Two dental students are the first from WVU to present at national oral medicine conference

There wasn’t much time for walking in Memphis for two West Virginia University School of Dentistry rising fourth-year dental students chosen to present at the 2022 American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM) Annual Meeting. The five-day conference of informational sessions and discussions of controversial topics in Oral Medicine was hosted in the Tennessee city known as home of the blues and the birthplace of rock ‘n roll.

In May, Madison Smith and Blake Bachner were the first WVU dental school students and Mountaineers to ever present case studies to members of the AAOM. The academy’s annual meeting was held in The Peabody, one of the most iconic hotels in downtown Memphis. It dates back to 1869 and is known for the famous, daily march of the ducks to and from the hotel fountain.

"As a student, you do not always realize how many opportunities are out there for you to expand your experiences beyond the school,” Smith, of Fancy Gap, Va., said.

Click to see a photo gallery from the event. 

According to the AAOM, oral medicine as the specialty of dentistry responsible for oral health care of medically-related diseases, disorders and conditions affecting the oral and maxillofacial region. It is a fairly new specialty in dentistry overall and a recent addition to both the curriculum and clinical services at WVU’s dental school and WVU dental clinics

Smith presented: Extreme Example of Field Cancerization: Four Synchronous Oral Carcinomas in Proliferative Verrucous Leukoplakia (PVL)
Megan E. Pycraft, BS; Lakshmi S. Garladinne, BDS, MS, MDS; Jerry E. Bouquot, DDS, MSD; Steven B. Whitaker, DDS; Juan M. Bugueno, DDS, MS, ABOM

In this case report, students and faculty described a patient who developed oral cancer in multiple  locations in the mouth. They began from oral lesions that are at high risk of progressing into oral malignancies. Preoperative diagnosis of multiple concomitant oral cavity cancers is important because it can strongly affect the treatment, prognosis and patient’s quality of life.

“I feel like I was able to grow as a student, researcher, presenter, and colleague because it was a team effort that led this to be such a successful experience,” Smith said.

Bachner presented: Severe, Refractory, Oropharyngeal Vesiculobullous Lesions – The Frustration Of Linear IgA-Bullous Disease
Blake N. Bachner, BS; Madison H. Smith, BS; Jerry E. Bouquot, DDS, MSD; Steven B. Whitaker, DDS; Juan M. Bugueno, DDS, MS, ABOM

This case report is about a patient who presented with an autoimmune disorder with severe intraoral inflammation and ulcerations. The management of the patient was complex and needed a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat the condition while avoiding detrimental and life-threatening consequences for the patient.

"I was incredibly honored to be selected for the case report award at the AAOM annual meeting,” Bachner, of Freeport, Pa., said. “The opportunity to present my case at the annual meeting is something I will cherish for the rest of my career."

The report was among the top five presented at the meeting.

“Madison and Blake left the name of WVU School of Dentistry in an important place by representing our institution with such maturity, professionalism and responsibility,” Dr. Juan Bugueno, assistant professor and oral medicine specialist, said.

Alumni support and gifts to dentistry through the WVU Foundation provide resources for students and faculty to participate in national and international opportunities that highlight the faculty’s fortitude and student success and encourages lifelong learning in dentistry.

“It was so encouraging to hear colleagues, residents and members of the Academy congratulate
the performance of our students on multiple occasions. We have the deepest appreciation for dental school leadership and supporters like the dental school’s alumni association that continue to open doors for us and for patients,” Bugueno said.

The theme for the 2022 AAOM annual meeting was Oral Medicine: Extending the Frontiers of Knowledge.