Dr. Tabas' big reason to smile


The residents of Philadelphia can likely tell you themselves what Dr. Norman Tabas, a dentist in the city since 1980, has done to help them. However, it was Oct. 3, in Tokyo, Japan, that he received recognition from his peers for his work.

The International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) World Congress XXXI took place in the capital city, with nearly 1,500 dentists from around the world attending, and Tabas was one of the 60 honorees being recognized with awards for their endeavors.

Tabas, whose office is located at 2534 S. Broad St., said of being awarded the ICOI Fellowship, “It’s nice to be recognized for your accomplishments. That’s always a good feeling.”

The 59-year-old has been surgically placing implants for the last 18 years, and had to submit 20 completed cases that corresponded with various criteria from the ICOI committee, such as the implants having been in place for more than a year.

Explaining the system for the award, Tabas said, “It’s almost like if you were a college student, there’s levels going up. So to get your bachelor’s degree, you have a certain number of course requirements, and for your master’s, you’ll have your thesis.”

The Fellowship also requires dentists doing implant work to advance their education continuously by taking courses each year in Europe, Asia or North America, depending on which location is hosting that year.

Describing the advancements the profession has seen since he started, Tabas said, “The technology’s just unlike anything else. It’s like my old computer from the 1990s would be an antique now, too.”

He explained that while some of these developments are merely cosmetic, that there have been huge practical strides as well. When it once could have taken months for a patient to wear his or her new implant, it is now possible for some to begin wearing the addition within a single day.

Even with all of his professional travel experience, Tabas has never thought of leaving home with his profession. He has been in South Philly for 30 years now, and has never pondered departing from the environs to practice dentistry elsewhere.

“I started here in the early 1980s, and I never really wanted to be anywhere else,” the Philadelphia native said. “I liked it here.”

Another reason to stay might be that even though Tabas has seen leading research developments from all around the world, he says America is the best for looking out for its patients and keeping them safe.

Though the technology may advance and change, the people stay the same and keep Tabas happy in his profession.

“I like working with people,” he said. “I didn’t want to be buried in a back office somewhere and not seeing anybody all day.”

Judging by the success of his practice for the last few decades, it’s probably safe to say Dr. Tabas makes his patients happy, too.