Moving in the right direction

Dr. Wayne A. Aldredge shares his thoughts about the latest American Academy of Periodontology’s Spring Specialty Conference: The Restorative Dentist/Periodontist Partnership.

May 10th, 2011
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By Wayne A. Aldredge, DMD

I have recently returned from the American Academy of Periodontology’s Spring Specialty Conference: The Restorative Dentist/Periodontist Partnership.

The conference highlighted what I feel is the future of collaborative, interdisciplinary dentistry. As the population ages and treatment needs increase, there is a corresponding increase in the challenges or complexities that a single dentist faces on a daily basis.

This conference was unique in that a pair of speakers presented the majority of the topics. These two speakers represented a team made up of a restorative dentist and his or her periodontist. This made for a very informative presentation as the restorative dentist, either a generalist or prosthodontist, would highlight the challenges of treating various typical or advanced restorative cases, and discuss how working together as a team, with a periodontist/implant specialist, they were able to produce exceptional treatment outcomes.

The meeting in Chicago was initially estimated to have 400 attendees, but accommodations needed to be expanded to allow for the nearly 700 people who ultimately attended. Of the 700, only 209 attendees were periodontists. The fact that so many restorative dentists attended demonstrates the need for this type of collaborative, team dentistry.

As we move further into the 21st century, I believe that the bond between restorative dentists and their specialist colleagues will continue to strengthen. The ultimate beneficiary of the increased collaboration and teamwork between “dentists” will be the public whom we all serve.

Author bio
Wayne A. Aldredge, DMD, a general dentist for seven years prior to receiving a specialty certificate in periodontics from SUNY at Stony Brook, is also past president of the New Jersey Society of Periodontists and serves on the Board of Directors of the Northeastern Society of Periodontists.

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