“Bianca, in this lab we are pushing back the Frontiers of Science!”
- Dr Graham Mount OA
Dr Bianca Piscioneri
In my university days, right in the middle of my Bachelor of Dental Surgery, I received a scholarship to work with the eminent Dr Graham Mount on a relatively new dental material which he helped to pioneer: the Glass Ionomer.
Growing up in a family with a long history in dentistry in Adelaide, Dr Mount knew a lot about dentistry. Above all, in my opinion, Dr Mount was a true gentleman of the dental profession, as a person and a professional with excellent practical skills, unequalled intellect and a never ending curiosity about the science in dentistry. He even received an Order of Australia for his contribution to dentistry throughout his career.
"I simply loved working with and spending my summer holidays with Dr Mount."
The scholarship was during the university summer holidays and it meant spending time in the laboratory in the basement of the dental school. With Dr Mount, I discovered the deeper principles and objectives of Adhesive Dentistry and this further lead to my eventual establishment of GGDS as the leading centre for Biomimetic Dentistry with the cornerstone being the high level of knowledge and skill set required for Adhesive Dentistry. The ultimate achievement of this philosophy is excellent, highly predictable outcomes for patients all the while saving more tooth structure than ever before in the history of dentistry.
I simply loved working with and spending my summer holidays with Dr Mount. He would often say, "Bianca, we are pushing back the frontiers of science" while my friends were enjoying the summer far away from the dental school.
Glass Ionomer material was tooth coloured and chemically bonded to both dentine and enamel (but better to dentine). It had an infusion of fluoride which is slowly released for biological protection of teeth to help prevent recurrent decay.
The original tooth coloured restorations, the composite resin restorations bonded strongly to enamel but not to dentine. The objectives of the study included how to develop better adhesion to all of the layers of the tooth and greater strength of the material to further advance tooth coloured material innovation and adhesive dentistry.
"...modern adhesive dentistry had a great challenge: it needed to be not only tooth coloured but also long lasting and least interruptive to patients lives..."
Popping in and out of the lab was Dr Owen Makinson who was not known for being a friend of the students. But after watching me work with Dr Mount, he sat me down one day and showed me some images of very precise looking gold restorations and asked me how long I thought these restorations have been in these patients' mouths. After putting me through the ringer of letting me take a few guesses, he announced that these restorations were 30 to 50 years old and that gold restorations are as close as a restoration will ever get to being a ‘life long restoration’ with much lower frequency of fractured cusps of teeth compared to amalgam. He then gave a mini-lecture on the importance of being an excellent dentist and only working with equally excellent dental technicians to achieve outcomes like he just showed me.
A few weeks later, Dr Makinson gave a more comprehensive lecture to my whole class and I felt empowered by the fact that I now understood his point of view and it was clear that the modern adhesive dentistry had a great challenge: it needed to be not only tooth coloured but also long lasting and least interruptive to patients lives just like Dr Makinson’s excellently placed gold restorations.
During my time with Dr Mount, I also had the opportunity to observe him treat his patients in his private practice. I learnt and saw the excellent dentistry that Dr Mount practiced, which had lasted decades in the mouths of very grateful patients. I also had a chance to observe Dr Mount’s son - also a dentist in the clinic - offering and treating patients with implants as new and life liberating alternative to dentures at that time.
My dental degree culminated in winning an Australia and New Zealand Endodontic Essay prize in my last year. After this I was ready to learn explore and help the patients to better manage their dental health and well being.
GGDS: The Biomimetic Way™
Rejuvenation - Preservation of tooth structure - Long lasting and highly predictable outcomes - Adhesive Dentistry Excellence - Patented materials from long standing research - Minimising Interruption to patients lives and every day enjoyment
Even today ‘drill and fill’ are the dreaded concept of dentistry that is accompanied by thoughts of equally disturbing dread and fear. Failed restorations in a short period of time, fractured tooth mid enjoyment of a meal, general pain and suffering, post operative filling appointment sensitivity and pain are common descriptions of dental experiences of patients - even today.
I find it a sad fact that some of the cosmetic dentistry offerings are pushed by very aggressive marketing by corporate companies and manufacturers to the detriment of tooth structure and biology. I often wonder what Dr Makinson would say if he saw the outcomes of today's treatment compared to his gold fillings. And what would Dr Mount make of the adhesive ‘glues’ for fillings offered to dentists by manufacturers and marketers. Ultimately, in my opinion, it is the dentists' total responsibility and duty of care to inform the patients of all their options and to educate them to better manage their health. If a material is new on the market and not thoroughly tested, the patients need to be informed so that they can make better choices and understand the risks that may come with choosing such materials.
With GGDS, I wanted to reverse the historical and current experience for patients which can be full of inadequate information and even misinformation.
As a student, I was already standing on the shoulders of giants such as Dr Mount and Dr Makinson. I then continued to go globally and actively seek and fiercely pursue the best mentors, the highest quality materials with extensive and independent research, the most skilled dental technicians and connect with people with great passion for innovation in dentistry.
The very real and highly beneficial concept of The Biomimetic Way™ in Dentistry was firmly established at GGDS. We now have the experience and the deep knowledge of adhesive dentistry and the wholistic and strong connection it has with the biology of the mouth. The only goal being to minimise failures and interruption to patients' lives and their enjoyment of everyday eating. Read about Biomimetic Way™ in our blog on the Intrinsic Beauty of Teeth.
GGDS is now a leader in the comprehensive approach to patient care, encompassing well-being for patients and leading in innovative concepts of The Biomimetic Way™.
At no time in its history has GGDS ever entered into or been locked in any contractual arrangement with any third party such a health funds or corporate bodies. It is this independence that allows us to unabatedly continue to pursue the best possible care for our patients and learn about the latest innovation from leading and equally independent thinkers of the dental academic, research and clinical world globally.
Everyday we are humbled and encouraged by our patients who are grateful and appreciate our unwavering care for them, their dental needs and general well-being.