↑ Return to About Us

Print this Page

Takao Fusayama


Takao Fusayama  D.D.S., Ph.D. (1916-2003)

“…many of his colleagues agree that no one since the legendary G. V Black has had a greater impact on restorative dental care than Dr. Takao Fusayama of Japan.”
Journal of American Dental Association (1997)

Dr. Takao Fusayama was born in Gifu, Japan, on August 7, 1916. 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. He graduated from Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 1938, but was called into the army soon thereafter and served until 1946. 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.

Dr. Fusayama then taught at Toyo Women's Dental College for three years before returning to Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 1950; however, he had to spend two years and seven months fighting tuberculosis. He received the PhD degree from Tokyo University, for a thesis on the accuracy of the indirect dental stone model in 1955, and then awarded a Fulbright Postdoctoral Research Scholarship to study at Indiana University (1956-57).

After returning to Tokyo Medical and Dental University, he was appointed Professor of Operative Dentistry in 1960. During the period of 1950s, 60s and 70s, the main research topic of the department was the improvement of cast and amalgam restorations. In the 1970s, studies on carious dentine and adhesive restorative materials were started. The practical classification of dentine lesion into two layers was achieved and the results could be applied to the clinic by the development of ‘caries detector’. At the same time, adhesive resin including the total etching technique was developed. In 1978, the adhesive restoration was established as a tooth substance saving restoration technique. This concept is still valid in modern day minimally invasive caries treatment. Prof. Junji Tagami believes that our emeritus Professor had considerable difficulties getting his innovative idea accepted. Dr. Fusayama enjoyed a long and fruitful career at the university, publishing 30 textbooks and 568 articles in the field of dentistry, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1982, and becoming Guest Professor of Showa University Faculty of Dentistry (1982-88).

In Japan, Dr. Fusayama presided over the Academy of Conservative Dentistry, the Academy of Dental Materials, and the Academy of Dental Practice Administration, as well as serving as chairman on the national boards for Dental Licensure Examinations, Dental Research Grants, and Inspection of Dental Schools.

Dr. Fusayama has been placed on the List of Honour of the Federation Dentaire Internationale FDI, for which he served as National Treasurer from 1966-74; as consultant to or member of various commissions and committees from 1970 on; as Councillor of the Federation from 1973-77; and as its Vice President from 1977-84. He was chairman of the Asian-Pacific Dental Federation's Commission on Dental Education from 1969-74 and Vice President of the Asian-Pacific Federation from 1975-79.

In 1982, Dr. Fusayama was honored by the International Association for Dental Research, receiving their Wilmer Souder Award. The Academy of International Dental Study honored him as Researcher of the Year in 1984, and the Emperor of Japan presented him with Japan's Violet Ribbon Medal in 1983. Dr. Fusayama then received a Second Order of Merit Decoration from the Emperor in 1988, and was elected to the Japan Academy in 1987. He was an honorary member of the American Dental Association, the Korean Dental Association, and the Italian Dental Association. He was appointed Eugene Skinner Memorial Lecturer at Northwestern University in 1993. He received the fifth ADA Gold Medal for Excellence in Dental Research in 1997, followed by the Hollenback Award from Academy of Operative Dentistry in 1999.

Dr. 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 honor 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.

Several history makers in dentistry were among Dr. Fusayama's colleagues around the world. In the acknowledgement of his 1993 book which was published with the support of the prestigious Japan Academy, he named some of those colleagues including Dr. George C. Paffenbarger, Dr. Ralph W. Phillips, Dr. George C. Hollenback, Dr. A. Mjor,  Dr. Martin Brannstrom and Dr. Raymond L. Bertolotti.

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 "I 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". His valuable accomplishment will be remembered in the history of dentistry forever.

1- Fusayama T. Author Biography in "A Simple Pain-Free Adhesive Restorative System by Minimal Reduction and Total Etching" Ishiyaku EuroAmerica, Inc., Tokyo, 1993: p. 128.
2- Tagami J. "Takao Fusayama (1916–2003)" J Dent. 2003 Mar;31(3):159–160.
3- Jacob JA. "The rise of the son (Takao Fusayama)" J Am Dent Assoc. 1997 Oct;128(10):1456-60.

Edited by A Sadr, Oct. 2014