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OMMDS Student Success at 151st Annual ODA Meeting

OMMDS Students at the ODA

On September 15th, 2017 at the 151st Annual Ohio Dental Association meeting, the students of OMMDS presented multiple posters on a wide variety of topics, such as Assessment of Pain Drawing, Systematic Review on MRONJ, and Medial Atherosclerosis. From left to right in the photo above: Yuanming Xu, Dhiraj Mallela, Dalal AlHajji, Iman Attar, Jaahnavi Kodali, and Sukaynah Al Awami.

Dr. Dalal AlHajji’s topic, “The Efficacy of Therapeutic Approaches Used to Treat MRONJ: A Systematic Review,” was very well received by both the judges and visiting dentists and was awarded first prize under the dental resident category. Department chair Dr. Andres Pinto mentored Dr. AlHajji for the project.

Each year, the Ohio Dental Association organizes its annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. This meeting is a place where there is an amalgamation of statewide general dentists. This meeting offers CE courses and table clinics. For more information about this meeting, please visit:



DMD Student Success at 151st Annual ODA Meeting

Dr. Syed and Lauren ThaiSecond-year dental student Lauren Thai was awarded a prize for a poster presentation at the recently concluded 151st Ohio Dental Association Annual Meeting. This is third year in a row that dental students represented under the mentorship of Dr. Ali Syed, Assistant Professor and Director of Radiology, have won prizes. The poster topic was on the prevalence of Pneumatization of the Crista Galli in the Dental Population.

Lauren expressed her satisfaction and is encouraging other dental students to participate in research, saying, "I would like to especially thank Dr. Ali Syed for the opportunity to be a part of this research. I am extremely lucky to have a mentor who cares about my work and supported me through my first research and presentation experience. Attending the ODA was a very rewarding and humbling experience. It was a wonderful opportunity to share and provide awareness to dentists and specialists about the Pneumatization of the Crista Galli as well as learn from others' experience and expertise.”


Dr. Syed Named Director of Admitting Clinic

Dr. Ali SyedEffective July 1, 2017, Dr. Ali Syed is the director of the School's Admitting Clinic. His responsibilities include overseeing clinic flow, student rotations, and the implementation of electronic health records for new patient visits. He will be working closely with the department staff and administration to enhance clinic operations and student rotations.



Drs. Milda Chmieliauskaite and Ali Syed Receive Glennan Fellowships

Drs. Chmieliauskaite and SyedDrs. Chmieliauskaite and Syed were among 5 tenure-track junior faculty across the university to receive 2017 Glennan Fellowships. Dr. Milda will work on innovative approaches to integration of basic and clinical sciences across the dental curriculum. She will design interactive cases that will be adaptative to student input and knowledge level. Dr. Syed will continue his work to develop a digital radiologic module on assessment of caries and periodontal disease.

More information on the fellowships is available at:

New Opioid Prescription Rules in Ohio

OpioidsEffective August 31, 2017, dentists are among health professionals included in a new ruling limiting prescriptions for opioids in the state of Ohio. The rule will limit prescriptions to 7 days for adults and 5 days for minors for acute pain. The impact of the ruling on the management of chronic head and neck pain was discussed by Dr. Andres Pinto, Chair of OMMDS for Ideastream.

Read the full story on Ideastream here:


North Coast Spring Dental Meeting

Yuanming Xu, Dr. Syed, Buthainah Jadallah

Members of OMMDS were awarded a distinction for a poster presented at the North Coast Spring Dental Meeting in May. The study, titled "Medial Vascular Calcification in Oral and Maxillofacial Region in Dental Patients" was directed by Dr. Ali Syed, Assistant Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. Featured in the image (left to right) are Yuanming Xu, senior research assistant, Buthainah Jadallah, Oral Medicine fellow, and Dr. Syed.

The North Coast Spring Meeting was organized for the purpose of coordinating an annual northeast Ohio regional dental conference engaging the Greater Cleveland Dental Society with surrounding dental societies in northeast Ohio. The event features exhibitions of the newest dental equipment and world-class CE Programs, including presentations by several CWRU faculty members.



Student Presents at AAOMR Meeting

Stephanie Weng

Stephanie Weng, a third year dental student, presented a poster titled “Detection of Monckeberg Medial Arteriosclerosis on Conventional Dental Imaging” at the 67th annual meeting of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (AAOMR), held in Scottsdale, Arizona. The poster presentation is about the unique presentation of calcification (Monckeberg Medial Calcification) in the facial vasculature. This type of calcification is noted in diabetic patients and chronic kidney failure patients. To date, few studies have reported on this type of calcification in the head and neck region. As dentists, we should recognize these abnormalities and appropriately refer them to physicians.

