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2019 AO Externship Report: Karisee Seegobin

3I just want to say I am thankful for the opportunity to shadow some wonderful AO dentists in the Maryland/DC area. It was a joy meeting Dr. Tipograph and I appreciate her and Dr. Simon for working so hard to fill my schedule with amazing people to shadow. Unfortunately, Dr. Simon had to be out of town the week I was shadowing and so I could not meet him.

The week started with a visit to Light Pediatrics in Potomac, where I shadowed Dr. Heather Sholander. This office was unique in that it also offered orthodontics. Parents had the luxury of having their children seen by both ortho and 2pedo for combined cases. Dr. Sholander showed a great knowledge of her field and used technology that I wasn’t exposed to at the DMD level at my school. I had a firsthand experience of the use of a laser in dentistry.  I enjoyed bouncing between extractions, fillings, checkups and even care for special needs patients.

That Tuesday, I shadowed Dr. Tipograph at Natural Dentist Associates in Bethesda. Natural dentistry is a whole new field for me, and I saw things in a new light while shadowing there. From the use of ozone gas in procedures to the level of care and precaution they take when removing amalgam restorations, Dr. Tipographs’ office is truly one of a kind. I was amazed by her knowledge of not only oral health but how it influences and is influenced by systemic. They even have a physical therapist come in sometimes to help with TMD cases for proper alignment throughout. She was so well versed in explaining the materials they used for a holistic approach to dentistry- a cool field.

My Wednesday office visit was at Advanced Endodontic Associates where I shadowed Dr. Michael Ribera. I only stayed a half-day at this office, but I was lucky enough to see him do a re-treat of an endo-treated tooth done by a general dentist. He was clear and explained the importance of each step of the procedure. He also had some novel technology that he was excited to share- called 4gentlewave. It requires a sealed environment where it uses ultrasonic pulses to irrigate the canals of teeth. There is a set cycle where solutions of sodium hypochlorite and EDTA followed by water for a set amount of time.1

Thursday, I got to visit Dr. Karen Benitez’s new office “Chevy Chase Pediatrics”. The experience there was extraordinary. She handled children well and engaged them in the procedure while teaching them. She also incorporates versed when doing intensive cases to help the procedure go smoother and make the kids calmer- this was a sedative I hadn’t seen being used before, so I was lucky to learn about it here. She taught me a lot about knowing the offices that refer to you and the importance of knowing the demographic in which you serve. Pediatrics is a whole other language and I loved how she engaged the children by using phrases like “fancy fingers” which meant forceps and “cheek stickers” referring to dry angles.

On Friday, I visited Maryland Oral Surgery Associates and shadowed Dr. Robinson. I hadn’t seen much of any oral surgery prior to this office and I consider myself lucky to get to observe such skill that day. The speed and precision in which procedures were done were fascinating. I found myself reviewing anatomy, physiology and thinking about the pharmacology that went into each procedure. It was more than just extraction of 3rd molars (granted a lot of those were done that day), there were bone grafts and implant placements as well as fractured teeth extractions.

Karisee Seegobin
University of Louisville



To conclude, I am very thankful to AO for such an opportunity. This externship program gave me a new outlook on possible fields of dentistry that I was considering. It also helped to acknowledge my own strengths and weaknesses as a training dentist and put into perspective skills I needed to improve upon in pursuit of becoming an overall better clinician.

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