AAP honors achievements in periodontics

CHICAGO, Illinois—The American Academy of Periodontology awarded excellence in periodontology among members at the association's 98th annual meeting in Los Angeles, Calif.

“It is a great privilege to recognize my colleagues’ valuable achievements in periodontics,” said AAP President Dr. Nancy Newhouse.

"The advancements made by these talented individuals help members of the AAP and fellow periodontists around the world treat patients more effectively and efficiently I hope their work inspires other dental professionals to contribute to the field of periodontics.”

Individual Awards

Gold Medal Award
Founded in 1967, the Gold Medal Award is the highest honor bestowed by the AAP and is sponsored by Sunstar Americas, Inc. This year, the AAP recognizes Dr. Preston D. Miller Jr., for his outstanding contributions to the field of periodontics. Dr. Miller was the first to publish and present the free gingival graft as a predictable procedure for root coverage. In addition, he developed the Miller Classification system, which is utilized to delineate the type of recession for a tooth. He is a past recipient of the Master Clinician Award and past president of the AAP. He also established the Humanitarian Award for the AAP. He is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Periodontology, has published numerous articles, contributed to four textbooks and lectures extensively throughout the world. Dr. Miller now teaches the next generation of periodontists at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Miller is a graduate of Davidson College, a Merit Graduate of the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry, a member of OKU, served in the United States Air Force and attended his specialty training at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, and the Southern Academy of Periodontology.

Master Clinician Award
The Master Clinician Award, sponsored by Hu-Friedy, recognizes Dr. Leonard S. Tibbetts for the consistent clinical excellence demonstrated and practiced in the field of periodontics. Dr. Tibbets has a reputation as the expert authority on dental anatomy, osseous surgery and periodontal microsurgery. He graciously nurtures others’ knowledge by allowing colleagues into his office to observe his technique. He also writes numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks as well as lectures and teaches across the globe. He was instrumental in adding intravenous sedation to the postdoctoral curriculum, a formidable task that has a tremendous impact on periodontists’ scope of practice. As one of the first periodontists to use a surgical microscope, Dr. Tibbetts considers individual clinicians are the advancing force in the specialty. Dr. Tibbetts has served as the president of the AAP, the AAP Foundation, the Southwest Society of Periodontists, and the Texas Society of Periodontists. Dr. Tibbetts currently runs a practice in Arlington, Texas.

Distinguished Service and Parliamentarian Emeritus Award
The Distinguished Service and Parliamentarian Emeritus Award recognize Dr. Milton Palat for his commitment to the AAP. Dr. Palat has provided guidance to the AAP Board of Trustees meetings and the General Assembly as a parliamentarian since 1996. Dr. Palat also trains AAP officers and Board members in the Sturgis Code of Parliamentary Procedure to ensure meetings are orderly, discussions are relevant and productive; creating a disciplined atmosphere even when the most controversial issues are discussed. He has mentored 12 presidents and is a frequent source for advice and counsel.

Dr. Palat received his dental degree at Temple University, his periodontal certificate from New York University and his Juris Doctor from Rutgers University. In addition to receiving a Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Palat has been named Parliamentarian Emeritus in honor of his 16 years of service as the AAP’s parliamentarian. He has been a member of the AAP since 1968.

Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award honors Dr. Leslie M. Salkin. For more than 30 years, Dr. Salkin has exemplified dedication to the field. He mentored young periodontists throughout their training and encouraged them to complete their board certification. He was a member of the Board of Trustees, served on numerous AAP committees and was the director of the American Board of Periodontology from 1996 to 2001. Dr. Salkin is also a former president of the Pennsylvania Society of Periodontists and the Philadelphia Society of Periodontists. A reigning expert in his field, Dr. Salkin has authored more than 34 journals articles and textbook chapters.

Distinguished Scientist Award
The Distinguished Scientist Award, sponsored by Procter & Gamble Professional Oral Health, honors Dr. Robert J. Genco for his contribution to the science and discipline of periodontology. For more than three decades, Dr. Genco has studied the cause, prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. He has researched the effects of periodontal disease on diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. He and his colleagues have identified important risk indicators for periodontal disease including diabetes, smoking, P. gingivalis and B. forsythus, stress, osteopenia, low dietary calcium, and obesity. His studies demonstrated the importance of eliminating periodontal disease-causing bacteria for successful treatment and his work with locally applied platelet-derived growth factor has led to an FDA-approved treatment for periodontal disease. Dr. Genco is a pioneer exploring the link between periodontal disease and other systemic disease.

Dr. Genco served as editor of the Journal of Periodontology for 18 years. He is currently a distinguished professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Department of Oral Biology and Department of Microbiology in the School of Medical and Biomedical Sciences. He has published more than 350 peer-reviewed articles, contributed to 10 books, and holds nine patents. Dr. Genco has been a member of the AAP since 1970.

Outstanding Periodontal Educator Award
The Outstanding Periodontal Educator Award recognizes Dr. Charles M. Cobb for his distinguished contributions as a teacher and mentor in periodontology. For the past 40 years, Dr. Cobb has taught and practiced periodontics. He received his DDS, certificate in periodontics, and MS in microbiology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After serving in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps, Dr. Cobb received his PhD in anatomy from Georgetown University, and then taught at Louisiana State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham before returning to UMKC in 1977, where he rose from clinical associate professor in periodontics to his current position of professor emeritus.

