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CU Dental Top Stories of 2022

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Written by Laura Ramsey on December 15, 2022

From groundbreaking research to composting on campus, here are some of our favorite stories from 2022.


CU Dental Team Creates First, Targeted Antibacterial and Regenerative Coating in Dentistry

A CU Dental trio nicknamed as the “Dream Team.” Of course, they are not to be confused with the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team of legends, like Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, or Michael Jordan. The researchers’ “court” is in the lab.

Their discoveries and hard work have paid off, creating something that even they couldn’t believe, an impressive defensive strategy: a dental coating that inhibits bacteria that causes dental cavities. It also sheds bacterial biofilms and helps regenerate dental pulp that houses the connective tissue, blood vessels, and cells in the center of the tooth. This discovery will have a large impact as nearly half of the world’s population experience dental cavities.



Navy veteran, former Douglas County sheriff’s deputy credits CU dental student for his renewed faith in dental medicine

Ronnie Chavez posted a glowing recommendation on the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine's Facebook page: "My mouth was a hot mess. Today, zero mouth pain. And I now LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to smile!" Here, he shares more about his "dentures journey" and positive experience with dental student Byron Irish (DDS '22).



CU Anschutz Dental Researchers Molding the Future of 3D Printing

Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine are exploring a new frontier in 3D printing – developing new and more durable materials designed specifically for inkjet printing that can be made quickly and customized for each patient. 

CU Anschutz Today sat down with Jeffrey Stansbury, PhD, and Kyle Sorensen, DDS ’25, to discuss their team's research and what the future holds for 3D printing in dental medicine. 



Advice for Future Dental Students from the DDS Class of 2022

After four years of classes and clinical training – through a global pandemic no less – the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine DDS Class of 2022 is ready and eager to embark on the next step of their careers. But before they leave these harrowed halls, CU SDM Communications Manager Laura Ramsey asked some graduates to reflect on their time here, what led them to dentistry, and what advice they have for the next generation of students.

Three common themes stood out: community, balance and believing in yourself.



First-Year Dental Student Brings Composting to CU Anschutz Medical Campus

When Maiti Grabow (DDS ’25) moved to Colorado for dental school, she hoped that composting would be more accessible here than in her home state, Arizona. Unfortunately, she was surprised to learn that the city of Aurora does not provide public compost, trash or recycling – residents must use private services.

During her first semester at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, studies took precedence over finding a way to compost, but it wasn’t long until a solution presented itself.



Four Types of Mentors and the Importance of Each

You may find people at different stages in life who serve as mentors, both professionally and personally; some you seek out and some that catch you by surprise. Some may be obvious like parents, coaches or professors, and some may emerge in unexpected ways. For Malik Jackson, DDS ’25, it was a few key individuals who each played a part in the journey that has led him to the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and a future in dentistry. 



The Battle Against Isolation Continues: How CU Students Are Making an Impact

A dental student and a retired lawyer may seem like an unlikely pairing, but through the COVID-19 pandemic, John Gavel (DDS ’24) and Bill Nagel have shared countless conversations. They were introduced as part of an outreach program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus: Connecting Older Adults and Students Through Interprofessional Telecare (COAST-IT).


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CU Dental Researchers Awarded More Than $2.5 Million to Study Craniofacial Birth Defects

Four grants focus on cleft lip and palate, frontonasal dysplasia and supporting underrepresented trainees in scientific careers.

Assistant Professor Katherine Fantauzzo, PhD, graduate student Thomas Forman, Research Associate Lomeli Shull, PhD, and undergraduate student research assistant Julio Jaime have all received grants for their work in craniofacial biology research this year.



CU Dental Student’s Innovative Treatment Plan Advances Dental Education

“You don't realize how important your back teeth are until they’re not there,” said fourth-year dental student Minh-Tom Van (DDS '23) as he reflected on a recent case. His patient had been experiencing pain in his back molars, unable to chew or eat properly for eight months. While this is not an unusual situation, Van was inspired by a faculty member to present an exceptional idea for treatment.

When learning how to take impressions, design crowns and restore implants, students at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine are taught two processes: digital and analog. Van thought, why not learn both at once?



"Is there a doctor on board?"

Sondus Alkadri, BDM, M.Dent, a student at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, was studying for an exam on her flight home when she heard the captain make this announcement: “is there a doctor on board?” As a trained dentist from Syria, she decided to offer her help.

When Alkadri arrived at the patient’s side, with family and flight crew surrounding them, the adrenaline set in. She was the only person on the flight with medical experience.