The Colorado Prosthodontic Society was founded in 1919 and has grown from a small group of practitioners to over 400 general dentist members. It has a rich and distinguished heritage of which its members can be proud. The CPS is the oldest continuously-operating prosthodontic study club in the United States.
The mission of this society is to provide continuing education for all members in order to increase their skills and knowledge in the delivery of prosthodontics, restorative and implant dentistry for the good of their patients and the profession. Members are committed to the support of the dental profession by sponsoring programs that benefit both members, and the dental community as a whole.
The Colorado Prosthodontic Society’s goal is providing high quality continuing education for all providers of dental care. The Society’s history is closely tied to the history of organized dentistry in Colorado which began with the formation of the Colorado State Dental Association (CSDA) in 1887. The thirty-three dentists that were serving the Denver area population of approximately 79,000 people decided they could learn from the presentation of papers and clinical demonstrations.
Ten years later, two independent dental groups, the Denver Dental Club and the Denver Dental Society, merged on September 20, 1897 to form the Denver Dental Association (DDA). This same year, a dentist by the name of Greene Vardiman “G.V.” Black was made dean of Northwestern University Dental School and quickly assembled the finest specialists for his faculty making Northwestern the outstanding dental education institution of its day. Techniques, discoveries and new methodologies involving dentistry were increasing at a rapid pace. The thirst for dental knowledge was ever present.
On November 18, 1905, the DDA contributed to develop a Saturday afternoon clinic that was held at the Colorado College of Dental Surgery. Known as the Mid-Winter Clinic, this gathering brought together educators and manufacturers’ exhibits, and lives on to this day as the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention.
Dentists in the Denver area desired a more intimate training situation and the idea, credited as a result of a letter written in the fall of 1907 by Clyde Smedley (attending dental school in Philadelphia) to his brother Will in Denver began the formation of local Study Clubs. These Study Clubs thrived and grew in number until the “war fever (World War I, 1917)” burned away many of the activities of the DDA and the CSDA.
Shortly after the war, the DDA urged its members to resume their Study Clubs. The first of these groups, the Colorado Prosthetic Society (now known as the Colorado Prosthodontic Society), was founded in 1919 and is the oldest, continuously meeting organization of its kind in the United States. The first class was held in June, 1919 in the University of Denver’s Dental College building at 1340 Arapahoe Street. The study was on the subject of complete dentures and the course was conducted by Dr. Rupert E. Hall from Chicago’s Northwestern University Dental School. Dr. Hall spoke about and demonstrated the use of black modeling compound and French’s Regular Dental Plaster for complete edentulous impressions. He was able to provide the live demonstrations with the help of a patient named J. A. Sinclair. Dr. Hall introduced his Hall Antagonizer (a recently patented articulator and system) and method for fabricating dentures with more anatomic based esthetics and occlusal concepts which were based on extended designs of the Bonwill discoveries. He also discussed the use of the facebow developed by Dr. George B. Snow. In all, at the first meeting, were 23 people in attendance.
Later that year, Dr. F.E. Roach presented a class on partial dentures and the application of resilient, semi-precision attachments. This second gathering garnered an even larger attendance than the first class. Both classes were organized by Dr. A. Clay Withers, who saw there was a need for continued education and met the need and interest of the regional dentists; and Dr. Withers was elected the first President of the Colorado Prosthodontic Society.
Ninety-three years later, the Colorado Prosthodontic Society continues to be a valuable resource for continuing education. The Board of Directors of the Colorado Prosthodontic Society strive to put together programs each year to provide current, up-to-date concepts in all areas of dentistry, and is not limited to only Prosthodontics. National and international speakers are brought in to speak on topics during each full-day (lunch is provided) seminars (there are six arranged each seminar year), ranging from dental materials, to surgical and implant concepts; endodontic modalities and treatment decisions to practice management. Anyone who has attended these meetings, especially those who signed up for the six-meeting seminar series, can attest to its excellent financial value. Somewhat unique in their approach, the Colorado Prosthodontic Society does not allow any direct sponsorship in an effort to ensure the seminar classes are focused on educating its general dentist members and to minimize classes focused on a “sales pitch.”
Consider investing in continuing education provided right here in Denver, Colorado by investigating the Colorado Prosthodontic Society. Membership is open to all providers of dental therapy in its many forms, including dental laboratory technicians.