Matt Freyer, a fourth-year dental student, placed third in the national DENTSPLY competition at the 2014 American Dental Association Annual Session this fall.
It is the second consecutive "podium finish" for the College of Dentistry -- last year, Paul Johnson won the competition with his project on "Alveolar Bone Loss in Subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis."
Freyer competed against students from approximately 70 U.S. dental schools at the American Dental Association annual session in San Antonio.
Freyer's project, "Curing Effectiveness of Resin Cements for Porcelain Veneer Restoration," focused on clinical procedures concerning porcelain veneers on teeth for cosmetic/aesthetic treatment.
Freyer examined different types of materials and different types of bonding cement, coming to the conclusion that light-activated cements were superior to a version known as "dual cure."
Freyer said he was impressed by the level of student research he saw at the meeting, "and frankly, at the local College of Dentistry competition also," he said. "Last year's UNMC representative, Paul Johnson, was the national winner and set a high standard to follow, but I am very happy I was able to represent the College of Dentistry well."
"This is really pretty significant research," said Henry St. Germain, D.M.D., Freyer's adviser. "Sometimes it's hard for a dentist to sift through product advertisements -- this research can help guide clinicians in terms of what type of cement to use."
Jeffrey Payne, D.D.S., associate dean for research of the college, said Freyer's accomplishment puts him in an elite group.
The consecutive awards of Johnson and Freyer "speak volumes of our student research program, the quality of our students and the quality of mentorship our faculty provides," Dr. Payne said. "We've invested in this program over the years in terms of supporting student research, supporting student travel to scientific meetings, and that strategic investment has paid off.
"It also speaks to the quality of faculty research at the college," Dr. Payne said.
"The faculty is doing research that is considered cutting edge and is being nationally recognized, and the students are receiving that mentorship and taking it to a very high level."
Freyer thanked Dr. St. Germain, Dr. Payne, and the research organization at the College of Dentistry, which supported his research with the Summer Research Fellowship.
Freyer is the son-in-law of Janet Cuddigan, Ph.D., associate professor, UNMC College of Nursing.