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Together with Gong Ping in Xi’An

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Prof. Gong Ping is professor, doctor advisor and director of the Implant Center of West China College of Stomatology. Besides being the associate director of the Dental Implantology Specialty Committee of Chinese Stomatological Association, she is an active member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) and the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). She is author and co-author of several articles in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks, and she gives lectures at national and international meetings.

Yun Yang | China

This issue of Geistlich News focuses on Research and Practice. What is your experience?

Prof. Gong: Research and practice complement one another. Before any technique or product is used in a patient, the first step must always be research-based. As an experienced dentist, when I am introduced to a new product, I am always very cautious. I really want to check if the product is as good as I am told. I check the scientific literature myself, and I do several studies and tests. Following this approach, I have a better understanding of the materials and of the clinical applicability. As an old Chinese saying goes: "Know what and why at the same time."

How do you like being a teacher?

Prof. Gong: I've had, and still have, brilliant students. They study and work very hard. All of my students who decided to stay at my university after graduation have received at least one grant from the National Natural Science Foundation, one of the first institutes in China. That is a great honor for me! I try to keep in contact with all of them. We have group chats. We talk and share information from around the world. It's a pleasure to be a teacher!

But you are also dealing with patients… What is your attitude toward them?

Prof. Gong: I always try to put myself in their shoes. What kind of treatment would I accept? Besides that, I always try to become familiar with the patient’s background. I believe that a treatment based on empathy is the best solution for long-term benefits. I also teach this approach to my students. It is important that the patient feels comfortable, especially in a university hospital. I offer my students the opportunity to interact with the patients. I am by their side, listening and supporting them. When I see or hear something wrong, I take the time to talk to the student separately.

An approach that may seem tough…

Prof. Gong: I'm not a tough teacher, but I have my rules. You have to be committed to the patient. The mobile phone is not allowed during work, and no one should interrupt me when I visit with a patient. After the treatment, I encourage my students to call the patients for follow-up. Whether you have many patients to treat and are very busy every day or not, you have to finish what you started.

What did you dream of becoming as a child?

Prof. Gong: I was born in a family of doctors. My mother is a pediatrician; my father is an orthopedist. We never had a family dinner, not even in the Chinese New Year. While I couldn't stand the fact that my parents were always busy, I also understood that they had very respectable occupations. Therefore, I decided to become a doctor as well.

And why dental implantology?

Prof. Gong: When I was a child, I had a lot of problems with my teeth, and not many dental hospitals were near my house. So when I went to the university, I didn't consider any faculties other than dental medicine. Once I was told: "Teeth are the indicators of your entire life. Dental care will be there forever!" So I wouldn't say it was my dream, but rather an obsession!

Yun Yang

Yun Yang | China

Marketing Manager
Geistlich Trading (Beijing) Co., Ltd

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