Lecture focuses on intersection of medicine and dentistry

Maxillofacial prosthodontist Jeffrey M. Rodney, D.M.D., of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery & Hospital Dentistry faculty, was the speaker on Jan. 19 at the annual Frank M. and Robert R. Hoopes Medical-Dental Lecture at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center.

The lectureship brings medicine and dentistry together to advance optimal care for patients. Dr. Rodney’s lecture was on “The World of Maxillofacial Prosthetics” and addressed caring for patients disfigured by cancer and trauma.

“I am honored to have been invited to speak at the annual Hoopes lecture about my subspecialty, which is not widely known in the health care community,” said Dr. Rodney. “Maxillofacial prosthetics provides a unique service that offers quality-of-life improvement to patients who have undergone head and neck surgery or were born with congenital intraoral or extraoral deformities. We strive to enable our patients to return to their lives with confidence about their appearance, speech and ability to swallow. There are fewer than 300 active maxillofacial prosthodontists in the United States.”

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Delaware Academy of Medicine and the Delaware State Dental Society and is underwritten by the Hoopes Family.

“Robert R. Hoopes and his father, Frank M. Hoopes, were passionate about the intersection of dentistry and medicine, and were far ahead of their time in supporting education that bridged the disciplines,” said Timothy E. Gibbs, MPH, executive director of the Delaware Academy of Medicine and the Delaware Public Health Association.

Daniel J. Meara, M.D., D.M.D., President of the Delaware Academy of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial & Hospital Dentistry said that Dr. Rodney’s work embodies the vision for the annual lectureship, as he provides care for patients by coupling dental and medical concepts into the restoration of form and function.

“The ultimate value is the ability for such patients to re-enter society without the stigma of significant oral-facial defects,” Dr. Meara said. “Delaware is fortunate to have Dr. Rodney as a resource for patients in-need.”