Dr. Melissa Ing teaches STEM through Mini Medical School

Do you remember your middle school anatomy class? The endless evenings spent reading page after page about cells and skeletons was a timeless, yet boring, way to learn about our bodies.

The human muscular and central nervous systems were complex subjects I grappled to understand. I struggled to keep attention in class as my teacher presented slides featuring charts and diagrams of muscle groups and functions I could only abstractly and vaguely comprehend. 

Dr. Melissa Ing, an associate professor in the Dept. of Comprehensive Care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, employs a unique approach when she teaches. Dr. Ing (shown above, instructed a middle school student) manages, orchestrates and creates real-life scenarios about subjects related to health and dentistry through the Mini Medical School program she organized to teach middle school children at Boston’s Museum of Science.

Dr. Melissa Ing, an associate professor in the Dept. of Comprehensive Care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (shown at right), and her team instruct students about STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) topics before delving into interactive medical investigations and procedures. Photos Courtesy Dr. Melissa Ing

“We teach kids the components of a blood vessel and have them build a vessel using different sized red buttons and white marshmallows to represent white blood cells. We teach them about dental forensics and how it can be used to solve a crime.”

Dr. Melissa Ing describes the lessons she teaches on STEM topics.

“Who Stole All the Toothbrushes?” is an activity where students use medical investigation techniques to solve a mystery. Students do more than listen to lectures; they are fully engaged and active participants in the program.

“We made little plots to go with it, and clues, so that the kids can try and learn about forensics. For instance, a fingerprint, a piece of hair, teeth marks, bite marks, saliva, a lip print on a glass…” says Dr. Ing.

She and her team use a problem-based approach and create situations that students must solve using appropriate medical techniques and procedures. 

“Then, for the next module, a Good Samaritan passenger trips over a piece of luggage at the airport breaking his arm. We teach the kids how to cast a broken arm.”

Her students’ favorite lesson: one where they learn how to suture a wound. Of course, they don’t suture a real, live participant, instead they use bananas. 

Dr. Melissa Ing, shown fourth from right, with her Mini Medical School team of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine students and faculty members. Photos Courtesy Dr. Melissa Ing

“The kids are given masks, gowns and gloves, so they have a great time as a doctor for the day. They sometimes can’t stop stitching the bananas and will name their bananas afterward, which is really funny.”

Students of Dr. Melissa Ing learn how to suture a wound using a banana as their patients.

Dr. Ing isn’t alone. She enlists a team of dental students and faculty members who help make the Mini Medical School possible. 

In 2015, she started the program in Boston, but two years ago, she set sail and took the program to Nantucket Island Public Schools, a school district on an isolated island where students have limited resources to learn about STEM fields—which are occupations that encompass Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 

The Mini Medical School operates on grant funding and the kindness of volunteers who help make it possible, although when she first visited the school district in 2017, the school didn’t have a grant to pay for the program. Luckily, the town helped the school secure the funds.

The following year, the Nantucket school district received a donation from Innovation Pathways, an award granted by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, that enabled Dr. Ing and her colleagues to visit a second time.

At Nantucket Island Public School, students use medical instruments and learn how they help industry professionals every day. Photos Courtesy Dr. Melissa Ing

Dr. Ing draws on nearly 30 years of dental experience. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

After completing her studies, Dr. Ing built and operated her own private practice and taught at the University of Connecticut. Shortly after, she became a full-time employee at UConn, where she held various positions, such as Team Leader and Director of Predoctoral Clinics. After 20 years there, she secured an associate professor position at her alma mater—Tufts University—and began teaching in 2011.

What’s next for Dr. Melissa Ing’s Mini Medical School?

The program will continue at Boston’s Museum of Science. Through grant funding, Dr. Ing and her team hope to return to Nantucket for a third year. She plans to visit Martha’s Vineyard for the first time as well, where students await the opportunity to suture bananas and learn about dental and medical professions.

