“Are you sure about this?”, queried my mentor when I made the decision to apply to Periodontics residency this year. This question instantly transported me back to the moment a patient in her early twenties entered the clinic, exhibiting severely inflamed gums and deep pockets in the mandibular anterior area. Her visible distress and desire for a quick remedy for her smile left a lasting impression. Throughout the case, I closely observed and engaged in frequent discussions with my mentor, who guided me through various treatment options. The osseous surgery resulted in profound enhancement of her periodontal health. Witnessing her immense gratitude towards my mentor for reversing years of negligence and restoring her beautiful smile served as a profound moment of humility. It was then that I realized my true calling!
During my dental training in rural India, I came across a variety of oral diseases, particularly Necrotising ulcerative periodontal diseases. These diseases were mainly caused by a lack of awareness about oral hygiene. What struck me the most was the high occurrence of periodontitis symptoms among young patients. Upon further investigation, it became evident that these patients had weakened immune responses due to excessive tobacco consumption. By monitoring and comparing cases with and without surgical intervention, I witnessed the significant impact that basic hygiene measures can have on a patient’s overall health. To tackle this issue, I actively participated in outreach programs where we educated communities about proper oral hygiene practices and the negative effects of using tobacco. I strongly advocated against smoking and worked towards establishing a tobacco-free environment on my campus.
My interest in host responses and immunology motivated me to pursue a position as a researcher in Rutgers School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Oral Biology. I joined the Master of Biomedical Science (Oral Biology) program at Rutgers University, where I had the opportunity to work with the dean for research. Under their guidance, I learned how to effectively carry out a research project. The research focused on studying the pathways and characteristics of the Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans bacteria in the degradation of the periodontium.
The recent research on the body’s response to periodontal pathogens has amazed and deeply impacted me, leading to a significant shift in my perspective. This newfound knowledge has served as a driving force for me to pursue a career in Periodontics. Despite having completed seven years of professional education, I am now more resolute than ever to seek further training and utilize my expertise in immunology to enhance patient care in practical settings.
Intrigued by the private practice aspect of Periodontics, I applied for positions at local practices. Eventually, I became a dental assistant at the Advanced Laser Gum Surgery Institute of Washington. This opportunity allowed me to become familiar with new treatment techniques, such as minimally invasive surgery and the LANAP protocol. The experience was truly invaluable as I had the privilege of being mentored by an exceptional professional. My mentor was actively invested in explaining treatment methods and the underlying causes of periodontal issues. This exposure helped me fully grasp the comprehensive nature of Periodontal treatment. Now, I regularly witness positive patient responses to these therapies, further fueling my motivation.
In my quest for progress, I am confident that enrolling in your esteemed institution will assist me in achieving my aspiration of becoming a multifaceted periodontist. I am certain that my unwavering commitment to excellence, the connections I have forged, and my ardent dedication to aiding others through dentistry will ensure my success in any future endeavors. I firmly believe that submitting my application to your program is the ideal catalyst for advancing my growth and transforming into the influential periodontist I aspire to be.