UW News

October 25, 2011

Joel Berg named Washington Dental Service Foundation Distinguished Professor for Dentistry

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Dr. Joel Berg

Dr. Joel Berg

Berg is the Lloyd and Kay Chapman Chair for Oral Health and associate dean for hospital affairs at the School of Dentistry, dental director at Seattle Childrens and director of The Center for Pediatric Dentistry, a joint venture by the UW and Seattle Childrens that concluded its first year of operation in September. He is also president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

“I am extremely pleased and grateful to the Washington Dental Service Foundation for providing this platform to help advance dentistry and oral health research,” Berg said.

The Distinguished Professorship, established in 1987, provides funding for a triennial international symposium to help channel research to practicing dentists. As its eighth recipient,  Berg will lead the symposium in Seattle in 2013. The proceedings will appear in the Journal of Dental Education published by the American Dental Education Association.

The theme selected for the 2013 symposium is “A Lifetime of Dentistry”, covering dental issues seen in pregnancy, youth, adulthood and old age.

“Dentistry has been a surgical discipline, but clearly there is a driving force toward prevention,” Berg said. “So we will look at where weve been, but also to the future.”

“Were putting more emphasis on early prevention,” he continued, “but people are also living longer and saving more teeth. So we anticipate looking at issues such as how we deal with an aging population and treat problems such as root cavities. We will also consider issues associated with prevention such as cost reduction and healthcare reform, along with the growing role of science and technology.”

Said Laura Smith, president and CEO of the Foundation: “The Washington Dental Service Foundations efforts are focused on prevention and early intervention so that children have the opportunity to learn early in life the behaviors that will lead to a lifetime of good oral health and seniors can address the risks they face as they age.  We are enthused that this symposium will address prevention over the life span.”

Berg received a D.D.S. degree in 1983, a Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry in 1985 and an M.S. degree in oral biology in 1985, all from the University of Iowa. Before joining the UW, he also served on dental faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas.

Berg also has notable experience in the private sector. He has been executive vice president for research and clinical affairs for ESPE America, Inc. and vice president for clinical affairs for Philips Oral Healthcare.

Berg has authored or co-authored more than  a hundred abstracts, articles and chapters, and is co-editor of a textbook on early childhood oral health. His present research includes innovative new technologies for early caries detection.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists, as well as a board director of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.

The WDS Foundation Distinguished Professorship is among several professorships established by the state to match state funds with grants from endowments or other private sources to increase the financial resources available to Washingtons public four-year institutions of higher education. The UW was granted nine of the professorships. In 1987, the Washington Dental Service Foundation provided the matching donation to establish the Distinguished Professorship for Dentistry.

The WDS Foundation Distinguished Professorship committee members who selected Dr. Berg are Dr. Ron Inge, Dr. Jasjit Dillon, Dr. David Branch, Dr. Daniel Chan, Dr. Gerald Phipps, Dr. Nestor Cohenca and Teresa Douglas.