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Leading expert in medication-related jaw deterioration to present at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

December 19, 2016

A medical studnet performs an oral exam on a patient
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine offers a unique oral health curriculum for its second-year students.

Salvatore L. Ruggiero, one of the foremost experts in how certain medications can cause deterioration of the jawbone, will deliver the keynote address as part of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s Oral Health Week.

Ruggiero is a clinical professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at both SUNY Stony Brook and Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, as well as an attending surgeon at the New York Center for Orthognathic and Maxillofacial Surgery.

His visit is made possible through a gift by Delta Dental of Virginia and is the sixth annual event designed to promote the importance of oral health in medical education.

Ruggiero’s lecture titled, “Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaws,” will be Jan. 4, at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine at 2 Riverside Circle in Roanoke. A reception starts at 5:30 p.m. in the school’s main lobby, with the lecture taking place at 6:30 p.m. in room M203.

 “We are extremely grateful for the generous support from Delta Dental of Virginia that has enabled us to develop, implement, and sustain our unique oral health curriculum for our students,” said Cynda Johnson, dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “Our program has received national and international recognition with inquiries from as far away as Australia.”

New to the school’s curriculum this year is an elective rotation in oral health for fourth-year students. Kendall Hancock, the first student to take part in the new elective, will provide a short presentation as part of the Jan. 4 event.

Ruggiero earned his D.M.D. degree at the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine and his M.D. also at Harvard. He completed an internship and two residencies at Massachusetts General Hospital.

He was chief resident in oral and maxillofacial surgery at both Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General.

Ruggiero has 25 years of professional service both teaching and clinical, and is a fellow in both the American College of Dentists and the American College of Surgeons. He has authored or coauthored dozens of journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters and has lectured extensively across the United States and internationally.

Much of Ruggiero’s research focuses on the relationship between necrosis — or deterioration of cells — in the jaw and certain medications, including Fosamax, a drug often prescribed for osteoporosis and certain drugs used in chemotherapy treatments.

His lecture will look at the signs and symptoms of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw, risk factors, and treatment.

Barry Wolfe Grand Canyon
The evening also includes a private viewing of an art show featuring the works of Barry Wolfe, including this one of the Grand Canyon.

Guests will also be invited to a private viewing of an art show prior to the lecture. The show features the works of Barry Wolfe, artist and Delta Dental board member.

Wolfe is a recently retired periodontist who practiced in Roanoke for 42 years. He has been doing photography since his dental school years and on a professional level since 1999.

Wolfe's exhibition, "Global Viewpoints," looks at different cultures and environments that he has photographed across the world  and how humanistic awareness of different cultures, societies, and lifestyles is directly tied to the landscapes that people inhabit.

The exhibit is especially relevant because of the school's options for international rotations for its fourth-year students. These electives are part of the school’s emphasis on preparing students to be physicians in an increasingly global society.

The Jan. 4 events are free and open to the public. Ample parking is available adjacent to the building.

For special accommodations or more information, contact Lynne Pearo by phone at 540-581-0277 or by email.

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