Dentistry Pioneer Dr. Peter Dawson Passes Away at 89

Dentistry Pioneer Dr. Peter Dawson Passes Away at 89
The Dawson Academy founder leaves legacy of numerous contributions to the dental field
Posted: July 29, 2019 / Source: Dawson Academy Press Release

Edited by Dentaltown staff

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Peter E. Dawson, DDS, founder of The Dawson Academy and dental industry pioneer, has died at the age of 89. Dawson is widely considered one of the most influential clinicians and teachers in dental history.
Dawson is internationally 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. Over his 60-year career, he wrote five books, including the “Functional Occlusion: From TMJ to Smile Design” and “The Complete Dentist.” He achieved recognition for his work and earned many accolades, including the ADA Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given by the American Dental Association’s Board of Trustees.
“Dr. Dawson’s concepts and methodologies changed the dental industry,” said Joan Forrest, executive vice president of innovation and business development at The Dawson Academy. “He was dedicated to helping dental professionals see beyond the tooth to address patients’ issues with functional, beautiful and long-lasting solutions. His clinical contribution is just as important as the impact he had on dentists’ lives by teaching them to lead a happy, balanced life.”
In 1961, Dawson began teaching his one-man lecture series, “Concepts of Complete Dentistry,” which became The Dawson Academy in 1979. Today, The Dawson Academy is a leading center for clinical mastery in dentistry with a full curriculum of lectures and hands-on courses taught by a team of experts. 
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. More than 40,000 dental professionals have learned to solve complex dental problems using the timeless principles of occlusion.
“Pete Dawson’s clinical knowledge of occlusion and all aspects of restorative dentistry has directly or indirectly touched every dentist on the planet,” said Dr. John Cranham, 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 will continue to lead The Dawson Academy’s faculty and clinical direction as he has for the past 10 years. He is a practicing dentist in Chesapeake, Virginia, and an internationally recognized speaker and dental educator. He joined The Dawson Academy faculty in 2003 after accepting an invitation from Dawson.

For more information on The Dawson Academy, visit



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