With 178 million Americans missing at least one tooth and 35 million missing all of their teeth, reports the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, there is a widespread need for prosthodontists. Now, the school is launching its Advanced Prosthodontics Program—the first in the state—to train the next generation of practitioners.
Assistant professor of restorative dentistry Eva Anadioti, DDS, MS, will lead the 3-year program as well as the 4 residents in its inaugural class. Penn Dental recruited her from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine 2 years ago to launch the program, which required a 400-page application before receiving initial accreditation in February.
“Now that all the traditional dental specialties will be represented through our education programs, we can truly be full service in terms of clinical care and cater to all the different patient needs,” said Markus Blatz, DMD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences.
In addition to the core basic science courses required for all postgraduates, the program provides closely supervised and progressive clinical, laboratory, and didactic training in fixed, removable, implant, and digital prosthodontics. Surgical implant planning, placement, and restoration as well as dental microscopy, maxillofacial prosthodontics, full digital dentistry workflow, aesthetics, and interrelation with other specialties are all part of the training.
The program culminates in the Certificate of Prosthodontics in addition to a master of science degree in oral biology, awarded simultaneously upon the completion of requirements. Successful completion also will satisfy the formal training requirement for eligibility for the American Board of Prosthodontics certification examination.
“Prosthodontists are often called the quarterbacks of dentistry, because we plan how the patient is going to look at the end before the treatment begins,” said Anadioti. “In order to reach that, we may work with other dental specialists like oral surgeons or orthodontists and even plastic surgeons, who need us in order to know the result they’re aiming for before they act.”
With an eye on the growing role of digital tools, Anadioti also will be collaborating with the School of Engineering and Applied Science to examine the potential of using 3-D printed structures instead of traditionally milled prostheses and with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center to serve patients while training residents.
“This new service will be a huge benefit to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania,” said Anadioti. “There are a lot of people out there who need our services.”