Space for discovery

April 13th, 2022

Society participants, from left: Yafet Zemmedhun, Dr. Andrea Rothman, Robert Sutton, Justin Morey, Grayson Dillingham, Timanisha Holbert and Tyler Berger. Present but not pictured: Jamilex Carreño and Ethan Elizondo.

Texas A&M College of Dentistry students have access to a new interest group, the Pre-Prosthodontics Society, to advance their knowledge and exposure to the field of prosthodontics.

D3 Robert Sutton kindled the idea for the organization as a D2 student, prompted by his strong laboratory background from Ozark Prosthodontics of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and passion for the field.

He enlisted comprehensive dentistry faculty member Dr. Andrea Rothman, a prosthodontist, as faculty sponsor and sought administrative approval for the group in spring 2021. The society first met via zoom in June 2021, and monthly meetings have since moved to a dual in-person/zoom format.

“I had no idea what a prosthodontist was until I was hired as a lab technician in 2018,” Sutton says. “Prosthodontics is so much more than dentures. It is a dental specialty that can truly utilize all of the digital workflows that are currently dominating in the industry.”

Meeting topics have included complex restorative cases with digital workflows, dental coding, and dental/medical billing. Dr. Naif Sinada, an Arkansas prosthodontist, shared an ectodermal dysplasia case at the April 8 meeting, showcasing the use of digital planning, design, and the execution of a full mouth rehabilitation.

“Robert’s vision to support and offer curious students a place for discovery and stimulating conversation has been a resounding success,” Rothman says. “This first-ever society of its kind fills an educational void and elevates the institution.

“I am so proud to be part of such a professional and elite group that exudes excellence,” she continues. “These doctoral students, young operators and thinkers will be the cream of the crop in their residencies and in practice. These students are special. They are the future leaders of the profession, and I am humbled that they asked me to lead.”

Thoughtful discussion follows each presentation, and the format is a safe place for quality interactive Q&A sessions. All are welcome to join, either to attend all meetings or only those with topic interest. Students do not have to be interested in pursuing prosthodontics to attend.

“It has been a pleasure to collaborate with soon to be D4 Robert Sutton and to consult with him on the advanced cases he tackles even as an undergraduate dental student,” Rothman says. “Robert is unselfish with his ideas and information. He developed and has shared a comprehensive list of postgraduate prosthodontic programs. His master list includes commentary and insights to help a dental student choose a specialty program.”

Contact Sutton or Rothman for more information on the Pre-Prosthodontics Society.

— Carolyn Cox