UAB Dentistry News
With a little more than two years remaining in the Campaign for UAB, the School of Dentistry prepares to launch two major clinic renovations. The larger of the two projects will provide much-needed updates to the Comprehensive Care Clinic, also known to former students as the “Second Floor Clinic” or the “General Dentistry Clinic.”
To date, every general dentist who graduated from the School has been trained in the Comprehensive Care Clinic. Today, D3- and D4-year dental students work in treatment teams within an operatory bay alongside two dedicated faculty group managers and additional “floating” faculty members who provide specialized skills. The clinic, which hasn’t been fully renovated since the 1970s, looks much like it did forty years ago. Through the years new dental chairs were purchased and sterilization facilities were upgraded but the structure remains the same.
“Our curriculum reflects state-of-the-art digital dentistry so the clinic needs to be updated to echo contemporary concepts of oral health care. Combined with world-class faculty instruction, the renovated facility will feature an interactive hands-on learning environment that will provide the best possible care for our patients.” Mike Reddy, DMD, DMSc, Dean
Renovation plans include new flooring and cabinetry, as well as a fresh esthetic look. The clinic will honor the Art Deco style of the building with a contemporary feel to stand the test of time. Refurbished dental chairs, a new sterilizer, and enhanced lighting will also modernize the clinic.
In total, the renovation project will cost approximately $2 million and its scope will depend on the contributions of alumni and friends. Donors have the unique opportunity to “name” a single operatory bay by contributing half of its cost, a gift or pledge of $12,500, through the availability of matching funds secured by the School. The operatory bay may be designated in their name or in the name of a dental practice or someone else the donor may wish to honor or memorialize.* Naming opportunities for the project include:
$2 million Comprehensive Care Clinic
$100,000 Bay (8)
$50,000 Waiting Area
$25,000 Sterilization Area
$7,500 Coordinator Office
For more information on how you can help with this project or other campaign initiatives, contact J. Scott Huffman, CFRE, Executive Director of Development at (205) 934-3601 or by email.
Gov. Robert Bentley announced April 26 that he had signed an executive order establishing the Health Literacy Partnership of Alabama. The Partnership comprises members from health care-focused agencies and organizations across Alabama. Conan Davis, DMD, UAB Dentistry assistant dean for Community Collaborations and Public Health, was appointed as an inaugural member.
The Health Literacy Partnership of Alabama, created by Executive Order 18, will recommend to the governor ways to improve the health literacy of Alabamians. Recommendations may take the form of regulatory or statutory changes, with initial recommendations due before the start of the 2017 regular session of the Alabama Legislature. Read more about the newly-established Partnership in the UAB News.
Nicolaas C. (Nico) Geurs, DDS, MS, Professor and Chair of the Department of Periodontology, has been named the First Holder of the Dr. Tommy Weatherford/Dr. Kent Palcanis Endowed Professorship in Dentistry. The appointment was approved by the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama at its meeting held in April.
The endowed professorship acknowledges the notable careers of Dr. Weatherford and Dr. Palcanis, two outstanding educators who have made a difference in the profession. It is given in recognition of a full-time Periodontist who has a distinguished career in academics and has demonstrated a commitment to and excellence in the areas of teaching, research, and service.
Read more about Geurs’ appointment in the UAB News.
Nathaniel Lawson, DMD, assistant professor at the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Dentistry, was recently awarded the 2015 John W. Stanford New Investigator Award for his research project examining methods used to measure the effectiveness of new composite materials used in crowns, cavities and other dental repairs.
“In the laboratory, we test many of the new products that either have come to market or are about to come to the market,” Lawson said. “Often we will discover problems with new materials based on specific clinical applications.”
He says that, as these materials transition to mainstream dentistry, clinicians will need to know if they are able to fully polymerize at different depths. Lawson’s research project examined the method used to measure the depth of cure of composites, specifically bulk fill composites.
In his laboratory, some of the new materials being tested include a resin infiltration material that would allow small cavities to be restored without the use of anesthesia or drilling and new filling materials that release calcium and phosphate to help remineralize teeth.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs selected Lawson to receive the award, which is being bestowed for the third time in as many years.
Not many of us can say that we knew what profession we wanted to pursue since the fourth grade. But, that is exactly what happened with Dr. John D. Barnes (’81). His pediatric dentist, Dr. Paul Ivey, helped him with a science project, which consisted of tooth models and cross sections. “He was very helpful in providing materials and coaching me,” Dr. Barnes remembers. “I didn’t win first place, but I won something like an honorable mention. But, it did get my attention, and being a dentist became my goal at that point.”
Dr. Barnes attended Grissom High in Huntsville, and then attended Birmingham Southern College. “At the time, Birmingham Southern graduates had a 92 percent acceptance rate into professional schools,” he explains.
“So, that seemed like the place to go.” From there he was accepted into the School of Dentistry. “I had a wonderful experience,” he explains. “It was extremely rigorous and very demanding, but I enjoyed it.”
He says four professionals particularly had an impact on his life. Dr. John Orr was one. He worked in his office and guided him through the acceptance process. Dr. David Greer was another, and they were life-long friends. He also remembers Dr. Charles Barrett. “I will never forget him showing me how to accomplish a certain technique with his own hands.” And the fourth was former UAB School of Dentistry Dean Dr. Charles A. “Scotty” McCallum, whom he worked with for three years. Everyone of them had a major impact on me,” he says with obvious affection. “In addition to the things I learned in classes, both Dr. McCallum and Dr. Greer gave me the management and people skills I have used my entire career.”
After graduating from the School of Dentistry, Dr. Barnes participated in a General Practice Residency at Huntsville Hospital. “This gave me a real jumpstart,” he explains. “It was intense. I was way ahead, technically, where I would have been had I gone into private practice.” Following the residency, he opened a private practice in 1982. He practices all phases of dentistry, but focuses on implants and cosmetic dentistry. When asked after all these years, what motivates him to still go into the office every day, Dr. Barnes says it is the people. “Patients feel like friends and many times like family,” he says. “Some have been with me the entire track. I could never sit at home. I’d be bored to death. I love being with my patients and staff.”
Dr. Barnes says he welcomes the opportunity to give back to the profession and the School of Dentistry, which has enhanced his life more than he could have ever imagined. “For dentists, our profession has given us so much, he explains. “A lot of my best friends are dentists. My patients and my staff are all great friends.” Dr. Barnes’ actions speak louder than his words. In 1993, he was elected UASOD Alumni Association President. At the time, he helped spearhead the “Building for Excellence” campaign. Dr. Charles Ray Graham was chairman of the campaign. “It was a good thing we both lived in Huntsville,” he says. “We spent many nights and afterhours planning.” The campaign was extremely successful, raising more than a million dollars.
Dr. Barnes serves on the UAB Dentistry Leadership Council, an organization he chaired in 2014 and 2015. “My goal is to give today’s student as good an experience as I had,” he explains. “To me helping individuals is the ultimate way to give back. That’s much more meaningful to me than to give bricks and mortar.”
Dr. Barnes is so committed; he holds events in his own home. “There we honor Dr. Michael Reddy, the dean of the School of Dentistry,” he says. “ Dr. Reddy’s philosophy of the School leading oral healthcare really rings true. I use it myself, when characterizing the School. We also like to bring in people, who would like to consider the School of Dentistry their family and want to make it better, whether it be financially or time-oriented. We try to convince others to give back as we do.”