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October 2009
Volume 30, Issue 8

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Serves as Vital Resource

Spearheaded by Dr. Jack Styles Kammer and Dr. Jeff Morley, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) began 25 years ago with the help of 60 dentists. This group met in order to provide a much-needed service to professionals entering this burgeoning field.

Today, as a testament to the growing market demand in this dentistry niche, the organization has almost 7000 members, making it the largest of its kind in the world. This growth is also a tribute to the significant contributions that the organization has made to cosmetic dentistry—particularly adhesive dentistry.

“The AACD educates and trains clinicians in a nonjudgmental and unbiased fashion,” says Brian P. LeSage, DDS, an Accredited Fellow of the AACD, a former annual scientific session co-chair, and a private practitioner in Beverly Hills, California. “The adhesive nomenclature can be confusing. Some people say 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th generation. Some call it self-etch versus total-etch. So clinicians look to the AACD to simplify this information. A lot of professionals associated with the AACD teach information about adhesives very well.

“At AACD, we choose lecturers who are as unbiased as possible and we make certain that any manufacturer affiliations are disclosed up front. We look for people who cover the spectrum and thoroughly understand the literature. That spectrum must include clinical experience—the key when talking about evidence-based dentistry. It’s not just knowing and understanding the literature,” he notes. Because of its size and international prestige, the AACD is able to attract some of the best educators in the field.

“In adhesive dentistry, we are really talking about minimally invasive dentistry. Dentists are not prepping the tooth as much; we are saving as much tooth structure as possible. We are not prepping the teeth for retention and resistance form,” LeSage says. “These are old philosophies brought to us by G.V. Black 100 plus years ago that were important when we were doing amalgams and gold restorations. Today with adhesive dentistry, we can preserve so much more tooth structure.”

LeSage, who conducts lectures about adhesives, notes, “Really, all the systems work, but we need to be aware of the differences from one product to the next. It would appear that 7th generation would be better than 6th, 5th, and 4th. But the truth of the matter is that the various generations represent entirely different materials, with varied advantages, disadvantages, and very specific indications. A user who judges adhesives based solely on the generation number is approaching the issue the wrong way,” he says. “The literature still supports the 4th generation as the gold standard.”

Manufacturers of adhesives can, in fact, be good sources of information, LeSage says. They perform objective research on products and present the information fairly. “Most organizations do good studies in support of adhesive dentistry,” he says.

As part of its commitment to its members, the AACD provides a plethora of continuing education courses online at Also, it offers annual scientific sessions, annual meetings, hands-on courses, Accreditation, a subscription to the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry and other publications, a worldwide search directory available to consumers, professional marketing materials, networking opportunities, and charitable works. It also offers a mentorship program for dentists interested in Accreditation.

“I urge people to join this fabulous organization,” says LeSage, who has been in the field for more than 20 years. “AACD is about excellence and responsible esthetics.”

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
5401 World Dairy Drive, Madison, WI 53718
Phone: (800) 543-9220
Fax: (608) 222-9540

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