Albert D. Guckes, DDS, MSD has been a devoted dentist to individuals affected by ectodermal dysplasias and a good friend to the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias (NFED) for more than 30 years. He was working at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) in the late 1980s when Dr. Ann Drum first sparked his interest in the conditions. In 1988, Mary Kaye Richter, NFED Founder and Executive Director at the time, invited Dr. Guckes to participate in some NFED activities.

Dental implants were new to the United States then and Al’s group at NIDCR had started a study of implants in the rehabilitation of the edentulous mandibles of adults. Because he was involved with the Foundation, he believed that implants would be very helpful in the long-term oral health care for adults with congenitally missing teeth due to ectodermal dysplasia.

Dr. Guckes poses next to Encil and Lois Williams.
Dr. Guckes visits with Encil and Lois Williams in 2007. Encil had been in his dental implant study almost 20 years before.

His team expanded the study and the NFED was able to provide access to affected patients. His team’s findings were critical because they documented that dental implants were a safe and effective treatment for individuals affected by ectodermal dysplasias.

Serving on Our Councils

9 doctors and dentists stand in two rows to pose for a group photo of the NFED SAC.
Dr. Guckes (back row, far left) was a great addition to our Scientific Advisory Council. This group picture was taken in 1998 when our Family Conference was held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Al lived.

We invited Dr. Guckes to serve on our Scientific Advisory Council  (SAC), which he did from 1993-2002. He helped us open one of our first Dental Implant Centers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995 where he was now working. Al was always happy to lead seminars at Family Conference, speak at professional symposia, and even be a Wheel of Fortune contestant for us in a fun Conference session.

Five people in front of a spinning wheel were the contestants for NFED Wheel of Fortune.
Dr. Al (middle) was one of the contestants when we played Wheel of Fortune at a Family Conference.

When he stepped off the SAC in 2002, he graciously stepped onto our newly-formed Patient Care Council (PCC). On this Council, he reviewed applications for our Treatment Assistance Program and advised us on various dental matters.

In 2004, Dr. Guckes was a key figure in our landmark Access to Oral Health Care Conference and in writing the resulting document, the Parameters of Oral Health Care for Individuals Affected by Ectodermal Dysplasias.

An Award-Winning Dentist

In 2006, we bestowed the John E. Gilster, DDS Outstanding Service Through Dentistry Award to Dr. Guckes. This special award recognizes the contributions of individuals who exemplify Dr. Gilster’s commitment to the NFED and to the oral health of individuals affected by ectodermal dysplasia.

A team of doctors and dentists who presented at the dental symposia.
Dr. Guckes (far right) often spoke for us at professional dental symposia to educate dental students and other dentists about how to treat ectodermal dysplasias.

Dr. Guckes was always willing to talk to providers to discuss treatment plans and to advise NFED staff. We have learned so much from Dr. Guckes and we know that we can always contact him if we need him. He is so generous with his time and talent. The NFED has truly been fortunate to have this amazing man on our team!

Filled with Gratitude

It is with heartfelt gratitude that we recently accepted his resignation from the PCC. His expertise in prosthodontics has served our ectodermal dysplasias community well. Dr. Al Guckes is a man of high integrity with a large heart and easy going temperament.

We thank him for his impeccable service and for making life better for those with ectodermal dysplasias. All of us in the NFED family will miss him!

Please join us in wishing Dr. Al Guckes a wonderful life in retirement!   We LOVE you, Dr. Albert D. Guckes!

One comment on “Dr. Albert Guckes: A Dentist With a Big Heart”

  1. 1
    Raymond Shaffer on April 10, 2024

    I was a patient of Dr. Guckes at UNC back in the late Nineties. What a lovely guy. I hope he’s enjoying his retirement with his family.

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