A few months ago I hit a very cool personal milestone. A research project that I completed in dental school was published in a dental scientific journal.
So what does it mean to have research published? It means that you conducted a research project or study that has something unique about it, and it is added to the collective knowledge about a subject referred to as “the literature”.
Health care workers are always looking for the best way to provide care to their patients. The people that provide care on a daily basis (like me) rely on the research community to provide guidance as to the best materials and protocols to provide predictable, high quality care. “The literature” consists of meticulously crafted experiments to try and determine the truth about various scientific phenomena.
Here is the abstract (summary and first page) to my publication, which is not easy reading to anyone outside of the dental materials field. However, I’m still proud of it. In short, I spent three months testing the performance of four different materials that we use to fill cavities. I gave a detailed report on the results of several endurance tests – much like a Consumer Reports article. The one that performed the best is the one I use in my office.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who is in research; those who regularly prepare studies for publication as part of their job. It is an incredibly painstaking process that I was given a small sample of during dental school, none of which would have been possible without my classmate Nate Lawson and my mentor John Burgess. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to contribute to the dental field in this way again in my career.