In the midst of all of the well-deserved fanfare surrounding the Pierre Fauchard Academy's 75th Anniversary celebrations in Paris and Mexico City and our Academy's namesake, let us not forget the Academy's founder, Minneapolis dentist Dr. Elmer S. Best.
Dr. Best was born in Peterboro, Ontario, Canada. He attended the Chicago College of Dental Surgery, graduating in 1906. A year after graduation he moved to Minneapolis and set up practice at several locations with several associates, until eventually he settled his office in the Metropolitan Bank Building.
Dr. Best was very active in organized dentistry. He was the second President of the Minneapolis District Dental Society and belonged to the Minnesota State Dental Association and ADA.
Dr. Best later became a member of the dental faculty at Columbia University, where he lectured three times a year. He was very active in promoting dental hygiene and preventative care to children in the Minneapolis schools system.
During his travels throughout the dental community, Dr. Best became troubled by the influence of commercial interests in the profession of dentistry. He believed that treatment protocols were mandated not by evidence-based information based on peer-reviewed scientific research but by marketing-fueled propaganda provided by companies with the intent to boost profit margins of these same companies that produced the "data." To maintain the integrity of the literature provided to the dental community, Dr. Best created the Pierre Fauchard Academy, which was named after the father of modern dentistry.
The Academy provided a haven for like-minded dental professionals who shared Dr. Best's dedication to education, research, and love of community. Ethics and integrity were at the forefront of the Academy's mission, and awards were created to distinguish among the distinguished for exemplary deeds.
Dr. Best's vision lives on among us, the Fellows of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. A cursory glance at the Fellows of the Academy reveals among our ranks the leaders in the field of dentistry, be it education, research, mentorship, or community service. As all the eyes of the Academy look toward the 75th Anniversary celebration in France to pay homage to the man who raised dentistry to a profession, we should not forget that our Academy's inception occurred in 1936 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, thanks to Dr. Elmer S. Best.
Dr. Joseph C. Harris
President-Elect of the Pierre Fauchard Academy