A team of Utah Valley University dental hygiene students recently received first-place honors for their research and presentation on third-hand smoke at the annual Utah Dental Association convention in Salt Lake City.
Each year, dental hygiene schools across the state compete for honors at the conference through their respective table clinic presentations on various topics in oral health. At this year’s convention, which took place Feb. 19- 20, approximately 40 different presentation groups competed, representing each of the five hygiene schools in the state. Practicing dentists, hygienists and assistants viewed the presentations, which were then judged panel of dentists from the Utah Dental Association.
Erin Michaels, Tricia Crandall and Colette Hinchcliff of UVU were recognized with first-place honors and a cash prize for their research on the effects of third-hand smoke. Third-hand smoke refers to the residual tobacco smoke contamination that remains after a cigarette is extinguished. This contamination takes the form of toxins, left over from second-hand smoke, and builds up on surfaces such as clothing, hair and furniture, posing a serious health risk long after the smoke is visibly gone. The UVU student researchers conveyed how this risk is highest for infants and children, whose developing brains are particularly affected by the toxins.
In its efforts to support development in the field and advances in dental hygiene education, the UVU Department of Dental Hygiene has made more information on this subject available to the public at www.uvu.edu/csh/dental. The department also houses a dental hygiene clinic, which is open to the public and provides affordable, professional dental hygiene care to the local community. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (801) 863-7608.
"The Utah Valley University Department of Dental Hygiene is committed to fostering school and community service in our students and graduates," said department chair George Veit. "Our students are always out in the community, and [this recent recognition] is just another example of how students with faculty mentorship are engaged, creative and successful in what they accomplish."
UVU's Department of Dental Hygiene currently offers two-year associates degree programs as well as a bachelor degree completion program, which will be available online beginning fall semester 2009.
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