Stephanie Companioni and Justin Groody, both DDS Candidates 2020, are the first place winners of the 2019 Student Research Awards from the Academy for Sports Dentistry. As first place winners, they received complimentary registration for the Academy for Sports Dentistry’s Annual Symposium in Toronto, Canada, a $625 to cover travel expenses.
“By receiving the support of the Academy for Sports Dentistry, we have an opportunity to impact the way injuries are managed by athletic trainers at the middle and high school level nationwide,” said Companioni. “With sparse literature available on dental trauma prevalence and long-term management options, there is a need for increased research in the field of dental trauma and sports dentistry.
“I am fortunate to have incredible mentors at UNC Adams School of Dentistry, an institution that places an emphasis on trauma initiatives and student’s professional development. In my eventual private practice, I plan to reduce the need for prosthetic tooth replacement by providing all my patients with mouthguards and the resources to immediately manage a dental injury.”
They presented their research, “Preparedness level of middle and high school athletic trainers in the state of North Carolina in immediately managing dental and orofacial injuries,” to members of the Academy for Sports Dentistry during the symposium.
“I am so proud of Stephanie and Justin’s accomplishment,” said Associate Professor Ibrahim Duqum, BDS, MS, Groody and Campanioni’s research advisor, and faculty advisor for the UNC-CH Adams School of Dentistry’s Sports Dentistry club.
“Their study allows us to better understand the level of knowledge, training and needs of athletic trainers in diagnosing and managing dental and orofacial trauma in middle and high school athletes across our state.
“Sports Dentistry is a new and vibrant area research and inter professional collaboration that we are exploring and this study is the first building block on advancing our efforts forward.”
Companioni founded the UNC-CH Adams School of Dentistry’s Sports Dentistry Club in 2017. As a student chapter of the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the organization had nine UNC dental students attend the Annual Symposium this year. The organization is home to more than 50 dental students and specializes in educating members on sports-related dental trauma prevention and management. They have hosted lectures from team dentists of local North Carolina sports organizations including the Carolina Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes and Charlotte Hornets.
Founded in 1983, the Academy for Sports Dentistry serves as a forum for dentists, physicians, athletic trainers, coaches, dental technicians and educators interested in exchanging ideas related to sports dentistry and the oral health needs of athletes at risk of sports injuries. The Academy is home to more than 600 members internationally, many of whom are former athletes.