May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


AAPD Pre Doctoral Chapter Highlight: University of Detroit Mercy UDMSD AAPD Student Pediatric Dentistry Club

July 2015 Volume L Number 4

 By students: Alison Smith, Samneet Mangat and Zehra Zaid 

Greetings from the University of Detroit Mercy Pediatric Dentistry Club and happy summer! It is with great excitement that we write today; we have had an amazing couple years. Since May 2008, our club has grown from just a few members and executive board positions, to over 40 active members and a full e-board, including positions of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, social media chair, social events chair, outreach chair, fundraising chair, and newsletter chair.

We have been highly involved in outreach events and for the first time ever, we have incorporated outreach events targeting special needs patients. In conjunction with the Special Olympics, members of our club volunteered at the Annual Poly Hockey Tournament in Lansing, Mich., where we provided mouthguards, OHI, and clinical exams to the athletes. Club members also volunteered to educate special needs children in OHI at Keidan Elementary School in Detroit.

In November of 2014, TeamSmile, a nonprofit dental organization with a mobile dental clinic partnered with the Detroit Lions to provide dental care to the children of William Loving Elementary school in Detroit and the UDM Pediatric Dentistry Club to be a part of this amazing experience. Our volunteers did everything from screen students, take radiographs, provide oral hygiene instructions, assist on cleanings, provided restorative and oral surgery. The treatments provided included 211 sealants, 145 fillings, 34 extractions, four crowns, and two pulpotomies, totaling $124,690 in free dental care! This was truly an amazing experience and a huge success. The Pediatric Dentistry Club cannot wait to be a part of it again this fall!

Apart from outreach, we also plan "dinner and learns" with guest speakers on hot topics related to pediatric dentistry. Some of the topics we have covered are: pediatric dental trauma, treatment planning, intraoral photography, pediatric oral hygiene products, pediatric internships, and the PASS/ MATCH process.

Another big step forward for our club was the institution of committees to help all our group chairpersons. The club runs more efficiently and disperses leadership, which has helped us greatly increase student involvement. One of our biggest successes for our fundraising committee this year was our t-shirt sale. The shirts, which featured a molar bear on the front, were in high demand. We sold hundreds to students, faculty and staff. A huge thank you to our Fundraising Committee and also to the UDM community for making this sale a success! Over $800 were raised and we plan to use these funds for future events such as guest lecturers, community outreach, PASS/MATCH application workshops, increasing student involvement in the club and more.

This past February we published our very first Pediatric Dentistry Club Newsletter! Thanks to the dedication and hard work of Newsletter Chair Emad Hajar, we were able to compile an e-newsletter, which we sent to all the students and faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Our newsletter contained articles about all the outreach events, research projects, and fundraisers our members have been working on. It also featured a faculty highlight article with Dr. Salwa Atwan, D.D.S., M.S., chairperson and associate professor, UDMSD Department of Pediatric Dentistry on her career path, why she loves pediatric dentistry, and what advice she has for dental students aspiring to specialize in pediatrics. We will highlight a different faculty member in each of our upcoming newsletters. 

Due to our continued successes, we were able to receive funding from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry to send three dental students to the AAPD Annual Session in Seattle this past Memorial Day Weekend. As fourth-year dental students interested in pediatric dentistry, attending the AAPD conference was highly beneficial, to say the least. We were able to expand our knowledge of the field by attending seminars and lectures from some of the most renowned clinicians and present a research poster. By attending the conference, we learned about what pediatric dentistry truly has to offer as well as the constant challenges that pediatric dentistry continues to face. We elected to join the AAPD mentor-mentee program which paired us up with practicing pediatric dentists and this really allowed us to continue to get our questions answered in the most informal and comforting ways. From the vendor fair, to the lectures, we were surrounded by learning opportunities the entire weekend. This experience has been one we will take with us for the rest of our dental careers and it has only motivated us even more to reach our goals. We hope to keep the tradition alive by sending two representatives every year for the years to come. While at the AAPD conference, we were informed that next year at the AAPD Annual Session in San Antonio, Texas, we will have the honor to give a presentation on the successes of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry's Pediatric Dentistry Club.

Lastly, we would like to extend a huge thank you to Carolynn Zeitz, R.D.H., M.A., clinical associate professor (Pediatric Dentistry Dept.), club founder and our faculty advisor, as well as the rest of the UDM Dental community. We greatly appreciate all the support we have had throughout our endeavors and we look forward to the upcoming school year and beyond! Also, don't forget to follow us on Instagram: @udmpedsclub! #wemadeit 

Please contact Membership and Marketing Assistant Adrienne Brown at to share your AAPD Predoc chapter stories.  

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