A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

History of Student Research

Research Milestones

A national dental student research competition was established in 1959 to showcase research projects completed by dental students. Each year, a student from each North American dental school presents a project in the American Dental Association's research competition. Loma Linda University dental students have won the first-place prize seven times, the second-place prize four times, and the third-place prize award four times.

  • Loma Linda University dental hygiene students have been participating since 1997 in a national research competition and have won the first-place award six times, the second-place award two times, and the third-place prize three times.
  • In a similar California Dental Association program, students from California dental schools participate in a sate-wide research competition. Since 1989, Loma Linda University dental students have won 21 first-place awards, 9 second-place awards, and 18 third-place awards. Loma Linda University dental hygiene students have won first place 12 times, second place 11 times, and third place four times.
  • A porcelain inlay investment was developed by Dr. Robert Kinzer along with dental students Dean Bonlie and Kenneth Mertz. This new material allowed for easier and more accurate fabrication of tooth-colored porcelain fillings.
  • Gold filings have always been recognized for their outstanding durability. However, clinical procedures utilizing gold were quite time consuming and difficult, thereby limiting their use. A powdered gold material known as Goldent was developed in 1963 by Dr. Lloyd Baum with the assistance of dental student William Outhwaite. This innovation enhanced the ease and cost-effective nature of using gold restorations.
  • In conjunction with the development of Goldent, Dr. Baum and Mr. Outhwaite also developed an electric mallet for direct gold restorations that ultimately was converted to a cordless device.
  • Two School of Dentistry students, Gary Gregory and Raymond Rawson, produced the first movie that showed molten gold flowing into a mold. Their research improved the profession's understanding of the casting process so that higher quality restoration could be made for teeth. These students were guided in this project by Dr. Melvin Lund, then chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry.
  • In 1958, the first electric dental handpiece was developed by faculty member Dr. Lloyd Baum along with dental students Clelan Ehrler and Laurence Seifert. This device functioned as an alternative to the cumbersome belt-driven handpieces in general use at the time.

Research Awards

All Loma Linda University School of Dentistry students whose table clinic awards are reflected in the following table were chosen for an award earlier the same year at the School's Annual Alumni Student Convention. The winners at the state and national levels tabulated here are not differentiated by category, only by place: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or Honorable Mention.

Numbers in parentheses, next to the place won, indicate the number (if more than one) of first, second, or third place winners for a given year and venue. Large gaps in the following table do make sense. Until 1989, there were no table clinic competitions outside the School in which LLUSD dental hygiene students could compete. The California Dental Association (CDA) did not begin hosting table clinic competitions until the end of the 1980s; the California Dental Hygiene Association (CDHA) was founded in 1985 and began judging table clinics a decade later; LLUSD dental hygiene students entered the American Dental Hygiene Association's (ADHA) competition in 1997, when the competition no longer was judged on Sabbath. Between 1975 and 1985, the School's dental students did not win any table clinic awards from the American Dental Association (ADA). And in 1999 the ADA began judging its table clinics on Sabbath. In the adjacent table, dental student awards are listed in black; dental hygiene awards are specified in red.