The Dental Amputee. What everyone who loses their teeth needs to know
Professor David Harris
London Books. 2015. ISBN 978-1-907535-10-9

DentalAmputeeSometimes when you see a book’s title, it attracts your eye and you wonder what it is about, for example, The Dental Amputee. It was not until I read the book that I got a real understanding of the need for a book like this for the Irish dental patient.
This book of 11 chapters and 167 pages is entertaining, enlightening, stimulating and educating. It is not an easy read, as there is a lot of information. It is a must read for every dental student and should be part of the undergraduate dental curriculum, an important read for those interested in dentistry, especially with an interest in implants, and an essential read for any patient with missing teeth, to help them to decide what they should do.
The chapters all start with an interesting quote – I love that. Each chapter is full of great stories, anecdotes, facts and information presented in a wonderful, articulate and personal manner. David Harris manages to educate without preaching or undermining the reader.
The history, pioneering work, collaborations and dedicated research of PI Brånemark is beautifully described. He was a true mentor. The explanation on how some of the best research ideas and inventions come from “observation of the unexpected by the visionary” is well illustrated. The failings of a historical, purely mechanical attitude to implants and the harm they did, but the huge advantage the discovery of ‘osseointegration’ of titanium implants gave our patients, makes good of the past and shows where dentistry has come from.
I enjoyed the description of the different techniques available to patients, from the single tooth to ‘teeth in a day’, with all the other developments.
I found the clear, non-biased and honest advice for patients about ‘dental tourism’ an important chapter and non judgemental. This chapter probably deserves publication on its own on the JIDA website.
Overall, this book is an enjoyable and informative read, and I highly commend it to all dentists with an interest in implants to read for themselves, and to give to their patients.
Although understanding David’s reason for the name ‘dental amputee’, I feel it may put the public off picking it up and browsing it. I hope that I am wrong.
We need more books like this, bringing dentistry to the forefront of the public (our patients).

Prof Leo F A Stassen, Professor/Chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery TCD.