College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics

Dean's Message

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday next week, I wanted to express my gratitude to each of you. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to come back to a place that I love and to be in an environment that fosters and cultivates kindness and closeness among faculty, staff, residents, and students. I am grateful that, as a community, we strive to be better than we currently are—whether that means improving our compassion and respect for one another as our collegiate community looks more like the populations that we serve, or making advances in research and discovery. I also greatly appreciate the vitality of our esteemed and committed alumni who give back to the college and more importantly to their local communities. Each of you has made our college what it is. Thank you! ~Clark Stanford

Updates for November 18, 2022–December 1, 2022
International Education Week

International flags flying over the pedestrian footbridge

Dentistry's Advanced Standing Program

The Iowa Dental Advanced Standing Program is an excellent program that brings in some of the best and the brightest of internationally-trained dentists providing them opportunities to earn a CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) accredited DDS degree. The program generally brings in four-internationally trained dentists to begin as third-year dental students. The intense program begins in January before they join the third-year dental students at the beginning of the next Fall semester, and in 2.5 years, those four students are ready ready to practice dentistry in the United States. A 2019 graduate of the Advanced Standing Program, Prachi Shah ('19 DDS), said of the program, "I am glad to be a part of the UIOWA IDASP and learning the IOWA way. It has been a wonderful experience. The professors here are helpful and most of all I think the school provides us with a lot of patient experience which has immensely helped me enhance my clinical and patient management skills."

Operative dentistry professor with operative residents

International Excellence in Operative Dentistry

The University of Iowa Department of Operative Dentistry has consistently and repeatedly brought in faculty and residents from around the world to make it what it is today and then it sends them out to become oral health educators around the world. The department has numerous international faculty, residents, and alumni, in addition to many global research partnerships. In the 60 years since the graduate program has been in existence, students from 30 different countries have earned a certificate in operative advanced education. The department has developed strong international networks that make it a destination for students, visiting scholars from many countries, and the department excels in ensuring that the environment is collegial and welcoming for everyone no matter where they come from. Because so many of its graduates take up teaching positions all over the world, the department has a well-deserved reputation of "teaching the world's dentists."

Azeez Butali with students

Butali leads as international researcher and mentor

The college is also a global leader in research with partnerships around the world. One example of this is Azeez Butali, who is a professor in the Department of Oral Pathology, Radiology, and Medicine and world’s foremost expert in the genetics of cleft lip and palate among African populations. In addition to his numerous prestigious grants conducting international research, his international profile as a researcher was recently recognized by his induction as a fellow to the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria, the leading academic organization for all medical-related fields in Nigeria. Butali is also committed to developing an international network of researchers, many of whom study at Iowa for graduate studies or post-doctoral studies under his leadership. This past spring, he was awarded a faculty mentor award for his mentoring work at the University of Iowa 2022 International Student Graduation.

Aline Petrin presenting her research poster

Iowa at the American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting

Several Iowa researchers attended the international 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), including Aline Petrin and several researchers in Azeez Butali's lab—Azeez Alade, Emmanuel Aladenika, Azeez Butali, and Abimbola Oladayo. ASHG is the premier research organization in human genetics. Petrin's research poster showed epigenetic findings from two pairs of discordant twins with Van Der Woude Syndrome, a very rare condition that results in cleft lip and palate. Although the twins have the same genetic mutation, the visible characteristics (the phenotype) was different. Petrin and her research team are exploring the role that DNA methylation potentially plays in explaining the phenotype differences in addition to the genetic mutation. The ASHG also allowed parents to bring their children along to the conference and register for free. Petrin's 12-year old daughter, Sophia, joined her for the trip to experience first-hand an international scientific meeting (and to see her mom in action!). It is always heartwarming when professional organizations make their meetings family friendly!

Attendees at the collegiate potluck

International Week Potluck

Sharing food is an excellent way to share part of who you are. Food often speaks to our heritage and our values. The International Affairs and the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hosted a potluck on Monday, November 14, where members of our collegiate community brought something to share. It was an excellent opportunity to experience a small taste of our beautiful and diverse community. Some of the food represented in the pot luck were Indian and Brazilian desserts, pumpkin pie, pineapple and cheese jello, chicken and gravy, empanadas, and pupusas.

The dentists and staff who helped provide free dental care to veterans

Dental Teams Provide Free Dental Care Services for Veterans

Clay and Associates DDS, PLC, and Iowa Dental Associates dental teams recently spent a Saturday morning volunteering and providing free dental care to veterans. This was the third event coordinated with I Smile-Silver and the Webster County Public Health in Fort Dodge. This year, they provided dental care services to 28 veterans. "I just want to say thank you to all the veterans for their service to their country. We are very happy to be able to do this for them today. We are taking care of the veterans that have taken care of us," said John Clay ('03 DDS). Hat tip to the Iowa Dental Association!

