The warm and beautiful Costa do Sauipe, in the north of Brazil, set up a great scenario to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Academy of Dental Materials . The Academy was founded and held its first meeting in 1941. It started as a group of dental professionals who were interested in the development and application of plastic materials to dentistry, and it was called The American Academy for Plastics Research in Dentistry . In 1983, the Academy was reorganized, broadened its scope and, under the leadership of Dr. Evan H. Greener, has become The Academy of Dental Materials (ADM). The Academy journal, Dental Materials , started two years later, in 1985.
To celebrate this successful journey, the ADM just organized its greatest meeting ever. Participants from more than 20 countries discussed the future of dental materials and processes to ensure safe and effective products. Renowned speakers introduced and instigated the discussion with excellent talks that are provided in written form as published papers in this journal issue.
The opening session was chaired by Dr J. Robert Kelly from the USA. This commenced with lectures by Prof Richard van Noort from the University of Sheffield, UK. His main topic was: The future of dental devices is digital . This was an authoritative and enlightening account of new technology for the fabrication of indirect restorations. This was followed by a splendid lecture by Prof Jeffrey Stansbury of the University of Colorado on Effect of monomer selection and curing conditions on dental polymer properties . It was impressive to see how far the molecular structures could explain the properties and suggest new material characteristics. The next day’s session on: When is the appropriate time to market a dental material product? was chaired by Dr Nick Silikas from the UK. Prof John Wataha of the University of Washington gave a magisterial review on the subject of biocompatibility, showing that this was crucial to the session theme. Prof J. Robert Kelly of the University of Connecticut followed with “ The slippery slope ” – “ Critical perspectives on in vitro research methodologies ”, addressing the importance of selecting clinically relevant properties for study and avoiding those with little relevance, however great their precedent in the literature. This was followed by Professor Stephen C. Bayne, a distinguished ADM Founders Award winner, taking further the subject of clinical performance and in vitro properties, especially as regards polymer-matrix materials.
On the final day, Prof Lorenzo Breschi from Italy chaired the session on: How should material optimization be established to ensure safe and effective products? The first speaker was Prof Ricardo Marins de Carvalho, from Brazil – but now working at UBC, Vancouver. He tackled the topic Durability of bonds and clinical success of adhesive restorations , in which he was able to draw upon his extensive experience of both academic research and industrial development. The theme of How long do posterior composite restorations last? was ably addressed by Prof Flávio Demarco of the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. Finally, Prof Kenneth Anusavice of the University of Florida, who was also honored with the ADM Founders Award , considered ceramic and metal-ceramic crown and bridge restorations from the perspective of Standardizing failure, success and survival decisions in clinical studies. It was salutary to be reminded that a major negative impact on restoration survival for a patient can be changing their dentist!
Throughout the meeting, all participants had the privilege of continuing the discussion with the speakers after the talks, during the poster sessions and socializing in the wonderful meeting venue. In addition, almost 200 participants presented their research studies in the 2011 ADM meeting. The abstracts from all these studies were published, along with their respective DOI, by the Dental Materials Supplement 1, 2011, which was available to the participants at the meeting registration and online immediately after the meeting. The papers of this journal issue were also available to the meeting attendants as non-edited speakers’ manuscripts. These were just possible, for the first time, because of early organization, speakers’ dedication and Elsevier’s superb work.
As the Academy president and the Journal editor, we truly believe the Academy membership and Dental Materials have a tremendous impact on the present and future of dental products, services, and systems. Nevertheless, promoting dental materials research through ADM activities for 70 years was only possible with the assistance and dedication of many hard workers and supporters, such as ADM Board members, Corporate members, meeting organizers and sponsors, but specially ADM presidents. Yes! – dental materials researchers and authors, members of the Academy and subscribers of this journal, you are the main reason for celebrating 70 years of the Academy and 27 years of Dental Materials !