Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2019 03 Dr Richard Kao

Interview with AAP President Dr. Richard Kao

April 2, 2019
Dr. Richard Kao, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, discusses the World Workshop with the European Federation of Periodontology, industry trends, and long-term goals of the organization.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Richard Kao, DDS, PhD, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting. In our discussion, Dr. Kao talked about the World Workshop with the European Federation of Periodontology, industry trends, and long-term goals of the AAP.

Interview with Dr. Richard Kao

Last year the AAP published official proceedings from the most recent World Workshop with the European Federation of Periodontology. Tell us a little about the impact of that information on the profession. How have dentists responded?

We expect that the updated disease classification will have a wide-reaching impact, perhaps most notably because of the new staging and grading framework as well as the inaugural classification of peri-implant disease and conditions. This refreshed approach considers various elements, such as disease progression and a patient’s risk factors, and is a step in the direction of caring for the whole patient. This is key in an era of perio-systemic connections and a sign of progress in the era of personalized medicine. The updated classification also emphasizes the value of collaborative care with a team that includes periodontists, referring dentists, and physicians. We’re confident that with the opportunity the updated classification provides, there will be a meaningful influence on the specialty—from how clinicians practice, to how hygienists administer care, to what dental students learn in the classroom. The AAP is working to create resources that will guide a seamless implementation of the new classification within dentistry.

One of the AAP's goals is to advocate for key issues in the profession. What are the important issues the AAP will be advocating for in 2019?

In January, the AAP submitted official comments for the 2020 Surgeon General Report on Oral Health, which will explore the meaning of oral health and its implications on overall well-being. The Academy’s commentary will guide the content on national periodontal disease prevalence, prevention, and treatment of periodontal disease, innovations in care, and existing barriers. We’re excited to advocate for periodontics and serve as a resource for the leaders who set the tone for the nation’s health and well-being.

We’re also primed to assess emerging periodontal technologies, which—because they are newer—do not yet have a critical mass of evidence about their use. The AAP’s Best Evidence Consensus panels help guide clinicians in appropriately incorporating these technologies in their practices, and the 2019 panel will focus on the process of changing gingival phenotype in preparation for orthodontic and dental implant treatment.

Both the science and business of dentistry continue to evolve. Here at Chicago Midwinter, we see evidence of this from both exhibitors (products/services) and speakers. What are trends in dentistry have you found here in Chicago?

I am excited to see that the program of Chicago Midwinter is focusing on some of periodontics’ hot topics, including implants, CBCT, and radiography, and the links between oral health and overall health. It’s also great to see that periodontics and dentistry at large are on the same accord—shared learning will always be key to forward movement and improving patient care.


2018 interview with Dr. Steven Daniel, president of the American Academy of Periodontology [video]

Perio-Implant Advisory homepage

Zachary Kulsrud is senior editor of Endeavor Business Media's dental group, which includes Dental Economics, DentistryIQ, Perio-Implant Advisory, and RDH.