SIU SDM holds Research Day in Alton

ALTON — The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM) Research Day featured Omar Escontrías, PhD, PH, MPH, as the guest speaker.

Escontrías is the senior director of policy research at the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), and he delivered a pair of timely lectures for SDM students, faculty and staff. The lectures were entitled, “A Deeper Understanding of Policy Research: Key Findings from the ADEA opioid epidemic and COVID-19 impact surveys” and “The Opioid Epidemic and Oral Health Inequities: Two parallel Public Health Crises in Historically Underrepresented and Racial/Ethnic Groups.”

Nathalia Garcia, DDS, MS, SIU SDM interim director of Research and Chair of the Department of Applied Dental Medicine, noted the importance of health policy research in academic dentistry.

“The presentations offered by Dr. Escontrias highlighted fundamental issues that dental schools are currently facing,” said Garcia. “He introduced the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on dental schools’ operations and finances. He also discussed the impact of the opioid crisis, explaining the coexistence of the opioid epidemic and oral health inequities.”

“These matters are relevant and quite timely,” she added. “It is important to keep our dental school community informed about current trends in the national dental academic environment.”

Following the presentations by Escontrías, an award for the first-place winner of the Student Table Clinic Competition was presented to Kaitlyn Stanton, a second-year professional student at the SIU SDM, for her research, entitled “Survivability of Oral Pathogen and Commensal Bacteria After Exposure to SmartMouth Clinical, DDS and Other Mouth Rinses.” The research was carried out under the supervision of Barbara McCracken, PhD.

Additional dental Student Table Clinics Competition displays included:

•    Josh Koerner, “Effects of Silver Diamine Fluoride Treatment on Shear Bond Strength of RMGI and PGI at Various Time Intervals”

•    Amritpal Kullar, “Response of the Masticatory Muscles to Posterior Bite Opening in an Animal Model”

•    Mitchell Muller, “Assessment and Comparison of the Survivability Rates of Full Arch Implant Restorations: A Review and Meta-analysis”

•    Meredith Wolf, Madison Moore, Yeongcheol Won, Mason Plotner, “Bite Blocks: Electrode Wire Selection for Chronic Electromyography in Rats”.

Other significant contributors toward the success of the SIU SDM Research Day included:

•    Students and Resident Researchers: Beau Byers, Thomas Weber, and Dr. Kapil Jadhav

•    URCA Students: Valeriya Fedyukora, Darlene Sandoval, Lindsay Star, and Lucia Thompson

•    Faculty Mentors: Drs. Sue Chhay, Alicia De Maria, Feras Al khatib, Dan Welch, Achint Utreja, Bret Gruender, Mohamed Omran, Barbara McCracken, Cinnamon Van Putte, and Christa Hopp.

•    Faculty Researchers: Drs. Sara Whitener, Doug Miley, Charles Hildebolt, Nathalia Garcia, Katherine Hanser, Mohamed Omran, Robert Blackwell, and Alicia De Maria



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