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Get to know CDA’s August Student Spotlight, Masooma Rizvi from UCLA School of Dentistry class of 2021.
What were the last few months of dental school like under the stay-at-home order?
I never knew dental school could be done online given the practical nature of our curriculum, but I was pleasantly surprised to see our faculty coming up with such creative ways of making dental school through Zoom a great opportunity for us to continue our learning and keep our knowledge fresh.
How do you see dentistry evolving amid the ongoing pandemic?
Dentistry is going to evolve for the better given the current pandemic situation. Every practicing dentist, along with their staff and patients, is going to be more aware about cross-infection contamination and be mindful of proper disinfection of the operatories, which in essence is a great boost for dentistry.
What has been your favorite dental school moment or experience so far?
When I think about dental school, I’m reminded of my amazing friends and how I love spending time with them and nerding out over our mutual passion for dentistry. The constant learning of new techniques and skill sets from our amazing faculty adds a cherry on top. If I were to pick my favorite experience, it has to be the first time I ever prepared a class 2 cavity for an amalgam restoration in a patient. I found myself exhilarated by getting an effective IAN block and how my floor faculty lovingly said, “preparing a ‘perfect’ class 2 cavity.”
What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure movie or TV series?
Hands-down “The Office.” I have watched the whole show eight or nine times, maybe more. I think I was the saddest to find out that my favorite show is being taken off Netflix starting in 2021.
Have you discovered a dental specialty you would like to pursue? If so, which specialty and what helped you realize this passion?
I want to pursue periodontics after dental school. From pocket reductions to block graft surgeries, I want to do it all. I got my rising obsession over periodontics while spending time at the UCLA Postgrad Periodontics clinic as a preceptor. Starting preceptorship, I just wanted to learn more about periodontics, as it was a weakly taught subject at my dental school in Pakistan. Little did I know that I was going to fall in love with the specialty. I cannot wait to learn more about periodontal surgeries throughout my career in dentistry.
Has a current dental school professor made a positive impact on you? What would you like to say to them?
No doubt I’m blessed to be taught by the great faculty of UCLA School of Dentistry and each one has their own way of inspiring us on a daily basis. Dr. Marc Hayashi has been one of the faculty members who has always made an extra effort in helping all the students out in times when dental school gets stressful. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all the guidance that he has offered, be it my craze for dental photography or going through the shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19 outbreak. It’s really appreciated.
What has been the most rewarding thing about working on patients?
Dentistry is one of the most common phobias people have. Being able to help people get over their anxiety when they are in a dental chair and then easing their pain gives me a great sense of pleasure. The gratitude that follows is just a cherry on top.
What made you interested in dentistry?
I pursued dentistry after four years of wearing braces. I was amazed at how they straightened my crooked smile. I have always been a person with an excessively expressive curiosity gene. My orthodontics journey had me curious in so many ways that I planned to shape my career around it, and I’m so happy and proud of my decision as this career brings me happiness every day.
Why are you #cdaproud?
I am a California girl and would not want to practice my passion for dentistry elsewhere. I am #CDAProud because CDA has provided me with opportunities to help my community at events like CDA Cares. CDA has provided me with the means to learn more about dentistry through continuing education lectures as well as about practicing organized dentistry, which was always my plan when I got into dentistry.