UW School of Dentistry

School mourns Dr. Ralph Yuodelis, leader in restorative dentistry

Dr. Ralph Yuodelis, a leading figure in restorative dentistry at the University of Washington and nationally, passed away early on Aug. 18 at the age of 81. He had suffered a stroke in July.

Dr. YuodelisDr. Yuodelis, a resident of Bothell, Wash., and Canadian by birth, directed the UW graduate program in Fixed Prosthodontics and the combined Graduate Prosthodontics program for more than a quarter-century. A hallmark of his leadership was the close relationship he forged between the prosthodontics and periodontics programs at the UW, creating a synergy that benefited each.

After retiring in 2005, he served as Professor Emeritus of Restorative Dentistry and Adjunct Professor of Periodontics at the UW, where he received his MSD and Certificate in Fixed Prosthodontics in 1964 and a Certificate in Periodontics in 1965.

During his career, he was president of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics and was also a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and a Fellow of the International College of Dentists. In 2001, the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics bestowed on him the George H. Moulton Achievement Award in 2001 for his distinguished lifetime contributions. He gave hundreds of graduate presentations around the world and co-authored two major dental textbooks, and was chosen as the UW School of Dentistry Distinguished Alumnus in 2002. The University of Alberta, where he earned his DDS, gave him its Dental Alumni Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 1998. Dr. Yuodelis was also a member of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, the Academy of Osseointegration and the Pacific Coast Society for Prosthodontics.

With Drs. Saul Schluger, Roy Page and Robert Johnson of the UW, he co-authored the influential textbook Periodontal Diseases: Basic Phenomena, Clinical Management and Occlusal and Restorative Interrelationships. He was also co-author of Contemporary Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry with Drs. M. Ishii and E. Rosenberg.

“The legacy of this great teacher is one that has had an enduring impact on professional dentistry and thousands of clinicians internationally,” said Dean Joel Berg in a message to the School. “Ralph Yuodelis had a major part in helping our School achieve its reputation and standing, and we feel his loss keenly.”

Dr. Yuodelis is survived by his wife, Nan, children and grandchildren; brother Bill, sister Donna and several nieces and nephews. A funeral Mass will be said at St. John Vianney Church in Kirkland on Friday, Aug. 23 at 11 a.m. Online remembrances can also be left at Legacy.com.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the UW School of Dentistry student clinic so that all people may benefit from dental care. Donations should be directed to the UW School of Dentistry, Box 357137, Seattle, WA 98195-7137.