American Student Dental Association

e-newsletter for members of the American Student Dental Association 
 January 2012
ASDA membership administrator Erin Kato 
In the Loupe 

Happy New (Membership) Year!          


By Erin Kato, 
ASDA Membership Administrator


New Year's Eve is probably my favorite holiday. It's like a freshly fallen snow with no footprints dotting up the view. If you could measure the hope in any given individual as our clocks press toward midnight, you'd probably find the scale of positivity tipping up. What if you could bottle that feeling of stepping out of reach from the hooks of the past and driving chilled nose-first into the first few flakes of your future? 


You can! Thanks to cognitive behavioral research and neural plasticity. Studies show we thrive after encounters with change. The growth we begin to see helps us reach and achieve, further still, if we stay conscience of what's happening around us in reality and mindful of our current thought processes. In other words, you can be really healthy if you GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD!    


For instance, think of a time when spiraling down into the very stem of your brain stopped you dead in your tracks from pursuing what you wanted. A time when you weren't even sure you wanted it because you had already talked yourself out of it before taking steps to achieve it. Then, were you hindered further? Was the negativity validated by someone? Did you tell yourself that you're glad you didn't pursue it after all because it's certain you would have failed? Now, you're in survival mode and all you can do is breathe through the uncomfortable moment and wait. We've all read Dr. Seuss and you know you don't want to go to that waiting place.


So, why can't you just snap out of it! Has this statement ever really helped anyone? It's impossible to just snap out of it. That's because patterns of thought literally carve neural pathways in your brain. It deepens with repetition, becoming stubborn. If neural pathways get into your brain, can you get them out? Well, in a way. You can't undo what's already been done, but you can build a new pathway to override the existing negatively-leaning groove, eventually rendering it powerless. It's hard. Very hard. But it is worth the effort and you'll find yourself expending less energy over time.


 Here's how:
  1. Slow down! Stop the negative thought, push it away. You don't deserve it. Stop pointing the finger inward and find out what exists beyond you. Use meditation. Replace unpleasant feelings with actual images of beauty, hope, brilliance and unconditional love. You may just catch yourself smile.
  2. Notice! Wow, there's a tree along your way to class in the morning? And another. See the thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations that swirl around within.
  3. Identify! Approach yourself carefully, feel rooted to the ground and understand where the negative feelings are stemming from and how your physical body is reacting. If your urge is to drop your books and run, you can circle back and slow down. You've made progress already!
  4. Express it! Draw it. Sing it. Dance it. Drill it. You'll get there.
  5. Plan! Make goals. Inch towards them. Slow and steady. Give yourself a rub on the shoulder for surviving!

There's at least one thing I know of that no one can take from you and that's your right to think. People can try by blasting heavy metal through speakers or letting their yappy dogs loose to pollute the airwaves but you'll always have the power of thought. You can combat with concentration, defend with perspective and soothe with positivity.


It's a new year. Rather than beat yourself up for skipping the gym, why not take a little weight off your brain.


My wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy and successful 2012.

Member and Faculty Spotlight: Under the White Coat

Meet this month's student and faculty members to learn their unique hobbies, reasons for pursuing dentistry and more. For their full profile, click below.

Scott LevitzAnthony Palatta, DDS, M.A.

Scott Levitz
Stonybrook '14

Last good book you read:
"Scar Tissue" by Anthony Kiedis   

Anthony Palatta, DDS, M.A.  New York University, assistant dean for student affairs and academic support


Words of wisdom for future dentists:
Experience sitting in your waiting room and patient dental chair at least once a month.   

