Dentistry Research Day: UWC
UWC’s Faculty of Dentistry – Africa’s biggest and brightest dentistry school – hosted its annual Research Day on 2 May 2017 to showcase some of the latest ground-breaking research it has produced.
From final-year students to those pursuing their doctoral education to lecturers, researchers presented their work in what was described as one of the key performance indicators of dentistry excellence at UWC. Outstanding students were also honoured with awards for their achievements in the past year.
Some of the research highlights:
- Dr S Govender’s Periodontitis in a 10 year old child: Papillon Lefevre Syndrome (PLS);
- a study on Diabetic status of patients presenting for dental treatment by Dr M Negi, H Holmes and L Stephen;
- as well as Effect of diamond-like carbon coating on implant drill wear during implant site preparation by Dr M Aboras and T Peck.
Professor Yusuf Osman, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, welcomed delegates, including staff and students, to a celebration of the vision and mission of the Faculty. Describing a university as a place for idealism, socialism, contemplation and of critical thought, he reminded staff and students about, he applauded those who were living this out in their work.
“Once you get into university you are giving yourself an advantage of thinking critically,” he said. “You have an opportunity to be instrumental in designing what the future will be. So if you don’t use that opportunity it’s a wasted opportunity - not only for you, but for the thousands of matriculants who could not get into the University.”
Critical thinking, he noted, is about coming up with new ideas or furthering existing ones to make the future better for the next generations, and challenged researchers to take what they’d learned to the next step.
“You have to make choices in academia: you can either choose what you have and continue with it, or find something and develop it,” he said. “I can assure you that if you chose the former, it may be easier, but it’s a boring life. But if you choose to challenge yourself, to find something to develop, you will be making a change. And that is what we need. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. It just has to be something that you can share with someone else and spark something and ignite the flames.”
Prof Osman encouraged researchers to share their work on platforms like Research Day so that people could see the possible and turn it into something bigger.
“Nothing starts just by being great. It starts from being a little idea; a little question that needed to be answered and if you take that forward it tends to develop into a big project. But you have to take the initiative.”