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Get To Yes

“Welcome to a new day for Minnesotans on public programs who want to seek dental care,” Sheila Riggs, DDS, MS, PhD, chair of the Department of Primary Dental Care, proclaimed Wednesday, October 20.

Laurie Sarkinen

The United States celebrates National Dental Hygiene month in October, honoring the dental hygienists who care for our teeth and promote healthy habits throughout our lives. At the School of Dentistry, we are proud to educate learners who are prepared intellectually, technically and ethically to meet the oral health care needs and challenges of the future.

Dr. Angie Rake

Patricia Angela Rake, DDS ’97, is the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Dental Alumni Award at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

A Message from the Dean

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is the accrediting agency for US Dental, Dental Hygiene and Advanced Education (specialty) Programs. Every seven years the predoctoral program is reviewed by CODA. In order to undergo this comprehensive review, programs must prepare well in advance and it takes a team of faculty and staff to make a successful process.

Emily Wick, DDS '21 and Pedro Lopez Vega, DT '24

Pedro Lopez Vega’s life seems to have followed a path that feels inevitable. Life has not been easy for the Dental Therapy class of 2024 student, but everything he has experienced has brought him to where he is today—and shaped his vision for the future.

HPV Vaccine

A proposed study by two School of Dentistry researchers has received a $127,000, two-year grant to study hesitancy and willingness to provide HPV vaccinations among dental providers.

Tim Bitner, DDS

“If you would’ve asked me in March 2020 if I’d ever be supporting my way through residency with a TikTok account, I’d call you crazy,” said Tim Bitner, DDS. But the resident in orthodontics is doing just that: and the same fine hand skills that propelled his dental career are fueling his success as the viral Mr. Rice Guy on TikTok.

Second-year White Coat Ceremony

The School of Dentistry’s second-year learners experienced a rite of passage into the profession last week, after a pandemic-induced delay.

The DDS Class of 2024, Dental Therapy class of 2023 and Dental Hygiene class of 2022 celebrated their White Coat Ceremony on Friday, September 24. Typically celebrated at the beginning of a cohort’s education, this ceremony was postponed last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The School chose to hold the ceremony at a later date in order to recognize students in person and maintain the ritual and symbolism of the ceremony.

Cynthia L. Stull, RDH, MDH, DHSc

Cyndee Stull, RDH, MDH, DHSc, has been appointed as the Division Director and Program Director for Dental Hygiene at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Sheila Riggs, DDS, DMSc, chair of the Department of Primary Dental Care announced Monday, September 13.

“I am confident that Dr. Stull’s leadership and vision will continue to advance the quality, reputation and impact of our Division of Dental Hygiene,” Riggs expressed in an announcement to faculty and staff.

Jose Gigato Gonzalez DDS '22

Jose Gigato Gonzalez, DDS ’23, has always had a passion for artistic skills. He spent his spare time in undergraduate studies pursuing photography, as well as volunteering. He also knew he loved, and had great skill for, science. His bachelor’s degree from Florida International University in Miami in Biological Sciences and Multidisciplinary Studies furthered that expertise.

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