Organizers: (From left) Luke Riley,
Leigh Griffin, Randy Roth, Paige Muse,
Dr. John Ritchie, admissions director,
Quyen Nguyen, Evan Riley, Elise Wyatt,
Colby Gray. Not pictured: Erika Montz,
Elise Mouras and Blake Legendre
The second annual pre-dental
conference at the LSUHSC School of Dentistry
attracted 193 students from 15 universities,
including two from out-of-state, several who
were exploring dentistry as a second profession
and two students who are still in high school.
Fifty-seven attendees were pre-hygiene
students. All were eager to learn what it takes
to become a dentist or dental hygienist and how
to be accepted into the LSUHSC School of
The day-long event, entitled
“Pre-Dental 101: A Brush Up on Dentistry,” was
held on Saturday, February 4, 2012. “When we
first planned this event, we expected 25
students to attend,” said Dean Henry Gremillion
in his opening remarks. ”Looking at your curious
faces validates the tremendous respect that
dentistry enjoys in our society.”
The conference was comprised of
17 hours of instruction, including a special
three-hour track for pre-hygiene students. A
major emphasis was placed on interaction between
current dental students and the pre-dental
students. First-year dental student Brent Benoit
gave a detailed account of the admissions
application, right down to what kind of
recommendation letters are important. He told
his own dramatic story of his acceptance,
including mistakes he made and how he was the
last student to be accepted into his class. His
advice to the students was “apply early, apply
early, apply early.”
A panel of four dental students,
Jeff Schott, Russ Noles, Katie Evans and Stuart
Huntsman, gave a synopsis of the trials,
tribulations and rewards of each year. The
dental students emphasized the importance of
staying focused, working hard and not giving up.
Additional dental students helped with the
hands-on demonstrations of chalk-carving and
waxing. Tours of the school were also provided
by dental students.
Ho, first-year dental student,
discusses the placement of an
Second-year dental student Colten
Ducote gave an overview of freshman operative
dentistry. “I talked to several students
from smaller schools such as Louisiana Tech,
University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Nicholls
State who were very appreciative of a conference
of this nature because their schools do not have
large pre-dental societies. I think this
conference will continue to be a great asset to
pre-dental students for years to come. It’s a
great career education program.”
Nineteen members of the LSUSD
faculty presented overviews of dental hygiene,
prosthodontics, periodontics, forensics,
pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, morphology,
anatomy, endodontics and oral and maxillofacial
surgery. A spokesman from the financial aid
office described ways to pay for dental school.
Students watch a demonstration of
various dental procedures.
The program was organized by Dr.
John Ritchie, admissions director and director
of the summer enrichment program. He led a
discussion about how to be admitted and how to
make the most of the interview process. Dr.
Jessica Perkins, a 2007 graduate of LSUSD who
practices general dentistry in Mandeville,
talked about the transition from dental student
to dental practitioner.
Registration for the event was
handled by the LSU Pre-Dental Society, under the
leadership of Evan Riley. Members of the society
the manpower to stage the event.
Echoing the feelings of numerous other students,
one pre-dental students commented
that she learned more about dentistry at the
one-day conference than she had learned in three
years of college instruction.
For information on admissions, click on
Future Students on the LSUSD homepage.