Specialist Dental Group has launched an on-going series of blog posts by our individual dental specialists. All views provided are the dentist’s own opinions and are posted on this blog as part of our on-going efforts to educate the public about dental issues and other matters of interest relating to dentistry and healthcare.
How long is 20 years? A little arithmetic will show it is 7000+ days and a whopping 170,000+ hours! It has been almost 7300 days since I left Chicago for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study under Professor John Beumer as his post-graduate resident at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). UCLA is known for its academic excellence and its sport teams – basketball, football, swimming, track and field, etc.
On the professional front, UCLA is also known for its pioneering work in implant dentistry. While most other places in the world were trying to get dental implants surgically placed successfully, under the direction of Professor John Beumer, the UCLA team was full steam ahead in creating predictable implant teeth that looked, felt and functioned exactly like natural teeth. This meaningful clinical advancement is commonly known in the dental field as the ‘UCLA abutment’.
After I was done with my training in UCLA, I have since taught many batches of post-graduate students at the University of Toronto and later, at the National University of Singapore after I relocated to Singapore in 2004.
Sometime last year, it suddenly dawned on me that it was time for me to visit my alma mater in Los Angeles. After a little emailing, I was scheduled to give a lecture to the current UCLA post-graduate students in implant and reconstructive dentistry.
When I arrived there on May 7, 2012, I noticed that the campus was pretty much the same as in 1992 except that there were many new buildings that never used to be there. Many of my former colleagues are still at UCLA doing their good work. It was so exciting that I could almost feel the super high concentration of exceptional human IQ. It was refreshing to see the younger trainee specialists and their enthusiasm, energy dedication to the art and science of the specialty.
The current co-director of the UCLA Advanced Prosthodontics Postgraduate Residency Program, Dr. Kumar Shah (who is from Singapore) kindly allowed me to take his post-graduate residents under my wings and I went on to have a very interactive lecture with the new boys and girls. Surprise, surprise; I learned a lot from them even though I was the one who gave the lecture!
There is no doubt, teaching a good group of bright students is one of the most gratifying experiences in life, especially if you are a teacher. I am fortunate to have my own group of fantastic post-graduate students at the National University of Singapore
Dr. Ansgar C. Cheng is a Dental Specialist in Prosthodontics (Teeth Replacement) with Specialist Dental Group™. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the National University of Singapore. He has a special interest in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and treatment of medically compromised patients, including cancer patients. For more information about Dr. Cheng, click here