The Donald Butler Dental Society at UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry hosted a biopsy workshop that allowed 50 dental students the opportunity to review concepts in pathology while simultaneously practicing biopsy techniques alongside faculty and residents from the Bernard and Gloria Pepper Katz Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
The biopsy workshop, which took place Sept. 29, marked the first offering of its kind for the Butler Society since 2018.
“Organizing the event and witnessing attendees learn biopsy techniques firsthand from oral surgery faculty and residents was awesome,” said Sydney Pham, third-year dental student and event coordinator for the Butler Society.
To begin the workshop, Professor Nadarajah Vigneswaran, BDS, DrMedDent, DMD, explained biopsies from an oral pathologist’s point of view during a lecture, titled “Biopsy Techniques to Improve Diagnostic Accuracy.”
In the preclinical lab, oral surgeons Lauren Hum, DMD, MD; and James Melville, DDS, led student attendees through an hour-long, hands-on biopsy training session. Hum discussed various techniques during a lecture, titled “Soft Tissue Oral Cavity Biopsies,” while Melville gave a live demonstration on a simulated jaw.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery faculty and residents supervised and guided students through punch and incisional biopsies, how to undermine the mucosa on the jaws, and proper suture techniques.
One student attendee said, “As a student, I didn’t realize how important it is for general dentists to know how to biopsy and how much I can benefit my patient in the event they do have a suspicious lesion.”
Oral surgeons who volunteered from the workshop were Christopher Daniel, DDS, MD; Hum; Melville; and Simon Young, DDS, MD, PhD. Oral surgery residents included Audra Boehm, DDS; David Chubb, BDS; Bristol Galbraith, DDS; Steven Hengen, DMD; Tyler Hill, DDS; and Victoria Mañón, DDS ’18, MD. Mañón served as president of the Butler Society during the 2018 biopsy workshop.
“We received positive reception from the students that attended, and hope that this can be an event the Butler Society continues to host in the future,” Pham said.