STEM fields have grown to 17.3 million jobs or 79 percent since 1990, according to the Pew Research Center. Dr. Ing and her Mini Medical School are helping inspire the scientist, physicians and dentists of tomorrow.

Celebrate November, Women and Girls in STEM Month

Find out what the Museum of Science in Boston has in store for Women and Girls in STEM Month: https://www.mos.org/women-and-girls-in-stem-month

WVU rising: dental school innovation center drives change

The dental school’s new innovation center is driving change—and numbers are rolling in to prove it. WVU’s Dr. Lauren Yura talks what’s happening behind the scenes to boost her alma mater’s national profile. 

It only recently turned two, but West Virginia University School of Dentistry’s Dr. W. Robert Biddington Center for Dental Innovation is already having a profound impact. The only clinic of its kind on the East Coast when it opened, it was one of just three nationwide in 2017 where students experience a real-world environment that operates much like a private practice and also get access to the latest technology. (Benco Dental was one of dozens of donors who helped bring it to life in partnership with the Center for Research and Education in Technology, Inc.)

West Virginia University School of Dentistry’s Dr. W. Robert Biddington Center for Dental Innovation was the only clinic of its kind on the East Coast when it opened. In 2017, it was one of just three nationwide where students experience a real-world environment that operates much like a private practice and also get access to the latest technology.

For starters, it’s a recruiting boon that’s shifting the student body’s demographics. The vast majority of dental students—about 80%—were West Virginians prior to the center’s opening. Today, about half come from out of state. With such a major shift, the school understandably felt compelled to start surveying applicants about what drew them. The results: 99% said the center was a major factor in their decisions to apply.

“Students say it’s the first time they feel like real dentists. They get to broaden themselves as clinicians through increased repetition and exposure to more materials. They also get exposed to practice management and what it means to deal with insurance, fee setting, and staff training.”

Dr. W. Robert Biddington Center for Dental Innovation Director and Assistant Professor, Dr. Lauren Yura

All of which, says Dr. Yura, is changing the way students transition. “They’re better prepared, no question. Since it’s a higher-end environment, it’s also influencing where’d they’d want to work, or what type of practice they’d create for themselves.” 

Time will tell, but as a proud WVU alum herself, Dr. Yura is clearly passionate about sending her students into the world as the best prepared graduates in the school’s history.

Dr. Lauren Yura (right) with a dental student at the Dr. W. Robert Biddington Center for Dental Innovation.

Women in dentistry: Learn to live your strengths with DeWLife

With every issue of their lifestyle magazine for women in dentistry, DeW Life (Dental entrepreneur Women) aims to inspire. In November, they’ll take that mission beyond the pages of the magazine to Charlotte, North Carolina as hosts of their inaugural retreat.

“We want to fill a void that exists regarding female leaders and inspirational voices. To show young ladies entering the profession that the opportunities are real. To encourage those already digging in to raise their voices and for those seasoned veterans to give back and refuse to quit…” is the credo prominently displayed on their website.

Opening the event on November 14 and 15 at the Providence Country Club: Learning to Live Your Strengths, with presenters from Strengths Savvy, an inspirational journey from Connie Dugan and a welcome from Chief DeW-er Anne M. Duffy, RDH.

“Bossy little girls become strong leaders. My dad used to lovingly call me a pushy broad. My grandmother lovingly noted that I was very loud, and my brother was grateful when I tried to chase the bullies away from him. To this day I will ask for raises for my co-workers if I think they are deserving. It came as no surprise that when I realized women in dentistry were not getting their due, not getting paid the same, not getting the keynotes, not getting the respect they deserve, being bullied and /or harassed at work, (need I go on?) that I would do what I could to change that. Yes, the birth of DeW Life was in my DNA.”

Editor and Publisher Anne M. Duffy, RDH

Don’t miss this lineup of experts

Guest speakers at the inaugural event will include:

Dr. Shakila Angadi, The Inspired Dentist (shown) will be among guest speakers at the DeW 2019 Retreat.

