By Nicole LaMantia, UCSF Dentistry Class of 2016
Attending the American Dental Association (ADA) National Dental Student Research Conference in Bethesda, MD was an unforgettable honor. As a researcher, future clinician and educator, I wish everyone could have this opportunity to personally witness the ground breaking research that is going on at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institute for Health (NIH). Being among some of the brightest minds in dental research was humbling, as well as motivating.
Over the three day conference, students met with leaders from the ADA, NIST, and the NIH. Our discussions lead to my realization that without dental research, the field would be static. Dentistry is ever-evolving, and we (dentists) take for granted the vigorous research done in developing and perfecting the dental treatments, techniques and materials that we use in practice today.
Aside from continuing dental research to improve the way we are able to treat patients, it seems equally important to further fuel the curiosity and enthusiasm the next generation of researchers.
I have a burning passion for dental research. Through the ADA's National Dental Research Conference this came full circle for me, and inspired me to want to pass the torch of progress.
The author with Dr. Anthony R. Volpe, DDS, MS (above) of the Volpe Research Center, and Martha J. Somerman, DDS, PhD (below), Director of the NIDCR.