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President's Summation

President’s Summation (Shahrokh Shabahang)

I thank you all for coming to the 80th annual meeting.  As it happens every year, AIOB seminarians have expressed their gratitude for a successful meeting; I could not agree more and informed them that the success of the meeting was based on a true team effort.  I want to thank the AIOB Board of Directors, Dr. Stuart Garber, Dr. Alan Herford, Dr. Norm Plotkin, Dr. James Stich, Dr. Judy Strutz, Dr. Steve Traub, Dr. Hilda Yacoub, and Dr. Zegar Zegar, and our Executive Assistant, June Barrientos, for their efforts to put on a seamlessly productive meeting.  Everyone played a part in making sure that nearly every detail was considered to provide attendees a weekend of learning offered in a friendly atmosphere.  I also want to thank Palm Springs Hilton and their staff for taking care of us in the manner that they always do.

AIOB brings people together first, and health professionals with a passion for life-long learning, second. We especially appreciated Dr. Mark Wong’s comment about the uniqueness of our meeting where speakers are asked to talk about themselves and not just about their topic of expertise.  This comment exemplifies our organization which is as sincere about learning as it is about all who gather year after year in this same location to exchange friendship and comradery.

AIOB offers its seminarians cutting-edge knowledge that is not typically offered in many dental meetings or continuing education settings.  We hope to broaden and challenge your minds by pushing you outside of your comfort zone.  Every year AIOB organizers have dedicated at least one lecture to a general interest topic.  We have typically invited spouses and guests of our seminarians to the general interest lecture, which has historically been provided on Saturday afternoon.  More than a decade ago, we elected to dedicate the Saturday afternoon lecture to our beloved Dr. Boyne, who presided over AIOB for 32 years with care and love similar to a parent for his/her child.  As homage to Dr. Boyne’s contributions to the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and bone regenerative science, we now recognize this lecture as the Philip J. Boyne Lecture and as a tribute invite leaders in these fields to lecture during this time slot.

Eighty years ago, Dr. Hermann Becks founded an organization called the American Institute of Oral Biology (AIOB) dedicated to science and research in the field of oral biology.  We have named our inaugural lecture each year in his honor and dedicate this lecture on Friday afternoon to Dr. Becks by inviting speakers to provide a lecture on general interest topics.  This year, Dr. Terry Smith kicked off our meeting with a talk on one of the most common autoimmune diseases, Grave’s Disease.  Dr. Smith dedicated his illustrious career to finding solutions for this terrible disease and humbly presented some of his work with a human touch.  There are approximately 100 autoimmune diseases that have been identified, representing a large segment of chronic diseases that affect many in the U.S. and globally.  New classes of autoimmune diseases are now being identified based on antigenic targets of autoimmunity, some mediated by T cells and some by antibodies.  Some of these antigenic targets are shared by autoimmune diseases that affect more than one tissue type.  In fact, presence of autoantibodies against certain targets may lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases that, on the surface, may seem unrelated.  While some of the presentations that we hear each year in Palm Springs push us outside of our everyday clinical focus, at AIOB, once a year, we discuss topics that expand our knowledge base.  On Saturday, Dr. Smith casually introduced us to the fruit of his work to find a solution for patients suffering from TAO, a debilitating component of Grave’s Disease.  Data presented from the clinical trials were astonishing and remind us of the challenges that we are willing to overcome to find treatment solutions for patients in great need.

Dr. David and Dr. Davey Alleman provoked us with approaches in restorative dentistry that challenge the norm and some of the basic foundations of our field.  Innovations often come to us by challenging existing dogmas.  More conservative approaches that ultimately result in greater tissue preservation may provide a better long-term solution.

Marianna Evans further highlighted these concepts by presenting less invasive treatment options for addressing facial deformities that are rooted in developmental disruptions by tapping into function to alter anatomy.  One cannot help but be amazed by the interplay between function and anatomy as each impacts the other.  Eye-opening concepts were presented regarding the impact of lifestyle changes over the centuries on facial anatomy.  For example, the foods that we eat not only impact us based on their chemical compositions but also physical characteristics.  Dr. Evans passion was palpable and drew from her specialized training in orthodontics and periodontics.  Her willingness to challenge dogmas and to push the envelope of nonsurgical intervention reminded me of counterintuitive findings when I was examining osseo-integration around titanium implants in older non-human primates with Dr. Phil Boyne only to find that older primates had similar osseo-integration around implants as younger ones.

The reconstructive work that Dr. Alan Herford and Dr. Marianna Evans presented showed us how improvements in facial features are functionally beneficial, and incidentally, effective in improving esthetic features.

At times, some of us take for granted the impact that Dr. Boyne had on AIOB and our lives.  What a terrific tribute this year to Phil’s life-long work and his contributions to the field:  First by Alan’s references to Phil’s work; and then Mark Wong’s continuation of regenerative science in bone physiology.  What a fitting faculty member and presentation this 80th year to Dr. Boyne’s legacy.  The combination of science, technical excellence and technological advancements presented earlier today by Dr. Herford provided a glimpse of what is on the horizon in the coming years.

Dr. Herford and Dr. Zegar provided a contrast by showing the need for multi-disciplinary approaches in the face of diseases and traumatic injuries that dictate surgical intervention.  Pathological changes that result in pain make up a significant category of ailments that manifest in various clinical signs and symptoms.  Management of expectations through accurate communication as well as management of pain and discomfort comprise a major aspect of our clinical offerings.  Understanding materials that we use, pharmacological or restorative, is imperative for favorable outcomes.

During the past 3+ years, the global population has experienced changes that had not impacted earth’s population for perhaps a century.  The pandemic changed social behavior, economic wellbeing, and healthcare to levels that we may not yet fully appreciate.  For one, in an era in which people demand more of their healthcare system, precision medicine requires a higher level of commitment to health monitoring.  All interventions offer risks alongside benefits.  To tip this balance in the right direction, we must assess risk vs. benefit for any given individual.  Population medicine is no longer adequate.  Health by the numbers will lead to better outcomes by selection of appropriate interventions for the right individuals followed by continued monitoring to evaluate outcomes.

We would like to extend our appreciation to our faculty and seminarians for taking time out of their busy lives to be share a memorable and productive weekend filled with exchange of friendship and knowledge.



To download and print the Presidential Summation click PDF below.

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