Stephanie said after her presentation that she “would like to thank Dr. Syed for this amazing opportunity. This is my first time presenting a poster and the experience at the AAOMR annual session was very rewarding. The lectures offered at the conference really opened up your eyes to different fields of dentistry, exchanging ideas, and establishing guidelines among different specialties; things that you wouldn’t be learning in dental school. Many innovative ideas and revolutionary findings were also presented during poster sessions. This is a unique experience that I would highly recommend dental students to participate in when opportunities come around."


Student Wins Prestigious ODA Award

Funmi Abosede

Funmi Abosede, a predoctoral dental student in the class of 2017, won an award in the predoctoral category of the ODA awards, held at the 150th annual conference in Columbus, OH. The project highlights the importance of the usage of innovative technology to enhance understanding of impacted teeth and their important relationship with the inferior alveolar canal. The project is based on the Aurasma app that helps to enhance to education for both students and patients alike.

Funmi was so delighted after getting an award, saying, "I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the table clinic at the ODA. This was my first research poster presentation and it was an exciting experience to present along with my peers from other disciplines."

This project was mentored by Dr. Ali Syed, assistant professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. This is the second consecutive year that the Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences presented a poster and won an award.

Research Update from SOURCE

Mrija RowaneMarija Rowane, a pre-health student researcher from the Department of Biology, presented 'Florid osseous dysplasia: a pictorial review' and 'Oro-antral communication incidence in oral & maxillofacial imaging: a cone-beam computed tomography study' at the summer 2016 Support of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE) Intersections Undergraduate Poster Session on Thursday, August 4th. Marija researched under the mentorship of Ali Z. Syed, BDS, MHA, MS in oral maxillofacial radiology.


Students Present at AAOMR

Students Raquel Rios and Laurel CookRaquel Rios and Laurel Cook, third year dental students, made poster presentations at the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (AAOMR)'s 66th annual meeting held in Indianapolis, Indiana at the end of September. The poster presentations were titled, “A Review of Unusually Large Mastoid Foramen as Noted on CBCT” and, “Thyroid Papillary Microcarcinoma: An Incidental Finding in a Patient with Coronoid Hyperplasia”.

Raquel and Laurel said that it was an honor to attend the AAOMR conference this year. It was their first time presenting their scholarly work at a national conference and they learned so much throughout the process. They also learned a lot about Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology--a specialty within dentistry that is relatively new, but growing rapidly. As dental students, they often focus on treatment and procedures, but this experience provided an important reminder that diagnosis of disease is the cornerstone of dentistry and fortunately, there is a wealth of resources available to us to provide optimal diagnostic services.

Dr. Ali Z. Syed, Assistant Professor and Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, has mentored these projects. In addition to mentoring, he presented several posters and also made an oral presentation titled, “Instruction Methods and Technology in Radiology Teaching & Engaging the Millennial Classroom” at the annual meeting. Dr. Syed said he is delighted to see students presenting their scholarly work at national conferences.

DMD Student Cleo Sin Wins ODA Award

Cleo SinSecond year dental student Cleo Sin presented her summer research project at the recently concluded Ohio Dental Association (ODA) meeting in Columbus. The summer research project was funded by the Interprofessional Scholars Collaboration in Teaching and Learning (iSCTL) grant. This funding provided a platform for collaborative scholarly work between faculty and students with different backgrounds (medical, dental, and nursing). Ms. Sin's project, “Web Based Interactive Radiographic Anatomy”, won the Best Show award among several presentations.

“I had not presented research at a conference before, so aside from being new to the environment, it was exciting and more fun than expected; though I was standing for a couple of hours talking about the same topic, it did not feel monotonous and time went by really fast. Every conversation after the presentation was different and it was enjoyable,” said Ms. Sin.

Her mentor on the project was Dr. Ali Z. Syed, Assistant Professor and Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences.

Dr. Syed Awarded Multiple Fellowships

Dr. Ali SyedDr. Ali Syed, Assistant Professor in the OMMDS Department, has received multiple research and learning fellowships for this academic year: a learning fellowship, an inter-scholar teaching (iSCTL) fellowship, and an active learning fellowship.

The learning fellowship is offered to faculty interested in enhancing their teaching experience. Sessions help faculty interact with each other across the University. These fellowships are offered through the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE) as part of a University effort to enhance teaching methods and make better educators.

The Interprofessional Scholars Collaboration in Teaching and Learning (iSCTL) program is a competitive program that helps to foster collaboration among dental, nursing, and medical educators and students. It focuses on multiple aspects of abstract presentation, poster preparation, and educational scholarship. It also offers resources that streamline research projects by turning educational ideas into scholarly activity.

The Active Learning Fellowship is held in partnership with Information Technology Services (ITS), the Office of the Provost, and UCITE. It enables faculty to modify and enhance active learning methods in their courses.

