May 8th - 10th marked the exciting Annual Meeting of The American Academy of Gold Foil Operators in Portland, Oregon. Dr. John and his assistant Erin made the trip down to Portland for an educational and fun filled weekend of hands-on clinical practice and interesting lectures.
For those who are unaware, the practice of Gold Foil restorations in dentistry is one of the oldest established methods of restorative dentistry. It involves a very meticulous preparation of the cavity using mostly hand held instruments done slowly under high magnification. Once prepared, the cavity is filled using various sized hand-rolled pellets of pure gold leaf. As each piece of gold is tapped into place it cold welds to itself, creating a uniform solid restoration that fills and seals the cavity. Once filled, the gold restoration is polished to a brilliant shine that results in a functional and esthetically beautiful restoration. While this type of restorative dentistry is rarely done in everyday practice today due to its time consuming nature, it still proves to be a valuable method of practice for several reasons. It helps hone the operator's eye for detail as well as sharpen his/her fine motor skills. As a dentist, the regular maintenance of these important skills is essential in consistently producing quality work in every aspect of dentistry.
After arriving in Portland on Thursday evening, Dr. John and Erin got a good nights rest in preparation for Friday's clinical sessions. Bright and early they met with the participating doctors from Gold Foil study clubs all over the Pacific Northwest at the OHSU Dental School. There each doctor was provided a patient to work with.
Dr. John and Erin had the pleasure of working on a lovely patient named Lola who presented with an interesting challenge. The tooth that was selected to work on was the upper right second bicuspid (#15) that had an older amalgam filling present on the biting surface. However, to make things a little more complicated, due to the patient's crossbite there was also a significant area of wear present next to the cavity that caused the patient some sensitivity and needed to be addressed. After a thorough exam and consultation with several of the study club mentors, the decision was made to place two separate gold foil fillings on this tooth. Dr. John and Erin both agreed that they learned a lot from this particular case. The outcome was beautiful! Our patient and Dr. John were very pleased with the results.
Following the morning's clinical sessions was a lovely luncheon back at the hosting Sentinel Hotel in Portland. The afternoon consisted of some interesting and informative lectures about Sleep Apnea and Surgical Soft Tissue treatments. Friday evening provided a nice opportunity for catching up with old colleagues over some of Portland's famous craft brews!
Saturday morning culminated in the highlight of the Gold Foil experience: SHOW and TELL!! This final conference/lecture allowed for each practising doctor from the previous days clinic to present the case they worked on and explain to the group how they approached the particular case they were given. A Q&A session followed where all the doctors were able and encouraged to ask questions of each other, so all had the opportunity to learn from each other. Dr. John's little girl Charlotte even made an appearance, helping Dr. J present his beautiful foil to the crowd.
This brought the 84th Annual Meeting of The American Academy of Gold Foil Operators to a close. It was a very enjoyable and informative weekend of work and play.
**If you or anyone you know is interested in more information about Gold Foil restorations or participating as a patient in future meetings of our local Gold Foil Study Club, please contact Erin at Metral Dental Clinic.