The American Dental Association (ADA) honored Dr. Peter Milgrom at the ADA’s 153rd Annual Session and World Marketplace for his selection as the 2012 winner of the Norton M. Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research. The ADA awarded him $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.
Dr. Milgrom was honored for his research in the field of dental phobia and for nearly four decades of accomplishment in several other aspects of dentistry. He is an internationally recognized author and researcher as well as a professor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.
It is widely believed that fear is a powerful and well-known deterrent to visiting the dentist. Dr. Milgrom has gained renown for his efforts—and successes—in allaying those fears. His book on the subject, “Treating Fearful Dental Patients,” is an international standard now in its third edition and published in several languages.
In addition, Dr. Milgrom is celebrated for his work on early childhood caries. He and a colleague created and launched Access to Baby and Child Dentistry, a program in Washington aimed at reducing barriers to care for low-income children. Dr. Milgrom believes dental phobia and early childhood caries go hand in hand.
“When you take care of fearful people, you begin to realize that a lot of the reasons that they’re afraid is because they had very poor childhood experiences,” Dr. Milgrom said in September when he was notified of the award.
“And for a lot of these folks grew up in situations where they didn’t have very good access to care. Then they went to the dentist the first time with an abscess in a baby tooth,” he said. “Dentistry under those conditions is brutal. Then when they become adults, they stop going.”
The ADA has presented the Norton M. Ross Award annually since 1991 to recognize investigators whose research has significant impact on some aspect of clinical dentistry. The late Dr. Norton M. Ross was a dentist and pharmacologist who made significant contributions to oral medicine and dental clinical research. The ADA sponsors the award in Dr. Ross’ honor with support from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC Inc., the makers of LISTERINE and REACH products.
For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.