Most 5th year students spend their last year of their dental degree in practical training with patients, and honing their clinical skills. But over the last six months, BDS student Qasim Mohammedbhai has also been working to develop and evaluate a novel desensitising crème as part of Dr Ian Thompson's research group.
Qasim Mohammedbhai is a final year undergraduate student at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences. He joined Dr Thompson's group to gain experience in taking a medical concept and translating it through to a clinically useful product.
The project has been sponsored by Denfotex Research Ltd and has resulted in a product launch at the latest national meeting of the British Society of Dental Hygienists and Therapists in Newport Wales. During the event Mr Mohammedbhai presented the latest research findings and answered questions from some of 300 dental professionals at the meeting.
Qasim said: “I am so pleased that I could be part of a (Dr Thompson’s) research group. These past six months have allowed me to gain insight into how research can be useful to the patient in such a short period of time. I think all dental students would benefit from learning research skills with small companies like Denfotex Research Ltd and academics like Dr Thompson.”
The evaluation project for Sylc Crème is a follow up to the air polishing powder system created, developed and commercialised by Dr Ian Thompson.
Dr Thompson commented: “I feel it is very important that dental students are exposed to traditional research and the ‘business’ of dentistry whilst they are still undergraduates. The vast majority of our students will move into general practice and look to become ‘Key Opinion Leaders’, advocating the latest technologies and innovations in dentistry without the benefit of postgraduate degrees or the traditional research experience.
Having an undergraduate student like Qasim, who was willing to work on developing his research skills is a great asset to the faculty and the wider dental community. We need undergraduates to be more engaged with the business of research.”
The group have just published a trade journal article and are submitting a more traditional peer reviewed academic paper in spring of 2020.