I want to thank you for this tremendous honor. For over thirty years I have been a dentist and have many to thank for my success including my professors and Dean Arthur Dagoni from the University of Pacific Dental School, they gave me the opportunity to not only hone my general dentistry skills but gave me the opportunity and exposed me to advanced Cosmetic and Implant procedures in my final year and enabled me to bring those important lessons learned back to Western New York and change the lives of my patients. When thanking people that have made a difference in my career, my father, Samuel Shatkin, Sr. DDS, MD., and a Maxio Facial Surgeon, helped shaped me as the dentist I am today. He was my life mentor, who passed away in 2010 yet his spirit and the techniques he taught me are still practiced daily and shared with my Associate Dentists and Resident dentists at my practice, the Aesthetic Associates Center, located in Amherst, New York. Finally, I would also like to thank my brother, Samuel Shatkin Jr., MD, a Plastic Surgeon, whom I have had the pleasure of working with over the last 30 + years and my family: my wife Leslie, my daughters Juliet and Jade and my son Jared who is in his final year at Tufts Dental School. In Western New York the future of dentistry is spelled SHATKIN.
My career as a general dentist has been twofold. At first my focus was patient based. Bringing those new techniques learned at Uof P Dental School and with the help of my father, Samuel Shatkin, Sr, DDS, MD, a Maxio Facial Surgeon, we were helping change the lives and smiles of our patients daily.
As a General dentist I had success in placing conventional implants from 1989 to 2019 but I had a problem, as my patients did with the cost and the time needed to complete a case. I would only be able to sell 1 or 2 out of ten patients on the procedure because of the cost involved. I received a VHS tape in the mail from the Imtec corporation talking about a Mini Dental Implant procedure and I watched it along with my dad, who thought it would work so we ordered it. The focus of the procedure was for lower denture stabilization. We contacted our patients who we had put in dentures and let them know we had a new technology that could help stabilize their dentures. The response was amazing and the number of procedures we did were tremendous. At one point the Imtec corporation called me and thought I was selling their implants on the black market because I had ordered so many. I started lecturing for them, but I needed more. I started to stabilize the upper dentures of my patients and then focused on individual teeth. I told my dad that we needed to teach other General Dentists how to place Mini Implants. I applied for my patent in 2003 for replacing single and multiple teeth in one visit and received the patent in 2006 (F.I.R.S.T procedure Fabricated Implant Restorative Surgical Technique)I left Imtec© and partnered with Intra Lock Corporation as it had a great implant with an ossean® surface that reduced the time of osseointegration. It has been a terrific partnership even today and continues today with Biohorizons as the new owner.
Being a pioneer in the mini dental implant arena has been interesting. General Dentists being able to place implants was unheard of or if they did it was limited to a few. My father said he would help me only if the doctors we taught would have the same success rates as I did. In the September 2012 Compendium magazine (Volume 33, Special Issue 3) I released a retrospective Analysis of 5640 Mini Dental Implants placed over a 12 year period. It showed a survival rate of 92.1 %. Today that success rate is closer to 95%. I have placed over 38,000 implants to date with amazing results.
As a pioneer I continue to “push the envelope” in terms of patients and their medical conditions, to see where successes could be achieved and develop new implants to make the process easier and more successful. This less invasive procedure that is less painful, takes less time for healing, requires less visits to the dentist and costs half of what a conventional procedure does, is changing the lives of patients who suffer with loose dentures or those who are embarrassed to smile, laugh or have low self esteem because they are missing teeth.
The critics were many, especially amongst dental specialists. Oral Surgeons, Prosthodontists and others played hard ball in the beginning but as the years progressed many found their way to my courses and have embraced it. They were losing or were going to lose many of the referrals they had received from the General Dentists. Some of the familiarcries were: They are not FDA Approved( 510K FDA K021322, May 21,2008)! They are only Temporary. They won’t last! These have all been dispelled and as Dr Gordon Christensen stated at a Mini Dental Implant Symposium in Buffalo 2019, Mini Dental Implants are outperforming Conventional implants in many areas.
It is important to note that for 10 years I placed Conventional Implants before switching to Mini Dental Implants. My patented F.I.R.S.T procedure (Fabricated Implant Restorative Surgical Technic that was granted September 19, 2006 (US 7,108,511 B1), has changed Implant dentistry world-wide. I have trained over 29,000 general and specialist dentists on mini dental implants and not only provide them continuing education on minis but provide them with all the tools they need to be successful. I am available, along with my very best doctors, to help them through the learning curves of the procedure and to help them when their patient is in the chair, so they do not have to reschedule. No other implant company provides the service to their doctors the way Shatkin F.I.R.S.T. does.
It has been an awesome journey! One that will continue to grow and I am proud to say that today Minis are considered “Standard of Care” for the patient who is missing teeth or for those who suffer with loose and ill-fitting dentures. I will continue to train dentists world-wide on the F.I.R.S.T. technique and look forward to initiating my next plan for giving every man and woman who is without teeth the opportunity to change their lives with Mini Dental Implants.
Again, I am humbled and proud to accept this honor as Dentist of the Year. If you are interested in learning more about Mini Dental Implants, I would invite you to one of our courses that are held at the largest Mini Dental Implant training facility in the world right here in Buffalo, New York. Please go to shatkinfirst.com for a complete list of courses.