Meet Dr. Carlo P. Marinello


Dr. Carlo P. Marinello has been a member of the American Prosthodontic Society for over 30 years, with over 40 years of experience in the field. He was a full-time Professor and Chairman of the Department of Reconstructive Dentistry and Temporomandibular Disorders at the Dental School of the University of Basel. He has served as a Professor Emeritus since 2016.

What about prosthodontic dentistry originally drew you in and what excites you about the field?
"The personality of my own dentist lead me to decide to become a dentist at 9 years of age. Realizing my interest in his profession, he donated an old dental mirror and a probe to me. Immediately after my Board examination from the University of Zurich, I had the chance to work as assistant professor and acting head of a dental public health clinic there. At that time, tooth-supported fixed and removable prosthodontics was dominating treatment procedures. I found the combination of manual dexterity with demanding intellectual workflows, including clinics, dental technology and the reestablishment of function, esthetics and biology for demanding patients fascinating. My work in the field caused me to develop a passion for prosthodontics. An additional 10 years spent with Dr. Peter Schärer added to my excitement. Furthermore, a longer stay in the Department of Periodontology with Dr. Jan Lindhe at the University of Gothenburg clearly opened new perspectives and helped me understand the anatomy and physiology of periodontal and periimplant tissues, which was indispensable to me as a prosthodontist. It was an exclusive privilege to be able to work with people like Peter Schärer, Jan Lindhe and Bo Bergman."

Why did you become a member of the American Prosthodontic Society?
"In 1984, as a young PG student, I had the opportunity to visit with my mentor Dr. Peter Schärer at several dental meetings in Chicago, and to present a table clinic at the APS meeting. This was an impressive experience and as a foreigner I felt lost in the overwhelming surroundings. It was then, when Dr. Brian Ullmann, table clinic chair, took me under his wing and informed me about the personal and scientific culture of the APS. He told me about the sense of fellowship and unique opportunity to exchange clinical thought that I would enjoy as a member of the Society. As an immediate consequence, I applied for APS membership. Since then, the February trip to Chicago became a habit. I meet Brian every year and remind him of his impact on my professional life. To visit Chicago in February, especially to attend the APS meeting, over these past 30 years is like recharging my professional batteries on the highest level."

Who has been your greatest mentor thus far in your career?
"The information above shows that Dr. Peter Schärer was my most important mentor. He forged modern dentistry and was a driving force for more knowledge and proof in all fields of dentistry. His dogmatic inquisitive debates, common-sense dentistry, humor, and strong ethical message was infectious for every student. He created one of the first and finest graduate programs in dental technology worldwide. His pursuit of excellence allowed to him meet people from all over the world. It is a great privilege to be exposed to such a personality."

What advice would you give to a new dental professional?
"Based on my own experience I feel that as a prosthodontist, one has the privilege to be a leader in planning and treating complex interdisciplinary cases, in combination with teaching, visiting international meetings and always getting new information. Therefore, always remain open-minded towards all new aspects and directions. Go and get in touch with as many colleagues as possible. Profit from their professional knowledge; you will always learn something. Professional organizations like APS facilitate such a process. There is a great chance that you will not only develop a professional but also a personal friendship. Some of them will even become your mentors! As a person, always try to live a life in which qualities such as honesty, transparency, ethics, non-opportunistic behavior, modesty and humbleness are the guiding features."

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
"Of course, the members of the family and the time spent with my two boys, especially traveling to and visiting foreign countries and cultures, are the most important counterbalances to a committed professional life. My wife Marinette was a classmate at dental school. Her understanding for the profession and the academic life was instrumental in allowing me dedicate my time to the "Hobby of Prosthodontics." Nature and the reading of books outside dentistry add to my work-life balance."

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