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Prosthodontics Resident Wins Research Award

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Written by Adam Zewe

Peterson Huang, DMD, a third-year prosthodontics resident, won first place at the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) annual meeting poster presentation competition for his aesthetic dentistry research project. Dr. Huang's project, "The Effect of Disinfection on Various Shade Tabs," was selected due to its substantial contributions to the prosthodontics field. "I felt surprised and honored to win first place, since the competition was fierce," Huang remarks.

Clinicians use shade tabs to evaluate the color of a patient's teeth so they can produce a matching crown or bridge. The tabs, which are similar to paint swatches, are held against teeth to compare colors. They must be disinfected after each use. Huang studied how three different commonly used disinfectants (Cavicide, Asepticare TB and Sporicidin) affect the color of shade tabs.

After disinfecting thousands of different shade tabs, Huang used a device called a spectrophotometer to measure the color change in each tab. He discovered that all three disinfectants had an effect on color, though each altered it to a different degree. Huang hopes his project raises awareness of a potential problem that is often overlooked by practitioners. "Shade tabs are used throughout dentistry. As clinicians, we need to put more thought into the disinfectants that we choose and consider how they might affect the final product," he states.

Huang, of Vancouver, British Columbia, drew on the skills he developed as a musician to help him complete the 18-month research project. As a classical pianist and an associate of Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music, he has been trained to focus on details and interpret complex information. His musical background may also benefit him in his career as a clinical prosthodontist. "Part of prosthodontics is aesthetic dentistry, which requires one to take an artistic view of a patient's smile," says Huang.


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