Stephen Wheeler, DDS, elected president of the Academy of Osseointegration

Stephen L. Wheeler, DDS, a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon from Encinitas, Calif., was elected president of the Academy of Osseointegration during the organization’s recent annual business meeting in Tampa, Fla.

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Stephen L. Wheeler, DDS, a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon from Encinitas, Calif., was elected president of the Academy of Osseointegration (AO) during the organization’s recent annual business meeting in Tampa, Fla. He succeeds former Academy President David L. Cochran, DDS, PhD, San Antonio, Texas, a board-certified periodontist.



Newly elected members of the AO Board of Directors with Dr. Wheeler are:

• Joseph E. Gian-Grasso, DMD, periodontist from Philadelphia, PA, president-elect
• Russell D. Nishimura, DDS, prosthodontist from Westlake Village, CA, vice president
• Michael R. Norton, BDS,FDS, RCS (Ed), oral surgeon from London, England, secretary
• Alan S. Pollack, DDS, periodontist from New York, NY, continues as treasurer
• Lyndon F. Cooper, DDS, PhD, prosthodontist from Chapel Hill, NC, director
• Amerian D. Sones, DMD, MS, prosthodontist from Dallas, TX, director

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AO President: Dr. Stephen Wheeler
Dr. Wheeler’s private practice is based in Encinitas, CA, where he provides a full scope of oral, maxillofacial, and dental implant surgery. One of the first doctors in the United States to begin titanium dental implant placement in the mid-1980s, he went on to establish the Rancho Santa Fe Dental Implant Dentistry Club as a forum for implant dentistry training and education, and it was active for 20 years. He has been an AO director since 2004, previously serving as the program chair for the 2002 AO Annual Meeting in Dallas, co-chair for the 2003 International Congress of Reconstructive and Preprosthetic Surgery, and chair for the AO Clinical Innovations Committee. Having had the opportunity to lecture internationally, Dr. Wheeler has had an interest in expanding the AO’s presence outside North America and has chaired the Academy’s International Relations and Global Program Development Committees. He also chaired the Council on Expanding Implant Utilization, the Ad Hoc Committee on Website and Electronic Services, and the Professional Relations and Public Awareness subcommittees. A fellow of the Academy, Dr. Wheeler served as secretary, vice president, and president-elect before his election as AO president. Dr. Wheeler graduated from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, after earning his undergraduate degree from Stanford University. After dental school, he completed a three-year oral and maxillofacial residency program at the L.A. County/USC Medical Center. His practice has focused on implant dentistry for 30 years. He has authored numerous articles for both national and international journals on implant dentistry and bone grafting. Dr. Wheeler has been active both in teaching and practicing the team approach to implant dentistry through lectures and live surgical training courses both in his office and abroad. He also serves on the board of the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness.

AO President-Elect: Dr. Joseph Gian-Grasso
A diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, Dr. Gian-Grasso specializes in the areas of periodontics and dental implantology in a Philadelphia group practice. He served as clinical assistant professor of postgraduate periodontics at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine, clinical associate professor of periodontology at Temple University School of Dentistry, and director of the Implantology Center at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gian-Grasso is chair of the Academy’s Public Relations Task Force. He was elected to the AO Board in 2004 and previously served as treasurer and vice president. He is a national spokesperson for the American Academy of Periodontology, where he served as a trustee for six years. He is past president of the Pennsylvania Society of Periodontists, Philadelphia Society of Periodontology, and the Delaware Valley Academy of Osseointegration. His many prestigious dental and periodontology awards include the Abram Cohen Award, the American Academy of Periodontology Award, the Lactona Award, and the University of Pennsylvania University and Dental Alumni Awards of Merit. He has been chosen by his peers as one of America’s Top Dentists by the Consumers’ Research Council of America and is a Philadelphia Magazine “Top Dentist.” Dr. Gian-Grasso holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, a DMD from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Periodontics from the Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry.

AO Vice President: Dr. Russell Nishimura
Dr. Nishimura currently maintains a private practice limited to prosthodontics and implant dentistry in Westlake Village, CA. He is professor emeritus at the UCLA School of Dentistry, where he taught removable prosthodontics and chaired the RPD, immediate denture, and implant courses. He became co-director of the Maxillofacial Prosthetics Residency Program, director of the UCLA Maxillofacial Prosthetic and Implant Laboratory, and later the executive vice chairman of the Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, Biomaterials, and Hospital Dentistry. Dr. Nishimura is a fellow of the Academy and has been an active member for many years. He was elected to the Board in 2005 and previously served as secretary. He is past chair of the Membership and International Relations committees. He is a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society and Pierre Fauchard Academy, International Honor Society. Dr. Nishimura received his BS and DDS degrees from UCLA. He completed postgraduate programs in hospital dentistry, posthodontics, and maxillofacial prosthetics at the UCLA Medical Center and School of Dentistry.

