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  2001 Santa Fe

Let's remind ourselves what we were anticipating about Santa Fe.

Well, first of all, May should be the perfect time of year to visit. Second, as much Southwestern cuisine as we could hope for (good Southwestern cuisine, mind you). Third, artwork par excellence (definitely not what?s on show at the Farmer?s market in Lincoln, Nebraska every Saturday morning!). And last but not least, the meeting at which Howard and Lynne Landesman would host us as President and First Lady of the Academy of Prosthodontics.

So we gathered at the Welcome Dinner to renew friendships and acquaintances and to make some new ones. We began the process of describing the events of the past year, and at the end of the meal, we sat back and enjoyed the re-institution of the Slide Show (courtesy of Baldwin Marchack and Gerry Barrack). That night we slept with the sounds and visions of a wonderfully lively dance show and musical display.

Friday morning brought the meeting to its scientific opening in grand style. The 50th anniversary of the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry was celebrated with a distinguished panel of speakers introduced by Brien Lang and Carol Lefebvre. Drs. Bob Kelly, Avishai Sadan, Jane Brewer, John Wataha, Fred Rueggeberg and George Zarb offered thought-provoking testimony to describe the advances made in aspects of our profession that have relied on our ability to think critically.

 Perhaps of greater importance, we were challenged to confront how our lack of critical thinking, at times, impeded attainment of even greater progress. May we learn from such mistakes in the years ahead. Simultaneously, many of the spouses were attending the Santa Fe cooking school. I, for one, have already benefited from this particular outing (grilled Salmon with cilantro, ginger, butter, along with salsa fresca and mixed vegetables?see what I mean?)

Saturday morning's session began with an extremely interesting presentation by Dr. John Ivanhoe from the Medical College of Georgia. Having sat through many lectures in the past, I can see why he has developed this particular presentation on snoring.

A topic to definitely keep one awake, PAIN, specifically that associated with whiplash, was eloquently presented by Thuan Dao. Following on, Dr. Kent Knoernschild described how restorative materials that we used in fixed prostheses may predispose to gingival pathology via surface properties that attract the periodontitis virulence factor, lipopolysaccharide; certainly an area of biological significance to the intellectual clinical practitioner.

Glen Wolfinger and Steve Sadowsky then presented on implant-related topics, specifically, "immediate loading" and overdentures respectively, and Larry Brecht mesmerized us with his special blend of compassion and clinical expertise treating patients with Craniofacial defects.

With perfect timing, the skies cleared Saturday evening for our outing to the Allan Houser Compound. We learned about this young Native American Apache with a flair for drawing, painting and sculpture. The bronze casting was spellbinding as we watched the glow of molten metal (something other than Type III alloy, that is) as it was poured from crucible to mold. And since the rain had stopped before we arrived, the tent/dining room perched on a hillside thankfully did not turn into a mudslide.

Sunday morning continued the new tradition of evidence-based dentistry workshops. Survey responses had requested that the session focus on measurement and statistical analysis. Accordingly, Rhonda Jacob invited Dr. Dennis Johnson to present on "Calibration", and she gave Clark Stanford the enviable task of speaking to us about "Statistics". I admit that I have forgotten how to calculate standard deviation, but I still remember why train tracks are 4 feet 8 inches apart (equine anatomy?).

Breakout sessions progressed smoothly and quickly, hopefully a testament to both the intellect of our membership and guests and the success of previous years? sessions. The installation banquet once again gave us the chance to show just how stylish we can look and proved that, if given a year to prepare, we can accomplish almost anything.

Dick and Sylvia Grisius graciously accepted the Presidency of our prestigious organization. And Baldwin?s efficiency was on display again with a slide show of snapshots from this very meeting.

Monday morning arrived with presentations by Donna Hecker on deformation at the implant-abutment interface, Tom Barco?s description of the lack of success with onplants, and Jeffrey Rubinstein?s discussion regarding challenges in providing maxillofacial prosthetic treatment.

The scientific session came to a close with presentations by Fellows or Life Fellows of the Academy. Dr. Charles Goodacre presented carefully selected and clinically pertinent data from a study of complications associated with fixed prosthodontic restorations.

Life Fellow Dave Wands then asked each one of us to consider what membership in the Academy has brought to our lives. He stressed that one way to give back to the Academy is to help the financial health of the Academy and he challenged us to follow his lead as he announced his latest donation to the Academy?s foundation.

The last scientific presentations of the Santa Fe meeting were tag-teamed by Gary Goldstein and Dave Felton. Gary presented data outlining the worrying status of the "low quality and quantity" applicant pool to prosthodontic residency programs before presenting the results of an American College of Prosthodontists survey of senior dental students addressing reasons why these students are not choosing prosthodontics as a specialty. It would appear from the survey results that since a myriad of behavior traits exhibited by faculty are driving students away from prosthodontics, that we must either change our behavior or we must redefine our specialty based upon what can be achieved by those that do apply. Neither of these options will be pleasant, the first will be harder to attain but it may maintain a certain level of excellence; the second will be easier to carry out, but excellence will have given way to convenience.

With these stimulating comments in mind, the 83rd annual session of the Academy of Prosthodontics adjourned. We now look forward to meeting next year in beautiful Portland, Oregon.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

May 17-21, 2001

El Dorado Hotel




The State Capital

Santa Fe was established as New Mexico's capital in 1610,

when the region was under Spanish rule. The city has been the

 seat of government longer than any other capital in the

 United States, although its current State Capitol, pictured here,

is relatively new, having been completed in 1966.


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