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Dr. Kenji W. Higuchi, center, was presented with the Nobel Biocare Branemark Osseointegration award by outgoing AO President Dr. Michael Norton, left, and Dr. Edward Sevetz at the recent AO Annual Meeting. (Photo: Academy of Osseointegration)

Higuchi receives Nobel Biocare Branemark Osseointegration Award

Dr. Kenji W. Higuchi, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon from Spokane, Wash., is the 11th recipient of the Nobel Biocare Branemark Osseointegration Award. This annual award bestowed by the Osseointegration Foundation (OF), the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Osseointegration (AO), honors an individual whose impact on implant dentistry is exemplary in any or all of the foundation’s mission categories: research, education and charitable causes.

The award is made possible by a grant from Nobel Biocare.

“I am deeply honored. This is especially gratifying because of my close and long-term relationship with Professor Branemark. It is personally meaningful to be recognized by the Osseointegration Foundation for past involvement in research, education and humanitarian service, as all these activities have been of central importance throughout my career while providing patient-centered care,” Higuchi said.

OF President Dr. Edward Sevetz presented the award to Higuchi during the opening symposium of the academy’s 2018 annual meeting in Los Angeles.

“Dr. Higuchi’s professional and personal experiences and characteristics qualify him for being a role model for anyone in the dental health-care field.

Almost 40 years ago, he developed a close working relationship with the discoverer of osseointegration, Swedish orthopedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Dr. Higuchi worked side-by-side with Professor Brånemark and became one of the earliest surgeons in the U.S. to recognize the breakthrough of osseointegration and how it would vastly improve the quality of the lives of patients,” Sevetz said. “Dr. Higuchi annually took time out of his own private practice to coordinate professional training sessions to ‘raise the bar’ of those wishing to help patients in their own locales.”

Higuchi is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. His private practice (Drs. Higuchi and Skinner PS) emphasizes reconstructive oral and maxillofacial surgery. Since 1984, he has been the director of the Spokane Center for Tissue Integrated Reconstruction. Since 2007, Higuchi and Professor John Brunski, Stanford University, have been the principals in OsseoConception LLC.

He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, his DDS from Marquette University School of Dentistry and served four years on active duty in the U.S. Army, including an internship at Letterman General Hospital at the Presidio in San Francisco. He obtained his residency with a master’s of science in oral and maxillofacial surgery at University Hospitals at the University of Iowa and has held past full-time and adjunct academic appointments at that institution. From 1986-2018, Higuchi participated in 10 separate multi-center prospective clinical trials.

“With his humanitarian heart, science-oriented mind and openly-friendly personality, Dr. Higuchi is an exemplary role model to all of us on how to lead our professional and personal lives,” Sevetz concluded.

(Source: Academy of Osseointegration)

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