WVU dentistry student wins trip to ADA Annual Session  

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Morgantown natives and third-year dental students Wesley Phillips and Nathaniel Nicholson took first place honors for their dental-implant research poster in the West Virginia University School of Dentistry’s annual Table Clinics contest.

"The heat generated in bone by implant drills during surgical site preparation can cause dental implants to fail," Phillips said.

 Dental students Wesley Phillips (L) and Nathaniel Nicholson (R) pose with their winning poster.  Photo by B. Beverly
“We wanted to investigate a way to test implant drills under various conditions to see how much heat they generated,” he said. ”We created a good way to test for these thermal changes, and our results are consistent with similar published studies.”

Their poster, “Thermal Changes Induced by Implant Drills in Bovine Bone: A Pilot Study in Experimental Design,” displayed their method for testing reasons dental implants are sometimes ruined by drill heat. Their research stood out in a field of 25 posters completed by dental students as a requirement for their community dentistry class. 

Phillips, who presented the research, won an all-expenses paid trip to the American Dental Association’s Annual Session held in San Antonio, Texas, in October.

“I think this gives the students the chance to use their clinical skills to relate what they are learning to use evidence-based decision making in their treatment of patients,” said Louise Veselicky, D.D.S., interim dean of the School of Dentistry.

Veselicky said the school has a commitment to engaging students in scientific investigation.  Phillips and Nicholson plan to continue researching dental implants.

For more information about the WVU School of Dentistry, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/sod/.

- WVU -

For more information:
Cassie Waugh, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
cw: 05-07-08

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