Described as Patient and Caring, EIOH Alum Julian Kahn Marks 20 Years as Part Time Faculty

Jun. 7, 2023
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Dr. Julian Kahn (Photo: Victor Prosthodontics)

As a child, Julian Kahn didn’t come home from school to the smell of fresh baked cookies or dinner in the oven. Rather, he was greeted each day by the pungent odors of acrylic and dental cement wafting throughout the house from his mom’s pediatric dentistry practice in the basement of their home.

“I remember going downstairs and playing with the plastic gloves and other things I could find when her patients were done for the day,” he said.

Julian’s dad was also a dentist, and while there were no formal specialties in Peru at that time, his primary focus was prosthodontics.  His sister, six years his senior, practiced endodontics and her husband became a general dentist.

“When I was growing up, everything was dentistry all the time, even at meals,” he recalled.  “Most times I had no idea what they were talking about.”

And while Julian never felt pressured from his family to become a dentist, he always felt it was the natural thing to do. A couple years after he graduated from dental school in Peru, he was accepted into Eastman’s AEGD program. He was the first in his family to travel to the United States for advanced training.

“The day after my AEGD graduation, I went back to Peru for three years,” he said. He worked alongside his father, Julian’s greatest inspiration who had served as president of the Peru Prosthodontics society. “My father was a true role model. He was a great father, son and brother. He was very kind and generous.”

At this point, his family had established a family dentistry practice where Julian worked closely with his father, deepening his interest in prosthodontics.

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First year Prosthodontics resident Dr. Katherine Mader appreciates Dr. Kahn's teaching style.

With his family’s full support, he made the difficult decision to go back to the U.S. when he was accepted to Eastman’s Prosthodontics Residency Program in 2000.

“It was a difficult decision because we all knew I likely wouldn’t be coming back to Peru,” Julian said.

During his time as a Prostho resident, he spent even more time in the lab after hours and on weekends. 

“Eastman is one of the few programs in the states that is very lab oriented,” he said. “Nothing less than perfect was acceptable for each impression, mounting your own casts, and doing your own crowns and dentures.”

And the education he received at Eastman wasn’t just from faculty.  “We all learned from each other – residents in our own class as well as residents ahead of us and after us,” he added.

Some of Dr. Kahn’s favorite memories were in the lab.  “You spend so much time in the lab that you and your classmates become really close friends,” he said. “One Sunday, our whole class was in the lab except one person. We called him and told him to come join us, and sure enough he did.”

The American Prosthodontic Society Annual Meeting also serves as an unofficial Eastman reunion. Memories and stories from 20 years ago are shared enthusiastically. “We come from all over the world and reconnect at this meeting each year,” he said. “So many Eastman alumni come to this meeting and it’s really nice to see everyone.”

outside entrance of School 17 dental clinic
Dr. Kahn taught at our clinic at School 17

Dr. Kahn became a full-time faculty member in Eastman’s Community Dentistry and the AEGD program at the main building right after he earned his Prosthodontics certificate in 2003. He played a key role in establishing an adult patient base at School 17, which had up until that point, been mainly schoolchildren. Not only was he able to teach Prosthodontics in advanced general dentistry, but provide a much-needed service in the community. He became a Clinical Site Director at the School 17 clinic during that time.

A few years later, he joined Elmwood Dental for private practice, but continued teaching part time in General Dentistry.

In addition to teaching in General Dentistry since 2003, he has also been teaching part time in Prosthodontics for the last six years, while continuing private practice with EIOH alum Dr. Gabriela Carranza at Victor Prosthodontics. His practice is limited to Prosthetic dentistry.  

Dr. Mahshid Torabi

Julian loves teaching and working in private practice, each bringing a nice balance of challenges and rewards. 

“Many times, we will see new patients who are difficult and unhappy because of a previous experience,” Dr. Kahn will explain to residents. “Or, the patient may have unrealistic expectations. Because what we do usually takes months or longer, it’s important to build a relationship with the patient from the beginning and break down any walls the patient may have—one step at a time.”

“Dr. Kahn is a very caring person for both the patients and the residents,” said Dr. Mahshid Torabi, a second-year resident in Prosthodontics. "When it comes to treatment planning, his explanations are very thorough, and he always makes sure that the resident understands the process and treatment plan.”

“Sometimes the dental issue is very easy to treat, but the patient is difficult,” Dr. Kahn explained. “Or, the dental issue is challenging and the patient may be less difficult. The victory is when the treatment is over and the patient leaves happy.”

“Dr. Kahn is hands-on when the residents need help,” Dr. Torabi added. “He is also very patient with both the residents and patients. He explains everything and walks the resident through the process.” 

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Dr. Kahn, Dr. Ercoli and Dr. Sanchez reconnected at the 2018 Brewer Conference

“Julian is a phenomenal guy and faculty member with an infectious laugh who gives selflessly to both Prosthodontics and General Dentistry departments, to the students and to everyone around him,” said Dr. Carlo Ercoli (Prostho ‘96), chair, EIOH Prosthodontics Department. Dr. Ercoli first met Julian when they were both EIOH residents 29 years ago. “He epitomizes a true alum who not only teaches in the program, but is highly regarded by the students and provides highly constructive faculty support. He has the gift of being able to relate to others very well.”  

Dr. Ercoli added that Dr. Kahn has never missed a single Brewer Conference or an unofficial alumni reunion at the American Prosthodontic Society annual meeting. 

A lover of travel, Dr. Kahn has been many places, but still left on his bucket list are Thailand and Australia. The trip to Thailand, however, may happen sooner than later.  He and his fiancé, Dr. Konstantina Tzouma (GenDen ’15 GPR ‘16) will be married in August, and may spend their honeymoon there. 

When he’s not traveling, Dr. Kahn likes to spend his time playing sports like skiing, tennis and soccer with his 14-year-old son Jacob, who--so far—is thinking of joining the family tradition to become a dentist.