AO Secretary: Dr. Michael Norton
Dr. Norton runs a world-renowned practice dedicated to implant and reconstructive dentistry in Harley Street, London. He is a specialist in oral surgery and in 2007 was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, for his contribution to the field of implant dentistry. He is a fellow of the Academy and is Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Association of Dental Implantology (ADI), UK. He is past editor of the Academy News and is currently associate editor of the International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants (JOMI). He also serves as a referee for a number of other peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Norton, BDS, FDS, RCS (Ed), graduated from the University of Wales, School of Dental Medicine, in 1988. He lectures internationally and is widely published in the literature, including one of the earliest Quintessence textbooks on dental implants, published in 1995. From 1995 to 2010, he was joint owner and editor of the journal Dental Implant Summaries.

AO Treasurer: Dr. Alan Pollack
Dr. Pollack devotes his Manhattan-based private practice to periodontics and implant dentistry. He joined the Academy’s Research Committee in 1998 and chaired it from 2002-2004. He served on the Nominations Committee, became a board director in 2007, and was elected treasurer in 2012. He has served on the Editorial Review Board of the Academy’s journal, International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants, since 2006. He is a fellow of the Academy and of the International Team for Implantology (ITI). He has had hospital affiliations at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Beth Israel Medical Center. In addition to the Academy, his professional organizations include American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, First District Dental Society, and Northeastern Society of Periodontists. Dr. Pollack holds a BA in biology from Queens College-CUNY. He earned a DDS from the Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery, where his academic honors included Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the Ella Marie Ewell Prize, and an Excellence in Periodontics Medal. He completed postgraduate residency in general practice at Long island Jewish Medical Center and received his Certificate in Periodontics from Columbia.

AO Director: Dr. Lyndon Cooper
Dr. Cooper is the Stallings Distinguished Professor of Dentistry of the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he serves as director of graduate prosthodontics. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics and served as the 2010 president of the American College of Prosthodontics (ACP). He received ACP’s 2004 Clinician/Researcher Award and the 2009 Distinguished Scientist Award for Prosthodontics and Implantology from the International Association for Dental Research. Dr. Cooper’s Bone Biology and Implant Therapy Laboratory focuses on bone biology, adult stem cell bone regeneration, and clinical evaluation of dental implant therapies. The laboratory receives funding through NIH and by industry collaboration. His clinical and research interests have supported numerous publications, national and international presentations.

AO Director: Dr. Amerian Sones
Dr. Sones, DMD, MS, is director, continuing education, Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Dentistry, Dallas. She teaches removable prosthodontics and undergraduate implant dentistry and is organizing a maxillofacial dental clinic at Sammons Cancer Center, Baylor Medical Center. After completing dental training at the Tufts School of Dental Medicine in 1979, she spent two years at the USPHS Papago Indian Reservation as chief dental officer, serving a remote population 60 miles southwest of Tucson, Ariz. She pursued her interest in prosthodontics at UCLA School of Dentistry, completing a two-year residency in prosthodontics, followed by a one-year residency in maxillofacial prosthodontics, and earned a master's of oral biology in 1984. As full-time faculty member in the Department of Removable Prosthetics at UCLA, from 1985-1987, she was co-organizer of the initial Brånemark Training Center there. She is a fellow of the Academy and chairs the Membership Committee. She is also an active member of the American College of Prosthodontics, the California Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the Pacific Coast Society of Prosthodontics.

Academy officers and directors continuing their service on the Board of Directors are David L. Cochran, DDS, PhD, San Antonio, TX (past president); and Directors Tara L. Aghaloo, DDS, MD, PhD, Los Angeles, CA; Jay P. Malmquist, DMD, Portland, OR; Steven J. Rosenstein, DMD, Aventura, FL; and Clark M. Stanford, DDS, PhD, Iowa City, IA.

With more than 6,000 members in 70 countries around the world, the goal of the Academy of Osseointegration is to advance the field of osseointegrated implants by fostering collaboration between representatives of different dental disciplines — oral surgery, periodontics, prosthodontics, and general practice — through clinical and evidence-based research and education. Founded in 1985, it provides a focus for the rapidly advancing biotechnology involving the natural bond between bone and certain alloplastic reconstructive materials. In dentistry, the primary application is replacing missing teeth by affixing a titanium implant into the jawbone, then securing an artificial tooth into the implant that will look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. For more information, visit their website.

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