Current Vice President of the Kansas Dental Board, Dr. Charles Squire, discussed the licensing process dentists must go through (upon graduation and biennially), continuing education, and the Kansas Dental Practice Act.
KDA Executive Director Kevin Robertson spoke to students about the Kansas Initiative for New Dentists (KIND) loan forgiveness and scholarship program and professional organization membership.
Community involvement and advocacy was another topic discussed at the Consortium. Pam Smith, a Registered Dental Hygienist and Fluoridation Specialist/Evaluator for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, gave a presentation on the benefits of community water fluoridation.
Tanya Dorf Brunner, Executive Director for Oral Health Kansas, also provided students with valuable insight on public involvement and activism related to community dental health.
KDA members Dr. Nathan Schmidt (Atwood) and Dr. Mark Herzog (Ellsworth) sat on the New Dentist Panel, and discussed with students what they wish they would have known when they were in dental school.
The question and answer session also allowed students to learn more about what comes after graduation. Both dentists are graduates of UMKC School of Dentistry.
One interesting piece of advice came from Dr. Herzog, who suggested that students take an art class before entering dental school. Dr. Herzog found that drawing, ceramics, and other courses helped him learn to use both hands independently from one another, and gave him a better eye for shading and design.
Dr. Herzog also handed out information on the Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation’s annual free dental project, the Kansas Mission of Mercy.
The KDA looks forward to hosting similar events in the future to help pre dental students succeed in dental school and prepare for a career in dentistry.