Global Health Nexus, Summer 2003

Live From New York: NYU Dentistry Broadcasts First Dental Videoconference to Saudi Arabia

On March 17, the Rosenthal Institute for Aesthetic Dentistry broadcast its first, live, interactive dental videoconference—to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Stuart M. Hirsch, Associate Dean for Development and International Programs, and Dr. Nicholas Elian, Director of the Implant Dentistry Program, traveled to Saudi Arabia to host the event, provide commentary, and moderate a question-and-answer session among participants in New York and Riyadh.

In New York, 52 NYU Dentistry students and faculty filled the Rosenthal Institute amphitheater to watch an implant procedure performed by four Saudi-born students enrolled in NYU Dentistry’s Advanced Study Program in Implant Dentistry for International Dentists. All four are graduates of King Saud University College of Dentistry in Riyadh. They are Drs. Mohammed Al-Garni, Abdullah Alkeraidis, Khalil Al-Ali, and Mohammed Al-Harbi. Dr. Brian Ehrlich, Clinical Assistant Professor of Implant Dentistry, oversaw the procedure.

At the same time, 65 people in Riyadh watched the same procedure being performed via satellite. They included alumni of NYU Dentistry’s postgraduate specialty training programs and advanced study programs for international dentists now practicing privately in Saudi Arabia; the entire dental faculty of King Saud University; Dr. Hassan M. Abdelwassie, Director and Chief Dental Officer of the Saudi Ministry of Health; Dr. Khalid A. Al-Ruhaimi, Dean of King Saud University College of Dentistry; Dr. Youssef Fouad Talec, Director of Postgraduate Dental Education at King Saud University College of Dentistry; Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Dawood, Chairman of the Department of Dentistry at King Faisal Specialist Hospital; and Dr. Fawzi AlGhamdi, a 2001 graduate of the advanced study programs in implant dentistry and prosthodontics, who was instrumental in coordinating the event.

“Thanks to today’s extraordinary technology, it’s possible to share resources instantly with people around the globe,” said Dr. Hirsch. “The Riyadh event was a landmark advance in international continuing dental education, and one that we look forward to replicating in many other countries around the world.”