Student has Contagious Passion for Dentistry

Future dentist presents at her hometown career day

When fourth year dental student Victoria Bridwell was invited to speak at her high school career day, she knew her passion for dentistry would be evident. What she didn’t expect were all the thank you notes.

At the actual career day, Bridwell presented in one of the school’s classrooms where the students would rotate between different presenters. She estimates that she spoke to over 100 high schoolers over five sessions. The students impressed her with their attentiveness and questions she received from them. But what was unexpected was the show of appreciation for her presentation.

“About a week later I received a package in the mail full of hand written thank you notes from many of the students,” said Bridwell. “When I opened it, I almost started crying. I had no idea those were coming but it absolutely warmed my heart.”

Bridwell’s former guidance counselor at Willard High School, located near Springfield, Missouri, asked her if she would want come back to participate in the school’s career day. It was actually the second time they had put out the invite but prior request came during her first year of dental school.

As most first years know, that is a big ask. “There was obviously know way I could make that happen with all my finals,” said Bridwell. “This time I was able to make it work. It was an honored they asked me and I was excited to share my passion for dentistry.”

Her passion for dentistry began at a young age. She knew she wanted a career in health care, with helping people as her end goal but she wasn’t sure what exact path she’d pursue. Ultimately, it was the time she spent in an orthodontics chair getting her braces that convinced dentistry was right for her. It was the positive change she experienced with her newly straightened smile and the confidence she gained.

“I love that dentistry is medical science but it’s also artistry,” said Bridwell. “Your using your hands to take something that is broken or diseased and causing pain, and make it not only functional but beautiful again.”

Bridwell is the first person in her family to go to college so it was important to her to also provide the high schoolers some general tips and tricks for managing the collegiate experience. She remembers being in their shoes, feeling like she didn’t have many people she could ask about what to expect from college. She of course covered all things dentistry but also emphasized things like campus visits.

“I just wanted to give a little guidance, give them a chance to ask questions they may be afraid to ask when they’re visiting colleges,” said Bridwell. “Even if dentistry isn’t their path, I wanted to give them some advice and direction for their future.”

Emerita Faculty Dr. Cindy Amyot Contributes to Foundational Report

Congratulations to one of the school’s emerita faculty, Dr. Cindy Amyot, who is a contributing author to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) publication, Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges. The foundational report is a comprehensive effort to tell the whole story of oral health in America. Two decades ago, the predecessor to this report was published by the Surgeon General and was considered a public health milestone. Amyot is a former associate dean and previously was the director of the division of dental hygiene. She is also a UMKC alum several times over: BS DH ‘92, MSDH ‘93, Education Specialist ‘00 and Doctorate of Education ‘03.

According to Amyot, it’s surreal being listed amongst such prestigious researches. “I am honored and humbled to be a contributing author for this publication,” she said. “I consider this a career highlight. Onward!”

New Orthodontic Research with Cleft Palate Patients and AI THEDEPARTMENT OFORTHODONTICS and Dentofacial Orthopedics has partnered with the Children’s Mercy Hospital craniofacial unit to start a research project on volumetric analysis of cleft palate patients (IRB approved and under review by the OCS department). The department also has two pending research projects involving Artificial Intelligence (AI), one in AI-assisted Cephalometric analysis and the other AI-assisted Cone Beam segmentation.

New Orthodontic Research with Cleft Palate Patients and AI

THEDEPARTMENT OFORTHODONTICS

and Dentofacial Orthopedics has partnered with the Children’s Mercy Hospital craniofacial unit to start a research project on volumetric analysis of cleft palate patients (IRB approved and under review by the OCS department). The department also has two pending research projects involving Artificial Intelligence (AI), one in AI-assisted Cephalometric analysis and the other AI-assisted Cone Beam segmentation.

Interim Program Director Named

SIMON MACNEILL, D.D.S., professor, Department of Periodontics, has been named interim program director of Advanced Periodontics. Mabel Salas, D.D.S., served as the previous program director and left the school to pursue private practice. MacNeill is the recipient of the Elmer Pierson Good teaching award in recognition of his contributions. This is his second tenure as program director.

New Orthodontic Research with Cleft Palate Patients and AI

THE DEPARTMENT OFORTHODONTICS and Dentofacial Orthopedics has partnered with the Children’s Mercy Hospital craniofacial unit to start a research project on volumetric analysis of cleft palate patients (IRB approved and under review by the OCS department). The department also has two pending research projects involving Artificial Intelligence (AI), one in AI-assisted Cephalometric analysis and the other AI-assisted Cone Beam segmentation.

Faculty Service

BRENDA BOHATY, D.D.S, PH.D., is a professor and chair of Pediatric Dentistry and director of the Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry at neighbor­ing Children’s Mercy Hospital. She also serves as a volunteer discipline director/ consultant for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Dis­orders Training Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center. This program is an interdisciplinary training program that brings together the fields of audiology, speech therapy, nursing and others in an effort to provide opportunities to develop leadership skills in working with populations who are impacted by neurodevelop­mental and related disorders.

Faculty News of Note

TIMOTHY COX, PH.D., endowed professor, Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sci­ences, was an author on a paper published in Development, Abe, M., COX, T.C., Firulli, A.B., Kanai, S.M., Dahlka, J., Lim, K.C., Engel, J. 42/dev.199534. PMID: 34383890. Cox will also present at the 42nd Annual David W. Smith Workshop on Malformations and Morphogenesis and Developmental Disorders: From Mechanism to Treatment. Continue reading

National Recognition for Students

DENTAL STUDENT MOLLIE PETRIE
(D.D.S. Class of ’22), under the super­vision of Brenda Bohaty, professor and chair of Pediatric Dentistry, published an article in the online publication Contour. The article titled, “The Ethics of Whitening Children’s Teeth,” appeared in the March 2021 issue of the journal, a national journal published electronically by the American Student Dental Association.