ASDA District 5 Mentoring Program for Pre-dental students

This year District 5 implemented it’s first pre-dental/dental student mentoring program.  Thank you to all of the mentors for donating their time!  Pre-dental students can reach out to their designated dental student for any advice on what dental school is like, how to get into dental school, etc.

Current mentoring challenge:

  1. Find something you have in common with your mentor/mentee.
  2. Make a photo collage and tag @D5ASDA
  3. Use the hashtag #D5MentoringChallenge


5 Phases of Treatment!

1.    Systemic Phase

2.    Acute Phase (Emergency Problems and Urgent Problems)

3.   Disease Control Phase (Disease Control Phase and Initial Restorative Phase)


4.     Definitive Phase (Adjunctive Therapy and Prosthodontic Phase)


5.     Maintenance

The UF College of Dentistry has recently approved a new method of organizing treatment.

The first phase of therapy is titled the ‘Systemic Phase’ and is to be completed before progressing to other treatments.  The Systemic Phase consists mostly of items discovered in the medical history or physical exam.  Possible actions necessary in the Systemic Phase would include medical consults, biopsies, and any ‘action steps’ necessary for any conditions or medications.  Examples of an action step would include getting an INR for patients on Coumadin or making sure a patient has their inhaler at the beginning of every appointment for patients with asthma.

The ‘Acute Phase’ of therapy is begun after systemic complications have been addressed and is broken up into first addressing emergency problems followed by urgent problems.  Problems such as trauma, pain, and infection are addressed as emergency problems.  This is not just limited to extractions and root canals as large carious lesions may be addressed as well as rapidly progressing periodontal diseases, such as ANUG.

The second part of the Acute Phase treats urgent problems.  What we currently consider to be a ‘caries control’ situation with multiple sedative restorations would be considered an urgent problem.  Extraneous patient needs as well as pure dental needs can also classify something as urgent.  For example, a patient who has a chipped front tooth and is getting married in two weeks makes that class IV restoration an urgent problem based on the time limitations.

What we currently think of as Phase I therapy would be considered the third phase of treatment in the new model called the ‘Disease Control Phase’.  In the Disease Control Phase we are addressing the prime dental diseases: caries and periodontal disease.  This phase is also broke up into two parts.  The first part is disease control treatment and primarily would revolve around oral health instructions, scaling/root planning, and adult prophylaxis.  This is essentially periodontal in nature since ‘caries control’ patients are addressed in the Acute Phase.  The second part of the Disease Control Phase is the ‘initial restorative phase’.  During this portion of treatment you are utilizing your standard compliment of operative ADA codes and should bring the patient to a stable restorative situation.  Even if the ultimate goal is an indirect restoration in the Definitive Phase you are most likely completing a core buildup here in the initial restorative phase.

Also considered to be part of the Disease Control Phase is a Re-Evaluation.  During this re-evaluation all actions taken up until this point are reviewed for their ability to control disease in the mouth.  We would typically think of this as our Phase I Evaluations (both perio and operative).  The question to answer here is “Is the patient ready to move to the Definitive Phase?”.

In the ‘Definitive Phase’ (4th phase for those who are counting) we are preparing for and completing any prosthetic restorations deemed necessary.  This is what we normally would consider to be Phase II and is broken up into two parts.

The first part of the Definitive Phase is adjunctive therapy and consists of pre prosthetic surgery, crown lengthening, orthodontics, etc.  Anything that is necessary to get the patient ready for their final prosthesis would be considered adjunctive therapy as well as definitive therapies for patients not needing prosthetic devices (orthodontics).  This is followed by the second part of the Definitive Phase called the prosthodontic phase where fixed and removable prosthetics are fabricated and delivered.

Following the Definitive Phase is another evaluation step called ‘post assessment’ and is essentially what we would currently consider a case completion.  After this, the patient is placed on a recall schedule and has entered the ‘Maintenance Phase’.  This fifth and final phase is meant to support the long term dental health of the patient and can feed back into the previous phases as situations arise in that patient’s maintenance.

We hope this helps prepare you for understanding our new process of treatment planning, and we preemptively wish you good luck in explaining the 5 phases of treatment to your future patients.

ASDA Advice

How to pass NBDE I?

Advice from 2013 Class President & ASDA Licensure Chair – Shaun Young:

First and foremost, my advice to you would be DO NOT underestimate the boards just because they will be pass/fail for you.  Your biggest mistake may be taking them too lightly and not preparing yourself properly.  Keep in mind that everyone studies differently and everyone has different paces for how fast they can learn and understand material. Give yourself a reasonable timeline and set goals for how much material you need to get through by a certain time.

At this point in the curriculum, I would take General Pathology, Occlusion, and Immunology very seriously as many board questions relate to these subjects.  Although many of the concepts you learn this summer are far more detailed than the majority of the Boards questions, you WILL see many of the important topics and some questions can be VERY specific.  With that being said, study hard this summer and when you are reviewing this material for boards, you will be surprised at how much you remember.

