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Letter From Dear Doctor

Issue 16 of Dear Doctor Magazine

“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.” - Winston Churchill

In this issue, we take a step forward with a look into the future of dentistry. As Dr. Harold Slavkin, one of our illustrious authors and a luminary in dentistry notes, “We are already experiencing enormous changes, and the 21st Century will surpass even the immediate past for remarkable advances in the human condition.”

What was predicted yesterday has inspired research, sometimes based on unlikely findings. For example, certain tumors have been known to grow and contain whole teeth, even in areas far from the mouth. Understanding why and how and harnessing this knowledge has led us to understand the genetics of growing new teeth in the right place — the mouth, a reality that is now around the corner for tooth replacement.

It is also said that art can be a predictor of science, but art is also a large part of science. And the two do work together. In our article featuring “state-of-the-art” composite resin tooth restorations, these futuristic materials are so good they can be directly bonded to damaged tooth structure, becoming one and completely mimicking it. In that sense, and in the right hands, the future is now.

Our article on the link between inflammation and both heart and gum diseases discusses recent research that both informs and directs us to change now. Yet, while individuals and families may make healthier choices for themselves, the burden on society from diseases like dental decay and metabolic syndrome X (a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and adult onset diabetes) is alarming — the national trends are increasing and heading in the wrong direction.

Consider that we have all the knowledge needed to eradicate tooth decay, obesity and more, but it would take a public policy change to substantially reduce or eliminate free sugars and fats from our diets, the main culprits in promoting these chronic diseases.

But while science and scientists can dream, and turn dreams into reality, there is another reality to consider in the form of resistance to change. Clearly, we have the knowledge, but perhaps not the (political) will to become a healthier nation. But hope springs eternal — the naysayers said we could never stop tobacco smoking, but those trends are reversing.

Please contact us with your thoughts and comments, so that Dear Doctor can be your voice for change and a healthier future.


Mario A.Vilardi, DMD

Garry A.Rayant, BDS, DDS, LDSRCS, MS