UBC Dentistry Feature Stories


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‘Magical’ Properties of Gingival Fibroblasts: Hope for Healing Skin Wounds and Reducing Scars
January 17, 2019
Dr. Lari Häkkinen has devised an oral-based cell therapy that exploits the unique, potentially regenerative properties of gingival fibroblasts to improve skin wound healing.


Dental Hygiene Education at UBC— Commemorating 50 Years
November 13, 2018
This year, 2018, marks a golden milestone. Come celebrate with us—the Faculty, the university and the province—as we honour the history and aspire for the future of dental hygiene education at UBC

Revival—The Patterson Dental Learning Centre at UBC
October 31, 2018
The Sutherland Clinic, a much loved but somewhat neglected facility on the ground floor of the John B. Macdonald Building, has been revived. Thanks to many stakeholders in the profession and one of the largest gifts to UBC Dentistry to date, the clinic has been brought back to life to once again host study clubs.

BOLD forensic identification training
July 9, 2018
Over the years the UBC BOLD lab has provided forensic identification training to various military organizations. . .

Rings of Success: Imaging Scientists at the Core of the CHTP
March 2, 2018
UBC’s Centre for High-Throughput Phenogenomics (CHTP), under the aegis of UBC Dentistry, is home to not only a comprehensive suite of imaging technologies, but also a team of expert imaging scientists. Here is a look at how some recent studies benefited from their expertise.

At the Intersection of Medicine and Dentistry—UBC Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology (OMOP) Specialty
March 2, 2018
Learn the depth and breadth of the OMOP specialty and how it plays a critical role in early diagnosis of oral lesions. Dr. Eli Whitney provides a succinct snapshot of UBC's OMOP program: who is involved, what they do, with whom, for whom and where they do it.

The Booming ‘Grey Wave’—UBC Dentistry at the Educational Forefront of Geriatric Oral Care
March 2, 2018
UBC Dentistry recently restructured and enhanced its dental geriatric content. For the first time, our country has more seniors than people under the age of 15, according to a 2016 Statistics Canada census.



Interprofessional Education at UBC—Strengthening Collaboration Among Health and Human Services Professions
December 13, 2017
Faintly flickering as a concept in the 1960s, interprofessional education (IPE) today blinks loud and clear on the radar screens of health-related entities—professionally and academically, nationally and globally.

Dentistry as Science and Art—And a Quest to Decipher Genetic Influences on Craniofacial Conditions
October 2, 2017
What could be more central to a child’s or an adult’s identity than the distinctive features and contours of his or her face?

Dental hygiene students welcomed in Vietnam a second time
June 9, 2017
Watch a video and read a poster about their rotation to Vietnam



UBC DMD Admissions—Diversified Assessments Seek Rounded Candidates
September 2, 2016
Two UBC Dentistry experts weigh in on their respective key areas used to assess Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) candidates at an admissions open house. Final applicants rotate through four problem-based learning (PBL) sessions in the morning and eight mini interviews (MIs) in the afternoon.

The SSPP Experience Spotlight: James Chen
May 15, 2016
Read about James' Summer Student Practitioner Program experience in Williams Lake

The Summer Student Practitioner Program Experience—Student and Mentor Comments
May 15, 2016
SSPP matches dentists with students between third and fourth year for two to six weeks during summer. Read what students and dentist-mentors wrote about their experience

The Summer Student Practitioner Program Experience
March 23, 2016
Student and mentor comments from the SSPP, and a spotlight on James Chen, one student's experience

Craniofacial Research—How Human Faces Form and Develop
March 23, 2016
Dr. Virginia Diewert has been unravelling the enigma of how the human face is created ever since completing her orthodontics training at Northwestern University in Chicago in 1970.

Fourth-Year DMD Travel Clinics—Alumni Pay Their Experiences Forward
March 23, 2016
Travel clinics reveal that dentistry is a valuable skill transferable to almost anywhere in the world, UBC student participants also learn that helping those less fortunate can bring satisfaction back home—on the job and in their own communities.

