Loma Linda University (LLU) School of Dentistry’s advanced education program in implant dentistry celebrated 40 years of service April 3 and 4, 2016, with a two-day symposium at the Damazo Amphitheater of LLU’s Centennial Complex titled “Anterior Implant Esthetics: Preservation vs Regeneration.”

More than 500 oral health care professionals attended presentations by leading experts in the field of anterior implant esthetics that included lectures on current treatments and philosophies in soft and hard tissue preservation and regeneration, as well as prosthodontics management of occlusion and its complications.

Attendees received 16 hours of continuing education credit for their attention to presentations by 11 implant dentistry specialists.

The Robert A. James Society for Implant Dentistry hosted a fundraising dinner Sunday evening at the Mission Inn in Riverside. And after introductory remarks by Dean Ronald Dailey, PhD, Jaime Lozada, DDS, director, advanced education program in implant dentistry, shared his vision for the remodel of the LLUSD Implant Dentistry Center that will make the facility consistent with the quality of education and patient care that it already provides.

Renovations include an upgrade to the front desk and reception areas as well as all new dental chair units in each of the center’s six operatories.

The “Anterior Implant Esthetics: Preservation vs Regeneration” seminar was an enormous success as evidenced by the comments attending professionals left on their evaluation sheets, including, “Very informative. I will change my practice;” “The whole event was top-notch;” “Amazing. Thank you very much for these two wonderful days;” and “Very impressive group of speakers.”

During the banquet, Joe Kan, DDS, MS, former student of the LLUSD implant program (1993) and member of its faculty since 1995, director of the “40 Years of Implant Dentistry” symposium, was feted with a surprise award for his efforts in putting the symposium together. John Kois, DMD, MSD, described the trajectory of Kan’s career that included an affectionately humorous presentation of photos from his early childhood and education at Loma Linda University.

The occasion also provided an opportunity to honor the contribution made to the school’s implant dentistry program by its laboratory technicians: Lui Calvillo, CDT (22 years); Satoshi Sakamoto, RDT (6 years); Mick Ilich, CDT (22 years); and Dennis Corydon, CDT (9 years).

The 40th Anniversary’s third day of celebration (Tuesday, April 5) was devoted to the Robert A. James Society of Implant Dentistry’s 3rd Alumni Symposium in Loma Linda University’s Wong Kerlee Pavilion.

The symposium was organized by the Society’s president, Aladdin AlArdah, DDS, assistant professor, advanced education program in implant dentistry, and featured lectures by 13 LLUSD implant program alumni from all over the world — countries that included Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Lebanon and the United States. The presenters shared with their colleagues the results of their professional activities and insights.

“What sets our program apart from so many others,” says AlArdah, “is the sense of belonging to a bigger family with bonds of shared memories, friendship, and professional specialty.”

AlArdah hosted a gathering of 90 implant celebrants for dinner at his home Monday evening.

A week after the event, Dr. Lozada said, “As of today I am still receiving emails of congratulations from those who attended the symposium and personal congratulations from many of our faculty in the School of Dentistry who attended the meetings, all of which reflects the outstanding work that Dr. Kan as a program chair, with the assistance of the continuing dental education staff, accomplished for this event.

“We are looking forward to the continuing collaboration with our former students and welcome their support that enriches the Robert A. James Society and future implant symposia.”