We sat down with our very own Dr. Charles Powell to get his thoughts on specializing in periodontics, getting into a residency, and cool things happening at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine right now!
Research Newsletter (RNL): What is the best thing that an applicant can do to put themselves in a good position to specialize in periodontics?
Dr. Powell: Probably the best thing is to look for programs that have an externship opportunity. These programs can be from one day to a week, and they are the best way to live the life of a resident for a week. [Doing an externship] is also a great way for a program to get to know you, and see if you would be a good fit for their program.
Specifically in perio, on the academy of periodontics website, under the careers and education tab there is a section (under careers in periodontics) that has periodontal externships listed. Each participating university gives more specific information on their program and how to apply here.
RNL: What advice would you give to someone wanting to stand out to a program?
Dr. Powell: In terms of strength on an application: doing something such as research, or anything that you can add that gives you something to talk about is helpful. It doesn’t matter that you do something very specific, just that you are involved.
RNL: What do you look for when thinking about the types of students you will accept into CU SODM’s Periodontics Residency program?
Dr. Powell: We look at a composite of things. We look at academic performance, and also feedback from the residents that are currently in the program. Our residents play a pretty big role in our decision, as we are a family that has to live together for three years.
RNL: What is the coolest thing about being a periodontist?
Dr. Powell: What we do can really determine the success of other dentistry.
RNL: What is the worst thing about being a periodontist?
Dr. Powell: [Periodontists] expect to achieve a certain outcome, and since we are dealing with a human, that doesn’t always happen. As a result, we can become disappointed in our outcomes, but the fact of the matter is all humans heal differently.
RNL: What can you tell use about evidence based dentistry and how that directs the periodontics specialty?
Dr. Powell: Periodontists are the leaders in evidence-based dentistry. Our specialty was the first group to embrace evidence-based practices, and the decisions we have made on clinical treatments for years have been based heavily on research outcomes.
RNL: What recent research in the field would you consider a highlight?
Dr. Powell: There have been a number of studies on site preservation, particularly looking at materials that have made a big impact.
RNL: Tell me something interesting that is happening in your department right now?
Dr. Powell: Probably the biggest highlight is that Maddie Saunders is our first implant fellow, in collaboration with Dr. Gozalo. It was big to get that program established. She [Dr. Saunders] has seen a tremendous number of cases that were either difficult or have had problems. This has been very impactful for our patient population.