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Welcome to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry's Blog!

Here you will find blogs from our students about various issues facing our prospective dental professionals, from a day in the life to dealing with frigid Michigan winters. Please email to suggest a topic you would be interested in learning about. Enjoy!

A Week at a Glance in Meru

July 22, 2014

Photo by Elsen Karstad

As the first work week in Meru came to a close, we had the opportunity to complete surveys, oral exams and OHI at another secondary school and two primary schools.  As I reflect back on the week, I am amazed at how much we were able to accomplish in the first five days.  In total, we were able to conduct studies at four secondary schools (high schools) and two primary schools. We were very organized in our efforts and it definitely showed with how much we were able to get done!

When we arrived at the schools in the morning and afternoon, we set up stations wherever possible.  These stations were either outside or inside of the schools, depending on available areas.  We teamed up in groups of 3 and conducted surveys and exams until we reached our ideal sample population.  After we completed the exams, we provided OHI to the students and provided toothbrushes.
The students at the primary and secondary schools were amazing to work with!  Many students at the secondary schools were very interested in learning about oral health and asked many questions.  It was great to be able to hold a dialogue with the students and see how interested they were in what we were doing.  Talking to the students gave us a chance to share the wealth of knowledge we have learned during our time in dental school.  However, we just didn’t talk to the kids about dentistry.  Many of us were able to talk about our lives in the States and ask many of the kids about their lives.  It’s great to see how open the students were to talk to us and share little things about themselves.  The students in the primary schools were also interested in the work we were doing.  The type of communication was slightly different depending on age, however, enjoyable all together.

A Typical Day in Meru, Kenya

July 16, 2014

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Jambo from Meru!

June 20, 2014


This year, seven third year dental students, one fourth year dental student, three faculty members and one staff member embarked on a journey to Meru, Kenya for the fourth consecutive  year.  Prior to embarking on the journey, the dental team held numerous meetings, finalizing details for this present trip.  When Monday, June 16th arrived, we hit the ground running, beginning the four projects for the 2014 KSRP program.

This year, we began relationships with new schools in the Meru area and continued with our established relationships.  We were able to meet with the head masters (similar to our principals in the States) of each school, and begin conducting our surveys on Monday, June 16th.  The first three days, we focused on completing an IQ survey, preventive education focus groups for high school students, oral exams and oral hygiene instructions on approximately 400+ students at 3 schools!  Everyone worked extremely hard, ensuring that we were able to collect adequate data efficiently and effectively.
Our days typically begin with breakfast at 8am.  We then embark to our schools at 8:30am, conduct our surveys, have lunch at 1:00pm, and go back out to collect more data at another school.  Needless to say, by time dinner rolls around, we are all pretty hungry!  After dinner, we go over the schedule for the next day and wind down for the rest of the night.
Time definitely seems to be flying by.  It’s great for me to see the excitement on the students’ faces this year.  Everyone really appreciates this experience.  Students are trying to learn the native and national languages, communicate with children and adults and absorb as much of the Kenyan culture as they can!  Seeing their excitement takes me back to last year, when I was experiencing the Kenyan culture for the first time.  I really enjoy seeing everyone take this research program serious, hoping to make a difference any way they can.  I’m pretty sure, the next few days, we will add more excitement to all of us!
Janelle is a D4 student crossing the equator any chance she gets!

Kenya Summer Research Program: An Intro

June 18, 2014
The Kenya Summer Research Program is an interdisciplinary program that includes many students, staff and faculty members from the School of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy etc.  The School of Dentistry joined the program in 2011.  This program provide students with the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, learn how to conduct research surveys and collaborate with students from other programs at the University of Michigan.  All of this is done to help the people in the rural area of Meru, Kenya.
In 2011, the School of Dentistry joined the interdisciplinary program and sent six second year dental students, an informatics technician and three faculty members to Meru.  The students were led by Drs. Sunil Kapila, Yvonne Kapila and Robert Eber.   During the pilot year of the program, the students were able to formulate a children’s and adult oral health survey, provide oral hygiene instructions and provide information in general health to students and adults in Meru.  The research that was conducted during the pilot year set the tone for the next two years.

In 2012 and 2013, Dr. Carlos Gonzalez (2013) and additional students from UMSOD joined the program and were able to collect data from the children and adult oral health surveys and formulate a manuscript documenting the findings that were collected over the first three years of the program.  This experience has provided students with the opportunity to witness first hand, the health disparities that exists worldwide and try to find a way to combat the inequalities that exists.

I’ve had the opportunity participate in 2013 and again this year, 2014.  This program has left a positive impression on my life and I am excited to continue learning, growing and becoming a better researcher, clinician and overall individual!
Welcome to a week in Meru, Kenya!
Janelle CooperJanelle Cooper is a D4 and will be sending posts throughout her trip to Kenya.

Applications are OPEN, 2014 Edition

June 6, 2014

Prospective Students for the DDS Class of 2019-

Applications opclass of 2019 logoened THIS WEEK. Exciting!  What do you need to know?  Most important- Applications are viewed on a rolling basis, so the sooner you submit the sooner your application will be reviewed.

Other tips from our Admissions department:

  1. Of the three required letters of recommendation, two must be from science professors that have taught and graded you – No Exceptions!   Please be sure to mention to your professor they need to state that they have taught and graded you and to indicate the specific science course name in the letter of recommendation.
  2. If you are wondering about the status of your application, please check your email* frequently-  this is how we’ll communicate with you.  We’ll email if something is incomplete and also when your application is sent to the committee for review.
  3. The only supplemental item required is a $75 application fee.  This fee is payable online:
  4. Please let your friends know the main source of information about our school is our website!  They will find specific information on our programs and the details you need apply to our programs.
  5. What do we consider to be a Microbiology course?  Either the course name has the word “Microbiology” in it or the course is taken within the department of Microbiology and is reflected as such on your transcript.  Example:   Micro XXX

*The email you should check is the email you used on your AADSAS application.

Questions?  You can email the Admissions Office at Please note, that it can take 3-4 business days for your email to be answered. Need more info?  Check out

Dental School in Review | U-M Class of 2014

April 23, 2014

A video that Kevin Kuo and Dan Hammaker made for their class, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry Class of 2014. With graduation less than 2 weeks away, a look at the last four years for some of our favorite students.

Jamaica Outreach 2014

April 16, 2014

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