Category: Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Brickhouse named fellow to pediatric policy center

Dr. Tegwyn H. Brickhouse, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor and chair, was named as fellow in the Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center.  The center’s purpose is to inform and advance research and policy development that will promote optimal children’s oral health and care.

American Association of Pediatric Dentistry Lobby Day 2012

Dr. Barrett W. R. Peters, D.D.S.
Department of Pediatric Dentistry

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In early March, Drs. Brickhouse and Wunsch along with four residents traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the 2012 American Association of Pediatric Dentistry Lobby Day.  During this time, we met with our Virginia Congressional offices regarding Title VIII funding and the essential pediatric oral health benefit.  This was an inofmrative and educational time that inspired us to become advocates for our professional and the oral health of children for many years to come.

Dr. Brickhouse receives “For the Kids” Award

In 2011, Dr. Tegwyn H. Brickhouse, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor and chair, received the Jerome B. Miller “For the Kids” Award which is sponsored by Proctor and Gamble/Crest/Oral-B.  One award is presented annually to an up-and-coming clinician, researcher or academician in pediatric dentistry for their outstanding efforts directed to children’s oral health and welfare.

Dr. Barrett Peters named Harris Fellow

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Dr. Barrett W. R. Peters is the first resident of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry’s graduate program to be named as a fellow for the Samuel D. Harris Research and Policy Fellowship sponsored by Preventech.  Eligible candidates for the fellowship are pediatric dental residents and individuals in their first five years of post-residency.  The fellowship supports research and advocacy activities of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Dr. Malinda Husson selected as NuSmile finalist

Malinda M. Husson, D.D.S., M.S.D., Assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, was selected as one of eight 2012 finalists for the NuSmile Graduate Student Research Award.  Her research abstract was published in the April edition of the AAPD Pediatric Dentistry Journal and she presented her research at the 65th AAPD Annual Session in May 2012.

Pediatric dentistry residents provide care at Children’s Hospital of Richmond

By Elizabeth B. Bortell, D.D.S.
Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU

It has been another great year at the Brook Road campus of Children’s Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) at VCU. The first and second year residents have been busy providing outstanding care to our patients and are a welcome addition to our practice.

The Brook Road Campus has a Transitional Care Unit for children who require continuous medical care and specialized services in a hospital setting. The pediatric dental residents have the unique experience of caring for the patients that reside in our long-term care facility. They experience providing care bedside, as well as in the clinic. Many of our Transitional Care patients have rare and complex medical conditions that provide an excellent learning experience for our residents. The residents also provide care in our clinic for well children and children with special needs.

We are very grateful for the kind and compassionate care the residents have provided to our patients. It has been a pleasure and honor to work with such dedicated and gifted professionals. We would like to thank the graduating second year residents for the kindness and exceptional care they have given our patients, as we look forward to a new class of outstanding residents in July.


Pediatric dentistry recruits new faculty

The VCU Department of Pediatric Dentistry added two full-time members, Dr. Patrice B. Wunsch effective August 1, 2011 and Dr. Malinda Husson effective July 1, 2011.

Dr. Wunsch received her dental degree from Marquette University in 1986 and then completed five years of active service in the United States Army. In 2002, she graduated from the University of Maryland in Baltimore with a certificate in Pediatric Dentistry and a MS in Oral Biology. She was Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry in 2006. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland since 2003 and, in 2007, became Chief of Dental Services at Kernan Hospital. Dr. Wunsch serves as Associate Professor and Director of Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry.


Dr. Husson attended Marshall University and obtained her BS in 1998. In 2002 she graduated from  West Virginia University School of Dentistry in Morgantown, WV with a DDS. Dr. Husson completed a General Practice Residency at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, DC in 2003 and then practiced as a general dentist providing care for special needs patients in Harrisonburg, Va. from 2003 to 2004. She attended Mount Sinai Medical Center School of Medicine Dental Anesthesiology residency program from 2004 to 2006 and practiced dental anesthesiology and general dentistry from 2006 to 2009 in Alexandria, VA.  In 2009 she completed a 2 year MSD program in Pediatric Dentistry at VCU. Dr. Husson serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and as Director of Anesthesia Services for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.


Give Kids a Smile families receive follow-up care

Pediatric Dentistry@VCU provided $52,971 of dental care on Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) Day in February. Faculty, staff, residents and students worked together providing free dental care to 91 patients.

This year, additional follow-up care will be provided to the children and families treated on GKAS day at VCU. The Virginia Oral Health Coalition in partnership with Pediatric Dentistry@VCU received an award of $18,750 for the ADA Foundation GKAS Continuity of Care Grant. This grant has enabled the development of a case management system to assist children from the GKAS event at VCU. Many children will subsequently receive pro bono restorative care, and families will be assisted to enroll into systems of care and thus connect with a dental home.

Dr. Elizabeth Berry, Assistant Professor, and Kristin Coffield, Patient Care Coordinator for GKAS at VCU, coordinated the effort and continue to work to provide follow-up care to the patients treated. Per Dr. Berry, “There are so many families in our local community that are uninsured and underinsured and have unmet dental needs.  Our hope is to provide not only follow-up care, but also a dental home to many of these patients.”

Preparing for the future

Carl O. Atkins Jr. (D.D.S. ’83, Pedo ’85)

It starts simply enough; as young people, we want to emulate individuals who positively impact our lives, such as assisting a teacher or being a “junior lifeguard.” As teenagers, we discover the satisfaction in showing a younger child how to complete a task we have already mastered or tutoring another student. What we are doing, in reality, is teaching by example – passing knowledge on to others. This is especially meaningful when sharing things
that we enjoy.

As an undergraduate student, my most enjoyable clinical experience was in the Pediatric Dental Clinic. Here the emphasis was on the child – gaining their trust, helping them cooperate and managing their behavior with finesse rather than treating them like small adults. The faculty were adept at easing children’s fears and were able to make receiving dental care a positive, lighthearted experience for both the patients and their parents. We learned to be confident and nurturing, and to “get things right” on the first try!

I could easily see that this was the specialty for me. I enjoyed using skills I had begun developing earlier in life (as a swimming instructor, for example) – relating to children, easing their fears, while using my clinical dental skills in a fun environment. I tried to absorb the best characteristics of each instructor I encountered, learning from their clinical experience which techniques were most effective.

Fast forward thirty years – through many, many cases, both complex and routine, I have been able to ascertain what is successful in this specialty and what is perhaps less valuable. In my busy private practice, I have been able to fine-tune the care delivered. Keeping it fun for the patient remains important, and interacting with children remains a daily pleasure for me. Each time I teach in the clinic, I bring a topic of interest for the undergraduates and residents to discuss during down time. I enjoy encouraging new dentists to apply their developing knowledge base and expand their skills, and I am happy for them to learn from both my successes and my failures. It is an honor to be part of preparing new dentists to care for our children.

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