Ann Arbor, MI — June 29, 2012 — For many student athletes it was the first time they were fitted for a customized mouth guard made by dental students at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. But for 15-year-old Alexis Berry, it was the fifth year she participated in the annual clinic.
Another participant, Ellen Klausmeyer, not only received a mouth guard, she also discovered her grandfather was a member of the Class of 1936 when she saw his photo on a hallway wall outside a lecture room.
Berry and Klausmeyer were among 55 persons fitted for a customized mouth guard during the June 23 clinic. Student athletes said they will use their mouth guards when they participate in sports that inlcude football, ice hockey, soccer, rugby, and taekwondo.
“All my mouth guards made here have fit well in the past, so I’m back again,” said Berry who has played club soccer for Ann Arbor United the past five years and who also plans to play junior varsity soccer at Pioneer High School in the fall. “I chose the color purple for my mouth guard since that’s our school’s primary color,” she said.
Noah Edgar, who received his first customized mouth guard at this year’s annual clinic, said, “it’s great, it’s better than the ones I have bought at stores” after dental student Parminder Dulary (D3) checked the fit. Edgar said he will use his mouth guard playing ice hockey in Livonia.
The 35 dental students and six volunteers from the predental association said they participated in this year’s program “as a way of giving back to the community.” One dental student, Daniel Fragnoli (D4), who checked Berry’s mouth guard said, “It was fun and great to participate because I was involved from the start, taking impressions, to the end, making sure all the mouths guard fit and were ready to be used once the athlete left.”
Second-year dental student Kathryn Brown, who graduated from the dental hygiene program last year, said this was her first time taking impressions. “Last year, I worked in the lab but this year I wanted to gain more experience by actually taking impressions. I’m glad I did this,” she said.
Before leaving the School of Dentistry with her mouth guard, Ellen Klausmeyer found a class photo of her grandfather, Dr. Leonard Klausmeyer, among the class photos on display.
“I knew he earned his dental degree from Michigan, but did not know what year until I saw him in the 1936 class photo,” she said. “To also learn that he was president of his dental class was a wonderful discovery and one I will share with others in my family.”
Ann Marie Pogoncheff (D4), who directed the mouth guard clinic for the second consecutive year, thanked dental and predental students and faculty for participating and the Michigan Dental Association providing some funding for the event.
“The student athletes who came to the School of Dentistry were grateful for being able to receive a free customized mouth guard and appreciated the work of all the volunteers who made it possible,” she said.
The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care, and community service. General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the School to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan. Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia, and public agencies. Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide. For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at: www.dent.umich.edu.