Ann Arbor, MI — March 26, 2014 — Three dental hygiene students from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry were awarded Student Research Fellowships during the annual session of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) in San Antonio.
Muntather Alameedi, Antoinette DePetro and Luke Shaw, all senior students, are the first of a group of five dental hygiene and dental students nationwide to receive the ADEA/TheraBreath Student Research Fellowships. The awards recognize the U-M students for their proposed clinical research projects in xerostomia or halitosis.
Alameedi, DePetro and Shaw will be investigating whether a clinician’s bad breath (halitosis) influences a patient’s perception of oral health care professionals and how that may affect the patient’s behavior and desire to receive clinical treatment. Dentists and dental hygienists wear masks while treating patients. However, there are times during an appointment when a mask is not worn, such as discussing a patient’s medical and/or dental history or discussing proper oral care.
The three dental hygiene students created the questionnaire and began gathering data last December during face-to-face interviews with patients at the School of Dentistry. Since the three graduate this spring, they plan to continue the survey online. The three plan to return to ADEA’s annual meeting next year to present the results of their research.
“I applaud the students for their unique approach to exploring whether a dentist’s or dental hygienist’s halitosis might affect a patients’ oral health care perceptions,” said Janet Kinney, director of the dental hygiene program. “I’m looking forward to following the progress of the project and learning more about the results of their research.”