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Interview: 'The philosophy of dental treatment is very important'

Dr. José Roberto Moura, President of the International Federation of Esthetic Dentistry. (DTI/Photo courtesy of Dr. José Roberto Moura)
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Mon. 6 June 2011


Dr. José Roberto Moura graduated from the University of Taubaté (Brazil) in 1983 with a specialty degree in Restorative Dentistry. He later completed his master’s degree in Prosthodontics at the same university. Dr. Moura served as President of the Brazilian Society of Esthetic Dentistry (BSED) from 1999 to 2000 and from 2002 to 2003. He is currently President of the International Federation of Esthetic Dentistry (IFED).

Dr. Moura, you have been actively involved in aesthetic dentistry since your first BSED presidency in 1999. Would you please tell us how you became involved in dentistry?
Dr. José Roberto Moura: Actually, I have been involved in aesthetic dentistry for much longer. In 1990, I started to work with adhesive dentistry using some materials and techniques that I had brought to Brazil from the USA. In 1994, my friend Dr. Marcelo Fonseca started the BSED and invited me to join its board of directors, as we were already working in that area even though it was something new in Brazil at that time.

Cosmetic dentistry is guided by patient desires, contemporary fashion and trends. However, the majority of cosmetic dental treatments are invasive in nature and not always in line with oral health and ethical standards. What is your take on this?
I disagree with that statement. I think that aesthetic dentistry is also based on, for example, direct composite restorations, which are very conservative and able to improve smiles while preserving sound dental structure. Even bonded ceramic restorations have become more conservative over the years with the improvement of these materials, which are becoming more resistant even at small thicknesses. Besides that, there are very conservative aesthetic techniques such as bleaching, cosmetic contouring and micro-abrasion. The philosophy of dental treatment is very important in this matter and this, in turn, is directly influenced by the way dentists are trained and taught.

In your opinion, what are the most important considerations for dentists interested in introducing cosmetic dentistry into their general practice? What are the largest obstacles?
Cosmetic dentistry is the use of dental materials that not only restore the function of the tooth, but also its appearance. These materials, mainly composites and ceramics, are already largely in use in many practices. Besides, in many countries, aesthetic dentistry is one of the main reasons that patients come to dental offices nowadays. The bottom line is that every dentist doing cosmetic dentistry in his or her practice needs to go about this very seriously, taking high quality hands-on courses, especially those that value conservative treatments and patient health.

You are currently serving as IFED President. Would you please briefly highlight the main goals and activities of IFED, as well as what you wish to achieve during your presidency?
The main goal of IFED is to bring aesthetic dentistry academies from all over the world together to interact with one another in seeking to promote the exchange of experience and knowledge. IFED has one General Assembly that takes place in Chicago during the Midwinter Meeting, where new ideas are presented to IFED by the representatives of the academies. We also have a World Meeting every two years, which is hosted by one of the member academies. The next one will be held in Brazil from 2 to 5 November 2011 in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro.

What are IFED’s current challenges in expanding its membership and activities in the Asia-Pacific region?
We need active members that can really help us contact representatives of aesthetic dentistry groups all over Asia who are willing to join us in our task. We have had great help from people like Dr Peter Tay (Singapore), Dr Seok-Hoon Ko (Korea), Dr Akira Senda (Japan) and Dr Sushil Koirala (Nepal), and I personally hope we can expand the IFED representation in Asia.

How can a national academy become part of IFED?
In order to apply as candidate, they need to fill out a form, which can be requested from our secretary through our website. The applications will be reviewed by a members committee and discussed during the annual Executive Council meeting in Chicago. If the criteria are met, they will be voted in at the General Assembly as associate members. Following three years of activity, they are voted to become active members and also part of our great world family.

This year’s IFED meeting will be held in your home country Brazil. How are preparations coming along and what will the major attractions be?
The BSED is working very hard in order to promote a great meeting with presentations by the great masters from all over the world, and also a good social programme that promotes interaction amongst participants. We will be proud to have Dr Adriana McGregor (USA), Prof Bart van Meerbeek (Belgium), Dr Christian Coachman (Brazil), Dr Dinos Kountouras (Greece) and Dr Tidu Mankoo (UK) as speakers, amongst others. Additionally, the beautiful and charming city of Rio de Janeiro will certainly be a wonderful host city.

Information technology has changed the way dentists are educating themselves. Internet-based webinars and study clubs have become standard practice for dentists worldwide. How is IFED using this technology to educate professionals and the public globally?
We intend implementing an e-learning section on our website with articles and videos as soon as possible. We are also seeking to establish online journals. There are also many other ideas that the Executive Committee is currently discussing, but I must say, this is not an easy task, but one that I am personally committed to.

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