Dental hygiene students on rotation to Vietnam
March 10, 2016
Two fourth-year students dental hygiene students, and a faculty leader undertook a volunteer dental hygiene rotation to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in December 2015



Breaking Barriers: Oral Health for Everyone
October 30, 2015
Profile about Dr. Mario Brondani and UBC Dentistry's Dental Public Health Graduate Program

Win-Win: Summer Student Practitioners Program Facilitates Student-to-Associate Transition
September 15, 2015
Meet three recent graduates who, after participating in the program, became associates in the practice of their SSPP placement after graduation

Oral cancer under the blue spotlight: Dr. Catherine Poh
September 14, 2015
Advances in oral cancer research and knowledge translation: Dr. Catherine Poh, fluorescence visualization, COOLS trial, malignant transformation

Clinical Trials Research: Between the Lab Bench and Chairside Practice
September 10, 2015
In his first year as director of UBC Dentistry’s Frontier Clinical Research Centre, Dr. Alan Lowe has overseen the launch of 14 new clinical research studies in areas ranging from root canals and implant stability measurement systems to oral cancer screening and obstructive sleep apnea treatments.

Ansuiya Lalji: My 34 Years as a Patient at UBC’s Dental Clinic
March 20, 2015
Ansuiya Lalji reflects on 34 years as a patient at UBC’s dental clinic.

Dr. Arjang Nowtash, President of Sinclair Dental: A Family-Culture Approach
March 20, 2015
Arjang Nowtash’s view is that good will and community contribution are bigger values than sales. In his own backyard, his philanthropy has supported the UBC Dentistry’s goals of enhancing the student experience.

The Passion of Bonnie Craig—A Smile You Can Sink Your Teeth Into
March 20, 2015
Prof. Bonnie Craig's creativity, ingenuity and passion revitalized the discipline of dental hygiene at UBC and established one of the first baccalaureate programs in the country, with degree options that draw students from around the world.

History of Community Dentistry Outreach
March 20, 2015
The history of UBC Dentistry's community dentistry outreach through the voices of Dr. Doug Yeo, professor emeritus, Dr. Doug Nielsen DMD 1972, and other alumni.



DMD Candidates Travel to Peru
November 19, 2014
The Sinclair Travel Fellowship Program, which supports the UBC Dentistry fourth-year travel elective, gave DMD 2014 candidates Danielle Coulson and Natalie Chaudhary the opportunity to travel to Peru...

Knowledge Translation—The Klearway™ Appliance
September 20, 2014
Dr. Alan Lowe’s invention of the pioneering oral appliance, Klearway, to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is a classic example of research translation.

Fifty Years of Revolution and Evolution: Dentistry Teaching–Learning at UBC
September 20, 2014
Dentistry as revolution? Few would associate clinical teaching at UBC Dentistry with 1960s-era activism, but the Faculty’s educational roots lie in bold “question authority” values.

The Dynamic Engine That Drives Knowledge Forward—50 Years of Research at UBC Dentistry
September 20, 2014
Dr. George Beagrie, the second dean of UBC Dentistry (dean from 1978 to 1988), is credited with building the Faculty's foundation of research. Dr. Alan Hannam discusses the climate of opportunity for research throughout the years; Dr. Don Burnette reflects on the Faculty's collaboration across disciplines; Dr. Ed Putnins talks about the challenges and opportunities for research today in the Faculty.

A BOLD Effort to Bring Closure to Disaster
September 17, 2014
UBC Dentistry's David Sweet and the Bureau of Legal Dentistry are teaching military dentists from around the world how to identify victims of disasters...

The Vanguard of Restorative Biomaterials Research
July 25, 2014
Three leading researchers in the dynamic field of restorative biomaterials are investigating new and better solutions to the big problem of dental restoration treatments breaking down too soon...

Building Better Implants—Cell by Cell, Nanometre by Nanometre
July 25, 2014
UBC Dentistry professor Don Brunette is working at the micro- and nanoscale to design implant surfaces that increase tissue growth and accelerate healing...

Time for a Graduate Specialty Clinic
June 19, 2014
One core project remains to complete the fully envisioned integrated educational model for UBC Dentistry's five clinical specialty graduate programs: the Graduate Specialty Clinic...

Dentistry students in the Chilcotin—Gratitude Goes Both Ways
April 1, 2014
UBC Dentistry's first outreach clinic for the Tsilhqot'in on their remote Tl'etinqox (Anaham) reserve was conducted by a group of volunteers that included 15 UBC students...

Community Service Learning Gives UBC Dental Hygiene Students an Edge
February 20, 2014
The Community Service Learning (CSL) program in UBC's Dental Hygiene Program breaks down significant barriers to health care, enriching the lives of both students and clients...