Do good while you’re there

Throughout the retreat, DeW Life will host raffles to benefit Brown Girl and Oral Cancer Cause .

Want to register? Here’s how.

https://mailchi.mp/dew.life/dewretreat2019

Dr. Yuliya Salmeron on how struggles lead to success #IE40Under40

Dr. Yuliya Salmeron, DMD, has been recognized as one of America’s Best Young Dentists, the 2019 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honorees.

Dr. Salmeron with Benco Dental Chairman and Customer Advocate Larry Cohen (left) at this year’s 40 Under 40 event in NYC.

This accomplishment, along with many other great feats, such as graduating from the top of her class at Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine (while also waiting tables at her local diner) and starting a new dental practice, Edge Endodontics in Austin, Texas, makes it clear that Dr. Salmeron is equipped with a ferocious and undying drive to succeed.

The Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine in Clevelang, Ohio.

Just as everyone faces difficult times, Dr. Salermon had struggles of her own to overcome while trying to pave the path for a career in dentistry.

Dr. Yuliya looked her troubles straight in the eye and came barreling at them, determined to overcome all of the odds pinned against her.

This determination and endless perseverance is the reason Dr. Yuliya Salmeron is where she is today.

Hardships growing up

Coming to the United States from Russia as a child, Dr. Yuliya had a bit more to work through than the average child.

The key to her success? Constantly staying positive. Her good attitude is responsible for all that she has and will continue to accomplish.

“I was hungry for a better life. My family was still in Russia, and I wanted to help them tremendously. Honestly, I had no time to be negative.”

Dr. Yuliya Salmeron

This survival instinct sparked a fire in Dr. Salmeron, and she knew that she would stop at nothing to bring her family the life they deserve.

Despite this unwavering determination, Dr. Salmeron still admits that there were a few moments of fear and stress that made her question the achievability of her goals.

“The fear of failure came over me several times when I was going through college in my twenties; it caused a lot of stress.”

Dr. Yuliya Salmeron

Overcoming the struggles

By remembering all that she had on the line – both in her family life and professional life – Dr. Salmeron learned to overcome the stress and not let it bother her, no matter how intense things seemed to get.

“Without the safety net of my parents to back me up, I stopped doubting myself and realized that the only way I could go was forward.”

Soaking up the family time

Today, Dr. Salmeron soaks up every minute of family time she is blessed with.

Dr. Salmeron’s two sons visit her at her practice, Edge Endodontics in Austin, Texas.

“One of the best parts about my family life is being with my boys and watching them grow. They are incredibly smart, and sometimes the best memories are made doing something as simple as watching cartoons with them,” Dr. Salmeron said.

Prioritizing her practice

Apart from her family life, Dr. Salmeron also enjoys making memories in her professional career.  She aims to make a difference in her patients’ lives every day.

Dr. Salmeron’s practice, Edge Endodontics in Austin, Texas.

“As an endodontist, I try to save my patients’ natural teeth, so seeing them right away is critical when they are in pain.  I aim to create a relaxing, almost spa-like experience when I perform procedures that alleviate any discomfort they might be having.”

Dr. Yuliya Salmeron

Future Plans for her Practice

In the future, Dr. Salmeron plans to continue building upon her professional successes. Since her practice, Edge Endodontics, has only been up and running for a little over eight months, Dr. Salmeron recognizes that there’s still a lot of work to do.

“My goals include things like providing infinite support to my fellow dentists, as well as offering immediate appointments for emergency cases to relieve my patients’ pain,” Dr. Salmeron said.

Juggling it all

With running a new practice comes its own difficulties. Dr. Salmeron recognizes that there are still some roadblocks ahead, especially as a single parent in the field of dentistry.

