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Technology in Dentistry: Newest Grad Ryan Sheridan Reflects on Dental Science Program

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Author: Ryan Sheridan | Category: Final Words... | Dental Science (M.S.) | May 13, 2015

Congratulations Ryan Sheridan, DMD, the newest graduate from the Master of Dental Science Program (prosthodontics track), for successfully defending your dissertation "Evaluating the Split File Protocol for Accuracy of Marginal Gap."

Please tell me about yourself, why did you pick UT Health Science Center, and your program.

I enrolled in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences through my residency education in prosthodontics. As a specialist in dental medicine, it is highly encouraged to pursue academic research to understand the scientific process and contribute to the body of knowledge in our specialty.

Please provide a few sentences summarizing your dissertation. What was the experience like for you?

The purpose of my thesis was to verify a commercial technique used to manufacture prosthetic teeth (crowns) and substructures (abutments) without segmentalizing the process, as seen in traditional analog methods. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) has streamlined fabrication and improved accuracy. However, technology can sometimes outpace our ability to assess these methods. 

This study compared digital design and manufacture to traditional analog methods.The experience was long, tedious but very well worth it. The results of the study were only a small part of what was gleaned from the time spent on this endeavor. Delving into state-of-the-art technology helped me understand systems that I otherwise would have not had the opportunity to work with.

Why are you passionate about your research topic? How did you first become interested in it?

Technology in dentistry is so rapidly evolving at this point in time that research and clinicians are struggling to keep up! As a clinician, it is important to use evidence based decision making. It is my hope that the result obtained will help real world dentists make informed decisions about the method their restorations are fabricated.

What was your best memory during graduate school or what did you learn?

Best memory is submitting my thesis. I did not think that It would be as much work as it eventually turned out to be. So finally submitting the manuscript was a powerful moment. It was a good learning experience to see how much effort undertaking a research project requires.

What’s next?

I am commissioned in the United Stated Air Force and have taken a position at the Air Force Post Graduate Dental School as the director of first year prosthodontics education and research.

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