Life as a Resident
Nicole Major, DDS
The GPR residency has been a beneficial program for me and a great transition year from dental school to private practice. I felt like my dental school training provided me with a great foundation of learning and skills, but I wanted to learn more advanced techniques and also get accustom to treating and managing a large number of patients per day to keep up with private practice flow. We have specialists (periodontists, endodontists, an oral surgeon, and a pediatric dentist) rotate with us on specific days and it is great to be able to learn from them concerning more difficult procedures. I have been able to learn techniques for removing impacted third molars, placing and restoring implants, bone grafts, connective tissue grafts, more complex root canal therapies, and nitrous oxide or oral sedation for kids. I have had the experience performing dental procedures on special needs patients in an operating room setting at the hospital. This specific GPR program also gave me experience managing medically complex patients, such as those having organ transplants, undergoing radiation/chemotherapy, or with other illnesses. Overall, it has been a great experience and I am glad I chose to do a GPR. It has prepared me that much more for private practice!
Trever Gray, DDS
After graduating from dental school, I felt that I was ready to enter private practice but was lacking some skills that would accelerate my career to the next level. During residency at the University of Utah, I have come to realize that in order to give your patients the best treatment possible, you need to solidify the skills learned in dental school as well as learn advanced procedures. While here I have had the opportunity to complete numerous molar root canals under the trained eye of multiple endodontists who are willing and eager to help me learn. I have placed implants and completed periodontal surgery which was unheard of in my dental school curriculum. Some of my favorite procedures have been completed while working with our oral surgeon. I had the chance to remove full bony impacted wisdom teeth, and I feel comfortable with most extractions that come my way. All the while I have solidified my restorative skills, treatment planning, and crown and bridge skills as a resident. This program has been a great transition from dental school to practicing in the “real world.” I would recommend this program to anyone who is eager to learn advanced skills and wants to improve their abilities as a private practice dentist.
Paul Clark, DDS
"Pull out your schedule and keep it in your back pocket because during the "rotating rotation" it will come in handy! This time of your residency will serve as an incredible opportunity to work in different environments (Greenwood, Northwest Community Health Center, Central City and University of Utah Hospital) while meeting, working with and learning from several different attending faculty, all experienced dental professionals from the Salt Lake area, each with different practice philosophies and perspectives.
You will become ACLS certified, earn a level III sedation certificate, gain formal and informal teaching experience, treat O.R. cases, share emergency call, learn hospital protocol, work on the Indian reservation in Montezuma Creek, treat pediatric and Spanish speaking patients in community health care clinics, strengthen patient management abilities by working with the special care population, complete several endodontic cases, place and restore dental implants and perform periodontal and oral surgery procedures.
Such a broad variety of treatment opportunities will significantly contribute towards your training as a competent and confident dental resident while molding you into a better dental care provider as you work towards earning the inspiring title of "The World's Greatest Dentist!"
"Get ready for a BUSY day because at the Steven J. Ratcliffe Health Clinic (Northwest Community Health Center) located in the Rose Park area of Salt Lake City you'll see a number of scheduled patients as well as several walk-in emergency patients during the day. This three-chair dental clinic is well equipped and friendly. Well-trained and experienced staff members help keep the patient flow moving in a timely fashion. You'll have the opportunity to do several exams, dental extractions, operative procedures, endodontic therapy, periodontal treatment, as well as refine your fixed and removal prosthodontic skills as you treat, plan and work towards completing several challenging cases. Any Spanish skills are a plus!"
Peter Grace, DDS
"Actually Greenwood Clinic isn't really green; I think the wood is either maple or pine. Either way, the clinic is located in the Midvale suburb of Salt Lake City. I travel from the university area taking the Trax, which drops me off ten minutes walk from the clinic. Dentistry starts at 8 a.m. and residents will see between five to eight patients before 5 p.m. Patients are scheduled on the hour unless one is doing a complicated procedure and wants extra time. Endontics and preparing teeth for crowns and bridges are scheduled for two hours or more and tough ops can be longer than an hour if you would like. I will spend five months rotating here part time and one month rotating full time. Residents will gather experience with children, endodontics and special needs patients among all other dental disciplines. My last patient is seen at four and after I finish I head for the Trax to make my way home.
Dentistry at Montezuma Creek
Bryan Cropper, DMD
"The day starts for the resident at about 6:30 a.m. at the house in Blanding, to get ready for a day at the Montezuma Creek Clinic. It is best to leave the house by 7:20 to arrive at the Clinic by 8:00 a.m.. The dental team at Montezuma creek includes the resident, two other dentists, a hygienist, four assistants and a receptionist. The clinic has recently been renovated expanding the number of chairs from three to six. While working in Montezuma Creek, you may see anywhere from five to 12 patients a day doing such things as exams, amalgams, root canals and extractions. Most patients are members of the Navajo Indian Tribe, but the clinic also accommodates other members of the adjacent communities. Lunch is usually between noon and 1, but you should bring your own as there is not much available as far as fast food goes. As the day closes at 6:00 p.m., you take the scenic 40 minute drive past the beautiful rock formations of San Juan County, content to contemplate the service rendered to the Navajo community. As you only work Monday thru Thursday, the weekend is open to explore the colorful sites of the Four Corners Area.
Bryan Cropper graduated in 2004 with a DMD from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.