“Juggling motherhood, personal relationships and my professional career is sometimes exhausting and very challenging,” Dr. Salmeron said. “Most people say it’s important to find a balance, but I don’t think there is one.”

Dr. Yuliya Salmeron, DMD.

Dr. Salmeron realizes that it’s impossible to do all things well. Some days are more centered around her practice and other days around her kids. In the end, she has to remind herself of the sacrifices she’s making to ensure her kids have a good, solid future ahead of them.

Her advice to other doctors

In the end, Dr. Salmeron urges all others in similar situations to remind themselves that working hard doesn’t make you a bad mother, partner, friend, or anything along the lines.

Dr. Salmeron is looking forward to the challenges her future career will hold. The bigger the challenge, the better-suited doctor she will become.

“Opposition is good. Just as lifting heavier weights in the gym builds a stronger muscle, facing a harder challenge builds a better professional.”

Dr. Yuliya Salmeron

Dr. Janice Doan to lead third location of A+Family Dentistry #IE40Under40

It all comes back to family

An alum of the Incisal Edge’s 2015 40 Under 40, Dr. Janice Doan never rests on her laurels – she continues demonstrate her hard working and ambition every day.

In recent years, Dr. Doan has made several advancements in her professional life as well as in her family’s practice, A+ Family Dentistry. These depict how dedication to career can result in endless opportunities for connection and empowerment.

Yesterday, A+ Family Dentistry announced that in addition to their locations in Poway and El Cajon, they are opening a third office in Sorrento Valley in mid-August. Founded by Dr. Justene Doan and Dr. Roger Tran in 2002, this family owned dentistry has been providing affordable dental care service to the San Diego community for over 17 years.


“With the two offices that are already established in different areas, the Sorrento Valley location will be managed by my sister Dr. Janice Doan to provide comprehensive dental care at affordable costs for those residing between Poway and San Diego.”

Dr. Justene Doan
Dr. Janice Doan holds the key to the A+ Family Dental location in Sorrento Valley which she will manage.

Community activist

Dr. Janice Doan

The further she advances in her dental career, the more Dr. Doan is recognized for her wisdom and abundance of knowledge.

A community activist, Dr. Janice Doan has also been volunteering and participating in various programs in the community including one called Give Back a Smile or GBAS. This program was established to connect eligible survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence who’ve received dental injuries from the abuse with volunteer cosmetic dentists throughout the United States and Canada.


“This year, the program I have volunteered for is to provide dental care to a domestic violence survivor who suffers from teeth injuries. The patient that I am working with suffered a life-altering situation that affects her smile and her well-being. As it is something that everyone sees and is such a major physical attribute, a smile can affect every aspect of life.”

“At A+ Family dentistry, we make it a point to let patients know that we’re here to help. Not only the dentists and the office want to help, but the businesses that support our dental office as well. One of our labs was also able to contribute the parts and ceramics imperative for this patient’s well-being, free of charge. Thanks to the GBAS program, she can now live her life as she was meant to, happily and with a gorgeous smile.”

Dr. Janice Doan

In need of support?

Those who needs help through GBAS can call the toll free number at (800)773-GBAS (4227), or email givebackasmile@aacd.com For more information visit http://www.givebackasmile.com.

Action to Win

Dr. Janice Doan has been sharing advice on topics such as freedom in the workplace and the empowerment of women in dentistry across several different platforms.

On August 9 and 10, Dr. Doan will be speaking at the “Action to Win” event at the Catamaran Resort in San Diego, California. The event unites dentists from all over the world to discuss how to create profitable, impactful and enjoyable businesses.

Dr. Janice Doan featured in the “Action to Win” flyer.

Dr. Doan will speak about her role as a Community Influencer at this year’s event.

“I want to create a massive impact that will have a positive ripple effect not just in my own community, but also worldwide. A community isn’t just where I live, it’s who I connect with and who I can help.”

