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Final Words: Shahad Abudawood & the Pediatric Dentistry Track

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Author: Shahad Abudawood | Category: Final Words... | Dental Science (M.S.) | April 14, 2016

Your name, program, dissertation title.

My name is Shahad Abudawood. I’m enrolled in the Masters of Science in Dental Science program through Pediatric Dentistry track. My research title is “A Comparative Study of Fluoride Release and Re-release from Various Aesthetic Restorative Materials: An in Vitro Study.”

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

I earned my Bachelor Degree of Dental Surgery from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with second honors. Based on my outstanding academic performance I received a four-year scholarship from Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to attended the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. 

In 2012, I received a certificate in Advanced Education in General Dentistry. I subsequently completed a two-year postgraduate training in Pediatric Dentistry at the same university and received a certificate. Later, I was accepted for candidacy for the Masters of Science in Dental Science degree within the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 2016. I chose to study at UTHSCSA because it is such a leading center in science. 

The dental facility and equipment are modern and up to date. What really makes UTHSCSA a special place are the great faculty members and the friendly atmosphere. Nevertheless, the school reputation and contribution to science are well recognized locally and world wide. We work to make lives better, I mean smiles better.

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

I’m investigating a new “Smart” dental material that has not launched into the marketplace yet. This material releases fluoride and prevents caries. I’m comparing its performance to what’s available in the market. My experience was enriching. I learned a lot and gained many skills.

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

I became interested in fluoride releasing dental materials because caries prevalence is still high despite the tremendous efforts by dental professionals to prevent it. So many kids and adults suffer from unnecessary dental pain and infections. The fluoride releasing dental material helps reduce caries on adjacent teeth and increase longevity of the existing restoration by inhibiting caries at the restoration margins.

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

I have many memorable memories during my graduate school. Sharing holidays with such great people is the best memory I have. As well as shooting our graduation film with fellow pediatric dental residents was so much fun. Through my journey, I learned that working as a team is a paramount.

What’s next?

After graduation, I’m planning on going back to my homeland, Saudi Arabia. I will transfer the knowledge and skills I gained here to help improve the public dental health. Using my clinical skills, I will help patients get the best care they deserve. Also, I’m planning on teaching and passing on the knowledge and skills I learned to the next generation of dentists and scientists.

Any advice for your fellow graduate students?

Stop worrying about the unknown. Take advantage of having faculty and mentors around you by asking questions. Because you will be the “Go-to person” you will be an expert in your field. Do your best and one day your hard work will pay off. 

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