February 25, 2024


A Passion for Better Health

Grad profile: From science educator to dental hygienist – Dal News

This report is portion of a sequence concentrating on the grads of the Dalhousie Class of 2022. Spring Convocation runs from May well 24 to June 3 in Halifax and Truro. Read through all our profiles below as they are published, and for much more details check out the Convocation web site.

As a kid escalating up in Halifax, Geoff Seto (DDH’22) did not visit the dentist quite typically — just for emergencies. His dad and mom, who attained a modest living, experienced minimal obtain to dental treatment though rising up so they under no circumstances figured out the significance of normal checkups. But a few decades back, his mother’s bout with most cancers improved the family’s outlook on oral health.

At a person place in her most cancers journey, Geoff’s mom wanted a liver transplant. Adhering to medical procedures, the combine of anti-rejection drugs she was having brought on her to establish oral thrush, a yeast an infection on her tongue and throat that produced swallowing incredibly agonizing.

“Mom mentioned it was excruciating and 100 periods even worse than surgery,” claims Geoff. “That practical experience gave her a total new point of view on oral health, and how it can greatly effects quality of lifetime. And it opened my eyes to the relevance of preventative dental treatment and hygiene.”

Following earning a diploma in microbiology from Dalhousie in 2010, Geoff understood he required to go after some type of wellness-treatment job, but as an undergraduate he by no means considered dental cleanliness. Undecided about even more schooling, he put in 10 many years operating as a science interpreter at Halifax’s Discovery Centre, in which he found that he beloved working with young ones, instructing science, and travelling all around the province performing community outreach.

It is no shock, then, that when Geoff started out the dental cleanliness plan as a experienced student, he learned that his favorite patients are children. “At Harbour Watch Elementary, we noticed several kids with decayed tooth and cavities who may not entirely fully grasp the significance of brushing and going to the dentist,” he states. “I appreciate telling stories and jokes so they really feel comfortable getting in the dental chair.”

A prime instance of a amusing tale that made the Discovery Centre young children hoot is this: when someone challenged him to consume a hamburger with 10 patties on it, he accepted — and succeeded! While the buy startled the server at Wendy’s, he obtained his significant burger and ate it in a person sitting down.

“It was not satisfying, but I did it,” claims Geoff, chuckling. The nickname he earned — 10 Patty Fatty — stuck. “Every yr following that, I’d meet brothers and sisters of summer season-camp young children from the yr just before, and they’d contact me Ten Patty Fatty.”

A new job path

Whilst Geoff relished functioning at the Discovery Centre, he wanted to explore new alternatives. Soon after the science centre was shut down at the commence of the pandemic, he returned to university to pursue a new occupation route.

One of only two male students in his graduating class of 29, Geoff selected Dal for dental cleanliness due to the fact it has a very good reputation the two at dwelling and internationally. Originally, he was challenged by the volume of the study course material — and by COVID-19’s shutdowns and the transfer to on the net mastering.

Geoff’s ease and comfort stage with his peers and professors served defeat any jitters. “What I enjoyed the most about my time here was having to know my classmates and instructors,” he suggests. “We’ll most likely continue to be in touch following we graduate.”

Geoff also savored the program’s wide variety. In 2021, he labored as a summer months exploration pupil on a challenge investigating how xerostomia (dry mouth) influences speech, chewing, swallowing and high quality of lifestyle. He requested individuals to consume crackers, measured their salivary flow and collected spit samples for analysis. “It was a neat working experience, for absolutely sure,” he states.

Even though he observed that job interesting, Geoff does not see himself pursuing a job in research. Instead, he hopes one particular working day to blend medical practice with neighborhood outreach and instructing – ideally, somewhere in Halifax, wherever he’ll be close to household so he can treatment for his moms and dads as they get older.

Hunting forward to what comes following

For now, Geoff is focused on crafting his board test, looking at work potential clients, and taking some time to replicate on his knowledge in dental cleanliness school. “It’s a challenging program, but also very fulfilling,” he claims. “We have amazing instructors who go higher than and further than, delivering encouragement and supporting us get to the place we are today.”

When Geoff earned his microbiology diploma from Dal, he did not show up at his convocation ceremony. “It didn’t look that significant to be there, it just felt like a piece of paper,” he suggests. “But I’m organizing to go to this one particular, which will feel far more own simply because of our small class sizing. It’ll be nice to wander across the phase with my classmates and celebrate what we’ve accomplished.”