Dr. Syed is honored and excited to receive these fellowships. With the knowledge and experience he gains through them, he hopes to enhance and promote teaching. It is a wonderful opportunity and he strongly encourages other faculty to take advantage of the wonderful resources that are available on the CWRU campus. He would like to thank Dr. Andres Pinto, chair of the OMMDS Department, for encouraging and promoting faculty development activities like these.

Read more about the active learning fellowship awards here...

Dr. Pinto Receives National Dental Association Foundation Award

Dr. Andres PintoDr. Andres Pinto has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 National Dental Association Foundation (NDAF) and Colgate-Palmolive Co. Award for Outstanding Minority Faculty in the category of research. The NDAF, in collaboration with the National Dental Association (NDA) and the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) have awarded these annual honors for the past 18 years. They recognize excellence in the categories of teaching, research, and service within dental education. The award was presented to Dr. Pinto at the National Dental Association’s 102th Annual Convention in Chicago in July. Dr. Pinto has been a tenured faculty member at CWRU since 2013 and led the creation of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. He is an active member of the staff of CWRU and University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Dr. Ali Syed Earns Diplomate Status from American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (ABOMR)

Dr. Ali SyedDr. Syed, an assistant professor in the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, recently achieved Diplomate status from American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (ABOMR). The title Diplomate is the academic hallmark of professionalism and commitment to the highest standards of patient care in the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. Dr. Syed will be officially recognized as a Diplomate during the American Academy of Oral Radiology’s annual meeting to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana in September of 2015. The ABOMR is the only certifying board for the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and is one of the nine specialty boards recognized by the American Dental Association. To learn more please visit:


‌‌‌Dr. Pinto Achieves Diplomate Status from European Association of Oral Medicine (EAOM)

Dr. Andres Pinto

During the Association meeting in Antalya, Turkey, in September, the EAOM granted Diplomate status to Dr. Andres Pinto, Chair of the Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences (OMMDS) Department. The EAOM represents the largest Oral Medicine professional group in the world. Founded in 1998, it groups members from more than 30 countries and actively engages in promoting the practice and science of Oral Medicine. Learn more about the society at

New Chair Researches Difficult-to-Diagnose Syndrome

Dr. PintoOral pain that feels like a scalded mouth and can last for months has baffled dental researchers since the 1970s, when burning oral sensations were linked to mucosal, periodontal and restorative disorders, and mental or emotional causes. It’s called burning mouth syndrome (BMS), and it’s gaining the attention of such dental researchers as oral pain expert Andres Pinto, chair of the Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Services. What’s frustrates patients and doctors alike, said Pinto, is that the mouth and gums appear normal, so diagnosis is difficult. Although the exact cause of BMS is unknown, the suspected origin is deterioration of the nerves beneath the oral lining. The deterioration isn’t visible, which explains why the mouth appears normal when examined and can delay diagnosis. Patients can receive relief with special mouthwashes, analgesics and other topical and systemic treatments. Pinto’s research has received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, and he has participated in pain research and education initiatives funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Read more here...

Collaborative Home for Oral Health, Medical Review, and Health Promotion (CHOMP) Project Receives Media Attention

Dr. Iannadrea on Fox 8The CHOMP project, headed by Carol Savrin (Nursing), Kristin Victoroff and Jean Iannadrea (Dental Medicine), and several faculty members from both schools, has been the recipient of local media interest. This innovative program places students from nursing and dental medicine in a combined learning environment that fosters mutual learning. CHOMP is supported by a $750,000 Health Resources and Service Administration grant to the nursing school. Launched last February, student dentist-nurse teams have been working together in the admitting and pediatric dental clinics two days a week. Patients receive oral exams and health screenings for cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, red and white blood cell counts, and, if desired, HIV. Nurse practitioner students may treat and prescribe medications for patients with issues as flu, strep throat and other non-chronic illnesses, and administer immunizations for flu, tetanus and pneumonia. Patients who need follow-up medical care are referred to local health providers.

Watch the video here...

Andres Pinto, PhD 

Dr. Andres Pinto, Chair

Dr. Pinto is Chairman and Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. He is also an attending physician in the Department of Surgery, Divisions of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and a consultant in the VA system. He received his DMD, MPH, certificate in Clinical Research, and certificate in Oral Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine, a certificate in Dental Public Health from the National Institutes of Health, and an MBA in healthcare administration from the Weatherhead School of Management. Dr. Pinto is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral Medicine and holds an FDS from the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh). His clinical interests are the management of orofacial pain, oral mucosal disease, dental sleep medicine, oral oncology, pediatric oral medicine, and temporomandibular disorders. He has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, DHHS, and is a co-investigator in several NIH and industry funded trials.