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The International Journal of Prosthodontics

Edited by George A. Zarb, BChD, DDS, MS, MS, FRCD(C)

ISSN 0893-2174

May/June 2013
Volume 26 , Issue 3

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An Interview with Donald Kepron on the Occasion of His Real Retirement

Douglas Chaytor

Pages: 210–213
PMID: 23626972

The impact of implant therapy on our discipline clearly let the genie out of the bottle. This helped break down specialty-driven silos in assessing patients’ overall oral health needs, rather than reinforce them. The result was a new treatment planning orthodoxy that is gradually becoming a powerful antidote to old discipline-contrived dogmas. Regrettably, the traditionally strong educational emphasis on the topic of occlusion and its role in crafting optimal treatment plans for patients had already started to weaken when osseointegration entered the modern lecture circuit’s priority rankings. This was unfortunate since an appreciation for occlusion’s role in treatment planning remains such an obvious focus for integrating diverse and often conflicting treatment agendas. While scope for rehabilitating oral function resulted from predictable implant therapy, accompanying developments in surgical and prosthodontic skills were not matched by a comparable increase in our understanding of the resultant functional aspects. The neurophysiologic response to osseointegrated implants remains elusive and certainly underestimated. Which is why the current explosion of research interest in neuroplasticity is bound to make significant inroads into dentistry’s better understanding of so-called osseoperception.

Throughout the last half century, numerous clinical scholars in different leading dental schools around the world devoted their academic lives to the study of occlusion. They laid down the road map for our current appreciation of the complexity of masticatory function and parafunction, and are now arguably best known to those of us whose own learning and teaching growth benefitted from their shared wisdom and unique capacity for guiding and promoting. Donald Kepron is one such exemplar of intellectual courage and integrity; and his inadequately recognized contribution to Canadian prosthodontics demands special acknowledgment in 2013—the year he retired from practice following his earlier retirement from his academic role at the Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I therefore invited Douglas Chaytor, long retired from his Dalhousie University prosthodontic chairmanship in Nova Scotia, and a past secretary of the International College of Prosthodontists, to interview Don Kepron. All three of us have been friends for many decades and shared a recent reunion to celebrate our role in the founding of the Association of Prosthodontists of Canada, which took place in Ottawa in 1971.

George A. Zarb, Editor-in-Chief

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