Shifting Gears with Disruptive Education
May 6, 2013
Sometimes an innovation comes along that changes everything. Like Google and the Model T Ford, the innovation doesn’t just change the status quo— it displaces it. Every once in a while that “disruptive innovation” is not a technology. It’s a person.

Curriculum Renewal Gives Students Earlier Clinical Skills Training
March 21, 2013
When the fall term began for second-year UBC Dentistry students, it looked nothing like previous second-year terms. And neither did the students. They began to look and act like dentists...

In Vivo Imaging—Fascinating Voyage of Discovery
March 21, 2013
As director of the Centre for High-Throughput Phenogenomics, Nancy Ford's work involves optimizing images, minimizing x-ray exposure and navigating massive, complex data sets...

UBC Dentistry Partners with Vietnamese Hospital to Create $8M Oral Health Research Centre
January 17, 2013
A long-term partnership between the UBC Faculty of Dentistry and the National Hospital of Odonto-Stomatology in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has been established...

Group Mission to Colombia—An Outstanding Experience for Dental Students
January 17, 2013
In April 2012, then DMD 2012 candidates Melissa Milligan and Kathryn Hunter travelled to Cartagena, Colombia, where they treated 845 patients in a local barrio of 13,000 people...

UBC Dentistry in Haida Gwaii
January 15, 2013
UBC Dentistry has sustained a significant presence in Old Massett and Skidegate, providing round-the-clock service 365 days a year...



UBC dental hygiene students go global
December 12, 2012
In the summer of 2011, dental hygiene students Julie Kwan and Marco Wu volunteered their professional skills in Paraguay...

Dental Hygiene Students—Filling a Need, Enriching Their Learning
December 10, 2012
In 2010 and 2011, UBC Dentistry alumni, student volunteers and faculty members volunteered at a clinic for the Penelakut First Nation on Penelakut Island, located east of Chemainus. This past July, the volunteer clinic moved to Chemainus, on Vancouver Island...

Chicken embryos shed Light on Facial Abnormalities
October 17, 2012
For Dr. Joy Richman, eggs offer an untold wealth of information about human development...

Host-Grown Tissue and Bone—Using Stem Cells in Periodontal Regeneration
August 23, 2012
UBC Dentistry professor Edward Putnins is collaborating with medical colleague Fabio Rossi to investigate how a patient's own stem cells can be used to rebuild periodontal tissue and craniofacial bone...

A “Walk” with the Maasai
August 23, 2012
Nick Piemontesi remembers the day, in August 2011, that he arrived at the Maasai Dental Clinic in Kenya...

Global Education: A Qualitative Rather than Quantitative Approach
August 23, 2012
UBC Dentistry's international exchange programs and world focus are rooted in the concept of qualitative rather than quantitative life within global education...

Off the Campus: The 2011-2012 Academic Year in Numbers
August 23, 2012
Measuring success usually involves some numbers. Take a look at these to learn how Dentistry fulfilled a university-wide mandate to provide community-based experiental learning (CBEL) in the 2011-12 academic year...

The Far Reach of UBC Dentistry’s Graduate Research Training
August 23, 2012
Back in the 1990s they were doctoral students in UBC's Faculty of Dentistry. Each came from a different part of the world... Now all are professors and established scientists, with careers that are significant, divergent and fascinating...

Fourth-year DMD Student Elective: Colombia
June 1, 2012
The Sinclair Travel Fellowship Program has once again provided a unique educational and socially diverse opportunity for two DMD students selected to participate on this elective...

Study backs effectiveness of UBC Dentistry workshop for the tech-tenuous
May 1, 2012
Karen Gardner and Ingrid Emanuels designed a course to help get dental practitioners and instructors up to speed with digital technology. According to a pilot study conducted with dental personnel from the community and part-time clinical educators, the course succeeds in bringing people over the digital divide...

Dental Hygiene Students Enrich Lower Mainland ELSA Class
April 16, 2012
Students from the UBC Dental Hygiene Degree Program might spend a lot of time in class learning their profession, but with community-based outreach initiatives, class time takes on a whole new character...

UBC Dentistry “adopts” Florence Nightingale
April 4, 2012
The Faculty of Dentistry opened a dental clinic at Florence Nightingale as part of its Adopt a School Program to serve at-risk, inner city schools...

