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ENNIO IDENTIFIES FELLOW OPs IN DENTISTRY

It’s more than 40 years now since Dr Ennio Rebellato completed his schooling at Parade College and pursued dentistry as a career path.

A final year student of the class of 1977, Ennio graduated from the University of Melbourne as a dentist and earned further qualifications in endodontics (the branch of dentistry related to the basic sciences of understanding normal dental pulp and treatment of diseases affecting it.*

Today, Ennio operates out of his Moonee Ponds practice. A proud Old Paradian, he recently saw fit to compile a list of fellow former students who had similarly entered the dentistry profession, many of whom he has personally contacted to clarify details.

“I have had this thought for a while. In the world of working life, one sometimes meets people who, through casual conversation or by direct communication, you have a common history,” Ennio said.

“The dental world of which I am involved is a relatively small world and over the past 30-odd years, I have met several dentists from different generations, who also went to Parade.

“There are numerous background stories, and there have been many dentists who have achieved much, but have remained modest about their significant accomplishments. I thought I would compile a list of those dentists I know, and some of their professional achievements.”

Ennio provided the following short summary of how dentistry is organised, noting that most people probably don’t realise how complex the world and industry of dentistry can be and as he dryly suggested, “most people probably wouldn’t want to know”.

 

BACKGROUND TO ORGANIZATIONAL DENTISTRY

In the past, those who wanted to obtain a dental degree usually attended a university in their own state. The dental degree previously involved five years as an undergraduate degree, but is now often, depending on the University, a four-year graduate degree (after obtaining a previous three-year undergraduate degree). In the past 25 years there have been many more dentals schools open throughout Australia, and it is more common for applicants to leave their home state and even go overseas to pursue their dental studies. Hence it is harder to know if any of those choosing dentistry as a career have a Parade background.

The profile of those undertaking dentistry has changed dramatically in the last two decades.

The average dental class now has a 50% split male/female, and would have majority of students from an Asian (Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese) background.

Dentistry has many facets and there are many areas in the oral health world where dentists contribute their skills and expertise.

These include:

General dental practice (this is the most well known to most readers) where dentists work as a small business either as solo operator, or perhaps as a partner in a larger business. Typically these practices employ other people (nurses, receptionists and therapists) in order to provide the required services. Some dentists are happy to work as employed assistants in such practices. This was the traditional model, and has many advantages but significant and increasing issues with regard to regulatory compliance.

Increasingly, dental services are being provided by third parties (insurance and other companies) who employ qualified dentists. In fact, following deregulation, anyone can now set up a dental practice and employ dentists as long as regulatory requirements are met.

A Government sector also exists where dentists and other oral health professionals are employed, usually in the provision of public dental services to the community and eligible schools.

Academia

Many dentists opt for an academic career, which usually involves research and teaching in universities. Typically further qualifications are required, which may include Masters Degrees or PhDs.

There are also various specialties in the dental world to assist in the provision of more complicated specific services to those patients with difficult problems or special needs.

The more familiar specialties include:

  • Orthodontics, which is involved the improvement of mal-aligned teeth and jaw problems;
  • Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, which these days requires a combined medical and dental qualification. These specialists are involved in the management of jaw and facial fractures and other serious conditions, such as removal of impacted teeth or mouth cancers;
  • Prosthodontics, which is involved in the rehabilitation of complex situations where patients have very difficult bites or chewing problems;
  • Periodontics, which is involved with the management of significant gum diseases;
  • Paediatric dentistry, which is involved in the management of significant childhood dental and growth problems;
  • Special Needs Dentistry, which is designed to assist those patients and their families who have special health or psychological needs;
  • Endodontics, which is involved in management of dental-related pain and infections and dental trauma issues. *Most dental pulp diseases cause significant pain. The aim is to try to retain an affected tooth comfortably for as long as reasonably possible. The dental pulp is the tissue on the inside of the tooth which allows for development and growth of the tooth throughout life and which provides strength and resilience to the tooth. It is commonly, but actually incorrectly referred to as “the nerve”.
  • Oral Medicine, which is involved with management of diseases of the mouth and non-dental caused facial pain 

There are several formal dental associations, and government organizations to oversee and maintain standards. And there are many special interest groups. Most dentists are members of these groups, although it is not compulsory to join.

These include the Australian Dental Association (ADA) and its state branches (such as the ADA VB (Victorian Branch)) and affiliated special interest societies, together with the RACDS (Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons).

It is compulsory, however to be registered with the relevant Australian government authorities and to maintain registration in good standing annually.

Many dentists also contribute their time to dental association-supported community events and dental education projects, both in regional Australia and overseas. Many are also members of other service organizations such as Rotary, or Vinnies.

 

KNOWN OLD PARADIANS IN THE DENTAL WORLD (as at September 2020)

The following is a list of (known to the author) of Old Paradians who have graduated from dentistry in Australia and a brief summary (necessarily incomplete) of their accomplishments. Some of the details, specifically dates, may also be slightly inaccurate.

