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The New Dr. Colin Richman Family Perio-Ortho Award

The AAP Foundation is proud to announce a new award that has been added this year: the Dr. Colin Richman Family Perio-Ortho Award. This annual award of $20,000-$40,000 is available to periodontic and orthodontic residents, as well as early career faculty (5 or fewer years at an accredited institution) and may have more than one awardee annually.


Dr. Richman’s passion for the interface between periodontology and orthodontics began in dental school in South Africa. The school boasted a strong orthodontic curriculum, with some world authorities on the faculty. Upon moving to the United States, Dr. Richman’s interest in the perio-ortho interface grew, due to the strong emphasis on interdisciplinary care during his graduate work at the University of Connecticut. In his past periodontology faculty roles at the University of Connecticut, Emory University School of Dentistry and currently at Augusta University, Department of Graduate Periodontics, he interfaced well with the orthodontics department.

He was trained in and began practicing Surgically Facilitated Orthodontic Treatment (SFOT), 20 years ago together with committed orthodontic colleagues in North Atlanta. Dr. Richman has published several articles and a book chapter (in press) on the topic. About his decision to fund this award through the AAP Foundation, Dr. Richman says, “Everyone needs to give back. I could not think of a better way to give back to our beloved profession of periodontics than to contribute to future research on a topic that is dear to my heart. This award is dedicated to my teachers and mentors at U. Conn, including Drs. Harald Loe, Paul Robertson, Ken Kornman, Mark Patters, Ravi Nanda, and Charles Burstone. Also, my teachers and mentors at dental school in Johannesburg, Drs. Alex Jacobson, Dr. Cyril Sadowsky, Dr. Lionel Sadowsky and Dr. Brian Preston.”

Alveolar bone deficiencies provide excellent opportunities to incorporate new and innovative multidisciplinary therapies into perio-ortho practice. Also, coupled with an appreciation that management of the airway is an essential component of orthodontic success and the health of associated periodontal tissues, provides a new paradigm of treatment, with implications for periodontal practice.

Dr. Richman says, “In the past 10 years or so, in my research of both human and mammalian (animal) jaws, we’ve come to realize that the etiology of dental tooth crowding includes the consequence of a discrepancy between tooth size and available alveolar bone volume and is a function of both genetic and anthropological factors (pending publication). I sincerely hope this award will lead to much greater research in this emerging field so we can understand, from an evidence-based biological perspective, the etiology and potential long-term issues associated with post orthodontic complications, like gingival recession, relapse, and root resorption.” The ability of the periodontist to work in concert with the orthodontist to accelerate orthodontic treatment (another benefit of SFOT), as well as treat the underlying alveolar bone discrepancies and minimize untoward long-term treatment outcomes may also encourage otherwise resistant patients to undergo comprehensive treatment.

More information and a link to the award application can be found at www.periofoundation.org/awards. The deadline to apply is June 1.

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Past Award Winners Update

Congratulations to Fatemeh “Flora” Momen-Heravi, DDS, PhD, (2017 Educator Scholar, 2018 Dr. D. Walter Cohen Teaching Award Recipient) assistant professor of dental medicine at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, who was named the 2020 recipient of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) Anne D. Haffajee Fellowship. The award provides early-career women researchers in the field of oral biology with financial support for training and research activities that will advance their academic careers. Read more here.