Dr. Joseph Zeisler graduated from the university of Toronto, Dental College, in 1986 and like all dentists has a very strong science background. Unlike many dentists, he continues to pursue his passion for science and research while operating a dental practice in ajax, Ontario. He dedicates a large segment of time writing scientific articles and developing systems designed to help dentists and other dental professionals implement an infection control system for health and safety in a dental office. His programmes are designed to create a safer work environment for dentists, their staff and patients and be in compliance
with mol, mohltC and RCdso inspections.
Dr. Zeisler is married, tries to spend as much time as he can with his family and when time permits pursues his passion for photography.
Dr. Zeisler answered the following questions:
Can you give us a brief summary of your scientific/dental background?
When I finished high school and entered university, the field off molecular genetics started the explosion of knowledge that we are witnessing today. It was a time of discovery and because of my interest in the biological sciences, the choice was simple – Recombinant DNA/Biotechnology was the area to be in.
My research work with bacteria, viruses and yeast proved to be very helpful in my work in infection prevention and control as part of health and safety. At that time I was ahead
of the curve and trying to raise money for human growth hormone isolation and amplification. It turned out to be a difficult task with interest rates being at an all time high (1981–1982) and venture capital money sitting in the bank collecting 20 + % in interest. So I applied, was accepted and made the move into dentistry.
What still excites you about dentistry and your practice?
The new possibilities of returning to my scientific roots and at the same time making contributions to the scientific side of dentistry that would help my dental colleagues.
What has changed the most for you over your dental career?
Again, I have to point to the ever increasing regulatory activity that has been building up steam over the past five years. This is not only in dentistry but in every sector of the economy. To our government dentistry is just another small business.
What advice do you have for young dentists starting out?
Make a decision very early in your career to be the best or at least in the top 10% in whatever you do and continue your education with this goal in mind.
What you are working on now and what areas of science are you reading about?
In the past four years i have been focused on the area of infection control and health and safety in the dental office especially in light of an increase in regulation and demand
for compliance. I predicted that dentists will see an increase of regulatory activity from our government and our dental governing body as a natural course of events while trying to get injury and illness in the workplace under control.
Workplace injury and illness are both hugely expensive and in most cases preventable if the right programmes are in place. Dentists have an added duty to protect their patients. I created a health and safety and infection control programme to help dentists comply with health and safety compliance demands to make their dental offices safer for everyone.
Recently with increased ministry of labour regulatory activity, there has been an increased interest in my project and my programmes resulting in an increased demand for my services.
Other areas in science that have held my interest lately are the new discoveries that will eventually result in longer human life; specifically, the telomere/telomerase story as they relate to programmed cell death and the fine line separating longer cell life from uncontrolled cancerous cell growth.
The mind has always been a fascinating area of interest for me especially as it applies to dentists coming in contact with patients affected by fear and anxiety on a daily basis. Fear and anxiety can be protective mechanisms if we are hiking in the Amazon, but in the environment that we live in, these are great obstacles to human success and achievement.
Can you outline two new developments in science that are ground breaking in terms of scientific research?
There are many new ground breaking scientific developments since the rate of technological discovery is ever increasing on a synergistic and exponential curve; heading towards what the futurists termed ‘technological singularity”.
Right now, I am fascinated by advances in the area of gene Replacement therapy, with the aid of nanotechnology, it will allow us to work and manipulate our genetic blue print (genes and chromosomes) and open new venues to therapy of all human disease.
On the materials side, I am excited by the theoretical possibilities inherent in the material, graphene. It is definitely shaping up to be the “diamond” of future materials. It holds great promise as a building block for many items including dental materials.
Any final thoughts about the status and well-being of dentistry in Canada today?
With increased resistance to fluoridation and changed dietary habits, we are seeing increased decay rates in our younger population; for a while, we thought that we are on our way to eliminating decay (this will now have to be achieved with the new technology of dna based vaccines – stay tuned!). But in closing i have to say that at this time I try to stay focused on the scientific side of dentistry helping my colleagues with regulatory affairs and hopefully reducing the daily stress that they are exposed to.
Bottom Line: Dr. Joseph Zeisler is a practicing dentist who has done scientific research in the area of infection control and health and safety in a dental office.