Dental Hygiene, Research

Recent Dental Hygiene Graduates Recognized for Research

Two UNC School of Dentistry dental hygiene graduate program alumni were recently recognized for their research.

Brandon Johnson, who received his master’s in dental hygiene this May, placed third in the DENTSPLY/AHDA Graduate Student Clinician’s Research Program Competition. The competition was held as part of the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) in Boston, Mass. in June. As a placing competitor, Johnson received a $250 award check and a certificate of achievement. In addition, his abstract will be published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene.

His winning research poster presentation, titled “Dosimetry Using Three Intraoral Radiologic Device/Collimator Combinations,” illustrated his findings that the health and safety of the clinician, patient and public can be improved through the use of rectangular collimation (restriction of x-ray beam) and thyroid protection. The research indicates that dentists and staff members performing intraoral radiography should implement rectangular collimation and also consider the size of the area of the exposure produced by the collimator. The challenge to dentistry is to implement the concepts of ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) and effective dose reducing technologies into the general practice environment. Johnson completed his study under the direction of Dr. Sally Mauriello, Dr. John Ludlow and Dr. Enrique Platin.

Nuha Ahmad, also a recent graduate of the master’s in dental hygiene program, was recognized for her research entitled “Association between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Periodontitis: a Case-Control Study” at theAmerican Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) Annual Meeting. Ahmad received the AADSM Student Research Award at the meeting. The paper related to her research is being published in the August edition of theJournal of Dental Hygiene and is the first research paper published by a dental hygienist on the topic of sleep medicine. Ahmad was the paper’s lead author; co-authors include UNC faculty members Dr. Gregory Essick , Dr. Anne Sanders, Dr. Rose Sheats and Professor Jennifer Brame.

“We are so proud of what Brandon and Nuha have accomplished,” said Rebecca Wilder, director of the graduate dental hygiene program. “Both of them were dedicated to their research while in school here at UNC. We’re fortunate that the school has such a strong presence in dental research and that our dental hygiene students are interested in furthering that presence.”