VCU Alumni reception at the 2019 AAP Annual Meeting in Chicago.

by Dr. Tom Waldrop, M.S. (D.D.S. ’73/D)

Class of 2020

From left to right, Drs. Lyons, Beitz and Lee enjoying the Holiday Party hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Koertge.

The Class of 2020 experienced an ending to their residency program like no other!  They each successfully defended their Master Thesis by remote conferencing as follows:  

Dr. Jill Beitz (D.D.S. ’15/D; M.S. ’20/D): The Effects of Exosomes on the Regeneration of Rat Calvaria 

Dr. Peter Lee (M.S. ’20/D): Characteristics of Alveolar Bone Marrow Cells from Patients Undergoing Dental Extractions or Dental Implant Therapy

Dr. Denver Lyons (D.D.S. ’17/D; M.S. ’20/D): Amixicile as a Novel Antimicrobial Treatment for Periodontitis: A Pilot Study in the Non-Human Primate, Macaca mulatta

After experiencing a 6-week disruption in their clinical training due to the pandemic-related forced closure of the school, these talented surgeons returned with a selfless attitude and relentless commitment to patient care. Urgent patient needs were met and a full complement of surgical cases were completed at the hands of these skilled clinicians. 

When it was time to celebrate their graduation, the traditional face-to-face reception was morphed into a virtual ceremony, which included the crowd-pleasing resident roast, recognition of their immediate families, and – without fail – Dr. Waldrop’s tequila toast!  

We are so proud of these stellar graduates, each of which has moved on to high quality periodontal and implant practices: 

Dr. Jill Beitz (D.D.S. ’15/D; M.S. ’20/D) remained in Richmond, joining the practice of Drs. Claire Kaugars (D.D.S. ’81/D; cert. ’86/D) and Benita Miller (D.D.S. ’84/D). 

Dr. Denver Lyons (D.D.S. ’17/D; M.S. ’20/D) also remained in Richmond, joining in practice Drs. Carl Block (D.D.S. ’89/D), Danielle McCormack (D.D.S. ’14/D; M.S. ’17/D) and Stephanie Voth (D.D.S. ’09/D; M.S. ’13/D) at Virginia Family Dentistry. 

Dr. Peter Lee ( M.S. ’20/D) relocated to Rochester, New York and joined a private practice. 

Best wishes, to our newest alumni. You are true friends and colleagues and we look forward to seeing your faces (maskless!) again soon.  

Current Residents 

From left to right: Dr. Sara Holden, Dr. Nicholas Yesbeck and Dr. Erin Block.

The third-year year residents, Drs. Erin Block (D.D.S. ’18/D), Sara Holden (D.D.S. ’18/D), and Nicholas Yesbeck (D.D.S. ’18/D), have transitioned into seasoned clinicians, assumed greater leadership roles within the residency and are refining their surgical skills. Each third-year resident serves as chief resident during their final year in the program. Drs. Block and Yesbeck are working towards the completion of their Master Thesis, and Dr. Holden has completed her Master Thesis, titled, The Effect of Quercetin in Periodontal Inflammation. 

From left to right: Dr. Daniel Hall, Dr. Nitya Reddy and Dr. Michael Ha.

The second-year residents, Drs. Michael Ha, Daniel Hall and Nitya Reddy (D.D.S. 2017/D) are hard at work on their respective Masters Theses projects and honing their clinical skills, as they take on more complicated surgical treatment plans. 

From left to right: Dr. Sarang Saadat, Dr. Lina Elnakka and Dr. William Porzio.

Our new first-year residents began their residency in July under the excellent tutelage of Dr. Thomas Waldrop. Drs. Lina Elnakka (D.D.S. ’20/D), William Porzio, and Sarang Saadat rolled up their sleeves and got right to work with the customary periodontal textbook review guided by Dr. Robert Sabatini (D.D.S. ’81/D). We welcome these residents to our periodontal family. 

Dr. Lina Elnakka (D.D.S. 2020/D) is a graduate of VCU, School of Dentistry, 2020 

Dr. William Porzio is a graduate of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Adam School of Dentistry, 2020 

Dr. Sarang Saadat is a graduate of University of Texas, San Antonio, School of Dentistry, 2019 

Residents in the Department of Periodontics are exposed to a variety of conventional techniques for the treatment of periodontal disease and the placement of dental implants.  They now have the opportunity to use commercially available growth factors and patient-derived factors including Leukocyte Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF) and Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP). In addition, the residents utilize the latest membranes, xenograft, allograft and autogenous grafting materials and techniques for periodontal guided tissue regeneration, sinus and ridge augmentation, and root coverage procedures. Laser technology is also an increasingly utilized component of our non-surgical and surgical therapy and, thanks to alumni donations, digital scanning and 3-D printing equipment has been purchased and incorporated into clinic practice.

VCU Ram Spirit in 3-D printing by Dr. Erin Block

The residents are now utilizing the same Cone Beam Computed Tomography images that are used for treatment planning to print surgical implant guides, stents and customizing temporary implant abutments, which places VCU Periodontics on the cutting edge of guided implant surgery. 

Categories Periodontics
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