UW School of Dentistry

Dr. Thomas Dodson to lead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Dr. Thomas B. Dodson of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine has accepted an appointment to become chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the UW, Dean Joel Berg has announced. His appointment will begin Sept. 1, 2013, pending affirmation by the UW Board of Regents.

Dr. Dodson, who is Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Harvard, is also Attending Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and Director of the Center for Applied Clinical Investigation in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Dodson

”I am thrilled that Dr. Dodson has accepted this exceptionally important position for the School of Dentistry,” Dean Berg said. “His experience and talent in the many skills needed for this role will give us the  leadership required to create the premier Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

“Tom is a skilled clinician and clinical educator. He is a strong academician with experience in building a thriving clinical practice while maintaining a research focus. He has established a remarkable record of  collaboration with colleagues in dentistry and medicine, and under his direction I anticipate  a new and exciting era for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the School of Dentistry.”

In addition to his chair appointment at the UW, Dr. Dodson will also serve as the School of Dentistry’s Associate Dean of Hospital Affairs, Dean Berg announced.

Dr. Dale Bloomquist chaired the search committee for the new chair and has served as acting chair of the department since January 2010, when Dr. O. Ross Beirne stepped down as chair. “We are all greatly indebted to Dr. Bloomquist for his outstanding service to our School during a time of difficult budget challenges,” Dean Berg said.

Saying he was delighted to be joining the UW, Dr. Dodson added: “I am impressed by the caliber of the people I’ve met and the enthusiasm everyone has for delivering the highest quality in patient care and education.” He outlined an agenda that includes:

  • Re-establishing the MD/certificate Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency program at the UW.
  • Expanding the clinical, research and educational opportunities at Harborview Medical Center, where the School of Dentistry operates a satellite oral surgery clinic.
  • Developing the faculty practice into a self-sustaining enterprise.

“As the sole Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery academic program in the area, we need to be viewed as the OMS provider of choice for the most complex cases, as well as a resource for the broader community of oral surgeons,” he said.

Dr. Dodson, whose family has roots in the Pacific Northwest, received both his dental degree and a Master of Public Health degree at Harvard. He 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 (NIH) fellowship in dental clinical epidemiology at UCSF. He has also served on the dental and public health faculties at Emory University in Atlanta, and serves as the Associate Editor of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dr. Dodson is an active researcher with more than 100 journal articles to his credit. He has conducted influential work on assessing risk factors for complications following third molar (wisdom tooth) extraction and implant placement.  Other interests include evaluating risks and repair of nerve injury, management of giant cell tumors, and bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws.

His research has 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. Since 2006, he has also been on the medical team and served as game doctor for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League.

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