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AACD Launches Residency Pilot Program in Three Practices

June 7, 2018 by AACD Executive Office

The AACD will begin its residency pilot program this August with three dental residents, each learning from an AACD Accredited Fellow. Elizabeth M. Bakeman, DDS, FAACD; Susan Hollar, DDS, FAACD and Brian P. LeSage, DDS, FAACD will each be instructing a dental resident and providing experience relating to all facets of an esthetic restorative dental practice including effective practice management, diagnostic tools, and restorative considerations.

Residents will acquire the clinical and business experience needed to jump start a career in a cosmetic-oriented restorative dental practice by completing a series of requirements including studying dental literature and implementing simple to complex restorative cases. “The AACD Residency program is designed to expose young dentists to the clinical and business side of a fee-for-service style private practice,” explains preceptor Brian LeSage, DDS, FAACD.

“The AACD Residency program is designed to expose young dentists to the clinical and business side of a fee-for-service style private practice.”

The AACD is excited to announce the first AACD Cosmetic Dentistry residents:

Natalie Downs, DDS graduated from Marquette University School of Dentistry in 2017 and has been practicing as an Associate at James C. Peurach DDS and Cascade Village Dental.
When asked about her interest in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Downs said, “No matter how frustrating, time consuming, and laborious cosmetic treatments can be, they have been by far the most gratifying and worthwhile cases I have ever done. I always look forward to making a lasting difference in a patient’s life and find so much joy in working with patients who are emotionally invested and genuinely excited for their end result. There is nothing more rewarding.” Dr. Downs will be studying under the guidance of Elizabeth M. Bakeman, DDS, FAACD at her practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Caroline Girard, DDS graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2015 and currently practices as an Associate at La Canada Smiles Dentistry.
When asked about her interest in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Girard said, “During the three years I have been working as a dentist, I have had the opportunity to complete some larger cosmetic cases. I find cosmetic dentistry fascinating. I genuinely enjoy the work involved with the cases—the workup and treatment planning can be both extensive and challenging. The clinical work needs to be executed flawlessly from preparations to delivery. Generally, patient expectations are at a higher stake as well. I like the challenges involved because the payoff is worthwhile when patients are pleased with the work. Of all specialties of dentistry, cosmetics is where I want to focus. It combines the art, science and business of dentistry.” Dr. Girard will be studying under the guidance of Brian LeSage, DDS, FAACD at his practice in Beverly Hills, California.
Amirali Zandinejad DDS, MSc completed his dental training in 1996, a residency program in operative dentistry and a master’s degree in restorative dentistry from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, and the AEGD residency and prosthodontics program from the University of Rochester in New York. He currently practices as an associate at The Art of Dentistry with Dr. Susan Hollar.
When asked about his interest in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Zandinejad said, “I am very interested in cosmetic dentistry when it involves extensive dental treatment including full arch rehabilitation on natural dentition and implants. Consider the ultimate esthetic will be a huge benefit to the patient while providing such extensive treatment.” Dr. Zandinejad will be studying under the guidance of Susan Hollar, DDS, FAACD at her practice in Arlington, Texas.


These dental professionals will have the unique opportunity to learn one-on-one from some of the most successful restorative dentists in the country and to observe, document, and execute a variety of cosmetic restorative solutions. In addition to gaining knowledge and experience relating to all facets of an esthetic restorative dental practice, these residents will gain the skills and confidence they need to enjoy the professional and financial successes that comes with a responsible, esthetic dental practice.

For more information about the AACD Residency pilot program, visit www.aacd.com/residency or email AACD Executive Director Barb Kachelski.



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