The phrase “Like father, like son,” has never been better illustrated than at last year’s American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) meeting in Seattle. At the event, Bill Brown, CDT, Owner of Brown Dental Lab in Issaquah, WA, and his son, Kevin Brown, DDS, became the first father-son team to simultaneously receive AACD accreditation.
A technician for over 40 years, Bill has always been close with his kids. While growing up, Kevin and his brother, Craig, spent a lot of time in their dad’s lab, learning waxing techniques and becoming familiar with anatomy. Craig eventually joined the lab as a ceramist and Kevin opted to go to dental school. “One of the reasons I got into dentistry was to work with my dad,” he says.
After graduation, Kevin joined a practice close to his father’s lab and began sending Bill all of his ceramic work. “Dad’s lab is on my way home and I always stop by and help out with cases,” he says. “We can work side by side on a case, which is helpful in communicating.”
When Kevin learned about the AACD’s accreditation process, he seized the opportunity for a new challenge and convinced his dad to work toward accreditation with him. The process is broken down into three sections: a comprehensive written exam, case submissions and an oral exam. The required cases are very specific, requiring before, during and after photographs and written documentation that are evaluated by a panel of AACD accreditation judges; technicians must submit three cases (six or more indirect anterior restorations, one or two indirect anterior restorations, and a tooth replacement using a bridge or implant) while dentists are required to submit five.
The Browns teamed up for three of the cases. Their focus was on maintaining consistency in documenting the process, especially the photographs of the different stages. The two men even purchased identical digital cameras so they could use the same settings and make sure the finest details were visible while they were completing their work.
While they worked on their accreditation cases, Bill and Kevin were required to attend the AACD’s Advanced Accreditation Workshop and Criteria Workshop, continuing education courses that help technicians and dentists learn to discern fine details and critique cosmetic restorations.
The two men worked evenings and weekends and submitted their cases over a four-year period, passing all requirements, and moved on to the final step: an oral examination before a panel of accreditation judges. They took their oral exams on the same day and both received their accreditation on the first try. Bill is now one of only 42 technicians worldwide that have received AACD accreditation.
The downside to working with Dad? “I can’t really say there is one,” Kevin says. “We’re both learning and progressing. We’re not afraid of critiquing each other, so maybe we said too much at times, but I never got uninvited to Sunday dinner!”
Bill is also thrilled with the experience. “This whole thing is like a dream come true,” he says. “Words can’t express how proud I am. I’m proud of my work, but I’m 10 times more impressed with Kevin.”
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