Dentistry Prof. Eemeritus Sigurd P. Ramfjord died July 4

July 9, 1997

ANN ARBOR—Sigurd P. Ramfjord, professor emeritus of dentistry at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, died July 4. He was 88. Ramfjord was known internationally for his leadership in establishing the specialty of periodontics (diseases of the gums) on a scientific basis.

The first dental investigator to carry out longitudinal studies on the effectiveness of various periodontal treatments, Ramfjord organized the first World Workshop on Periodontics in 1966, where scientific goals for the field of periodontology were established. The dental education program Ramfjord developed over the years is known as “the Michigan Concept” and has been emulated around the world.

“Dr. Ramfjord had an outstanding career of international acclaim,” said Prof. Martha J. Somerman, chair of the department of periodontics/prevention and geriatrics. “He earned the deep respect of colleagues and students alike for his breadth of knowledge of dentistry and for his devotion to study.

“Dr. Ramfjord was my mentor and my friend. During my six years at Michigan he often provided me with excellent advice in regard to both the department and to my research, and he was always right. He was a fine scholar and a man of true compassion, qualities that will be missed by the periodontal community, his friends at Michigan and all the friends that he touched during his lifetime.”

Ramfjord joined the U-M faculty in 1950 and was chair of the department in 1963-81. Born in Norway, Ramfjord received his dental education at the Oslo University School of Dentistry. He practiced dentistry in Norway for 12 years before coming to the U-M in 1946 for graduate work, where he earned a master’s degree in periodontics in 1948 and a Ph.D. in oral pathology in 1951.

A prolific writer, Ramfjord was author of two textbooks and more than 90 publications. In recognition of his worldwide influence, he received a number of honors and awards over the course of his career, including the Gold Medal Award in 1973 from the American Academy of Periodontology. In recognition of his more than 20 years of consultant work with the World Health Organization, he was awarded an honorary doctor of dental medicine degree by the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in 1978, and an honorary doctor of odontology degree by the University of Gotenborg, Sweden, in 1979. The U-M honored him with its Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 1979.

Ramfjord was active in many dental organizations. He served as president of the American Academy of Periodontology and also served as director and chairman of the American Board of Periodontology. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Oral Pathology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists.

Ramfjord is survived by his wife, Winifred; son, Per Ramfjord of Portland, Ore.; daughters, Kirsti Haaland of Oslo, Norway, and Birgit Ramfjord of Stockholm, Sweden, and five grandchildren. Funeral services will be held July 11 in Kolvereid, Norway.

Email: [email protected]

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