— 12 faculty promotions or achievement awards
— 3 staff awards
— 21 distinguished teaching and recognition awards
— 21 service recognitions
— 27 journal publications and 1 book chapter by 9 faculty members
— 12 research grants in excess of $50,000

Find the program from the event here.

Enjoy photos from the event.


Dr. Pam Overman honored for her nearly 40 year tenure at the School of Dentistry

A celebration on August 30th honored of the retirement Dr. Pam Overman and recognized her many accomplishments and dedication during her nearly 40 year tenure at the School of Dentistry. The event was hosted by the UMKc Dental and Dental Hygiene Alumni Associations and the School of Dentistry at Diastole.  Find photos from the event here.

Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal Visits the School of Dentistry

As part of his introduction to the UMKC, Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal is touring each of the units on each campus. He is looking forward to learning more about each school and interacting with students, faculty, and staff. Wednesday, August 29th the Chancellor toured the School of Dentistry.  Chancellor Agrawal comes to UMKC from University of Texas San Antonio Health Science Center and has a real passion for health services.  Enjoy photos from the visit.

School Welcomes Newest Students

The School of Dentistry welcomed its newest students, the DDS Class of 2022 and the DH Class of 2020, on Wednesday-Friday, August 15-17. As part of their orientation, the incoming students were issued their clinic scrubs: DH students ceil blue and DDS students hunter green. Presentations and activities included student panels, faculty panels, get to know you activities, tours with mentor groups, a pancake breakfast, and an ice cream social.

The 31 females in the new DH class includes students from Missouri, Kansas, & Arkansas. Their average science GPA is a 3.34 and cumulative GPA is a 3.45.

The geographic distribution of the 109 new DDS students includes the following states: MO (73), KS (20), HI (4), AR (2), LA (1), MD (1), MN (1), TX (2), & Kuwait (4). The class includes 55 females and 54 males. Their average science GPA is 3.67 and their DAT academic average is 19.8. The age range is 21-43.

All these students possess extensive dental experiences through observation and assisting, as well as extensive community service participation.

We welcome them to our family at the School of Dentistry.

Enjoy photos from the first day.

Find photos from the second day’s events, here.

Photos from Friday’s events.



TeamSmiles Makes Smiles for Kids

On August 3, 2018, UMKC School of Dentistry third and fourth year dental students from the Students Take Action organization and Pediatric Dentistry Club volunteered at a special TeamSmile event. Students from second, third and fourth year dental classes also joined in. This TeamSmile event was hosted by the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.  Royals greats John Mayberry and Dennis Leonard were on hand, passing out their baseball cards and greeting the children.  Local dentists, students and volunteers provided free dental care for almost 300 children. Dr. Bill Busch was inspired to partner with professional athletic teams to provide free dental care to children after he heard the story of Deamonte Driver started TeamSmile.  Find photos from the event here.

Celebrating Accomplishments Of 2018 AEP Participants

On Thursday, July 26, the School of Dentistry gathered to celebrate the accomplishment of students participating in the 2018 Admissions Enhancement Program (AEP). The AEP is an intense, ten-week summer program designed to support prospective DDS students as they get ready to apply to dental school. The program helps students study for the Dental Admissions Test through eight weeks of online modules led by UMKC faculty, incorporating supplemental instruction, practice DAT tests, and access to the online CE Webinar. In addition, students spend two weeks onsite where they learn valuable study and test-taking skills, receive personal statement feedback, practice interviewing with faculty, engage with panels of dental professionals, and participate in hands-on learning experiences in the clinic and pre-clinical lab. The AEP is committed to partnering with students from underrepresented, rural, and disadvantaged backgrounds who are motivated to attend dental school.

This year’s AEP group consisted of twelve students from nine states including Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

The UMKC School of Dentistry wishes the 2018 AEP students the best of luck as they take their DAT and apply for dental school!

Enjoy photos from the event.

$1.8MM Grant Awarded Researcher To Develop Longer-Lasting Restorative Materials

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, has recently awarded UMKC School of Dentistry a five-year R01 grant totaling ~$1.84 million to develop the next generation, longer-lasting materials for restorative dentistry. Yong Wang, PhD, Professor of Biomaterials, is the principal investigator on the grant.
In general practices, nearly 70% of all operative dentistry is devoted to the replacement of failed restorations. The emphasis on replacement therapy is only expected to grow as people are living longer and with increased age, there is an increased risk for loss of tooth structure due to deep or root caries requiring large restorations. The failure rate is significantly higher for these restorations, with an average replacement time of only 5-7 years.

“The reduced clinical longevity and survival rates can be extremely detrimental to patients because removal of these failed restorations often results in significant increase in cavity volume, and extensive loss of tooth structure,” says Wang. “Over the lifetime of a patient, the additional loss of tooth structure will translate to enlarged and more complex restorations and eventually total tooth loss, which means increased cost to the patient in terms of both time and money. Clearly, there is an urgent public health need for new dental restorative materials with significantly increased service life.”

The premature failure of these restorations has been traced to a breakdown of the bond at the tooth surface/restorative material interface, can be linked to the failure of current materials to consistently seal and adhere to dentin. This new grant will support development of novel restorative materials with new chemistry for robust dentin bonding. This new approach will create strong interfacial interactions which lead to durable bond for restorative materials and thus to enhance the service life of dental restorations.

Zhonghua Peng, a professor of chemistry and Mary P Walker, a professor and prosthodontist are the co-investigators of this five-year grant.