Peter E. Dawson, DDS, founder of The Dawson Academy, has died at age 89.

Dawson was known for his contributions to the fields of occlusion and restorative dentistry as well as his concepts on the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular disorders. During his 60-year career, he wrote five books, including Functional Occlusion: From TMJ to Smile Design and The Complete Dentist. He received the ADA Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given by the American Dental Association’s Board of Trustees.

In 1961, Dawson began teaching his one-man lecture series, “Concepts of Complete Dentistry,” which became The Dawson Academy in 1979. Dawson’s first book, Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Occlusal Problems, outlined methods for dental professionals to provide treatments that predictably solve patients’ problems. These methods, first published in 1974, formed the foundation for The Dawson Academy’s courses. Today, the Dawson Academy provides a full curriculum of lectures and hands-on courses taught by a team of experts.

“Pete Dawson’s clinical knowledge of occlusion and all aspects of restorative dentistry has directly or indirectly touched every dentist on the planet,” said John Cranham, DDS, clinical director of The Dawson Academy. “But for the dentists that really studied and spent time with him, it was his concepts of family, faith, and life balance that changed our lives. He had the ability to inspire us to understand and spend time on the things that matter most. The concepts of clinical excellence, life balance, and faith and family will remain the core principles taught at The Dawson Academy.”

Cranham, who joined The Dawson Academy faculty in 2003 at Dawson’s invitation, will continue to lead The Dawson Academy’s faculty and clinical direction as he has for the past 10 years.