Dr. Janice Doan

The Dentist Freedom Blueprint

Dr. Doan was also able to share her wisdom when she featured as a guest on Dr. David Phelps’ podcast, “The Dentist Freedom Blueprint”.

Dr. David Phelps’ “The Dentist Freedom Blueprint”.

“The ultimate goal is freedom physically, financially, and spiritually, and what that means for each person. For me, it is being able to prioritize and be willing to sacrifice some things for others so that I can reach my goals,” Dr. Doan said.

Dr. Doan reflects on what she was doing well in her professional career and figures out how to duplicate her areas of success. Ultimately, Dr. Doan aims to create systems that work well and are simple enough for everyone to adopt.

Family life: Leading by example

Dr. Doan also showcased how her professional life relates to her family life. In regard to her five-year-old son, Jake, Dr. Doan said she often teaches him the how to handle the basics of life through leading by example.

She enjoys watching her son pick up on these behaviors and eventually implement them.

Dr. Janice Doan smiles with her 5-year-old son, Jake (left).

“For example, I went to the gym for my workout. Jake came with me and wanted to do what I was doing. He and I had a great training session at the gym with my trainer,” Dr. Doan said.

Dr. Doan loves watching her son adapt and pick up on the positive habits she sets forth for him. Family has and continues to be a staple in Dr. Doan’s life.

Gaining strength through strife

Family holds such a special place in Dr. Doan’s heart mostly because of the hardships she and her family first encountered when they arrived in the United States from Vietnam.

As a child, Dr. Doan grew up with her brother and sister, all of who were raised by their grandparents. Absent from their early childhood lives were their parents, who were raising their youngest brother in a different city.

Childhood photo of Dr. Janice Doan and her family.

Dr. Doan said growing up without her parents around was difficult, but she knew what they were sacrificing to ensure that she and her siblings would have plentiful, successful lives. Dr. Doan explains what occurred when they reunited.

“When we finally reunited for good, it was awesome, but also very difficult. We had all grown so much that rekindling that relationship again was difficult,” Dr. Doan said.

What made everything fall back into place though was the solid foundation of love her parents put in place.

Dr. Janice Doan with her family at a younger age.

“Having such a strong foundation of love really helped us through everything. Being able to build on that foundation even more made it all worth it,” Dr. Doan said.

Getting started in dentistry

Her family was even the spark that lit Dr. Doan’s passion for dentistry, stemming from her sister’s education to her own summer volunteer work.

Dr. Doan first became interested in dentistry when she visited her sister while she was enrolled at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry.

Through these frequent visits, Dr. Doan watched her sister learn about dentistry through lab and clinical work. Dr. Doan was inspired meeting some of her sister’s professors and peers.

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC hosts the annual Dental Explorers two-week camp.

Additionally, Dr. Doan took part in a summer program called “The Dental Explorers”. The two-week summer camp hosted by the University of Southern California helped Dr. Doan fall in love with dentistry even more.

“I enjoyed the summer camp so much that right after I finished dental school, I became the director for the Dental Explorers Program and taught the summer class,” Dr. Doan said.

What’s happening now?

To no surprise, both themes of family and dentistry continue to be central in Dr. Doan’s life. Her family’s practice, A+ Family Dentistry, keeps improving and expanding.

Dr. Doan said the goal of the family practice is not success but rather accessibility.

“We want to help people, not just in Poway and San Diego, but everywhere. The way to do this was to open another office in Sorrento Valley to help the people there,” Dr. Janice Doan said.

Guided Implant Placement to Restoration featuring Dr. Riley Clark #IE40Under40

Dr. Riley Clark, recently honored as one of the Incisal Edge 2019 40 Under 40 – America’s Best Young Dentists, will share insight as featured speaker this fall at an event hosted by Carestream Dental and Benco Dental

Sip ‘n’ Learn with Carestream Dental: Guided Implant Placement to Restoration will take place on Thursday, October 17, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., PDT, at Ballast Point: Miramar, 9045 Carroll Way, San Diego, California 92121

Register today: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sip-n-learn-with-carestream-guided-implant-placement-to-restoration-tickets-65816764715

What will attendees learn during this course?