And to All a Good Night! UBC Leaders in Dental Sleep Medicine
February 10, 2012
Sleep disordered breathing has become a growing health problem that affects the lives and well-being of sufferers and partners alike. Drs. Alan Lowe and Fernanda Almeida are working at the forefront of dental sleep medicine to help patients—and bed partners—get a better night's sleep, one deep breath at a time...

Bridging a Gap—Dentistry’s Part-time Faculty
February 10, 2012
UBC Dentistry's part-time faculty bring the academic and outside worlds together. They're the working dentists who enrich students' practical know-how while maintaining their own dental businesses...

Off the Campus: UBC Dentistry’s Community Initiatives
February 10, 2012
Dental and dental hygiene students reached far and wide in UBC Dentistry's community initiatives this past spring and summer...

Exploring the Role of Enzymes in Disease
February 10, 2012
The basic research of Dentistry professor Dieter Bromme, Canada Research Chair in Proteases and Diseases, could lead to new treatments for a host of degenerative diseases—from osteoporosis and arthritis to jaw necrosis...

Giving Back—Volunteer Dentists at Home and Abroad
February 10, 2012
UBC volunteer dentists help students provide much-needed services at community clinics for low-income or disadvantaged groups around the province...



Fourth-year DMD Student Elective: Cambodia
November 9, 2011
Last April [2010], for the first time as an elective in fourth-year, DMD students travelled to Cambodia on rotation with general practice residents in the General Practice Residency Training Program...

Industry Supports UBC Students on Volunteer Dental Mission
September 19, 2011
When the opportunity came for two DMD students to participate in the well-established volunteer dental program AYUDA, money was not a barrier thanks to the Sinclair Travel Fellowship Program...

Community Volunteer Clinic Program
April 2, 2011
The Abbotsford Free Dental Clinic hosted UBC Dentistry's Community Volunteer Clinic Program, a student-led extracurricular community service learning opportunity, which presented a day of free community dentistry...

Canadian Forces Partners With BOLD
April 1, 2011
The Bureau of Legal Dentistry (BOLD) lab and core members of the BOLD-sponsored BC Forensic Odontology Response Team (BC-FORT) are providing dental personnel from the Canadian Forces with formalized, advanced training in post-mortem and ante-mortem data collection and handling...

The Purpose of This Dental Hygienist’s Education—To Bring Out the Best
March 21, 2011
Zul Kanji's groundbreaking research in dental hygiene education has set the course for his career and has given the profession some research results it needs...

Reaching Out To Combat Oral Cancer
March 21, 2011
UBC's Faculty of Dentistry clinicians, researchers and colleagues from across BC are leading the fight against oral cancer by bringing innovative diagnostic tools into communities most at risk...

Student Discovers Allure of Rural Practice
March 21, 2011
UBC student Marwan Hameed never pictured himself a small-town dentist until he came across a big-city practice in the heart of BC...

Grad Students in Endodontics Translate Clinical Skills and Cutting-Edge Research into Front-Line Care
March 9, 2011
If all you want for Christmas are your two front teeth, then give Santa a call. But if you're facing a complicated root canal, a dentist trained in endodontics would be a better bet...

The Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre
February 10, 2011
State-of-the-art technology and an innovative architectural design create a sophisticated, efficient space for learning, community service and research...

UBC Dentistry: Education, Research and Community Service
January 31, 2011
Focus on the Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Guest Editorial
Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, 2011;Vol. 77: No. 1



Alumnus Volunteers in Vietnam on a humanitarian dental mission
November 10, 2010
In the first week of May 2009, a group of five dentists and two hygienists from the South Surrey area travelled to central Vietnam on a humanitarian dental mission...

Ahead of the Wave in Community Engagement—Preparing a New Generation of Dentists
October 5, 2010
UBC Dentistry's Professionalism and Community Service (PACS) program is based on a dynamic model that combines classroom learning with community-based outreach initiatives...

Problem-Based Learning—Classical Antiquity Comes of Age
October 5, 2010
UBC Dentistry's DMD curriculum makes extensive use of problem-based learning (PBL), a pedagogy that prepares graduates to use critical and analytical thinking to assess, diagnose and manage complex cases...

UBC Dentistry Team Serves Penelakut First Nation
August 13, 2010
This past July [2010], dental and dental hygiene students, alumni and faculty of UBC Dentistry, along with community dentists and other volunteers, donated their time and professional skills to the people of Penelakut First Nation...

