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UMSOD Launches Multidisciplinary Specialty Program

Written by Adam Zewe

A new program at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry prepares dental specialists to successfully complete even more complex cases. The Implant Periodontal Prosthodontics (IPP) Postgraduate Program provides cross-training for periodontists and prosthodontists who seek advanced skills.

Professor Christian F.J. Stappert, DDS, MS, PhD, Dr. Med Dent Habil, leads the full-time program, which was established in July. Through lectures, group discussions and clinical training, periodontists will master prosthodontic techniques, while prosthodontists develop advanced periodontal skills. "We want to give them the interdisciplinary experience to plan complex cases and treat the patient from A to Z, incorporating colleagues of other UM specialty programs to provide the best possible service to the patient," Dr. Stappert remarks.

A complex case could involve many different treatments, like implant placement, crown and bridge work and even removable dentures. Postgraduate students team up on restorative cases, which enables them to learn from each other, and provide evidence-based patient care. When managing very complex cases, practitioners must have a clear vision for the patient, says Dr. Stappert. "They start out with the final product in mind and work backward. It requires thinking about all the different levels, surgically as well as aesthetically," he states.

The program, which will eventually provide training for six specialists over a two-year program, also focuses on research. Postgraduate students are encouraged to perform scientific investigations and present their results at national meetings. Cutting-edge technology makes UMSOD the ideal host for the program, says Dr. Stappert. He will incorporate surgical microscopes into the curriculum and plans to utilize digital dentistry and CAD/CAM technology. Residents in other School of Dentistry programs will be invited to join lectures, which will create true multidisciplinary discussions. "I see this program, not as a competition with existing programs, but as a cooperation and continuation," declares Dr. Stappert.

The IPP Program has already caught the interest of both domestic and foreign candidates. A group of international colleagues recently visited UMSOD to learn more about the program. In time, Dr. Stappert hopes to lead a world-class program that sets an interdisciplinary standard for advanced dental specialty training.

Click here to learn more about the IPP Program.

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