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ATSU-ASDOH student receives award at Hinman Student Research Competition

Christian McSweeny, D3, poses with Slade Lail, DDS, president-elect, Hinman Dental Society, and James Ragain Jr., DDS, PhD, dean, College of Dentistry, University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Third-year A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) student Christian McSweeny, D3, was awarded the Most Outstanding Presentation in Clinical Research award at the Hinman Student Research Competition on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023. 

Held at the University of Tennessee, the prestigious Hinman Student Research Competition provides a national forum for dental students and graduate trainees to present their research studies to an audience of their peers.

McSweeny’s research project was titled “Nicotine Pouch Effects on Salivary and Phosphate Buffered Saline pH.” Inder Makin, MD, PhD, associate professor, ATSU-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA), was McSweeny’s mentor. 

“My topic was on a very new subject that is extremely under-researched considering its potential impact on oral health,” McSweeny explained. 

“I kept thinking of my future patients and how this research can help myself, as well as other providers, to properly treat and educate their patients on these products. Furthermore, these products have only been around for the last five to six years, but have gained immense popularity, so we need to be prepared as clinicians for any possible outcome with their use. This initial research project is the first of many, so I am very excited to dive further into this topic and hopefully find some definitive answers that can be used by oral healthcare providers everywhere,” he added. 

The goal of the Hinman Student Research Symposium is to help raise and maintain the quality of dental research and education in the U.S. by encouraging participation of dental students, graduate trainees, and dental school faculty in research to improve oral health care globally.

“Being able to present in front of 100-plus other student researchers and then winning an award was a surreal experience. I am just so excited that I was able to represent ATSU to the best of my ability! I also think that my presentation was a great educational experience for all of the students, faculty researchers, and judges at the symposium. Hopefully this draws a lot of attention and potential future researchers towards this topic, as we still need extensive research on oral nicotine pouches,” said McSweeny.

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