The annual awards honoring leaders in the field of laser dentistry marked the final exercise of the conference. Awards were presented during the President’s Reception and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 16 at the Hilton Torrey Pines Resort in La Jolla, California, marking the final exercises of the Academy’s 9th Annual Conference and Exhibition.
The Academy’s T.H. Maiman Award is presented for excellence in dental laser research. Theodore H. Maiman developed the first laser in 1960. This year’s T.H. Maiman Award was bestowed upon John D.B. Featherstone, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry for his contribution to the field of dental laser research. Dr. Featherstone joins his esteemed colleagues, Dr. Joel White in 1993, Dr. Lynn Powell in 1995, Dr. Richard Blankenau in 1996, Dr. Terry Myers in 1998, Dr. Peter Rechmann in 1999, Dr. Frederick Parkins in 2000, and Dr. Akira Aoki of the Tokyo Medical and Dental University Department of Periodontology, Department of Hard Tissue Engineering Graduate School in 2001 as this year’s award recipient.
The Academy’s Leon Goldman Award is presented for clinical excellence. Dr. Goldman was the first physician to report on laser exposure to a vital human tooth. This year’s Leon Goldman Award was bestowed upon Dr. Duane H. Beers of Socorro, New Mexico. Dr. Beers joins past recipients Dr. Kim Kutsch in 1993, Dr. Robert Pick in 1995, Dr. Steven Parker in 1998, Dr. Robert Barr and Dr. Donald Coluzzi in 1999 and Dr. Janet Hatcher Rice in 2000 and Ms. Nora M. Raffetto, RDH in 2001 in this esteemed group.
The Academy’s Distinguished Service Award is presented for outstanding commitment and contribution to the Academy. This year’s distinguished service award was presented to Dr. Stuart Coleton, past president of the Academy and current Chairman of the Professional and Public Relations Committee. Dr. Coleton is a periodontist in private practice in White Plains, New York and he continues to serve the Academy in numerous activities. It was our pleasure to present, a very surprised and appreciative, Dr. Coleton with this award. Past recipients are: Dr. Stewart Rosenberg in 1993; Dr. Scott Brundrett in 1995; Mr. John Sulewski in 1996; University of California, San Francisco in 1997; Dr. David M. Roshkind in 1998, Dr. Alan J. Goldstein in 1999; Dr. William Siminovsky in 2000.
The Past President’s Award was presented to Dr. Lester B. Burman in appreciation of his devoted leadership as president during 2001. As president, Dr. Burman saw the tremendous growth in the Academy as membership climbed over 750. Dr. Burman also enjoyed seeing the expansion of this year's conference program with the attendance which included 400 participants. The increasing interest in lasers in dentistry and the rising membership is a result of many years of his dedicated service and leadership.
As laser use continues to grow in the field of dentistry, the Academy of Laser Dentistry continues to be dedicated to improving the health and well being of patients through the proper use of laser technology. The Academy will continue to actively support education and research through its certification programs, publications, meetings and additional activities. The Academy will also continue to recognize the efforts of the individual and be grateful for the dedication and enthusiasm the board of directors continues to display with each growing year.