Taylor Squires and Francesca Pietri, both post-doctoral residents at Eastman Institute for Oral Health, were the sole award winners at the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists first NESO Cup competition.
Only 12 finalists were selected from all the submissions representing accredited orthodontic programs in the NESO region. Each finalist made a five-minute presentation about their research or clinical case presentation that addressed a professional practice gap and how it can influence change in competence, performance or patient outcomes.
Dr. Squires, whose study was published in the Journal of Dental Education late last year, won the $500 first place award for evaluating the current studies about the scope and potential ethical concerns related to using teledentistry in clinical orthodontics.
“During these challenging times, remote monitoring of treatment, virtual consultations, and online communication with our patients have rapidly been adapted around the world,” he explained. “The use of tele-orthodontics has evolved faster than the research investigating it. Well controlled and ethical studies on tele-orthodontics need to be conducted as we establish the guidelines and standard of care together as a team of orthodontists working to adapt to the times in safe, ethical, and efficient way for our patients.”
Dr. Pietri’s study assessed the role of probiotics in oral health maintenance among patients undergoing fixed orthodontic therapy. The complex design of orthodontic appliances creates an ecological environment that facilitates caries, white spot lesions, and a risk of enamel demineralization, despite conventional prevention therapies.
“Easy access to information from the internet has made nonconventional alternatives to oral healthcare more popular among patients, including the use of probiotics,” explained Dr. Pietri, who won the $250 second prize. “But there’s a limited number of studies with controversial outcomes that have assessed the role of probiotics in improving or maintaining oral health.”
Her study, published recently in the Journal of Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins, showed that probiotics may have a potential therapeutic value due to the versatility of how they can be administered. In addition, her study showed probiotics may be considered a safer and less expensive alternative oral health care regimen.
“Drs. Squires and Pietri personify what I want for every Eastman Institute Orthodontic resident,” said Dr. Emile Rossouw, chair, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Department, “and that is to show the world that we mean business and action when it comes to orthodontics. I am delighted that our two residents performed well to attain these accolades from the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists. My congratulations to them for a task well-executed.”
“It was an honor to participate in the first annual NESO Cup Research competition and compete among my colleagues in other orthodontic programs,” said Dr. Squires. “It was a great experience overall, and I was especially excited to represent Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the conference.”
Dr. Pietri also enjoyed the experience. “Having the opportunity to present my research on a platform as prestigious as the NESO Conference made me feel honored and proud,” she said. “I enjoyed the process of competing amongst other orthodontic residents and consider this not only a personal achievement, but a win for Eastman as well!”