As a biology major on a pre-dental track, Logan Featherstone ‘19 (Tallahassee, Florida) interned this summer with Dr. Jack Hankla, a local family dentist, who inspired the senior to focus on methamphetamine addiction, an endemic on dental hygiene.
“Dr. Hankla suggested narrowing my internship on methamphetamine addiction and its campaign on ruining not only teeth but lives,” Featherstone said.
While observing cases known as “meth mouth,” Featherstone was able to see not only the physical and aesthetic differences in peoples smiles but also an increase in a sense of self-image and worth.
“Meth mouth is characterized by extreme loss of enamel and rotting of teeth, causing pain and cyclical drug use,” he explained. “Dr. Hankla states that he is happy to help those in substance recovery, as they are generally the most in need and the least able to afford dental care.”
Featherstone said he was interested in this internship because he will begin applying for dental school this fall, and it has become a prevalent force in his life. He said that focusing on dentistry this summer has prepared him for the next step in his education.
“To have this experience means everything,” he concluded. “It is one of the first few steps to being a dentist and, although it is generally required by most schools, it is a milestone in my life.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
September 4, 2018