5 Questions With ... Ms. Kayla Ellis

Kayla Ellis
Kayla Ellis
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
Class of 2022
ADEA Student Body President

1. Tell us about one of your “big wins” recently?

One of my “big wins” recently was completing my first bridge. It was interesting to see a treatment plan where a bridge would work better than an implant, and in my case, the patient did not have enough bone for an implant and did not want to go through extensive surgery. Delivering the bridge and having the patient so excited to receive it was a wonderful feeling.

2. What’s the one piece of advice you would give to anyone in dental school?

One piece of advice I would give is to be proactive. If there is something you want to learn, ask faculty about it. Faculty are there to help you succeed. Also, be proactive with your patients. Giving them calls to remind them of their appointment so you know they are going to show up is a great way to make sure you don’t waste your time or faculty’s time due to no shows.

3. How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed dental education?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed dental education at the University of Minnesota in many ways. The fact that the school was able to still offer classes online through the pandemic has continued now that the world is returning back to a more normal state. I believe some classes will continue to stay online for the future. In the clinics we now wear much more personal protective equipment, including face shields and head coverings throughout the appointments. This keeps us very well protected. Another way it has changed our education is some patients were fearful to come in during the height of the pandemic and we are now having these patients come back with more severe problems. It showed me that dental care is so important even in the midst of a pandemic.

4. What’s your favorite vacation spot—and why?

My favorite vacation spot is my family cabin. I love getting away from everything for a bit and having time at the lake. Spending time with my family and cousins is always fun. I also enjoy being in the water and going for pontoon rides around the lake.

5. What’s the ultimate comfort meal for you?

My ultimate comfort meal is a huge plate of spaghetti. From a young age, we always had spaghetti every so often as a family and it is one of my favorite meals as well. Now my husband makes it with homemade sauce, and it is even better than when I grew up. It will always be my ultimate comfort meal.