Oral health is an integral part of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s curriculum, making the school one of only a few to incorporate oral medicine into its instruction.

As part of the program, the school hosts an annual Delta Dental of Virginia Oral Health Lecture, a public talk featuring a leading figure in the oral health field. Peter Lockhart, DDS, will serve as keynote speaker for the 2013 event.

Lockhart’s lecture, “Controversies Concerning Antibiotic Prophylaxis: An Interface of Medicine and Dentistry,” will take place at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine on January 9 at 6:30 p.m. A meet-the-speaker reception will precede the event at 5:30 p.m.

The lecture will focus on current controversies surrounding the dental management of patients with cardiovascular problems.

“We look forward to welcoming Dr. Lockhart to Virginia Tech Carilion and hearing his expertise on this important topic,” said Charles “Bud” Conklin, an associate professor in the Department of Surgery at the VTC School of Medicine and section chief for dentistry at Carilion Clinic. “His presentation will be relevant to a variety of audiences, including members of the dental community, primary care physicians, and medical students.”

A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, Lockhart serves as professor and chair of oral medicine and director of the Institute for Oral Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Following his residency, Lockhart joined the faculty at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he directed the residency training program, practiced general dentistry, and conducted clinical research for 10 years. He is a recipient of a World Health Organization Fellowship in Oral Medicine in the United Kingdom, and he has served as a TC White Visiting Professor at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He holds fellowship diplomas in dental surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, for which he serves as a regional advisor for the United States.

“Thanks to the generous support of Delta Dental of Virginia, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is able to elevate the critical role that oral health education plays in its medical school curriculum,” said Dr. Cynda Johnson, dean of the VTC School of Medicine. Untreated dental diseases are associated with a number of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and poor pregnancy outcomes.

“Oral health and whole body health are so closely linked that it’s vital that physicians be well versed in oral medicine,” Johnson added. “The knowledge that students gain from our oral health curriculum will ultimately improve care and outcomes for their patients.”

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute joins the basic science, life science, bioinformatics, and engineering strengths of Virginia Tech with the medical practice and medical education experience of Carilion Clinic. Virginia Tech Carilion is located in a new biomedical health sciences campus in Roanoke at 2 Riverside Circle.