His students affectionately refer to him as “The Encyclopedia,” and have helped the budding periodontists with their studies after hours, on weekends, and even holidays. He even continues to support students once they have graduated and begin developing their own practices. Dr. Cobb has received UMKC’s Teacher of the Year Award and the Elmer F. Pierson Award for Excellence in Teaching, the school’s highest award since the recipients are selected by peers from all disciplines, not just dentistry.

Humanitarian Award
The Humanitarian Award recognizes Dr. Steven B. Blanchard as a member who gives selflessly through extraordinary actions. Dr. Blanchard provides oral health care to thousands of patients in need, both nationally and internationally. Since 2003, he has been a volunteer dentist at the Trinity Free Clinic in Hamilton County, Ind. There he has provided pro bono treatment to those with no access to dental care. He also provided care to those in Haiti. He established an international service learning program to provide oral health care and health education in Honduras. This program has treated more than 1,000 patients and promised to be an ongoing effort. He regularly volunteers for Give Kids a Smile and Project S.H.A.P.E. - Summer Health Assessment and Prevention Education, in Indianapolis, Ind. Dr. Blanchard was also one of the first responders to the crash at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Honorary Membership (posthumously)
Honorary membership is granted to Vincent L. Conner for his outstanding contributions to the art and science of periodontology. Son of AAP member Dr. Dalton Conner, he used his business skills to help many AAP members with associates and partnership issues. Conner lectured at AAP meetings on topics related to buying and selling a periodontal practice, improving practice workflow, as well as other relevant business issues. He shares his knowledge with graduate periodontal students and established periodontists throughout the U.S., helping them improve multiple facets of their practice.

Lifetime Achievement Award and Executive Director Emeritus
In honor of her 26 years as the AAP’s Executive Director, Alice DeForest received a Lifetime Achievement Award and was named Executive Director Emeritus. During her tenure, membership doubled, staff was organized into specialized departments and operating revenue increased. Since walking through the doors, she diversified the AAP's business lines, expanded member services, and dramatically increased its influence with other dental organizations and the public under her leadership. DeForest officially retired at the conclusion of the 2012 annual meeting.

Special Citations
Special citations are awarded to individuals who have contributed to the AAP in a noteworthy manner such as an AAP committee or special project.

Dr. Panos N. Papapanos is recognized for his efforts in clarifying information about the American Heart Association’s scientific statement in “Periodontal Disease and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease: Does the Evidence Support an Independent Association?” to benefit the public and profession.

Task Force for General Dentist Outreach: Dr. Diego Velasquez, Chair; Drs. Walter E. Colon II, Gordon L. Douglass, Lisa B. Masters, Robert P. Pulliam, and Edward H. Segal; Dr. Wayne Aldredge, Board Liaison.

AAP/CDC Workgroup: Dr. Robert J. Genco, Chair; Drs. James D. Beck and Wenche S. Borgnakke; Alice DeForest; Drs. Gordon L. Douglass, Bruce A. Dye, Paul I. Eke, Roy C. Page, Gary Slade, George W. Taylor and Gina Thornton-Evans.

Research and Literature Awards

Clinical Research Award
The Clinical Research Award is sponsored by Quintessence Publishing and honors an outstanding published scientific manuscript having direct clinical relevance and application to the practice of periodontics. Authors Cortellni P, Stalpers G, Mollo A, Tonitti MS, are honored for their paper “Periodontal regeneration versus extraction and prosthetic replacement of teeth severely compromised by attachment loss to the apex: 5-year results of an ongoing randomized clinical trial” which was published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

R. Earl Robinson Regeneration Award
The R. Earl Robinson Regeneration Award is sponsored by the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation and honors the most outstanding published scientific article on periodontal regeneration in the basic or clinical sciences. Silvestri M, Rasperini G, and Milan S, are honored for their paper, “120 intrabony defects treated with regenerative therapy: long-term results,” which was published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

William J. Gies Award
The William J. Gies Award is sponsored by American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and presented annually for outstanding contributions to literature and education in the field of periodontology. The award is provided by the William J. Gies Foundation for the Advancement of Dentistry. This year’s recipient is Dr. Brian L. Mealey. Dr. Mealey has co-authored two books, 19 book chapters, 64 papers in refereed journals, 15 abstracts, and numerous reviews and editorials. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Periodontology, Clinical Advances in Periodontics, Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, Grand Rounds in Oral-Systemic Medicine, and Triage.

He is a peer reviewer for numerous other journals and has lectured extensively thought the U.S. His research interests include periodontal disease and systemic health, clinical and radiographic diagnosis of periodontal disease, use of various graft materials for periodontal bony defects, and bone regeneration and dental implant therapy. He is often the AAP’s guide on the topic of diabetes and periodontal disease. He is the Chair of the American Board of Periodontology and is a board member of the Southwest Society of Periodontists. He is also the current program director of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

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