Dr. Raymond P. White Jr., Dalton L. McMichael distinguished professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry, recently received the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation’s (OMSF) Torch Award.
The Torch Award recognizes outstanding contributions to education, research, patient care and involvement in service to the surgical specialty. The award was presented at the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons’ (AAOMS) annual meeting in San Diego.
White, who was dean of the School of Dentistry from 1974 to 1981, is the principal investigator for the Third Molar Clinical Trials, a series of clinical studies designed to improve third molar treatment. The study, now in its eighth year, is sponsored by the AAOMS and OMSF.
The longitudinal clinical trial’s study findings include indications that enrolled participants ages 20 through 35 with retained molars may face serious health risks including chronic oral inflammation from periodontal disease, even if the retained third molar shows no outward signs or symptoms of disease. White presented a report on the findings at the AAOMS meeting; among the information presented was the study researchers’ recommendation that third molars be removed in early adulthood.
White also is the former director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Dental Scholars Program. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the North Carolina Dental Society’s Distinguished Service Scroll Award (1999), the OMSF’s Research Achievement Award (2003) and the AAOMS’s Distinguished Service Award (2005). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine.
The OMSF is the only national foundation that supports the oral and maxillofacial surgery specialty.