Pre Dental Society

Oral B vs Sonicare

What’s the best electric toothbrush?

When it comes to electric toothbrushes the two giants of the industry are Bruan Oral B and Phillips Sonicare. Oral B have been around for about twenty years plus and their brushes use an oscillating motion. These were the most common type of electric toothbrushes and they are very effective.

Sonicare have been producing toothbrushes for ten years plus and they were the originators of the sonic toothbrush. Sonic vibration is a different technique from oscillating but is also very effective. Their premium range electric toothbrush is the DiamondClean which is the brush I now use.

The truth is that both types are very effective at keeping your teeth clean and far superior to manual brushing. The thing about using a sonic toothbrush is that it can take a few goes to get used to it. This is because if you are not used to the vibrating motion, it can feel like it is tickling your mouth.

Tickly Sonic

The first time you ever used a sonic toothbrush I had to stop half way through because it was far too tickly for me. I tried it again the next day and managed to brush for two minutes but it still felt slightly tickly. By day four that sensation was gone and had no problems using it.

Some of you may be asking, why on earth would you use a device that tickles your mouth. I have known people to only use one once and then give up. This is a real shame because the sensation you get after using one of these bad boys is amazing. Your teeth feel so fresh and clean.

As you may be able to tell I am a big fan of sonic toothbrushes and as I said I have been using the Diamondclean for the past year. Before that I used the Sonicare Easyclean which lasted me for three years before I decided to upgrade.

However, the first ever electric toothbrush I owned was by Oral B. I was very happy with it and it lasted me a long time.

As I said earlier in this article, both brands are very good at cleaning teeth and this has been backed up by years of research. Some of that has been independent research as well.

Go electric!

If you have been using a manual toothbrush then I recommend you switch to electric. If you can cope with a tickling sensation for a few days then go straight to sonic. If not Oral B is also a good option.

The Ideal Flossing Scenario

I recently read an article entitled Waterpik vs Floss which as the title suggested discussed the differences between the two devices and gave advice on which one was better. The conclusion surprised me. They basically said that both items were ideal for cleaning in between your teeth. Although the brand Water Pik Inc., is synonymous with oral irrigators there are actually other brands available.

You see, it turns out that each tool is better suited to certain roles. For example oral irrigators are sublime at washing away food debris that gets lodged in between your teeth. They are also great when using dental floss is difficult or painful to do. For example if you have braces or dental implants. There is also a job that oral flossing tools can do that regular dental floss cannot. That is flush out the areas of your mouth that are never reached by toothbrushes, even electric ones. They can remove toxins that carry plaque. The most popular oral irrigator at the moment is the waterpik® Ultra desktop model. It consistently gets great reviews from professionals and home users alike.

There is a very helpful website called Flossophy 101 which has unbiased guides and reviews to help you discover the right electric irrigator for your needs. My favorite guide of theirs is their best oral flossing reviews.

Do not worry I have not forgotten to talk about dental floss. Plaque is a very sticky substance on your teeth and to physically remove it, it is better to use a physical product that makes contact with plaque. Guess what that product is? You guessed it, dental floss. My personal favorite type is waxed. You can also get dental picks and floss holders as well but in my opinion they are a bit fiddly to use.

So as you can see, if you have the time, patience and money, combining a water flosser with regular old waxed floss will make your dentist a very happy man (or women) and keep your teeth in perfect health.

Dr. Healy Special Presentation

Dr. Healy had been in private practice for 14-15 years before he moved to academics. He said that this was one of the benefits in dentistry that you can do a variety of things with your degree.

One aspect that makes VCU Dental School unique is that students are able to take 2 simulation labs. The first is called DentSim and lets students use a tool that is recorded by a computer that graphically displays the cuts they make on models. This gives the chance for you to have your work compared to the standard and gives opportunity for a lot of feedback. The other lab is called the Mannequin lab where students work without software on models to refine their skills.

VCU Dental is unique in that they urge students to get as much clinical time as possible. While there is a lot of classroom time and opportunities to use the technology and simulation labs early, students get the chance to work with patients as much as four months earlier than at other dental schools (around the time of sophomore year).

In preparing yourself to be a stand-out applicant, pre-dental students are highly encouraged to take more than the basic requirements. This means going beyond the minimum credits for biology and taking immunology or microbiology for instance. Other classes that can help make you a more competitive applicant include cell biology, genetics, anatomy/physiology, histology, endocrinology, virology, embryology, etc. Not only will these give the admissions board a chance to see how you can handle higher level classes, but they will definitely prepare you for the rigorous curriculum of dental school.

If you have any class in which you have earned a C, you do not need to retake it. However, if you have any D’s or F’s on your transcript, you should retake these. This is because dental schools do not award D’s to any of their students—if you get below a C, then it’s a failing grade.

AP/IB credit can be accepted if UVA has accepted it for a requirement for you to graduate.

