The Relationship between Didactic Learning and Research for the Dental and Dental Hygiene Student
In an article published in Dentistry Open Journal entitled “Oral Health,
Dental Education, and Research: A Commentary” Dr. Lakshman Samaranayake,
considered the foremost international authority in oral candidal infections,
touches on the relationship between oral health, teaching and research in the dental academic arena.
This is the underpinning of this Special Edition on Radiographic Interpretation
as a Teaching Tool for Dental and Dental Hygiene Students.
An essential and major aim of schools of dentistry is to graduate practice-ready dental
and dental hygiene students; this of course is the teaching aspect.
Trained dental professionals provide for patient care, this is the oral health aspect of the triad.
What of the research component? Admittedly dental schools are professional institutions,
but as academic institutions schools of dentistry have an obligation
to engage students and faculty in research and other scholarly endeavors.
The benefits of research are well-known; new treatment paradigms are
discovered and validated, relationships with industry are solidified,
and faculty development is assured to name a few.
The nature of the teaching-research relationship and how it is presented
to the dental and dental hygiene student differs, often based on whether
the schools they attend are considered research intensive or non-research
Discussions of research and scholarly activity naturally center
on the faculty at academic institutions since research programs are usually
faculty-initiated, led, and sustained.
Health professions schools such as medical and dental schools may
have formal or informal student research programs that serve to enhance
critical thinking and problem-solving skills while providing students with
opportunities to publish or present work at meetings.
Dent Open J. 2015; SE(1): e3-e4. doi: 10.17140/DOJ-SE-1-e002