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LEGENDS Table of Contents   
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 36-37
Dr. Takao Fusayama - 1917-2003

Meenakshi Ammal Dental College, India

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How to cite this article:
Joseph R. Dr. Takao Fusayama - 1917-2003. J Conserv Dent 2005;8:36-7

How to cite this URL:
Joseph R. Dr. Takao Fusayama - 1917-2003. J Conserv Dent [serial online] 2005 [cited 2023 May 28];8:36-7. Available from:
Dr. Fusayama who followed his fathers footsteps and took up the dental profession was born at Mino, Japan in the year 1917. He began his dental career as a winner and the `Tokyo Medical and Dental University' from where he graduated in 1938 awarded him a special prize for having the highest test scores in the schools history. Losing a graduate of Fusayama's caliber wasn't something the university wanted and he was coaxed by his teachers to join as a teaching assistant at the same university where his academic and research career began.

Every successful mans life has its owns pauses and to Dr. Fusayama it was in the form of the World war II during which he served the army for seven long years. It has been an age old Japanese tradition that the eldest son needs to support the family but fortune favored Fusayama and he was spared this obligation. During his posting in the army his brother had to take up dentistry to keep the established family profession from dying as hopes of Fusayama who had already earned the rank of a captain returning to the field of dentistry seemed to be unsure, but like other great minds he knew what future had in store for him and that he had to get back.

His career included a plethora of scholarly achievements and was awarded the PhD degree from Tokyo University, his thesis was published in the Journal of the American Dental Association and became the first paper published by a Japanese dentist after World War II. In 1956. Some of the distinguished positions and awards that Dr. Fusayama held are a doctorate from the Indiana university, he was the chairperson at the Department of Operative Dentistry at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University which is now known as The Cariology and Operative Dentistry, Department of Restorative Sciences, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University today and a professor emeritus of the same after his retirement. He has published more than 300 scientific papers and written 25 books in his career of 37 years. His publications covered dentistry voraciously cariology, dental amalgam, pulp therapy, casting materials, impression materials and techniques and periodontal splinting techniques just to name a few. He was awarded the American Dental association's Gold Medal Award in the year 1982, he received the Wilmer Souder Award for dental research from the International Association for Dental Research, the Hollenback Award(1999), the Pierre Fauchard Award, and the S h i j u h o s h o Decoration by the Emperor of Japan and he has even served as the vice-president of the FDI World Dental Congress for 7years and has also chaired the FDI's scientific program in 1983. In the year 1987 he was inducted in the Japan academy and became the first and only dentist to be a part of that prestigious scientific organization. After his retirement he spent 11 years as the president of the Japanese chapter of Indiana University Alumini Club.

What the researchers believed before and during his time was that etching dentin was unacceptable due to the pulpal irritation they thought that it caused and Fusayama's etching and bonding to dentin faced serious criticism. Fusayama dealt this with calmness and composure and brought light into the darkness that veiled his fellow researchers that the irritation caused during etching and bonding to dentin was due to the bonding agent that did not seal the dentin and not due to the phosphoric acid etching. Fusayama's research and publication on the clinical guide to distinguish unmineralised infected part of a carious lesion using a red die helped operators precisely remove a carious lesion without intruding into the re­mineralizable part of the lesion. He was a pioneer in minimally invasive and adhesive dentistry, and was instrumental in the development of the total­-etch technique. His ideas propelled the research and development of adhesive materials in Japan to the highest level. His achievements are highly respected throughout the whole world as well as in Japan.

Fusayama believed in passing on the immense knowledge in dentistry that he had and chose to serve as the dean of students at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University and also as a chief director of a student dormitory. These positions of honour that demand most of a mans time and his dedication doesn't mean that Fusayama's life was filled with nothing but dentistry, he enjoyed golf, tennis and dentistry and considered his family his biggest assert.

Dr. Takao Fusayama, a scientist and teacher of great distinction, died on January 17, 2003 at the age of 86. It was Dr. Takao Fusayama's own words where he said `1 am extremely pleased that my life effort could contribute to human welfare, that I could minimize sacrifice of dental tissue to restoration, which led to technical simplicity, painless operation and maximum longevity of restored teeth'. What makes him a legend to us dentists was the work of his quiet perseverance and the fruit of his labor amidst criticism that resound in our daily dental practice to this day.

Correspondence Address:
Reuben Joseph
Meenakshi Ammal Dental College
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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