Leanne Bylsma-Mulder of Bylsma-Mulder Family Dentistry in Sioux Center smiles with staff members scheduler Nancy Bonnema, office manager Jody Rozenboom, hygienist Cindy De Vos Hygienist and dental assistant Lora Puttman on Nov. 2 — the official 30th anniversary of Bylsma-Mulder serving the community as a dentist.

Hawkeyes for Iowa

The Sioux Center News talked with Leanne Bylsma-Mulder ('92 DDS) about her thirty years of practice in the Sioux City area. Bylsma-Mulder started her career from scratch with no patients, but over the past 30 years, she has made a difference in the lives of many. "All my patients are such a blessing. I really enjoy interacting with them. I care for them as a person more than just about their teeth. When a patient sits down with me, I try to take time to get to know them and their family and keep up with what they’re doing. I like the interaction. My job is so more than just teeth, it’s about relationships,” explained Bylsma-Mulder. 

Ornament decorating contest 2022

First Annual Ornament Decorating Contest

If you're ready to get in the holiday spirit, join us for our first annual winter ornament decorating contest. Follow the link for details on how to participate in the contest!


Collaborative and Innovative Research

Peter TK, Withanage MHH, Comnick CL, Pendleton C, Dabdoub S, Ganesan S, Drake D, Banas J, Xie XJ, Zeng E. Systematic review and meta-analysis of oral squamous cell carcinoma associated oral microbiome. Front Microbiol. 2022 Oct 20;13:968304. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.968304. PMID: 36338051; PMCID: PMC9632422.

The relationship between the human oral microbiome and oral health has become a prominent area of research at Iowa and beyond, as has research on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). This meta-analysis aimed to identify possible oral microbiome biomarkers to promote early diagnosis of OSCC and more effective disease prognosis. After identifying case-control studies which focused on the relationship between the human oral microbiome and OSCC, the research team was able to identify three areas for further research: (1) several microbial genera may be associated with oral cancer status, including Fusobacterium; (2) Some functional pathways related to the microbiome and oral health warrant further investigation, including RNA degradation (ko03018) and primary immunodeficiency (ko05340); (3) the team's analysis of gene abundance data identified an overabundance of the gene K06147 (ATP-binding cassette, subfamily B, bacterial) in OSCC samples. These three generalizations can help guide future research, but the team also identify limitations in drawing conclusions given the heterogeneity of the available data. Thus, the team proposed implementing standardized data analytic practices that will conform to the rigor and reproducibility standards required of publicly funded research.

Rogue Ledesma Justiniani from the Philippines (1913), Acisol Bravo Guevera from the Puerto Rico (1913), Nobuji Fukushima from Japan (1914), and Rafidin Ahmed from India (1915)

Hawkeye History: International Education at the College of Dentistry

Over a several year period in the 1910s, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry had numerous international students from all over the world come to Iowa to be educated, including Rogue Ledesma Justiniani from the Philippines (1913), Acisol Bravo Guevera from Puerto Rico (1913), Nobuji Fukushima from Japan (1914), and Rafidin Ahmed from India (1915). During these years, the college appears to have made a concerted effort to bring international students to Iowa, and in the University of Iowa alumni magazines from that era, representatives from the college regularly commented on the students being educated at Iowa and returning to their home countries to practice dentistry. The practice of recruiting and matriculating international students appeared to continue until at least 1917, but it is unclear what prompted this early commitment to international education or why it stopped.


November 11, Fall 2022 Interview Day for Prospective DDS Students

November 11, CE Course: A Full Day Endodontic Experience

November 12, Tooth Fairy Storytime at the Iowa City Public Library, hosted by the AAWD, 10:30–11:00 p.m.

November 12, Pregame Professional Program (Wisconsin)

November 13, Extended Deadline: Last Day for Submissions for the College of Dentistry Creative Writing Contest, submit via email to Michael Tilley or Kate Newcomb.

November 15, Pedro Sanchez, "Solving Rare Genetic Diseases, One Mutation at a Time: instructive examples from the clinic,” hosted by Shankar Rengasamy Venugopalan, Galagan B, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

November 16, Virtual Fall 2022 Interview Day for Prospective DDS Students

December 2, Oral Science PhD Defense: Jennifer Sukalski, "Peceived Social Status and Oral Health Outcomes: A New Determinant of Health?", mentored by Susan McKernan, N212 and via Zoom, 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

December 9, Derek Williamson, Collegewide Lunch and Learn: "How I Integrate Digital Technology into my Prosthodontic Practice," Galagan A, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

January 20, Dental Alumni Reception in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention, Maggiano’s Little Italy at Denver Pavillions, Denver, CO, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

February 24, Dental Alumni Reception in conjunction with the Chicago Mid-Winter Meeting, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, IL, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

May 5, Dental Alumni Reception in conjunction with IDA Annual Meeting, Cedar Rapids, IA, 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

Notes and Resources 

Filling Station Menu

Thanksgiving Week Hours: M-T: 7:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.; W: 7:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.; CLOSED Thursday and Friday
M-R: 7:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.; F: 7:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

The banner Hawkeye Smile image shows Herky with Austen Hawthorne, the revenue cycle manager in the dental business office.

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