ADA, AADR honor Evidence-Based Dentistry Faculty and Practice Award winners

The American Dental Association and American Association for Dental Research have awarded the Evidence-Based Dentistry Faculty and Practice Awards to three dentists who have made significant contributions to implement and advance evidence-based dentistry.

This year's winners are Dr. Rajesh V. Lalla, Ph.D., recipient of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Accomplished Faculty Award; Dr. Satheesh Elangovan, D.Sc., D.M.Sc., recipient of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Mid-Career Faculty Award; and Dr. Christopher Smiley, recipient of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Practice Award.

The ADA Science & Research Institute is recognizing the winners at its virtual booth during the ADA FDC Virtual Connect Conference from Oct. 15-17. The awards are supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Colgate.

Evidence-Based Dentistry Accomplished Faculty Award

Photo of Dr. Rajesh V. Lalla, Ph.D.
Dr. Lalla
Dr. Lalla is a professor and associate dean for research at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. He developed the school’s course on evidence-based decision-making, which emphasizes experiential learning and student participation with minimal lecturing.

Dr. Lalla has published more than 100 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, including 23 systematic reviews and evidence-based guidelines such as the 2020 clinical practice guideline for the management of mucositis secondary to cancer therapy published in the journal Cancer.

Evidence-Based Dentistry Mid-Career Faculty Award

Dr. Elangovan is a professor at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics, where he teaches evidence-based dentistry in his lectures, seminars and case presentations of pre-doctoral students and periodontics residents.

Photo of Dr. Satheesh Elangovan, D.Sc., D.M.Sc.
Dr. Elangovan
To address deficits in evidence-based dentistry education, Dr. Elangovan was involved in the creation of online resource centers with interactive exercises that teach how to critically appraise scientific literature. He serves as co-assistant director of his college's dental student research program, where he has mentored numerous students on evidence-based dentistry projects that resulted in conference presentations and publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Elangovan has published more than 75 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including systematic reviews and critical summaries. He currently serves as an associate editor of the PracticeUpdate Clinical Dentistry Channel from Elsevier and the ADA.

Evidence-Based Dentistry Practice Award

Photo of Dr. Christopher Smiley
Dr. Smiley
Dr. Smiley is a full-time practicing general dentist at Smiley Family Dentistry in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Michigan Dental Association. In this role, he has overseen the publication of tutorial articles to assist readers in applying the evidence-based dentistry process in clinical practice. This initiative includes presenting a monthly column called "10-Minute EBD" that demonstrates how evidence-based dentistry can improve decision-making across a variety of clinical topics.

Dr. Smiley also served as a co-author of the ADA's clinical practice guideline on the nonsurgical treatment of chronic periodontitis, as well as the guideline's associated systematic review.

For more information about the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, visit