If you are a transfer from a community college, be sure to have at least 60 credits from UVA. It is okay if you took core classes like organic chemistry at your community college, but the admissions board will take this into consideration when reviewing your application.

In general it is not recommended to take prerequisite courses over the summer. When ranking the acceptability of taking prerequisite courses over the summer from most ideal to least ideal:

  • Ideally at UVA
  • If not at UVA, then at another university
  • At a community college
  • In another country

When filling out your application on AADSAS, be sure to fill out the categories completely. Make a list of all your awards, dental experience, extracurricular/community service, employment, research, and academic enrichment experiences. For instance, being on the Dean’s List, being an Echol’s Scholar, having come to college on an academic scholarship, or being part of an honor society count as awards.

Use the extracurricular/volunteer/community service section to tell the admissions board about yourself! They see it as a guide to who you are and what interests you. You should show what makes you unique and a stand-out applicant.

VCU Dental School likes to see 100-150 hours of shadowing!! This is important because you can get a feel of if you really like the career field if you have done this many hours of shadowing. It will really solidify why you want to be a dentist. Of these shadowing hours, most should be from a general dentist and it is good to have variety in the number of practices you observe in. Be sure to get the letter of recommendation from the dentist from whom you spent the most hours shadowing.

It is okay not to have research experience; however, it will be a positive on your application. That is not to say though that you will not be accepted if you don’t have research. Many applicants are accepted who do not have this, but other positive aspects of their application.

In reading the application, the admissions board pays particular attention to the descriptions of your shadowing. Dr. Healy called these “tweets” because they are about the length of posts on Twitter.

The applicant pool for VCU has generally been about 2500 for a class of 95 students. The national pool is about 12,000 applicants for less than 5000 seats across all dental schools. For VCU the average GPA of the incoming freshman has been just shy of a 3.6 and the average DAT has been a 20 Academic Average, with a 21 Reading Comprehension and a 19 Math.

Monday, June 3rd 2013 will be when AADSAS opens for the 2013-2014 cycle. In mid-June, AADSAS will begin to forward these application files to individual schools. It is important to be early in the pool of applicants. However, the DAT is not required at the time of application (as long as your schools are sent to the schools within the next month or so).

November 1st is the deadline for applying to VCU. December 1st is when the first round of acceptances will be sent out. January and February are when the second and third rounds of acceptances will be sent out, and April 1st is when deposits are due.

In crafting your personal statement, include a “hook” first sentence and make sure it has positives from beginning to end. No need to include any negative perspectives of dentistry or your academic record. This is the time to explain why you’re passionate about pursuing dentistry. It should be about one page single-spaced.

Meeting Notes 11/10/05

Hey guys, here’s a brief overview of last night’s meeting.

Samantha Chao, a UVA ’12 graduate, presented about the Medical Reserve Corps at the beginning of the meeting. She discussed what she does as the Coordinator of the Virginia Department of Health for the Medical Reserve Corps and the various opportunities for volunteers to get involved. There are orientations to attend to get trained and volunteers have the choice to be as involved as they want. You can visit their website at

For the rest of the meeting, members of the executive board went over different ways to get involved in the field of dentistry. Many of the resources and opportunities they shared were what convinced them that dentistry was the right career path for them. The powerpoint has been put on our website, under the resources tab.

Dr. Rebellato - Profile


  • -studied at McGill University School of Dentistry (class of 1989)
  • -during one summer while in dental school, he was one of 2 students selected to attend an anatomy dissector course. Dentistry focuses largely on head/neck anatomy
  • 1989-1990 general practice residency at the Royal VIC Hospital
  • 1990-1991 family dentist private practice and part time teaching at McGill dental school
  • 1991-1993- orthodontics residency at VCU School of Dentistry
  • 1993-1997- full time faculty at VCU
  • 1997-2005- full time faculty at the Mayo Clinic
  • 2005-present- private practice as well as a guest lecturer at VCU and UVA, journal reviewer, and volunteer dentist (Charlottesville free clinic)

Dental Career

  • -teaching, research, and practice as the 3 components of work people go into with a dental degree
  • -teaching can be at the undergraduate level of dental school (4 year basic program) or the graduate level (specialties)
  • -Dr. Rebellato then discussed some of the research he has been involved in
  • -lasers as a new technique (you can laser a tooth to make it resistant to cavities)
  • -Distraction osteogenesis-surgical procedure used to lengthen bones and reconstruct skeletal deformities (aka callus distraction)
  • -a Russian orthopedic surgeon popularized the technique
  • -used to close cleft palates in dogs using onplants as anchors; to attempt to close the bony structure of the palate
  • Advantages of Group Practice (Dr. Rebellato worked as an orthodontist with a pediatric dentist and oral surgeon)
  • -interaction with colleagues
  • -efficiences in cost management
  • -benefit to patient of multidisciplinary team providing care
  • -call coverage