I can 100% say that there are only three materials you need to successfully pass the Boards: Dental Decks, First Aid, and Old exams.  I bought several different materials and used tons of sources and at the end of the day, it’s impossible to learn it all anyways.  My advice to you is this: Go through the Dental Decks first before you pick up First Aid.  First Aid has a ton of high-yield facts and charts that are difficult to pick up and comprehend without a base knowledge of the material you are studying.  If you go through the Dental Decks first, you will find First Aid to make a lot more sense and it helps to solidify many facts that are stressed in the Decks.  Take a lot of practice exams and try and understand the answers:  don’t just memorize them because many questions are similar but worded differently on the real exam.

Study hard but don’t forget to stay balanced.  Spring semester with boards studying can obviously get overwhelming.  Take it one day at a time, do your best, and you will be fine.

Don’t mess up the 100% pass rate.

Advice from Class 2013 Secretary & ASDA Secretary:

The National Boards will consume almost your entire existence from around Spring Break of your second year to the fateful day when a small, nondescript letter arrives in the mail from the testing service. Look forward to late nights and early mornings at the library, caffeine coursing through your veins and, if you are truly dedicated, earning yourself a Gold Starbucks reward card. On a more positive note, you can also truly look forward to passing boards, as UFCD does a stellar job at preparing us for this exam! I was slightly skeptical when other students told me this- not questioning whether UFCD was preparing me, as I knew that I had been taught the information, but concerned about my own retention of facts such as which organism causes Q fever, how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood, and other pertinent information. My advice is to really start studying around Spring Break.
Feel free to read through material before then, but from Spring Break onwards was plenty of time. Take a practice exam or two early, so you get a feel for what the tests are really like and where you need to focus your time and attention. Also, leave some time towards the end of your studies to review exams. There are so many resources that are available for NBDE and it is easy to get distracted with all the materials at your disposal. Although almost all of the books are very helpful, the sheer volume of material is overwhelming enough without multiplying it by a million different books, flashcards, your old class material and the many released exams that will come your way. In order to make the most of your time, I would suggest picking a couple of resources and really dedicate your time to them, such as First Aid and Dental Decks.
Your classes in the spring will be very helpful so it is advisable to ensure you retain this information for the long term. Pharmacology will allow you to review all the systems of the body, and Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine were extremely useful, too.

How to survive 1st year?

Getting in to dental school is a great accomplishment, and everyone is eager and anxious to get started with their new education.  Despite this excitement, the beginning of dental school can be quite overwhelming. It is important to learn to balance your time between a variety of classes and information as well as your life outside of C1-4. First years, do not stress, we have compiled some great tips for you to help make your transition into dental school.

10. Do not compare yourself to others. Everyone has different backgrounds, life situations, study habits, and goals. Do what you need to do for yourself to reach your own goals.
9. Have plenty of chocolate around. It always makes you feel better
8. Make time for hobbies – IM games, working out, leisure reading, cooking, etc. Give yourself a real break away from the computer.
7. Laugh, spend time with your friends and family, and have fun! Get involved in clubs and activities with your class and the dental school. Stress release and enjoying life is vital for good overall health.
6. Prioritize and stay organized. Know what classes you need to spend more or less time on.
5. Do not procrastinate. Stay on top of your classes on a daily basis so you do not get too far behind and cause unnecessary stress during exam blocks.
4. Do not expect to excel right away in regards to hand skills. Practice and you will improve with time. The learning curve is not a myth and you will get there!
3. Do not forget to sleep! Your brain and body need sleep to function properly
2. Have a good support system. Your family and friends are your life line!
1. Always remember to envision your goals and maintain focus on why you are here!

On top of these things do not forget to ask upper classmen for help and advice, may it be with the basic sciences or your dental anatomy/operative courses. We are always willing to help because we know what you are going through! With that being said, do not forget to take the advice that you are given with a grain of salt because everyone is different (see number 10).

From Lectures to Clinics

ASDA wanted to share what the transition from 2nd to 3rd year of dental school is like.

To start, there is definitely more time to relax and to enjoy the week—I am sure first and second years are relieved to hear this. Lectures are Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings. Tests are very few—usually a midterm and a final, and some classes give quizzes in between.

Now there are different stresses such as meeting requirements, looking for patients and procedures to do, dealing with cancellations, and let us not forget the lab work. Most of us get to school by 7:30 am (an hour earlier than 1st & 2nd years) to set up for our morning patients and to be present for the morning’s Team Huddle.  Unlike some days where lecture might end at 3pm, clinic never ends early – you can expect to be in clinic from 8-5 every day.  Sometimes we spend a big part of our lunch break working on lab projects, and/or we stay way past 5 pm to finish them.

Tips from faculty and friends start becoming like gems because they save a lot of time and effort. A lot of times, oddly enough, you might actually open books and peruse their contents to look for tips, different treatment modalities, and to learn what to do in different scenarios.

We are the only professional career that allows us to do such invasive, irreversible, and potentially dangerous procedures such as drilling a tooth, cutting tissue flaps, giving anesthesia, and taking out teeth as 3rd year students. During the first two years we are taught about dental procedures, treatment planning, and how to manage complications, but it is the 3rd year when everything starts to come together and the importance of some steps and precautions start to become evident. Every day you will learn something new — something you probably never felt when working on mannequins.

Jorge del Valle, D3, ASDA Education Chair