Shafers Textbook of Oral Pathology – The book highlights the etiopathogenesis and clinical presentation of oral diseases
It is a distinct honor and privilege to have been asked to write the foreword for this edition of Shafers Textbook of Oral Pathology. Dr Shafer, through the text that he co-authored with Drs Maynard Hine and Barnet Levy, made a tremendous impact on the practice of dentistry from the first edition, published in 1958, to the last edition, published in 1983. It is likely that no other text has ever had such a widespread influence on the perception of a specialty of dentistry, essentially establishing that the clinical and histopathologic diagnosis of oral disease belonged to the practice of dentistry, and the practice of oral and maxillofacial pathology specifically.
I was fortunate to have been one of more than 60 individuals who were trained under ‘the Chief ’, as he was widely known by the people who passed through his department. Understand that he was a stern taskmaster, and he was serious about the practice of oral pathology. When a resident made a diagnosis, Dr Shafer expected that resident to know everything about that disease, and we spent hours in the library (this was in the days before computers!) tracking down who first reported that specific disease, in what year, and in what journal, as well as the most recent references related to the disease. He never allowed any of his residents to use his text as a reference, either. Perhaps he imparted the most significant concept, consciously or unconsciously, to us: knowledge and understanding of disease is an ever-changing, evolving process, and the practitioner must continually keep up with the dental and medical literature in order to remain current and provide the most accurate, up-to-date patient care.
This textbook, then, provides the dental clinician with some of the most current viewpoints related to the vast spectrum of disease that is encountered in the oral and maxillofacial region. The editors are to be commended on continuing Dr Shafer’s legacy to the dental and oral pathology communities. By updating and amplifying the textbook, the authors will ensure that this knowledge will be handed down to future generations of practitioners. Future editions will include the inevitable advances in our understanding of disease processes, and hopefully will provide the stimulus for new investigators wishing to advance the science of oral and maxillofacial pathology. Undoubtedly, this textbook will maintain the tradition of excellence in oral pathology education that was established by Dr Shafer and will serve as a valuable resource for students, instructors and clinicians alike.
The periodic and timely revisions of Shafers Textbook of Oral Pathology have brought out a treatise, well conceived and written with the aim of updating the student all necessary nuances of the specialty. The scope of the present edition is an extension of this goal aimed at understanding the disease processes at a more fundamental level, the impetus being those in the maxillofacial region. While the subject appears more of loco-regional nature, as the text unfolds, its wider ramifications become more apparent and the disease entities described here appear wider in scope and nature. As in the past, this edition has also undergone an extensive revision and new topics have been included. A well thought out decision of incorporating ‘cutting edge’ technologies of relevance such as molecular markers and disease profiling, continues to be incorporated in the text with the aim of updating the subject and making it more contemporary. Scattered throughout the text one finds highlighted ‘boxes’ which stand out, yet merge imperceptibly with the rest, denoting advanced information perhaps beyond the ambit of the undergraduate curriculum. In this way, the text has been user friendly, though discriminatory of the scope and choice of its contents. We believe this approach is sensible and will be well taken by the readership. This textbook represents a treasury of information based for the most part, on the publications of our contemporaries and predecessors. In order to present the material in an informal manner, continuous referencing to these sources have been discarded. However, the reader will find a list of suggested references of wider scope at the end of each chapter.
This edition is peculiar in having new pieces of four-color art schematics, flowcharts and diagrams primarily aimed at comprehension of its contents and to facilitate reasoning of concepts such as the molecular basis of cancer. A change which is far reaching and marked is the hard copy format of the text which intends to minimize structural fatigue and maximize ease of usage. Finally, as was true of the fifth and sixth editions, all of our associations with the publisher, Elsevier India were pleasant and helpful. We want to thank the editorial staff of Elsevier India for their skilled and friendly assistance in helping us publish this project to completion successfully.