The ADA recognized John Featherstone, PhD, MSc, with the ADA Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the dentistry field.

The American Dental Association (ADA) awarded John Featherstone, PhD, MSc, with the ADA Distinguished Service Award at SmileCon in Orlando, Fla. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor given by the ADA Board of Trustees.

“Dr Featherstone’s contributions to dentistry have left an indelible mark on our profession,” said George R. Shepley, DDS, president of the ADA for the 2022-2023 term. “Through his groundbreaking cariology research, tireless dedication to organized dentistry, and commitment to mentoring the next generation of dental professionals, Dr Featherstone has been a driving force in advancing our field. It is with the utmost admiration that we recognize his enduring and illustrious career in dentistry with this year’s Distinguished Service Award.”

Featherstone is a professor, researcher, avid speaker and presenter, and honorary lifetime member of the ADA. He is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco’s (UCSF) School of Dentistry. He was also the previous Dean of the UCSF School of Dentistry.

A researcher for over 48 years, Featherstone has covered several aspects of cariology including fluoride mechanisms of action, caries risk assessment, de- and re-mineralization of the teeth, apatite chemistry, salivary dysfunction, caries prevention and laser effects on dental hard tissues with emphasis on caries prevention and early caries removal. He spearheaded the development of Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) at UCSF and is currently active in encouraging the implementation of CAMBRA in several venues across the world.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected by the ADA Board of Trustees as the Distinguished Service Award recipient this year,” said Featherstone. “I would like to acknowledge the major contributions of numerous collaborators and colleagues over the years. The service I’ve done, I’ve done it with pride, and I look forward to watching this industry continue to flourish as a result of the work of the many member dentists of the ADA in order to improve the health of our patients.”

ADA Humanitarian Award

Bill Milner, DDS, of Asheboro, NC, is the recipient of the 2023 ADA Humanitarian Award for spending over 40 years in organized dentistry working toward oral health equity for patients who are medically, intellectually and physically disabled. The Humanitarian Award honors an ADA member every year who has distinguished themselves by giving a minimum of 10 years to improving the oral health of underserved populations in the United States. Milner was also honored at ADA SmileCon.

In 2000, Milner transferred his private practice, serving six nursing home facilities in Asheboro and Greensboro, NC, to the newly formed Access Dental Care practice. Access Dental Care is a non-profit, mobile provider serving residents of 60 counties in NC, including those in retirement communities, those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in nursing home facilities and group homes, PACE (Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) participants, those in the Central North Carolina Health Network HIV/AIDS program, and residents living in the community at-large.

Milner was nominated by a colleague, and current ADA Trustee member, for the Humanitarian Award. His nomination letter praised him for his dedication and efforts in providing care for patients with special needs – including working with his staff to transport the necessary equipment himself. Milner is also a state and national lecturer, committed to teaching health care professionals the importance of oral health care for special needs care.

“We at Access Dental Care are humbled and excited to represent dentistry’s new emerging field of comprehensive, quality care for a variety of community special care patients,” said Milner. “Special care has come a long way through the years, and the light bulb has finally clicked on with the emergence of a rapidly aging population and deinstitutionalization of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The mission has always been to serve folks who have difficulty getting services.”

Photo via ADA