Mr. Paul Toller
The Times 21st July 1977
Mr Paul Toller, Consultant Dental Surgeon to the Department of Dental and Oral Surgery at Mount Vernon Hospital, to the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital at Taplow and to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, died on July 13 at the age of 55. An intensely inquiring mind led him to make advances in every subject in which he became interested and his interests were diverse. On qualification he joined the Maxillo-Facial Unit at Hill End Hospital treating war casualties, making great improvements in the mechanical devices now widely used in the treatment of the severely injured face. At the end of hostilities he spent a period with the maxillo-facial team which established that speciality in Jugoslavia. Tenaciously pursuing a line of thought on the development of cysts of the jaws he was becoming a world authority on the importance of immunoglobulins in these lesions.
Last summer the knowledge he had acquired on dental cysts enabled him to make an important contribution at a World Congress in Philadelphia on cholesteatoma, an ill-understood lesion of the ear. At Taplow he had special facilities for research into rheumatic conditions and he made important contributions to knowledge of the joint involved in movement of the jaw.
At the Royal College of Surgeons he was a Hunterian Professor, Charles Tomes Lecturer, was awarded the John Tomes Prize, and he was a member of the Board of Faculty of Dental Surgery. He was currently the President of the Section of Odontology of the Royal Society of Medicine, carrying through these duties with great courage despite increasing disability due to his illness which recently forced him to withdraw from the presidency of the British Association of Oral Surgeons which he would have assumed in October.
He contributed an important paper to the Oriental Ceramic Society of which he was a Council Member and with colleagues introduced X-Ray fluorescence as a method of study of ancient porcelains. He was a director the Oriental Art Magazine, which has a world wide circulation, and was a trustee of the Victor Sassoon Ivories Trust. He also had a considerable knowledge of early English glass. He was currently engaged in writing a book on ceramics as well as articles for books on dental subjects. He carried his research to fishing and prepared a scientific analysis of such interest that he was asked to present it at the annual meeting of the Piscatorial Society, reviving a custom which had fallen into abeyance for many years.
His combination of clinical ability with a real flair for intuitional research will continue to be an inspiration to the dental profession but he will be badly missed by both patients and trainees in the profession to which he has made such important contributions.