UWODSS keeps students engaged with lockdown lectures

When the extended two-week lockdown of the dental clinics was announced in January, UWODSS president Erik Tamberg, Dentistry Class of 2021 , reached out to faculty members with an idea that would keep upper year students engaged in learning.

Adjunct Clinical Professors Drs. John Suljak, Keven Hockley and Peter Taylor answered the call, delivering nine hours of Zoom lectures on various special topics. These lectures combined a review of material students had already learned, but also introduced concepts that aren’t typically a part of their curriculum.

“I think that some students felt pretty down when they heard the school was staying closed, worried about their patients and completing requirements,” said Dr. John Suljak, “I was more than happy to help keep the students engaged in their unexpected time off, and learning a few new things was important not only professionally but also mentally for the students.”

In particular, fourth-year students getting ready for upcoming board exams benefited from the opportunity to engage with faculty members and maintain the momentum of their learning. Between 75 and 100 students attended each of the lectures.

Dr. Suljak, who specializes in topics relating to anesthesia, held lectures on: Life of a Dental Anaesthetist and Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office, Introduction to Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation and an Introduction to Oral Sedation and Concepts in Local Anaesthesia. To keep things fun, Dr. Suljak even organized a raffle for a book on the history of anesthesia, won by Marjorie-Ann Norman Hurtubise, Class of 2022.

Dr. Hockley’s lecture, “Dental Wear Cases…”Wear” do I start?”, featured 3 case presentations of patients with varying levels of dental wear, and highlighted the use of pre-prosthetic orthodontic treatment and restorative procedures in restoring these patients’ oral health. With Dr. Taylor, students had the opportunity to explore topics related to soft tissue management, porcelain laminate veneers and the post and core procedure.

“It was inspiring to me that the students and the student leadership, especially Erik Tamberg, the UWODSS President, were engaged enough to put this all together and attempt to seek out additional learning opportunities,” Dr. Hockley said.