Elkassaby Wins ADEA Fellowship for Women in Dental Education

Dentistry Today


Dr. Heba Elkassaby has received a $15,000 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) fellowship for women who are faculty at dental schools to pursue research and leadership opportunities.

“I would like to mentor other women faculty from other institutions to play this role,” said Elkassaby, who is the director of digital dentistry at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine (RSDM) Department of Restorative Dentistry.

“I heard a saying that made a big impression on me. Sometimes you’ll go into a room where you’ll be the only woman in the room. You want to be the one who opens the door for other women,” she said.

The Enid A. Neidle Scholar-in-Residence Program encompasses opportunities to learn more about issues facing women faculty, including childcare, entry and re-entry into the workforce, and promotion and tenure policies.

The fellowship typically includes time in Washington, DC, but that might be replaced by virtual meetings due to the pandemic, Elkassaby said.

In addition to gaining a perspective on the obstacles that can face women in academia, RSDM said, Elkassaby also will be testing a digital dentistry protocol that could reduce the time it takes to make dentures.

Elkassaby’s research would replace the conventional process of preliminary and definitive impressions with intraoral scanning and 3D printing. It also would substitute the use of a conventional facebow with a digital version.

At RSDM, Elkassaby has worked to integrate the technology of digital complete dentures into preclinical education and helped establish RSDM’s digital dentistry center, the school said.

RSDM also said that she is passionate about the potential of digital dentistry to improve not only patient care but also revolutionize education because of its precision and absence of bias.

“Self-assessment computer software is objective and calibrated. It eliminates the subjectivity of humans,” she said, noting that it also inspires creativity and the desire to keep learning.

“The power of digital dentistry is that there are no limitations to what you can do. Your imagination is the only limitation,” she said. “It’s always evolving. The technology is moving so fast, you have to keep up with it.”

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