DOCTORAL EDUCATION. On 16 December, Per Svanborg, lecturer at the Institution of Odontology, became the first dental technician to publicly defend a doctoral thesis at the University of Gothenburg.
“It feels good,” says Per Svanborg. “Defending a PhD thesis is important both for the institution and for education in the field of dentistry.”
His thesis is about dental materials – cobalt chrome in particular – and how digital production processes affect the fit of dental bridges. Using digital methods, dentists can avoid taking a conventional impression, which also benefits the patient.
“Taking dental impressions prior to prosthetic treatments is often experienced by the patient as unpleasant and there are many points in the procedure where impression distortion can occur. This is also the most common reason that dental prosthetics do not fit in the mouth and must be redone. This results in additional appointments for the patient, more transportation between the clinic and the laboratory, greater material consumption and income loss for dentists, dental technicians and patients,” says Per Svanborg.
Because the fit of bridges created with digital technology is good, these new technologies can be applied in the clinic, which can lead to a higher level of quality in prosthetics. Moreover, additive manufacturing means a reduction of material waste compared to milling, since the powder not included in the design can be reused.
Fourth in the country
Per Svanborg is the fourth dental technician in Sweden to publicly defend a doctoral thesis.
“It means that the subject field and the education will receive a major boost. Now we can assess our own students instead of needing dentists as examiners in all theoretical courses,” says Per, who thinks his time as a doctoral student has been both interesting and instructive.
“The doctoral programme is well-structured and the administration has worked well. It’s been a little difficult with doctoral courses. The general courses have been good, but it’s been harder to find more specific courses in my area.”
What will you do now that you have your PhD?
“We’ll see. But I have a permanent position as a lecturer so I’ll start by applying for a promotion. Beyond that, I’ll continue working with students in the dental technician programme, and I have a lot of ideas for further research.”
Earlier odontology PhDs with dental technician qualifications defended their theses in Stockholm and Malmö.