Twenty-nine advanced education learners join School of Dentistry

An infographic depicts statistics about Advanced Education learners that are described within the article

Twenty-nine residents and graduate learners joined the School of Dentistry this summer to specialize and further their oral health education.

The new learners include two oral biology  graduate students and twenty-seven residents, across programs. There are four new endodontics residents, two orofacial pain residents, three oral and maxillofacial surgery residents, six orthodontics residents, five pediatrics residents, three periodontics residents, three prosthodontics residents, and one resident in the Special Healthcare Needs clinic.

Both oral biology graduates and twelve residents are female, with the remaining fifteen residents male. Seven learners overall are from Minnesota, and twelve are ethnically diverse.

Of the 27 residents, 18 are also pursuing a Master of Science in Dentistry.

Headshot of Virada Kanchanapun

Virada Kanchanapun, first-year prosthodontics resident, grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, where she received her DDS and began practicing as a general dentist.

“There were many times that I experienced difficulty in coming up with a treatment plan, and I felt overwhelmed by how much I didn’t know about dentistry,” she explained. The desire to explore more and become the best provider possible for her  patients led him to prosthodontics.

“The outcomes of prosthodontic treatments are amazing,” she explained. “They create a life-changing transformation on the patient’s quality of life. When patients are pleased with the treatment outcome, I feel proud of my work. That’s what keeps me motivated.”

Kanchanapun was drawn to the School of Dentistry and its welcoming environment and commitment to diversity—as an international student living abroad for the first time, she knew she would find a home here. Now, as a resident, she cannot wait to get to work and grow as a provider.

“I look forward to gaining specialized clinical skills and building my proficiency to provide the best care possible for my patients,” she said. “And at the same time, I wish to make the prosthodontics residency the most memorable time of my life.”

headshot of Alissa Bares

Alissa Bares, DDS ’23, took a non-traditional path to dental school, but knew from the start that she wanted to pursue pediatric dentistry.

Having children during school confirmed what she already knew. “Parenting my own little ones made me increasingly aware of the challenges families face and the need for oral health care providers who are understanding and can meet them where they are at,” she said.

In addition to having completed her pre-doctoral training here, Bares was drawn to the school’s affiliation with a children’s hospital, allowing her to engage in medically complex cases, as well as the excellent culture and didactic training.

As she begins her residency, Bares looks forward to learning as much as she can.

“I hope to gain a lot of different perspectives as I develop my own treatment approach,” she said. “I was drawn to the fact that Minnesota has faculty who bring very different backgrounds with them: some come from private practice, some have research backgrounds and some have strong backgrounds in advocacy.”

Congratulations to the 29 newest members of graduate and advanced education programs at the School of Dentistry!