ONWARD is an extension of its predecessor, WARD (The Westchester Academy of Restorative Dentistry), which was founded in 1964.
About The Westchester Academy of Restorative Dentistry
By Edward Feinberg, DMD
The Westchester Academy of Restorative Dentistry was founded by Dr. Elliot Feinberg* on April 15th, 1964, a renowned expert in the field of fixed and removable bridgework. Serving on the founding committee were Drs. Elbridge Devine*, Arthur Bevacqua, Harry Johnson and Norman Schmagin. The Academy was chartered by the state of New York on February 15th, 1965 and is affiliated with the Ninth District Dental Association, a component of the New York State Dental Association and the American Dental Association. Also involved as Directors of the Westchester Academy of Restorative Dentistry and teaching assistants were Dr. Samuel Jacobs Jr.*, Dr. Ellis Disick*. All of these individuals are now deceased.
The Academy’s mission was:
- To promote post-graduate study
- To evaluate new concepts and discoveries
- To advance the level of Restorative Dentistry
- To conduct diagnostic evaluation of the more difficult problems in Restorative Dentistry.
In the past, members of the Academy were graduates of Dr. Feinberg’s courses in fixed bridgework and precision attachment partial dentures. These courses were given through the Ninth District Dental Society’s Continuing Education Program from 1957 to 1997. ONWARD’s current board of directors were all graduates of these courses and teaching assistants.
This is an article written by Dr. Elliot Feinberg, the founder and Director of the Westchester Academy of Restorative Dentistry. The article describes his thoughts and feelings about the Academy.
Reflections on the Academy
By Dr. Elliot Feinberg, DDS
Milestones are important–they are calls for reflection on the past, analysis of the present and speculation for the future. The turn of the century is certainly an important milestone in anyone’s life, but this turn of the century is particularly significant because it is also the turn of the millenium. Looking back, I can see that the century we are leaving is marked by extraordinary changes in every arena—science, technology, political and social. More changes occurred in this century than in all the other centuries of the past millenium combined. The same can be said about the profession of Dentistry. In the last century, changes in dental technology, dental practice and professional issues have been nothing less than spectacular. Looking back, I feel honored to have played a role in initiating and implementing many of these changes. Looking ahead, I know that the profession will continued to build on a solid foundation that I have helped to create. I am very excited about Dentistry’s future!
My entire dental career has revolved around continuing education. I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. I Franklin Miller at the 1 st District’s Continuing Education school in 1949—the beginning of my career. At the time, I was just an average student in dental school with no direction. Dr. Miller opened the door for me about how to do good dentistry, and I owe everything to him. He taught me that dedication and motivation are the keys to self-improvement; that attention to details and finding the right path—not talent—is the key to technical expertise. He also inspired me to give back to others, in the same way that he gave of himself to others.
As a result, education became the focus of my career; and I became not only an
avid student, but a teacher as well. I started the 9 th District’s Continuing Education School in the fifties. In those days, there were few courses being offered in suburban and rural areas, and it was not clear if this school would be successful. The courses were given at Grasslands Hospital in Westchester County—now called the Westchester Medical Center. Tuition helped raise funds for the 9 th ’s school in that facility. Today the 9 th owns a building in Hawthorne that houses one of the largest CE programs in the state. I also founded the Ninth’s Restorative Conference and served as its chairman for 12 years. The conference brings nationally recognized speakers to the Ninth District area for group study.
In 1957, I began teaching two courses a year for the Ninth District, and I am still giving these courses to this day! The courses–on fixed bridgework and precision attachment restorations—consist of 7 or 8 half-day sessions each. They are unique in that they include demonstration on a patient from start to finish. I believe that this approach makes learning easier. Students can actually see all of the techniques as they are done in private practice—including optimal utilization of the dental assistant. The techniques are first presented and explained through slide presentations in the office lecture hall. I create and update these presentations from a library of more than 80,000 slides taken during the past fifty years.
After teaching the course for a few years, it became apparent that the classes could not satisfy the demand for assistance with problem cases and more advanced instruction. Dentists were as eager to learn as I was, and many of them would travel great distances to attend the courses. In order to cover advanced topics and demonstrate new techniques that build on the basic courses, I founded the Westchester Academy of Restorative Dentistry. It was chartered by the state of New York in 1965. The organization consists of a hundred members who must maintain sufficient attendance. I owe a great deal to Elbridge Devine, Samuel Jacobs, Jr. and my son Edward for their assistance in both courses and the academy.