About Maria L Aguilar
Maria Lucia Aguilar, DDS, MSD, MS-CI is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry (UFCD). She completed her dental education in 1987 at the Colegio Odontológico Colombiano, Bogota, Colombia, practicing in Colombia between 1988 and 1999, which including managing a multi-doctor practice and treating special needs patients. Her prosthodontic specialty training began in 2000 with her Post-Doctoral Certificate awarded in 2003 and her MSD in 2005, both from the CODA accredited University of Puerto Rico, School of Dental Medicine (UPRSDM). The MSD thesis research, “Accuracy of two Impression Materials Using Mechanical Mixing and Direct Impression Techniques: A Three-Dimensional Study” (2010) was published in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry the first of her eight authored or co-authored peer-reviewed manuscripts (as of July 2019). In 2006, Dr. Aguilar began her Master in Clinic Investigations (MS-CI), also at the UPR where she was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Restorative Dental Science Department and was the first ever named NIH-Endowment Research Fellow. Her MS-CI thesis research was on quality of life in head and neck cancer patients; the beginning of a line of research that has been on-going over the past thirteen years and continues. “Relationships between global health/quality of life and specific H&N cancer quality of life domains” was the subsequent manuscript published in the Journal of Prosthodontics on the findings of that study.
The University of Florida College of Dentistry (UFCD) recruited Dr. Aguilar in 2008 as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the (then) Department of Prosthodontics. Dr. Aguilar has always had a clinical interest in, and appreciation for removable prosthodontics, a service that she recognizes as an important oral rehabilitation approach for many patients. Because of her recognition of removable prosthodontic’s importance as an essential professional tool for all dentists, Dr. Aguilar sees the need for removable prosthodontic diagnosis and fabrication excellence as a key core discipline in educating dentists, these rehabilitation techniques remain important and utilitarian treatments for a large segment of the U.S. population unable to afford “implant” services, and removable prostheses are often important accompaniments with implant restorations.
In 2011 she became the Director of “Removable Prosthodontic Treatment of the Edentulous Patient” to translate this enthusiasm for removable prosthodontics to a critical clinical skills course. In this sub-specialty area, she has co-authored a manuscript “Evaluation of Team-Based Learning Methods (TBL) vs. Traditional Instructional Methods in Teaching Removable Partial Denture Concepts’ that was published in the Journal of Dental Education, and a Medeportal Publication “Complete Denture Video: Over the past three years, Dr. Aguilar has enhanced the course through student input and collaborations with fellow faculty. Primarily, these developments have been to orient the students to the clinical application (in vivo) of the techniques they learn in the lab (in vitro). Her research in this topic includes the publication of findings of an epidemiology project of hers entitled “The quality of removable partial dentures in dentate, community dwelling elderly residing in Puerto Rico” published in the Journal of Prosthodontics. She also conducts a highly specialized UFCD Continuing Education courses focused on State Board mandated prosthodontic remediation for doctors whose licenses have been suspended.
While a passionate teacher, especially in the one-on-one clinic environment Dr. Aguilar has continued her research in the quality of life of head and neck cancer patients. She has completed four years of NIH-NIDCR funding that included the first U.S. research on the Patient Concern Inventory (PCI), which is a clinical tool for head and neck cancer patients. The PCI has recently been made a standard of care in the United Kingdom. This has led to eight international presentations of study findings by her and the study collaborators, Drs. Pamela Sandow (UFCD), John Werning (UFSOM), and Walter Psoter (UR-EHIOH). These were some of the multiple American and International Association of Dental Research presentations of Dr. Aguilar. Her international work besides the research presentations includes collaborations with Dr. Simon Roger (a head and neck surgeon in Liverpool U.K. on a H&N cancer clinical tool, the Patient Concern Index, which is entering the eight year and includes the report: Aguilar ML, Psoter WJ, Claudio C, Reyes E, Borrel L. “Cultural Adaptation of two International Quality of Life instrument for cancer research.” European the Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), 2007. Dr. Aguilar is also a member of the NIH National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (ND-PBRN) and is a consultant on two NIH ND-PBRN studies, one currently being analyze and manuscripts being prepared.
Dr. Aguilar is a practitioner in the UFCD Faculty Practice. She was the sole UF Maxillofacial Prosthodontic (MFP) clinician for eighteen months (ending January 2018), practicing all phases of MFP including interdisciplinary surgery in the OR with UF ENT surgeons, and being part of the H&N cancer team that introduced the Edmonton fibula free flap bone mandibular replacement with prior dental implant placements to the UF-Shands community. She has had great pleasure working closely with the UFCD’s surgeons and anaplastologist as well as the ENT head and neck surgical team. She is an attending at UF-Shands Medical Center. A passion for improving her former patient lives drives her continuing research has remained focus on H&N cancer; early discovery to minimize mortality, and quality of life. Dr. Aguilar has completed training on Botox facial application to further her clinical skills to enhance patients’ quality of life. . She serves as member of several Department and College committees. In addition, she is the Advisor for the University of Florida Colombian Student Association (PorColombia UF) and is a regular volunteer at the UFCD sponsored Community We Care Clinic, Santa Fe College, GCM, Prosthodontic Clinic, Gainesville Community Ministry, and the Migrant Clinic, Gainesville and encourages other students and faculty to volunteer. Dr Aguilar is a member of the American College of Prosthodontists, AADR, IADR, ADA, FDA and the American Dental Education Association.
Dr. Aguilar enjoys spending time with her family. She has been married for 29 years, has two daughters that are graduates of UF (College of Architecture, and College of Agriculture.) While enjoying Florida’s beaches, her special hobby is going every year to the opera at the Metropolitan in NYC. Also, she loves to watch NBA games and American football; she is a fan of the Patriots New England team and Boston Celtics. Her husband is a big soccer (football) fan and stills play on the Gainesville over 50 soccer leagues; luckily for her, he also enjoys doing home construction projects and repairing small electronic, a necessity with college attending children
ProsthodonticsAmerican Board of Prosthodontics