10 Under 10 Award Winners
Introducing the 2021 10 Under 10 Award winners
The ADA 10 Under 10 Award honors dentistry’s rising stars: dentists who are making an impact on the profession less than 10 years after graduating from dental school.
The 2021 winners are driving dentistry forward and inspiring their colleagues through their work in science, research & education, practice excellence, philanthropy, leadership and advocacy.
After reviewing more than 100 submissions, these are the all-stars who rose to the top:
Dr. Amber Ather, San Antonio, Texas
University of Colorado, School of Dental Medicine – 2015
A student, teacher, researcher, and caregiver, Dr. Amber Ather wears many hats – and wears them all with pride and passion. Dr. Ather received his Master of Dental Surgery in 2011 in India prior to attending the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine in 2014. His colleagues fondly address him as "Google" for his in-depth knowledge of basic and clinical sciences. Dr. Ather is a recipient of the prestigious Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) award. After completing dental school, Dr. Ather worked at non-profit dental organizations in Texas, providing dental care to the underserved population. He recently graduated from the Endodontics program and is currently pursuing his M.S. in Dental Science at University of Texas Health San Antonio. In addition, he also serves as a Clinical Faculty at the University. During his residency, Dr. Ather has contributed to a number of publications. His article, “Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19): Implications for Clinical Dental Care”, was the first of its kind to be published by a U.S scholar, sharing extremely time sensitive guidelines for practicing dentistry during the pandemic. Dr. Ather was awarded a $20,000 grant by the American Association of Endodontists Foundation for Endodontics (AAEF) for his research project, wherein he will be investigating the effect of dexamethasone in vital pulp therapies. Dr. Ather also serves on the scientific advisory board of Journal of Endodontics and the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) practice affairs committee. Dr. Ather has a keen interest in photography and has had his work featured in National Geographic and Lonely Planet. When Dr. Ather is not practicing dentistry, he loves to travel and spend time with his family.
Dr. Carsen Bentley, San Francisco, California
University of the Pacific - 2011
With a passion for working with underserved populations, Dr. Carsen Bentley has devoted a large portion of his dental career with the Indian Health Service at the Native American Health Center as its Associate Dental Director. There, he has implemented the “Every Day Connect.” This initiative, as part of San Francisco’s Project Homeless Connect helps fabricate dentures for individuals experiencing homelessness. In addition to his volunteer efforts, Dr. Bentley, owns a private practice in the Mission District of San Francisco, and is the Attending Faculty at the Special Care Clinic at the University of the Pacific, providing access to dental care for patients with developmental disabilities, are medically compromised or those living with psychosocial conditions. A 2016 graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin where he earned a Masters of Public Health, Dr. Bentley has received an AEGD certification from the NYU Lutheran Medical Center in 2012. As for honors and awards, Dr. Bentley has been recognized for his work with the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, where he was awarded the Community Dentistry and Dental Public Health Award, and the Community Service Award from the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. To date, Dr. Bentley is a member with the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, where he is the current Chair of the Grants and Awards Committee for the CDA Foundation, and the San Francisco Dental Society, where he serves as the current Secretary.
Dr. Sampada Deshpande, Seattle, Washington
University of Washington – 2018
The founder and president of the New Dentist Business Club, Dr. Sampada Deshpande provides interactive business education to new dentists and dental students. In this role, she recruits speakers and mentors for new dentists to help with practice management and keeping up with the regulatory process in dentistry. As a 2018 Doctor of Dental Surgery graduate from the University of Washington, Dr. Deshpande presently works as a general dentist for Family Care Dentistry and Oral Health, in University Place, WA. She has been recognized as a 2020 Top 10 Dentists to Watch by the Academy of General Dentistry, and is also currently a full-time trainee at the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program at the University of Washington. Dr. Deshpande is a guest blogger for the ADA New Dentist Now and sits on the Seattle King County Dental Foundation’s Board. As someone who believes in giving back, Dr. Deshpande is very active in the community, having volunteered as a Youth Academic Tutor for the International Rescue Committee and the Lead Dentist for Medical Teams International mobile dental vans and Seattle/King County Clinic held in Key Arena.