This practical course focuses on preoperative protocols for guided surgery with Carestream Dental’s CBCT and the CS 3600 digital impression scanner. It will also discuss intra-operative surgical technique and lastly, restorative procedures with digital impression taking.

Other topics to be covered:
• Implant planning software
• 3D printing; surgical guides and analog models for immediate milled temps
• Immediate placement with guided surgery

About the featured speaker

Professionally, Dr. Riley Clark takes great pride in optimizing clinical efficiencies and digital workflows. He spends the majority of his time in private practice doing full-mouth dental implant rehab. He also teaches and mentors at WhiteCap Institute. He acts as a consultant to WhiteCap Dental Lab and Milling, where he focuses on full-mouth treatment sequencing and digital workflows in pre-operative procedures and final restorative procedures. He is passionate about dentistry and transforming patients’ lives through their smiles with dental implants.

Dr. Riley Clark completed his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at Portland State University and then moved to Cleveland, Ohio for his D.M.D. program at Case Western Reserve University. Shortly after graduation he attended advanced training in anesthesia. Today, Dr. Clark and his wife, Kolt, have settled in Medford, Oregon with their three daughters.

Ready to register?

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sip-n-learn-with-carestream-guided-implant-placement-to-restoration-tickets-65816764715

Build your orthodontic practice with CBCT this fall

In the orthodontic world, nothing has created a bigger buzz than digital orthodontic care. Venturing into the digital world should not be taken lightly. It requires evaluation, planning and capital.

CBCT technology reigns supreme and is the foundation of orthodontic excellence. In an upcoming lecture with Dr. William E. Crutchfield, tangible advantages of CBCT like diagnosis, treatment planning, digital orthodontic care and analysis will be shared.

In addition to earning 5 CE credits, attendees will also learn how to leverage CBCT to build a practice with referrals, with other professionals and with the community.

Details, details, details…

This fall, Benco Dental and KaVo Kerr will host “CBCT: The Foundation of Orthodontic Excellence,” presented by Dr. William E. Crutchfield.

On Friday, October 11, from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Benco Dental CenterPoint West Design Showroom, 3590 Harbor Gateway N, Costa Mesa, California 92626, Dr. Crutchfield will offer professional education for dentists.

What can you expect to learn?

1. Why CBCT
2. Advantages of CBCT
3. CBCT for digital orthodontic care
4. Leveraging CBCT for practice promotion and growth

Ready to register?

Click here: https://kerreducation.cvent.com/CostaMesaCA101119
For additional information on the course, please contact
Ty Ramsey at 469.360.1031 or Jeff Dierks at 636.698.4862

KaVo Kerr Corporation is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Kerr Corporation designates this activity for 5 Continuing Education credits.

Meet your instructor

Dr. William E. Crutchfield

Dr. Bill Crutchfield, a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia (VCU) and its orthodontic residency, is committed to his patients in a completely digital orthodontic practice in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Considered an expert in digital orthodontics, he is member of Ormco Insiders advisory board, SureSmile clinical advisory board and an advisor for OrthoScience.

Dr. Crutchfield frequently speaks on topics that include: clinical digital orthodontics, digital team design and digital practice management. Besides serving as president of the VAO and MCV Orthodontic Foundation, he also served the AAO as chairman of the AAOPAC and as a member of the Council of Governmental Affairs for over a decade.

Are you looking to sell your dental practice? Find out the 10 must-haves on a buyer’s wish list.

When prospective dental practice owners research existing offices for purchase, certain factors rank in the top 10 on their checklists? It’s safe to say Wayne Oplinger, Transitions Analyst for Benco Dental, knows what makes any business – especially a dental practice – successful. Prior to joining Benco as a local Territory Rep in 2011, Wayne […]