UW School of Dentistry

Dr. Dodson wins Gies Award as specialty educator

Dr. Thomas Dodson, Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, has received a William J. Gies Foundation Award for distinguished achievement as a specialty dental educator.

Dr. Dodson and Dr. Geist
Dr. Thomas Dodson (left) receives his Gies Award from Dr. Eric Geist, president of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

The award was presented by Dr. Eric Geist, president of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), during the association’s recent annual meeting in Honolulu. In his presentation, Dr. Geist said, “Dr. Dodson’s commitment to academic OMS has been the hallmark of his 25-year career.” He noted Dr. Dodson’s work as associate editor of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and as principal investigator for an AAOMS-supported study assessing outcomes on office-based anesthesia and third molar extractions. In addition, he noted, Dr. Dodson was co-author of the AAOMS white papers on bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the Jaw, and a designated specialty spokesperson on the topic of third-molar (wisdom tooth) management.

“And all this is done during the hours in which he is not mentoring residents and junior faculty, or working to ensure the sustainability of OMS through clinical excellence, research, expanded funding, and community outreach,” Dr. Geist said.

“It is a privilege to be able to do what I do every day, but to be recognized by my colleagues in this way is a singular honor,” Dr. Dodson said. “This award confirms what many of us already knew: Tom Dodson is an outstanding national leader in dentistry,” Dean Joel Berg said. “He brings tremendous vision, energy and dedication to his work every day, and we’re so very fortunate to have him here at the UW.”

Dr. Dodson came to the UW in September 2013 from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where he was Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Attending Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. He was also Director of the Center for Applied Clinical Investigation in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In the past year, he has launched plans to re-establish the MD/certificate Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency program at the UW and begun hosting a well-received “Grand Rounds” lecture series for oral and maxillofacial surgeons, other dentists and students, and physicians. He has also augmented faculty at his department’s satellite clinic at Harborview Medical Center as part of his goal to expand clinical, research and educational opportunities there.

Dr. Dodson, who received both his dental degree and a Master of Public Health degree at Harvard, completed his oral surgery training at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF). After residency training, he completed a dental public health residency and a National Institutes of Health fellowship in dental clinical epidemiology at UCSF. He has also served on the dental and public health faculties at Emory University in Atlanta.

An active researcher credited with more than 100 journal articles, he has pursued studies including risk factors for complications after third molar extraction and implant placement as well as evaluating risks and repair of nerve injury, management of giant cell tumors, and bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw. His research interests have also ranged far outside dentistry, including studies of the efficacy of mandatory seatbelt laws, oral surgical management of HIV-positive patients, and identifying markers for domestic violence.

He won the Harvard dental school’s Distinguished Senior Faculty Award and twice won the Daniel M. Laskin Award for most outstanding article published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.