Dr. John Featherstone Receives 2023 American Dental Association Distinguished Service Award


CHICAGO, October 7, 2023 — The American Dental Association (ADA) will award Dr. John Featherstone with the ADA Distinguished Service Award at SmileCon™ in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 5. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor given by the ADA Board of Trustees.

"Dr. Featherstone's contributions to dentistry have left an indelible mark on our profession,” said Dr. George R. Shepley, President of the ADA for the 2022-2023 term. “Through his groundbreaking cariology research, tireless dedication to organized dentistry, and commitment to mentoring the next generation of dental professionals, Dr. Featherstone has been a driving force in advancing our field. It is with the utmost admiration that we recognize his enduring and illustrious career in dentistry with this year's Distinguished Service Award."

Dr. Featherstone is a professor, researcher, avid speaker and presenter, and honorary lifetime member of the ADA. He is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco’s (UCSF) School of Dentistry. He was also the previous Dean of the UCSF School of Dentistry.

A researcher for over 48 years, Dr. Featherstone has covered several aspects of cariology including fluoride mechanisms of action, caries risk assessment, de- and re-mineralization of the teeth, apatite chemistry, salivary dysfunction, caries prevention and laser effects on dental hard tissues with emphasis on caries prevention and early caries removal. He spearheaded the development of Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) at UCSF and is currently active in encouraging the implementation of CAMBRA in several venues across the world.

In addition to his master’s degree in physical chemistry from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, Dr. Featherstone earned his doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Wellington in New Zealand. Dr. Featherstone has won numerous national and international awards, including the International Association for Dental Research distinguished scientist award for research in dental caries in 2000, the Zsolnai Prize from the European Caries Research Organization in 2002 for his lifelong contributions to caries research, the Ericsson Prize in Preventive Dentistry by the Swedish Patent Fund in 2002, the Norton Ross Award for excellence in clinical research from the ADA in 2007 and the Lifetime Achievement Medal from the Alpha Omega International Dental Organization in 2022.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected by the ADA Board of Trustees as the Distinguished Service Award recipient this year,” stated Dr. Featherstone. “I would like to acknowledge the major contributions of numerous collaborators and colleagues over the years. The service I’ve done, I’ve done it with pride, and I look forward to watching this industry continue to flourish as a result of the work of the many member dentists of the ADA in order to improve the health of our patients.”

Editor’s Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn and #ADASmileCon for updates from SmileCon.

About the American Dental Association
The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 159,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), published monthly, is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org.