John H. Unkel, director of pediatric dentistry at Bon Secours Virginia Health Systems/Pediatric Dental Associates/St. Mary’s Hospital of Richmond, will give the eighth annual Delta Dental Oral Health Lecture at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine on Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. at the medical school at 2 Riverside Circle in Roanoke.

The lecture is part of Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s Oral Health Week.

Titled “The Medical Dental Amalgam: A Personal Experience with Education and Clinical Linkages,” the lecture will examine how the medical and dental professions have evolved since the early 20th century to the point where today the two professions are closely aligned. The program will focus on linkages of the professions and culminate with several of Unkel’s cases that required expertise from both dentistry and medicine.

Unkel’s visit is made possible through a gift from Delta Dental of Virginia.

Recognizing the need for medical students to be trained in oral health, the VTC School of Medicine has a robust oral health-oral medicine curriculum, which includes an oral health elective. The curriculum and the elective provide medical students the diagnostic and clinical skills to incorporate oral health care in their future practices as physicians to enhance patient outcomes. The curriculum was added in thanks in large part to Delta Dental’s gift.

Unkel is both a dentist and a physician. He received his doctorate of dental surgery from Northwestern University and completed a pediatric dental residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and a hospital pediatric dentistry fellowship at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.  He received his medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed his residency at Carilion Clinic-Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

“We are delighted to have John back in Roanoke as our Delta Dental lecturer,” said Charles “Bud” Conklin, associate professor of surgery. “We are especially pleased because his talk coincides so well with our curriculum and our belief in the critical connection between dentistry and medicine.”

The lecture is free, and the public is welcome.

A note about parking: Riverside Drive is partially closed due to construction. Visitors should enter the campus from Reserve Avenue. Ample parking is available in the deck. More information about construction plus a map to navigate around it is available on the Virginia Tech Carilion website.



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