Dr. Eleanor Fleming, Franklin, Tennessee
Meharry Medical Center - 2011
An epidemiologist, Dr. Eleanor Fleming is a director at the Center for Educational Development and Support at Meharry Medical College and an Associate Professor in the Department of Dental Public Health in the School of Dentistry. Dr. Fleming graduated from Vanderbilt University earning her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees in political science, respectively in 2000, 2003, 2006. After learning from oral health disparities from a talk given by former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, in 2006, she began her transition into dentistry and received her D.D.S. with a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Certificate from Meharry Medical College in 2011. After dental school, she completed a two-year applied epidemiology fellowship at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer. Dr. Fleming continued her public health education, graduating with her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology in 2015 from East Tennessee University, completing her dental public health residency at Boston University in 2019, and becoming a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health in 2020. Before Dr. Fleming’s current role, she spent nine years working as a dental epidemiologist at CDC as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service with her last assignment being to oversee the Oral Health Component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) at the National Center for Health Statistics. Dr. Fleming presently holds memberships with the American Public Health Association, where she is on the Action Board and a Governing Councilor representing the Oral Health Section, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, National Dental Association, and American Dental Association.
Dr. Emily Hahn, St. Louis, Missouri
Marquette University – 2012
As an educator and speaker who has been described as dynamic, exciting and effective, Dr. Emily Hahn is known to balance professionalism with approachability. The owner of Skyview Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Hahn graduated from Marquette University's School of Dentistry in 2012 and went on to complete her pediatric residency at the Lutheran Medical Center Yakima, WA site in 2014. In addition to operating her own practice, Dr. Hahn is also a pediatric dentist at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Dr. Hahn is a Board Certified Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and presently holds leadership roles with the Greater St. Louis Dental Society serving on the Board of Directors for the West County District among other committees, the Missouri Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Missouri Dental Association. This past year, Dr. Hahn received the Greater St. Louis Dental Society’s Award of Merit for her dedication to access to care for pediatric patients throughout Missouri. Dr. Hahn is one of the Missouri Special Smiles Clinical Directors for Special Olympics and devotes a great deal of her time to an organization known as “Parents as Teachers.” As one who believes in education as a means to prevention, Dr. Hahn presents to both educators and parents about dental education throughout childhood. She is “known to reach parents in a way that many cannot match in their dental practices.
Dr. Erinne Kennedy, Joplin, Missouri
Nova Southeastern University - 2015
In only six years since graduating from dental school, Dr. Erinne Kennedy has become a well-known leader in public health dentistry. Treating complex cases is one way that Dr. Kennedy shines, as she has served as a professor, lecturer, and associate in both academic and public health clinics. Dr. Kennedy aims to continue to integrate public health work into dental education. While earning her D.M.D. in 2015 from Nova Southeastern University’s College of Dental Medicine, Dr. Kennedy also pursued a graduate degree in public health with a focus on improving quality assurance in pediatric community health centers. Following dental school, Dr. Kennedy attended a one-year GPR at the VA Hospital in Baltimore, MD, where she focused on treating medically complex patients, understanding medical and dentistry integration in large healthcare systems, and complex surgical procedures. In addition to that, she completed a dental public health residency in 2018, and graduated as the first student in the Master in Dental Education program in 2019 at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. An Associate Dentist at the Alliance Dental Center LLC in Quincy, MA, Dr. Kennedy focused on creating and sustaining patient wellness using innovative preventive strategies. Along with her current role, Dr. Kennedy serves as an Assistant Professor and Director of Pre-doctoral Education at Kansas City University’s College of Dental Medicine and a part-time Lecturer in the Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology Department of Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine. Throughout Dr. Kennedy’s dental journey, she published over 30 articles, including ASDA, Dental Economics, Dental Entrepreneur and other peer reviewed state and national journals.
Dr. Megan Lenahan, Rock Hill, Missouri
University of Missouri-Kansas City - 2011
A second-generation pediatric dentist, Dr. Megan Lenahan joined her father's practice in St. Louis, Missouri after receiving her Masters of Dental Science in 2013 from the University of Tennessee-Memphis. In addition to her full-time pediatric practice, Dr. Lenahan works each week at Compass Health Center, a nonprofit healthcare organization. She is a member of the Missouri Emergency Response Identification Team and assists with forensic dental identifications for the St. Louis City Medical Examiner’s Office and the Knox County Regional Forensic Center, all while finishing her Fellowship in Forensic Dentistry at the University of Tennessee Knoxville Graduate Medical School. Dr. Lenahan is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and is a member of the American Society of Forensic Odontology and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. As a 2020 Missouri Dental Association Outstanding New Dentist Leader, she is an active leader at her local and state dental societies. She has served as chair of the Greater St. Louis Dental Society and the Missouri Dental Association’s New Dentist Committees, was a past representative on the Missouri Dental Association's Board of Directors, and is currently first vice president for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society Board of Directors. Recognized for being someone who, “continues to be down to earth and very real in her approach”, she often speaks at local and state events and dental schools, sharing her experience as a new dentist, a pediatric dentist, and her education and experience in forensics.
