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‘Complete dentist’ Dr. Peter E. Dawson recipient of ADA Distinguished Service Award

February 25, 2016

By David Burger

Dr. Dawson
— The ADA Board of Trustees announced that Dr. Peter E. Dawson will receive the ADA Distinguished Service Award at ADA 2016 – America’s Dental Meeting this October in Denver.

Dr. Dawson, of St. Petersburg, Florida, is considered to be one of the most influential clinicians and teachers in the United States, if not the world. He is known globally for his contributions to the fields of occlusion and restorative dentistry and for his concepts on the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular disorders. 

“It’s quite exciting,” said Dr. Dawson, 85, upon learning that he would receive the honor. “It’s very overwhelming.”

Dr. Dawson is the founder of Florida’s Dawson Academy, a postgraduate educational and clinical research facility dedicated to the advancement of dentistry. The Dawson Academy’s clinical faculty impart the principles and skills of “complete, quality, predictable” dentistry as taught by Dr. Dawson, with a curriculum designed to support doctors striving to be physicians of the masticatory system. 

“The Board of Trustees and I are delighted that we will be able to honor Dr. Dawson with the ADA Distinguished Service Award at our annual session in October,” said Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays, ADA president, who has attended the Dawson Academy. “Dr. Dawson is known around the world for his contributions to the science and art of dentistry, and he has educated thousands of dentists on his signature concept of ‘complete’ dentistry. With his best-selling textbooks, forward-thinking work on practice management and pioneering research on restorative dentistry, Dr. Dawson is more than worthy of being recognized for his achievements that have benefited the entire world.”

In addition, Dr. Dawson authored the best-selling dental text, “Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment of Occlusal Problems,” which is published in 13 languages. His latest book is “Functional Occlusion: From TMJ to Smile Design.”

Dr. Dawson is also a pioneer in developing and teaching principles of practice management. He was one of the first dentists to hire systems analysts to evaluate every phase of his practice, from quality control to developing a color-coded system for block scheduling.

In addition to numerous awards and special recognitions, Dr. Dawson, a 1954 graduate of the Emory University School of Dentistry, is the past president and life member of the American Equilibration Society, a past president of the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry and the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.

Dr. Dawson is not finished with his involvement in dentistry. He said he is putting the finishing touches on a 41-chapter book — his fifth— titled “The Complete Dentist,” co-written with his colleagues at the Dawson Academy.

“I don’t feel 85,” he said.

ADA 2016 – America’s Dental Meeting will convene in Denver Oct. 20-25.

ADA 2016 registration will open in the spring. For the most updated information, visit Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #ADADEN.