Darryl Locklear (Lumbee), 31, attended the 26th Annual Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) Conference that was held in Mesa, Arizona from June 8-11, 2016. Together, there were five current practicing dentists and 20 current dental and pre-dental students in attendance. The overall purpose of the SAID Conference was to promote and support the unique concerns of American Indian dentists.
Darryl was shown new advancements in dentistry, provided with an overview of the health disparities found in American Indian communities, and exposed to funding opportunities available to dental students. Some of the workshop sessions were as follows:
- Dental Photography – Cerec Technology
- Pathologic Tooth Wear
- Common Oral Lesions
- CAD/CAM Dentures
- Treatment Planning and Restoration of Single Dental Implants, etc.
Darryl enjoyed meeting other Natives who share the same career interests as him. He met colleagues from Native tribes that he was not previously aware of; many of which had not heard of his tribe either. Darryl mentioned that his biggest take-away was that there is an increased need for more minorities to pursue careers in health care fields, specifically American Indians. He believes that this need can be met by increasing the number of opportunities for students to learn about the different areas of health care.
In 2006, Darryl received a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from Catawba College and attended UNC-Pembroke from 2011-2014 to acquire all remaining prerequisites for dental school. Darryl just completed his first four years of the Doctorate of Dental Surgery program and is expected to graduate in April 2019. Post-graduation, his plans are work in private practice.
The American Indian Center is proud of the academic drive that Darryl has and was proud to have him represent the American Indian population at the 2016 SAID Conference. We look forward to hearing of more accomplishments made by Darryl in the future.
SAID is a national, non-profit organization comprised of oral health professionals and students dedicated to promoting and improving the oral health of the American Indian/Alaskan Native community and providing advocacy for the American Indian/Alaskan Native dental professionals across the US. Its purpose is to pursue excellence in American Indian health care by promoting education in the dental disciplines, honoring traditional healing practices and restoring the balance of mind, body and spirit.