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Indian Dentist, Conservative Dentistry

There is nothing like the deprivation of something to enable a person to understand its true value. Being raised in rural India, I and my family thoroughly understood the value of the medical and dental services that were so scarce. I also learned to value education in an environment in which expert educators and adequate educational facilities were comparatively rare.

I was determined to use the limited educational opportunities available to me to qualify to do something useful in life. Dentistry appealed to me at an early age because I had seen grimaces of pain turn into smiles of relief, I had seen marred appearances transformed and seen dietary choices extended at the hands of caring experts and decided that I should like to emulate them. I chose to study Biology and Chemistry at advanced level in my middle and high schools with the specific aim of qualifying as a dentist and did so with exceptional dedication and determination. I received awards for academic excellence which will attest to my diligence and work ethic.

With the invaluable support of my family, I achieved my goal and became the first college graduate and medical professional in my family. My passion for dentistry, which has provided me with great satisfaction, has only increased over time. I am also very excited to be involved in a field in which so many advances are being made in techniques, equipment and materials and hope to assist in further advances through research.

It is now my goal to qualify to practice in the US, to acquire further experience and, ultimately, to run a clinic specifically in an underserved area and to undertake research, teaching and education in oral and dental health especially among the very young and those caring for them.

I was trained at the prestigious Yenepoya Dental College. The program provided excellent training in general dentistry with exceptional levels of exposure to a wide range of patients and conditions during the program and in the year-long internship which followed. I am a founding member of the college’s Student Charitable Trust which provides community dental services in underserved areas at no or low cost. I also had the opportunity to assist in research projects and developed an interest in research which has increased over time. The undergraduate research in which I assisted related to the effects of emotional stress on canker sores in women and the effect of fluoride application and caries reduction in growing children.

Following graduation and my internship, I joined a multi-specialty clinic in my hometown which was the fulfilment of a dream and further extended my exposure to a very wide variety of conditions and age groups. I also sought to perfect my ‘chairside manner’ and find effective ways to soothe and reassure the young or anxious patient and believe that I have particular skills in this important aspect of dentistry. I believe that the interpretation of non-verbal signals is a desirable skill and one that I seek to develop to a high degree.

Because of a special interest in Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, I was invited to become a junior lecturer in these specialties in an Indian dental college. I enjoy teaching and the feedback I received from students and faculty was always positive and encouraging. I found special joy in helping those struggling over certain aspects of their studies or practical work. I have always carefully observed the techniques used by the best of my own teachers during my academic career and attempt to apply them myself.

I have been living in the US since 2012 and have acquired significant exposure to the US dental environment. This exposure began with the shadowing of a highly experienced general dentist at a large clinic. I was able to observe a wide range of procedures including the use of rubber dams, root canal treatments, orthodontics and prosthodontic procedures. I witnessed the life changing effects that even minor procedures can engender which was often quite moving and inspiring. I was also able to assist by providing translation services for Hindi, Arabic and Malayalam speakers. Recently I undertook an observership shadowing the faculty at TMD & Orofacial Pain Clinic at School of Dentistry at University of XXXX.  This has helped me acquire a better understanding about the diagnosis, and treatment plans and dental procedures in University settings.  I was also exposed to various ongoing and very interesting research projects at the university, for future advancements in dental care. 

I am now working as a Research Coordinator at XXXX Life Sciences, XXXX, NJ where I am involved in different stages of clinical trial life cycle for research studies and act as a key contact between research lab, study team and study site.

To summarize: I have a good degree from a prestigious dental college; I have significant experience with a wide range of patient types, ages and conditions; I have some research and teaching experience. However my main recommendation is a love of dentistry and a determination to qualify and practice for the benefit of many, especially those living in the kind of underserved community in which I was raised.

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