5 Questions With ... Dr. Amirreza Ghassemi

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Amirreza Ghassemi, D.D.S., M.S.
Diplomate, American Board of Periodontology
Assistant Professor and Clinical Director, Graduate Periodontics
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry

1. What are you most proud of professionally?

As a faculty member, I am most proud of our graduates. I feel extremely blessed to be part of our students’ and residents’ education and shaping their future professional lives. When I see their growth and how they are evolving from a beginner to a professional expert, it almost feels like a parent watching their kids grow; I feel truly proud and thrilled.

2. If you could change one thing about dental education (or dentistry) with a snap of your fingers, what would that be?

Reduce the cost of dental education! It is unfortunate to see how dental students and fresh graduates struggle to set high financial goals due to large amounts of student loans. Many do not pursue residency despite their enthusiasm because it does not make sense from a financial perspective. If I could change one thing about dental education, dental education would be free, like many countries around the world.

3. What’s a major development in your field that’s flying under the radar?

My specialty is periodontics and dental implant surgery. While dental implants provide one of the best treatment options in dentistry, emergence of dental implants have diminished a lot of efforts to save natural dentition. In these cases, the amazing regenerative and reparative capacity of the human body around natural teeth is often unnoticed. A lot of recent research studies are focusing on improving the outcome of regenerative treatments to achieve the purpose of “saving teeth rather than replacing them.”

4. What’s your favorite vacation spot—and why?

Beach! It doesn't matter where and when ... my family and I enjoy spending time at the beach. It’s always a mixture of adventure, relaxation and fun!

5. What skill or talent would you most like to develop?

I would like to learn new teaching methods in dental education. As a faculty member, my major job responsibility is teaching; however, we were never trained to be educators. We were only trained to be clinicians or researchers. Thus, learning to be a better educator and developing more effective teaching skills is one of my future professional goals.