Meet the Candidates Running for ASDA National Office
At Annual Session in Minneapolis (Feb. 29 - March 3), the House of Delegates will elect new officers to guide the association for the 2012-13 year. Elections will be held on March 3 to select the president, two vice presidents and speaker of the House. Each chapter is given two votes for each election. Read more about each of the candidates.
National Board and DAT Testing Services Suspended in February
Upgrades to the systems that support the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE) and the Dental Admission Test (DAT) will affect testing services from Feb. 2-12, 2012. The following services will be suspended during this time period: application processing, DENTPIN application and retrieval, score processing and score report requests. Visit the specific exam websites for details: NBDE Part I, NBDE Part II or DAT.
ASDA Featured on The Student Doctor Network
An article from ASDA News entitled "A New Way to Evaluate Postdoctoral Dental Applicants: Pass/Fail NBDE Part I", written by Alexandra Best, Florida '14, was posted on The Student Doctor Network. Articles from ASDA publications will be posted quarterly on the site.
Changes to ADEX Licensing Examination
The American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) formed a new alliance with the Southern Regional Testing Agency Inc (SRTA). Starting in 2013, SRTA will administer the ADEX Dental Exam instead of the SRTA exam and students will be able to apply for licenses in 42 U.S. states. These changes support ASDA's L-1 policy that states the American Student Dental Association supports the universal acceptance of all regional and state clinical licensing examinations. For more information, go to
Save the Date----Lobby Day
National Dental Student Lobby Day is April 16-17 in Washington, D.C. Registration will open at the end of January. Stay tuned for more information on Contact Meghan Keelean at if you have questions.
Winter Mouth Features "Dentistry's Game Changers"
ASDA authors created a powerful issue driven by inspirational anecdotes and true stories that have shaped their profession. Check out the latest Mouth for articles about the importance of finding a mentor and stories about current/past ASDA leaders (and their impact on the profession).
February Deadline for the Paul Ambrose Scholars Program
The Paul Ambrose Scholars Program exposes health professions students to influential public health professionals. It prepares them to be leaders in addressing population health challenges at the national and community level. Scholarships are awarded to students to attend a leadership symposium in Washington, D.C. and conduct a community-based health education project at their institution. The 2012 Washington, D.C. symposium will be held from June 21-24. Participants must be in attendance for all four days of the symposium. Deadline for applications is Feb. 6, 2012. For more information and application procedures, click here.
ASDA Member Benefit of the Month: THE NEXT DDS

The Next DDS

THE NEXT DDS contains a wide array of instructional resources designed to complement your university and clinical training. You can access THE NEXT DDS through your desktop, laptop or smart phone, and your enrollment is FREE!

THE NEXT DDS enables you to rapidly access valuable resources (videos, webcasts, articles) that support your professional development. See an article of interest? Simply forward it to your study group with your comments attached. Would an animation of a chamfer margin help prepare you for your next clinic day? If so, mark it as a favorite and access it chairside before you treatment plan or pick up your handpiece. Using the comment, save, link, bookmark, and forward tools, THE NEXT DDS enables you to exchange information----or to communicate in real time----with your fellow students and others around the country.    


THE NEXT DDS puts learning and student life in the palm of your hand. Visit

Web Feature of the Month: Postdoctoral Resources
ASDA has compiled resources to help those applying for a postgraduate program upon graduation. Visit the website to find information on the PASS and Match application process.
International Volunteers: Get ADA Recognition
If you've volunteered internationally, you could get ADA recognition for your efforts! The ADA division of global affairs is accepting nominations for the 2012 Certificate for International Volunteer Service. Dental society officers and dental school deans can submit nomination materials by April 1, 2012 using the online application form.

The certificate is awarded to active, life, student or retired ADA members who have served abroad for a minimum of 14 days in a given 24-month period. Access the online application form and award guidelines at For more information, call the ADA division of global affairs at 312-440-2726 or e-mail

In This Issue
-Member & Faculty Spotlight
-ASDA National Leader Candidates
-NBDE and DAT Testing Suspended
-ASDA on Student Doctor Network
-Changes to ADEX Exam
-National Dental Student Lobby Day
-Winter Mouth
-Paul Ambrose Scholars Program
-Web Feature of the Month
-International Volunteers: Get ADA Recognition

January ASDA News
January ASDA News
Winter Mouth
Winter Mouth

Upcoming Events

Feb. 29 - March 3, 2012
Annual Session

Apr. 16-17, 2012
National Dental Student Lobby Day

Nov. 2-4, 2012
Update Your Address