Peter E. Dawson DDS Received American Dental Association Distinguished Service Award

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The ADA Board of Trustees presented Dr. Peter E. Dawson, founder of The Dawson Academy, with the Distinguished Service Award for his lifelong, undying devotion to advancing the art and science of dentistry on October 20, 2016, in Denver, Colo.

Dr. Peter E Dawson

Peter E. Dawson DDS, 2016 recipient of the ADA Distinguished Service Award

Peter Dawson is the inspiration for so many top clinicians in our profession. From day one of reading his first book and attending his courses he influenced the destiny of my patient's care as well as my practice. I am forever grateful.

The ADA Board of Trustees presented Dr. Peter E. Dawson, founder of The Dawson Academy, with the Distinguished Service Award for his lifelong, undying devotion to advancing the art and science of dentistry on October 20, 2016 in Denver, Colo.

“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,” said Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays, ADA president and former Dawson Academy student.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Dawson said, “In accepting this award I want you to know how grateful I am for all those that came before me to make my path bright. There’s no way I’d be standing here on this occasion without the contribution of generous mentors that opened the doors of opportunity for me during my early practice years.” Dawson credited Drs. L.D. Pankey and Sigurd Ramjford as his most influential early mentors.

“While much is known about Dr. Dawson’s clinical contributions to dentistry, I believe his impact on the lives of dentists is equally important,” said Joan Forrest, President and CEO of The Dawson Academy.

“Pete is a humble, caring man. He is devoted to his wife, Jodie, their four children and their 8 grandchildren. He is a man of great faith and throughout his amazing career, God and family have always come first. Leading a balanced life is always part of his message to dentists and many have told him how thankful they are for that message, adding that they would never have the wonderful relationships with their spouse and children were it not for Pete’s generously offered wisdom.”

In his acceptance speech Dr. Dawson shared with the audience, “I asked two questions about everything dentists had accepted as standard concepts and procedures. Why are we doing it? And is there a better way to do it?” With these questions in mind so many years ago, he began to look for answers.

In addition to his many contributions in restorative dentistry and prosthodontics, he brought together a group of specialists to form the first interdisciplinary “think tank” committed to diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of masticatory system disorders. From within this combined group of specialists, a number of major diagnostic and treatment advancements have emerged, including doppler auscultation and other treatment modalities for orofacial pain and TMJ disorders. He was instrumental in developing simplified instrumentation for analysis and treatment of occlusal problems and also devised new classification systems for occlusal disorders.

Dawson is also credited as one of the first dentists to hire systems analysts to evaluate every phase of his practice, which led to advancements in quality control and development of a block scheduling system for increased productivity.

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

For thousands of dentists, Dr. Dawson’s biggest impact was through his lectures and seminars, which he began teaching in 1961 when 35 dentists attended his first course. Through the years, it has evolved from Dr. Dawson’s one-man lecture series to a curriculum of both lectures and hands-on courses instructed by a faculty of over 25 dental professionals. The Academy’s locations have also grown from its original location in Saint Petersburg, Fla. to three additional locations in the United States and six internationally: China, India, Japan, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. With this growth, the Dawson Academy now reaches a worldwide audience of dentists for its curriculum directed at ‘Complete Dentistry”

On The Dawson Academy Facebook page past students share their gratitude for Dr. Dawson’s work. “Peter Dawson is the inspiration for so many top clinicians in our profession.

From day one of reading his first book and attending his courses he influenced the destiny of my patient's care as well as my practice. I am forever grateful,” shared Dr. Hugh Flax.

“You have always been my hero. I learned your philosophy at your courses early on in my career. You have inspired thousands of restorative dentists with a focus on diagnosis, and this became my center of gravity. Your humility and at the same time a giant in our field is refreshing, thank you! You deserve all honors!” shared Dr. Jonathan Levine, another Dawson Academy student.

Dr. John Cranham, Clinical Director and Partner at The Dawson Academy, said he first encountered the work of Dr. Dawson as a dental student three decades ago. As part of his studies, he wanted to do a full-mouth reconstruction on his mother and asked one of his professors for advice. The professor told him to read Dr. Dawson’s “Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment of Occlusal Problems.” Cranham did, and 30 years later, his mother, now 88, still has a perfect smile.

“There isn’t another dentist alive who’s had a bigger impact on the profession than Pete,” Dr. Cranham said.

In his final words at the 2016 ADA meeting, Dr. Dawson said, “I promise this: I won’t let it go to my head, but instead it will be a stimulation to live up to the values and expectations that this award represents.”

About The Dawson Academy
The Dawson Academy is an international provider of science-based dental continuing education, teaching dentists to comprehensively diagnose and treat dental problems with excellence and integrity. The Academy has taught dental courses to the dental industry for over 35 years and is dedicated to teaching the principles and skills necessary for the successful practice of complete, quality, and predictable dentistry. The Dawson Academy’s goal is “to make good dentists even better.” To learn more about The Dawson Academy visit https://thedawsonacademy.com/.

To find a Dawson-Trained Dentist visit https://findadawsondentist.com/.

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Virginia Bussey
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