Of interest is the period in the 1970s, which may be regarded as a “golden period”. Three dentists from that time (Paul Gleeson, Sandro D’Adamo and myself) were all in the same HSC class of ’77. This was Br Moloney’s maths class and none of us knew that the other had applied for dentistry until we all showed up for the introductory day in early 1978!

Three Old Paradians , Garry Nervo, Gavan O’Connell and myself pursued the specialty area of endodontics. Given that there were only around 20 members of this specialty in Melbourne at that time, this was quite a sizable contribution.

 

Percy Matthews (Parade 1900)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1914
  • Became Senior Vice-President of the Alumni Society of the Dental College of Victoria
  • Was for a period a Member of the Faculty of Dentistry
  • Inaugural Member, Old Paradians’ Association Committee (1914) (pictured); inaugural President, Old Paradians’ Association Amateur Football Club (1929)
  • Deceased (1960)

Raymond “Max” Hallam (Parade 1950)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1956
  • In private general practice in High St Preston until early 2000s
  • Was a demonstrator (teacher) at dental school
  • Retired

John Petris (Parade 1958)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1964
  • In private general practice in Glenroy for close to 50 years
  • Retired 2019
  • Keen bushwalker

Anthony Sneazwell (Parade 1960)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne late 1960s.
  • Eventually practised in Edmonton, Canada and became a Professor of Restorative Dentistry. Retired in 2011
  • Former Olympic high jumper (1964, 1968)

Garry Nervo (Parade 1968)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1973
  • In private General Practice in Fairfield and Whittlesea
  • Specialist qualifications obtained in 1981
  • Specialist Practice in Endodontics (City of Melbourne) until retirement in 2008
  • Educator at University of Melbourne for many years
  • President of ASE (Australian Society of Endodontology) and also Victorian Branch
  • Presenter of numerous lectures and continuing education courses in Australia and overseas
  • Recipient of ADA Victorian Branch Dentistry Achievement Award 2007
  • Keen gardener

Alan Mansour (Parade 1961)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1968
  • One of the first two people to complete a Masters Degree in Oral Surgery training program at University of Melbourne
  • Further training and surgical Fellowship in UK
  • Returned to Australia in 1978. Commenced private practice in oral surgery in Dandenong. Retired 2012
  • Long-term demonstrator commitment at University of Melbourne

Antonio Stella (Parade 1961)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1967
  • In General Practice Fairfield and Lalor
  • Has contributed to teaching in undergraduate dental program at University of Melbourne
  • Now retired
  • Two children continue in dental field

Patrick Fitzgerald (Parade 1971)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1977
  • In Private General Practice in Watsonia until retirement in 2005

Gavan O’Connell (Parade 1973)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1980
  • In General Practice until 1982
  • Specialist qualifications obtained in 1985. Specialist Practice in Endodontics in Melbourne City and Moonee Ponds 1986 until mid-1990s
  • Career change working as consultant/sales manager to a large international dental equipment company (Dentsply) until ill health forced retirement
  • President ASE Victorian Branch in late1980s
  • Keen cricketer/follower
  • Deceased (2008)

David Clarke (Parade 1975)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1983
  • Worked at Alfred Hospital 1984
  • In General Practice since 1985; from 1988 in Toorak
  • Keen cyclist
  • A son in dental field

Paul Gleeson (Parade 1977)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1982
  • In General Practice on Mornington peninsula 1983 until present

Sandro D’Adamo (Parade 1977)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1982
  • In General Practice 1983 until 1989 (Fairfield, Preston and Forest Hills)
  • PhD obtained University of Melbourne in 1989
  • Specialist qualification in Orthodontics 1991
  • In Specialist orthodontic practice 1992 until 2020 located in various western suburbs of Melbourne, based in Williamstown and Altona
  • Retired 2020
  • Keen pilot

Ennio Rebellato (Parade 1977)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1982
  • In General Practice 1983 to 1984 in Footscray
  • Specialist qualification in Endodontics 1987
  • In Specialist endodontic practice, at first in Dandenong, but since 1988 in Moonee Ponds
  • Educator/demonstrator at University of Melbourne 1988 until 2019
  • President ASE Victorian Branch. Life member ASE VB
  • President ANZAE (Australian and New Zealand Academy of Endodontists 2012 to 2014)
  • Involved in many continuing education classes to dentists
  • Keen Collingwood supporter

Renato Simionato (Parade 1978)

  • Graduated University of Melbourne 1983
  • In General Practice since 1983 in Fitzroy North and East Brunswick
  • Presenter of many lectures in relation to infection control issues in dentistry
  • Keen wood worker

Other trivia

As the result of this research, it was found that four of those named above, (AM, GO’C, RS and ER) all lived at some time in the suburb of East Thornbury!

 

Those aware of any former students of Parade College who pursued other aspects of the dental world, whether as dental researchers, dental technicians, dental therapists or through involvement with dental support industries, are encouraged to contact tdebolfo@oldparadians.com.au on Ennio’s behalf.

images: The University of Melbourne Dent-AL Alumni newsletter and The Paradian