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Student of Dentistry does research for Master thesis

Read about my experiences during my master thesis at ADD

My name is Rowan Thuss. For a period of 3 months I was allowed to perform my master thesis at the microbiological lab of Advanced Dental Diagnostics (ADD) under the supervision of Dr. Hanneke de Valk. From the chosen profile Periodontology in my study Dentistry, I came more in touch with the microbiology around Periodontitis. My research supervisor Dr. M.M.F. Timmerman proposed to do research in collaboration with the Radboud umc and ADD. For this research microbiology didn't come to mind that much. Microbiology doesn't get that much emphasis in the study of dentistry. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans was virtually the only term that was stuck, but only because it is a beautiful scrabble word. By now I have finished my master thesis and feel a lot more at home in microbiology. For my master thesis I did research on a microbiological test to examine the flora in pockets in periodontitis patients. This microbiological test was carried out on the basis of cultures, so outside the well-known periopathogens there was attention for the other flora.

Micro-organisms and dentistry have everything to do with each other, but I had little idea. With the expertise and knowledge of ADD, this quickly changed. The white dots on nutrient media were given names and the smell of Candida albicans generated enthusiasm. The properties of bacteria and yeasts from the tests in combination with periodontitis led to greater understanding and knowledge of this disease. Microbiology changed from a piece of theory to vivid breeding grounds full of bacteria and yeasts. This research gave me more depth and clarity about periodontitis and changed my view on microbiology. I now look at dentistry more from a microbiological point of view. An example of this is a patient with complaints on the palate under the prosthesis. The gingiva showed no abnormalities, but the lady said she had been given four courses of antibiotics for cystitis. One culture showed Candida albicans, after which the woman could be treated specifically. It was with great pleasure that I carried out this examination. I like to look at dentistry more from the point of view of microbiology because everything in dentistry is related to that. All thanks to ADD for carrying out the research. Their years of knowledge about microbiology and microbiological testing was indispensable.

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