Taking Initiative

Since 2006, Dr. David Simmons, assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics, has initiated seven grant proposals resulting in the funding of seven fellowships totaling $350,000. The fellowships are used to train periodontal residents in the latest techniques of implant placement and restoration.

The companies sponsoring the fellowships are Straumann USA and Zimmer Dental, two of the leading manufacturers of dental implants. Straumann has funded three fellowships and Zimmer Dental has funded four. Both are global companies, headquartered in Switzerland.

Dr. Simmons is principal investigator for two additional implant research studies funded with a $65,000 grant from Zimmer Dental and Astra Tech. Residents in the Department of Periodontics will place the implants in about 125 patients. He also was awarded an $11,000 Dental Education Support Grant from Zimmer.

“Even in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, David was focused on funding,” said Dr. Gerald Evans, interim chairman of the department. “In fact, the first pre-doctoral implant training to include the entire dental class was funded with the grant he received from Zimmer Dental in 2006 while the school was relocated in Baton Rouge. Grants of $426,000 in new revenue show that he’s resourceful and persistent.”

Over the last 25 years, dental implants have revolutionized the treatment of missing teeth and elevated the standard of patient care. The technology supporting this rapid change requires efficient collaboration between dental schools and the dental industry. Fellowships play a vital role in the transfer of knowledge leading to innovation.

Dr. Simmons, a 1963 graduate of the Loyola School of Dentistry, has been a member of the LSUSD faculty since 1996. The co-investigators at LSUSD are Dr. Archontia Palaiologou, Dr. Pooja Maney and Susan Billiot, RDH, in the Department of Periodontics, and Edwin Kee, CMDT, in the Department of Prosthodontics.

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Last Update 10/2010