Dr. Amrita Rohit Patel, Chappaqua, New York
New York University – 2011
Dr. Amrita Patel has helped to advocate for change so new dentists have a voice in leadership. In this role, she has served as a resource to her community by working tirelessly to establish a team of proponents to educate her fellow dentists to see the importance of diversity and inclusion. Leading this charge, Dr. Patel serves as the New Dentist Member on the Council on Dental Benefit Plans for the American Dental Association, and the New Dentist Member of the Council on Ethics for the New York State Dental Association. She is part of the current class of the Institute for Diversity in Leadership and runs the social media programming for the International College of Dentists, USA Section, where she was also inducted as a Fellow in 2018. She was awarded the Bernard Tillis Award by the New York State Dental Association and is a Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Dr. Patel and her father, endodontist Dr. Rohit Z. Patel, own multiple specialty group practices in the New York City metropolitan area.
Dr. Katie Stuchlik, Houston, Texas
University of Texas School of Dentistry - 2015
Giving back, leadership, and owning a practice is all in a day’s work for Dr. Katie Stuchlik. Since 2018, Dr. Stuchlik has been the co-owner of a Houston-based start-up dental practice, Dentistry of the Oaks, where she focuses on comprehensive general dentistry. Dr. Stuchlik graduated from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in 2015, earning her D.D.S. Before then, she received a Bachelor of Science in both Human Development and Family Sciences and Radio, Television, and Film from The University of Texas at Austin. In addition to operating her own practice, Dr. Stuchlik participates in continuing education including a SPEAR Study Club and multiple SPEAR seminars and workshops. When she is not practicing, she holds several leadership positions including Immediate Past-President of the Houston Academy of General Dentistry, Advocacy Council for the Texas Academy of Dentistry, and New Dentist Liaison to the Council on the Annual Meeting and Continuing Education Programs for the Texas Dental Association. Dr. Stuchlik has also published articles for ASDA, the Journal of Biological Chemistry and writes for the ADA New Dentist Now blog. She also gives back to her community through volunteer work with the Junior League of Houston and other organizations. Impressively, she raised over $10,000 with the Alzheimer’s Association and was honored for her efforts. And not surprisingly, Dr. Stuchlik also volunteers her dentistry services at numerous dental outreach programs. Dr. Stuchlik has gracefully managed all of these commitments along with her newest personal success of becoming a new mom during a pandemic.
Dr. Caroline Zeller, Portland, Oregon
University of Missouri-Kansas City – 2016
The recipient of many honors for community service and leadership, Dr. Caroline Zeller is well-known in the profession. She recently testified at the Senate Healthcare and Finance Committee as the dental representative from Oregon Dental Association for the Dental Therapy Licensure Bill. A General Dentist and Oral Surgery Provider at Smilekeepers, located in Salem, Oregon, Dr. Zeller is furthering her education and passion as a candidate. Dr. Zeller is enrolled in the Masters of Public Health: Health Management and Policy program at Oregon Health Science University, where she is also an Assistant professor in their Oral Surgery Pre-doctoral department. She is also an Oral Surgery Provider at both the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center and private practice. Dr. Zeller began her journey into dentistry in 2007, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Genetics from the University of Kansas in 2011, and in 2016, received her D.D.S. from the University of Missouri. Dr. Zeller has held many leadership positions at the Oregon Dental Association including a board member and ADA delegate at large. A champion of health inequities, unconscious bias, and social injustices in dentistry, Dr. Zeller has been involved with groups outside of the ODA to be an advocate for these causes as well. In addition to written articles for a wide range of publications and has produced her own podcast, “Removing the Bite Block”, where her mission is to, “To connect the dental community, educate its listeners on issues impacting dentistry, and to encourage every person to have a voice in what our profession becomes.”