To his patients, Pushkar Mehra is a miracle worker. He is one of five doctors in the country who performs a three-step, 10-hour surgery that takes apart and reconstructs a patient’s lower face—deformed by congenital growth problems, tumors, or diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. The surgery restores patients’ ability to eat, speak, sleep, and breathe normally.
And the most surprising part of Mehra’s job is his title: dentist.
“You would think I’m a plastic surgeon, but plastic surgeons have no clue how to put things together that are eggshell,” says Mehra (SDM’95,’99), a School of Dental Medicine associate professor, chair of oral and maxillofacial surgery, and associate dean for hospital affairs. “The only way you build it is by putting the teeth together first.”
Mehra is part of a long line of specialists, researchers, and community activists who have helped distinguish the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, which is marking its 50th anniversary this year. The school kicked off its yearlong celebration at a Boston reception on February 1 and will be hosting events through November 30 at sites in the United States and abroad.
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