Golden Gates!

Did you love it?  I mean did you really, really love it?  Of course you did.  What’s not to like anyway-San Francisco sits in a perfect location affording stunning views of the rugged coastline and serene bay waters.  Undulating streets were a challenge for those of us accustomed to doing it on our own or an adventure for those taking a trolley; however, the distinctly San Franciscan neighborhoods and well-manicured gardens made every journey a lot easier on the legs and the psyche.  Day trips to Sausalito and Sonoma were within easy reach and I hope you had an opportunity to take an out-of-town excursion.

The Dr. Louis Blatterfein Welcome Reception and Dinner, sponsored by Nobel Biocare USA and 3M-Espe, was a hit particularly because of the table decorations.  Sourdough bread in any shape, even crab shape, is okay by me.  The ambiance was outstanding and the Grand Hyatt hotel staff did an excellent job preparing and serving our dinner.  I have never met Dr. Blatterfein, and it was not until the next morning that I learned about his passing.  Academy Fellow, Dr. Gerald Barrack prepared some kind remarks to read on Dr. Blatterfein’s behalf-made me wish that I known him as he sounded like a really wonderful person.  On behalf of the membership and guests, we would like to extend our thanks to the Local Arrangements Committee of Tom and Sis Curtis, Bob and MaryLou Gillis, Britta and Ted Jacobson, Antonio and Mary Bello and Arun Sharma for putting together all the social events for the meeting.  Our hats go off to you and we do appreciate your hard work.  We also wish to thank all the corporate sponsors who contribute so much to this meeting every year; we greatly appreciate your generosity.

The 88th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Prosthodontists began with a call to order and a presentation of the gavel to President Jonathan Wiens.  Dr. Wiens warmly greeted Academy members and guests and then eloquently shared the history of the gavel and his visions for the Academy.  We were saddened by the loss of four Academy members since our last annual meeting in Scottsdale and because Academy Fellow, Dr. Aaron Fenton, Chair of the Resolution and Remebrance Committee, has found it difficult to determine a “status” for all of us and he asked that we provide him a “good contact number or address” so that we can stay in touch with each of you. 

The Wednesday morning scientific program got off to an excellent start and never waivered.  Again, we want to thank Academy Fellow, Dr. Rainer Bergman, Chair of the Audio-Visual Subcommittee and all its members for the fine support and for keeping us on track. The keynote lecture was presented by Brian R. Hill who reminded all of us who we are and who we serve through his recount of a personal experience with oral cancer.  Along that theme, Dr. Terry Kelly spoke about the relation between cervical lymphadenopathy and oral cancer, Associate Fellow, Dr. Tom Vergo presented treatment options for the hemimandibulectomy patient and we listened to Dr. Devin Okay speak about surgical restoration of maxillary defects.  The last of the morning presenters were assembled by Academy Fellow and Past President, Dr. Howard Landesman to bring us information about diversity in education and the workforce.  Those speaking were Dr.’s Regina Benjamin, Lonnie Bristow and Jay Alan Gershen. 

In keeping with the theme of the last several meetings, Academy Fellow, Dr. Roy Yanase brought us another prosthodontic living-legend.  Masahiro Kuwata allowed us to walk in his shoes as he recalled the story of how metal-ceramic restorations came to be.  He kept us entertained with many wonderful stories and recollections.  That presentation was followed by complimentary talks on continuing competency and continuing education given by Dr. Brian Kucey and the team of Academy Fellow, Dr. Kent Knoernschild and Associate Fellow, Dr. John Zarb.  Rounding out the morning program, Associate Fellow, Dr. Donna Hecker spoke about dental health and prosthodontic care within the Native American population.  Associate Fellow, Dr. Lawrence Green reviewed the mechanisms for intrusion of natural teeth coupled to implant restoration. Associate Fellow, Dr. Lily Garcia, shared with us her experiences providing prosthodontic treatment to an underserved population in rural Texas through a community-university partnership clinic, and lastly, Associate Fellow, Dr. Jamie Kaukinen updated us on successful business practices.

The Wednesday evening social outing took us to the North Beach Restaurant followed by entertainment at a San Francisco trademark, Beach Blanket Babylon.  The event was sponsored by Nobel Biocare USA.  The restaurant had an interesting ambiance and provided an enjoyable dinner, while the evening’s entertainment was slapstick fun at its best. The gathering of friends really is all that is required for having a great time.

Thursday morning’s scientific session reviewed decision making for and restoration of the mutilated posterior dentition.  Academy Fellow, Dr. Kenneth Malament brought us up to date with his discussion on various core materials and restoration design as it affects longevity.  Dr. Malament was followed by Dr.’s Syngcuk Kim and Gerald Glickman, endodontists who shared surgical philosophy and rotary instrument technology.  Academy Fellow, Dr. Steven Morgano, reviewed the literature for contemporary evidence based dentistry to help take some of the confusion out of restoring the pulpless tooth.  Dr. Carl Driscoll reviewed luting agents and their selection.  Finishing up the morning was Academy Fellow, Dr. Charles Goodacre who discussed the evidence for deciding whether to perform endodontic therapy or place an implant.

The Presidential Reception and Installa­tion Banquet were held on the mezzanine level of the Grand Hyatt San Francisco.  Once again the planning and execution of the event by the Local Arrangements Committee certainly showed.  President Jonathan Wiens introduced our next President, Dr. Gary Goldstein as he was installed as our 84th Academy President.  We also welcomed Dr. Rhonda Jacob as our new President Elect, Dr. Stephen Campbell as Vice President, Dr. Steven Eckert as Secretary-Treasurer and Dr. Sree Koka as Recording secretary.

The last day of this years meeting gave us a look at implant restorations, implant quality and implant failures.  The presenters were Dr.’s Keith Ferro, Academy Fellow and Past President, George Zarb, and Asbjorn Jokstad.  Academy Fellow, Dr. Sree Koka presented some timely information on bisphosphonates and the occurrence of osteonecrosis in the jaws.  Associate Fellow, Dr. Ben Wu showed us some cutting-edge research that directs the architecture of bone substitutes.  Dr. Assad Mora demonstrated how chairside magnification has helped his clinical practice of prosthodontics.  The last presenter of the meeting was Academy Fellow, Dr. Steven Sadowsky who took a swing at some of the “cosmedentists” and shared some ideas for presenting a more balanced risk/benefit picture to our patients.  We would like to thank the Scientific Program Committee, Chaired by Academy Fellow and President-Elect, Dr. Rhonda Jacob for a fine assemblage of presenters during the meeting.

With the close of the 88th Annual Session we will have left San Francisco reinvigorated and refreshed and a little more capable of engaging our busy schedules again.  Next years session is in New York and it should be every bit as spectacular.  See you next year.