Philly Phaces Inc. is a grass roots, all volunteer, nonprofit organization for children with congenital facial abnormality.

About Rachel Hoagburg

My name is Rachel Hoagburg and I am originally from Fort Wayne, IN. I graduated from Purdue University in 2018. I am currently a third year dental student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia. I joined Penn Dental’s Philly Phaces chapter in the spring of my first year and am now currently serving as co-president of our organization. I joined Philly Phaces because I have always had a passion for children, and I have loved being a part of this amazing organization and getting to know the children and families impacted. I have grown up in a dental family in which my father has been an orthodontist for 32 years. I have had the opportunity to work for my father for three different summers as an assistant, allowing me to see and experience complex cases and the difference orthodontics can make in a child’s life. This opportunity has built my passion for orthodontics, but Philly Phaces has really opened my eyes to collaborative work with oral surgeons and plastic surgeons to help children with craniofacial differences.

International Dentist Pursues Oral Surgery Career in the US – By Abdalla Asi

My name is Abdalla Asi, I am a current third year dental student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. I am interested in am pursuing a career in Oral Surgery after graduation. I graduated in 2013 from Damascus University School of Dentistry in Syria. I moved to the United States to start my residency in Advanced Education in General Dentistry at Case Western Reserve University from 2014 to 2016 to learn more advanced procedures that will allow me to help my patients. After graduating from my residency program, I started working as a general dentist in the Cleveland area. For internationally trained dentist, pursuing Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is not an easy task. Two major obstacles I faced were being a US citizen or permanent resident and having graduated from a US dental school. During my time in Cleveland I was able to obtain my Permanent Resident Green Card. I also saved money to pay for my own education. I was then very fortunate to be accepted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine as part of the Advanced Standing Education for internationally trained dentists. This is a two-and-a-half-year training that guarantees a US dental degree. With all of this, my application will now be considered during the next cycle for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency. During my residency at Case Western Reserve University, I worked alongside the Orthodontic Team to help a 16-year-old patient with ectodermal dysplasia syndrome. This syndrome is a group of genetic disorders where the individual may have congenitally missing teeth. This can result in difficulty eating, and/or speaking, negatively affecting patient’s quality of life. There are many types of ectodermal dysplasia. All of them affect at least two of the ectodermal structures such as (skin, hair, nails, sweat glands and teeth). Signs of ectodermal dysplasia may include: Abnormal fingernails and toenails. Inability to sweat because of abnormal or absent [...]

International Dentist Pursues Oral Surgery Career in the US – By Abdalla Asi2021-04-24T12:58:35-04:00

Pierre Robin Sequence by Cody Dazen

About the Author: Cody Dazen My name is Cody Dazen, and I am currently a third year dental student at the University of Pennsylvania. A little bit about me- I am local to the area, originally from southern NJ. My family has since relocated to Old City Philadelphia. I attended college at the University of Pennsylvania, where I played varsity golf. My calling towards a career in dentistry stems from my mom, who is currently practicing as a general dentist in Mt. Holly NJ. In dental school, my love for problem solving, medicine, and surgery has grown in part thanks to my father, a veterinarian and brother, who is currently a fourth year at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Family, faith, and fun have always been very important values to me. As I continue my education, I personally hope to specialize as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. It is this interest that led me to become involved with the Philly Phaces. This organization has provided me with an invaluable opportunity to meet, help, and support such amazing craniofacial patients and families. The Philly Phaces community has taught me fundamental values that continue to shape me as a person and health care professional. I am thankful and blessed to be able to give back to the Philadelphia community of which I have been a part of for the past seven and a half years. I am excited to be blogging along side several of my schoolmates! I plan to post insight into the pathophysiology and patient management of craniofacial differences the patients of Philly Phaces experience.   Pierre Robin Sequence In the profession of dentistry, we are called on to help treat and manage problems surrounding the oral cavity, maxillofacial region and associated anatomy. Some patients may be more complex than others, presenting with a variety of craniofacial differences. It is important to understand these craniofacial differences in order to [...]

Pierre Robin Sequence by Cody Dazen2021-01-03T14:58:28-05:00

How to Become a Craniofacial and Special Care Orthodontist

Hello Everyone! I have written a short step-by-step guide to becoming a craniofacial and special care orthodontist. Hope this helps if you are interested! Step 1: Go to college for 3-4 years While in college, you will have the freedom to study any major, as long as certain science courses are completed, and good grades are achieved. Most schools have similar requirements for their science courses, but it is important to check each schools’ criteria. Additionally, each school has a minimum requirement for shadowing hours to apply. Step 2: Take the DAT (Dental Admissions Test) The DAT is a 4.5-hour test that all students applying to dental school must take. It contains 6 different sections: biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning, and the Perceptual Ability Test (PAT). Step 3: Complete the dental school application and interview Typically started in June between junior and senior year of college if you intend to go straight from college. The important thing to remember is although they have deadlines, it is ideal to complete all the applications, including the secondary questions, by the end of July, early August. By completing the applications early, you will help give yourself the best chance of receiving interviews. In order to help you submit applications early, work on finalizing your personal statement and determine your letter of recommendation writers before June, when the application opens. Step 4: Attend a dental school for 4 years In your time in dental school, it is important to still maintain good grades and to enrich your learning as much as you can. Take advantage of several opportunities your school may provide, join clubs that you are interested in, participate in community service, do research, attend hospital and pediatric rotations, shadow orthodontists and programs you are interested in if you can. Participate in things you are interested in and will separate you as a future applicant. Step 5: Take [...]

How to Become a Craniofacial and Special Care Orthodontist2020-10-13T16:43:35-04:00

Meet Rachel!

Hello everyone! My name is Rachel Hoagburg and I am a third-year dental student at Penn Dental Medicine.  Along with Michael and a few others, I will be blogging for Philly Phaces! A little more about myself - I aspire to become an Orthodontist after dental school, in hopes to work alongside surgeons and other specialists to treat children undergoing surgeries for skeletal defects.  Before starting dental school, I had a love and passion for children and orthodontics and knew it was a path I may want to explore.  However, being a part of Philly Phaces has helped me realize my passion for the craniofacial aspect of orthodontics.  I hope to help people fall in love with their smile and gain confidence in themselves. I will be blogging on my experiences in dental school along with my path to becoming an orthodontist who specializes in craniofacial, surgical, and special care orthodontics. Beyond my own experiences in my journey, I will be blogging about what is happening with the Penn Dental Philly Phaces chapter! I look forward to blogging throughout the year and hope you enjoy the content! -Rachel

Meet Rachel!2020-07-19T19:11:21-04:00
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