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Dental students debate hot topics

September 15, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

Key issues: Joe Lyman, standing, of the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health at A.T. Still University argues during a Sept. 9 mock debate on mid-level providers between his school and the Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine. At the right is fellow ASDOH student D.J. Lemeiux. To the left are Midwestern students Mustafa Salam, left, and Elieza Tang. Photos courtesy of Arizona Dental Association
Scottsdale, Ariz. — Tough industry issues such as workforce and licensure aren't just the concerns of seasoned professionals — they're at the heart of dental students' concerns as well.

About 200 dental students from the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health at A.T. Still University and the Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine came together at the Sept. 9 "Pontics and Politics" event to debate some key issues in dentistry.

The debate coincided with the ADA 14th District Caucus meeting at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale. The three ADA president-elect candidates were also present to observe the event, along with 14th District ADA Trustee Dr. Dan Klemmedson.

Counter point: Austin Shackelford, a third-year dental student at ASDOH, makes his point as fellow student Nicole Tasooji, also of ASDOH, looks on. The two students argued against requiring live patients for licensure exams during the Sept. 9 mock debate.
The first of the two debates was "Mid-Level Providers Effect on Dentistry" and the second was "Live-Patient Licensure Exams." Each debate featured two students on each side. ASDOH won the debate on midlevel providers and Midwestern won the debate on live patient exams.

"It was so exciting to see dental students in Arizona tackling the issues of live patient exams and dental therapists that lie beyond text books, typodonts and teeth," said Dr. Brian Powley, president, Arizona Dental Association. "I was so impressed by the participation and support of the students, even after a day of exams and on a hot desert night."

The event was sponsored by Aspen Dental.

Packed house: Students from the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health at A.T. Still University and Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine listen during the Sept. 9 mock debate in Scottsdale, Ariz.
During the breaks, students were encouraged by ADPAC Board member Dr. Bryan Shanahan to sign up and support ADPAC, and to be involved in advocacy in Arizona as dental therapist and clinical licensure examination issues are expected to be considered during the 2017 legislative session.

Joining Dr. Powley as judges were Dr. Regina Cobb, a member of the ADA Council on Government Affairs and a member of the Arizona House of Representatives; and Kevin Earle, AzDA executive director. Dr. Anthony Caputo, the AzDA speaker of the house, moderated the debate.