• Project Title: What does Your Smile Say about You?

  • BASIS Advisor: Raymond Wright

  • Internship Location: Meyer Clinic

  • Onsite Mentor: Dr. Jay Bukzin

In America, almost everyone is impacted by their level of access to oral healthcare. Just like most other countries, some people receive more care, while others receive less. This disparity is largely due to existing barriers such as insurance status, financial hardship, geographic location, poor oral health literacy, and cultural differences. Not surprisingly, the main reason for why a large portion of the American population forgoes a dental visit is because of cost. For my research project, I will explore the socioeconomic factors behind groups of Americans receiving inadequate care as well as provide a realistic and effective method for combating these existing barriers. Through my internship at Meyer Clinic, a local oral surgery practice, I will observe oral procedures, listen to patients’ experiences before and after receiving care, and assist with office management duties. I will also be undergoing independent research, using literature and empirical studies and speaking with experts like Dr. Bukzin to analyze the common trends amongst different groups of Americans who are receiving varying levels of oral healthcare. My goal is that my research will allow me to both gain a better understanding of existing issues regarding access to care within our nation’s oral healthcare industry and put forward potential solutions to counteract these challenges.