Community Giving, a Fourth-Year DMD Pediatric Elective and a Six-Year-Old’s Smile
August 13, 2010
The practitioners at Monarch Pediatric Dental Centre, a large private practice in Burnaby, BC, and UBC Dentistry’s chair of Pediatric Dentistry Dr. Rosamund Harrison are dedicated to providing an invaluable community service...

The Lines Never Cease
July 27, 2010
Victor Law, a fourth-year DMD student, knows he cannot learn in school what he gains by volunteering. This past summer [2008], he once again volunteered for Medical Aid for Vietnam...

Biochemistry PhD Enriches DMD Experience for All
May 7, 2010
Everything is falling into place for second-year DMD student Ersilia Coccaro...

Oral Medicine Specialist Now Grad Student Fights a Deadly Cancer in South Asian Populations
May 7, 2010
From oral cancer screenings in rural India to epidemiological studies among ethnic minorities in BC, PhD candidate Dr. Ajit Auluck brings his unique talent, independent ability and personal understanding of an ethnic community to a fledgling research area...

Volunteer Dentistry in the Downtown Eastside—DMD Students Rise to the Challenges
May 7, 2010
During the spring 2009 academic year, UBC Dentistry launched its Community Volunteer Clinical Program and operated in the Vancouver Native Health Society's storefront dental clinic on three Saturday mornings. Many students rose to the challenge and volunteered...

Portrait of a Dental Hygiene Student as a Leader
May 7, 2010
Priscilla Ojeda is on her way to an exciting career in dental hygiene. But it is clear that she will reach high and far beyond basic practice—because of her passion to serve...

Moving to the Forefront of Bioimaging—A New High-Throughput Centre at UBC Dentistry
May 7, 2010
UBC Dentistry has just been awarded a multi-million dollar government grant—one of the largest it's ever received—to expand its bioimaging infrastructure...

Leading the Way to Digital Orthodontic Models
May 7, 2010
The task of transitioning dental records to electronic files may seem daunting, but clinical associate professor Dr. Sandra Fastlicht recently took a few huge strides in the orthodontic component of UBC's undergraduate dental program...

Dentistry Research: The Overall Approach
May 7, 2010
From periodontology to systems biology, UBC Dentistry professor and Canada Research Chair Christopher Overall's discoveries are not only leading to better dental care, they are providing novel insights into human immunity and disease...

Grad Student Honoured for Work in the Downtown Eastside
May 7, 2010
Darlene Tam grew up in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) in Chinatown. As a returning resident, she feels a deep responsibility to strive for improvement in the lives of the people in this community...

Dr. Karen Gardner Works Towards Global Standards in Dental Care
May 7, 2010
With the success of its blogging format, UBC Dentistry's International Peer Review (IPR) project is poised to go further...

Community, Culture and Practice: A DMD Student in Haida Gwaii
May 7, 2010
Trevor Lake and Ian Smillie had the opportunity to do an externship in Haida Gwaii, doing some volunteer dentistry while exploring the stunning islands and learning about the amazing history and culture of the Haida people...

The Last Act: Dr. David Sweet
May 7, 2010
The last act of patient care—the respectful and compassionate treatment of the dead while gathering forensic evidence—defines the heart of this warm, empathic dentist beyond his world-class achievements...

Oral insights into scarless wound healing
May 7, 2010
Periodontology researcher, clinician and professor Hannu Larjava is investigating the remarkable self-healing properties of gums and soft tissues in the mouth in order to improve wound healing in the rest of the body and to reduce painful, debilitating and costly scarring...

Toward a healthy smile for every child—Motivational Interviewing in Preventive Dentistry
May 7, 2010
Dr. Rosamund Harrison has promoted accessible, community-based oral health programs for hundreds of babies and toddlers, from South Asians and Vietnamese in BC's Lower Mainland to Cree in remote Quebec villages...

Battling Biofilms—Innovations in Endodontics
May 7, 2010
Computational fluid dynamics, multimedia teaching tools and novel irrigation fluids are among the arsenal of technologies developed and employed by UBC Dentistry professor Markus Haapasalo...

Elders Wisdom Improves Seniors’ Quality of Life
May 7, 2010
Michael MacEntee, Chris Wyatt and their ELDERS group aim to inspire undergraduates to serve seniors in long-term care in their future practices...



Dentistry grad committed to service
May 19, 2009
For Michelle Lauwers dentistry is more than a science: it’s a charitable calling and an art...