The Dawson Academy Faculty

Founder Dr. Peter E. Dawson has assembled an interdisciplinary faculty comprised of leading practitioners who offer relevant, engaging instruction to dental professionals. The Dawson Academy instructors are practicing dentists, technicians, assistants and hygienists who have implemented the Dawson teachings in their own practices and bring that real-world experience and everyday patient issues back to the classroom.

Peter E. Dawson, DDS

PeterEDawsonDDS1Peter E. Dawson, DDS is considered to be one of the most influential clinicians and teachers in the history of dentistry.

He authored the all time best selling dental text, Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment of Occlusal Problems, which is published in thirteen languages. His newest book is entitled Functional Occlusion – From TMJ to Smile Design.

He is the founder of the “Concept of Complete Dentistry Series” as well as of the Dawson Academy.

In addition to numerous awards and special recognitions, Dr. Dawson is the past president and a life member of the American Equilibration Society, and a past president of both the Academy of Restorative Dentistry and the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.


John C. Cranham, DDS

JohnCranham-2John C. Cranham, DDS has an esthetic oriented practice in Chesapeake, Virginia. An honors graduate of the Medical College of Virginia in 1988, Dr. Cranham maintains a strong relationship with his alma mater as an Associate Clinical Professor. He is an internationally recognized speaker on the Esthetic Principles of Dentistry, Contemporary Occlusal Concepts, Treatment Planning, Restoration Selection, Digital Photography, Laboratory Communication, and Happiness and Fulfillment in Dentistry. As a published author, Dr. Cranham has a strong commitment to developing sound educational programs that exceed the needs of today’s dental professional. He is an active member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, and the American Equilibration Society. Dr. Cranham is co-chair of Advanstar Dental Media’s CE Advisory Board (Advanstar is the publisher of Dental Products Report).

Dr. Cranham is the Clinical Director of the Dawson Academy where he is involved with many of the lecture and hands-on courses within the curriculum. As an active educator, he has provided over 650 days of continuing education for dental professionals throughout the world.


Joan Forrest BA, MS

JoanForrest1Joan Forrest BA, MS is President and CEO of the Dawson Academy. Prior to joining the Academy, she was founder and president of Prime Performance, a training and consulting company specializing in developing self-directed work teams and facilitative leadership. Joan’s career has also included management positions with AT&T and United Technologies.

Joan received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Interdisciplinary Studies and her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Joan is a past recipient of the Outstanding Female Leadership Award from the University of Florida and is a member of the University’s Hall of Fame.


Leonard A. Hess, DDS

LennyHessDDSDr. Leonard A. Hess maintains a comprehensive-focused private practice in Monroe, North Carolina. Growing up in the mid-west, Dr. Hess attended Indiana University for his undergraduate education. His doctor of Dental Surgery degree was obtained from Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago, IL. Dr. Hess is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Equilibration Society, ADA, AGD, NCDS, and CDS. Locally, Dr. Hess has served on the peer-review board for his ADA district. He has also served on the Board of Directors of SPCC College in Union Co. As an associate faculty member of the Dawson Academy, Dr. Hess has demonstrated a passion for learning and teaching from the very start of his career. In the past six years Dr. Hess has taught hundreds of hours of hands-on continuing education throughout the country. From study clubs to the AACD national meeting, Dr. Hess has helped thousands of his peers incorporate functional esthetic care into their practices. Dr. Hess currently evaluates and tests new products for manufacturers such as Whip-Mix, Septodont, Heraeus, Kerr, and Dentsply. In addition, Dr. Hess is a frequently featured author in Advanced Esthetics and Interdisciplinary Dentistry, Inside Dentistry, Contemporary Esthetics and Restorative Dentistry, and Vistas. Dr. Hess resides with his wife and son in Weddington, NC. Outside of dentistry he enjoys spending time with his family, golf, aviation, traveling, skiing, and auto racing.


DeWitt C. Wilkerson, DMD

DeWittWilkerson2011DeWitt Wilkerson, DMD has been in private practice with Dr. Dawson’s group since 1982. His practice emphasis has been focused on temporomandibular disorders, solving occlusal problems and restorative dentistry. A graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry, Dr. Wilkerson has lectured extensively at major meetings across the United States, Canada and Central America. He has also served as an associate faculty member at the L.D. Pankey Institute, Key Biscayne, Florida.

Dr. Wilkerson is a member of the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry, the American Equilibration Society (Board of Directors), the Florida Prosthodontic Study Group and other local and national professional organizations. He is a special lecturer in the University of Florida College of Dentistry post-graduate dentistry residency.


Scott Finlay, DDS, FAGD, FAACD

ScottFinlayDDS-USE_SMDr. Finlay graduated with honors from University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and a GPR program at a Washington DC Area Trauma Hospital. He was Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 2007 and received his Fellowship in 2010. He currently serves as an Examiner and has a board position on the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry for Accreditation and is a Contributing Editor for the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry presenting the Examiner’s Perspective.

Dr. Finlay is a Senior Faculty Member and Coordinator of the Advanced Restorative Track here at the Dawson Academy. He teaches contemporary functional concepts related to esthetics and restoring anterior teeth in a “hands on” format.

Scott has contributed articles that have appeared in professional journals such as the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and Vistas. He began his practice in Annapolis, Maryland in 1987 with a special emphasis on esthetic and restorative dentistry.

Dr. Finlay is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry, Past President of the Anne Arundel County Dental Society and a founding member of the local Pankey/Dawson Study Club. Dr. Finlay has been presented with 4 gold metals in the AACD annual Smile Gallery. He is perennially voted the Best Cosmetic/Restorative Dentist in both the Greater Annapolis and Baltimore areas by a jury of his peers. He has appeared on Baltimore FOX 45 Morning News and two other health television programs as an expert in dental esthetics. Dr. Finlay also the founder the Cosmetic Dream Team, LLC that locally serves as a community resource in all aspects of esthetics as well as hosting philanthropic events to benefit local charities. Dr. Finlay and his wife, Linda, have one daughter and live in Annapolis, Maryland. He enjoys golfing, skiing and competitive sailing.


Glenn E. DuPont, DDS

GlennDuPontDDSGlenn DuPont, DDS graduated from Emory University School of Dentistry in 1979, and joined the practice of Dr. Peter Dawson and Dr. Reuben “Pete” Roach in St. Petersburg, Florida. Since then, he has been learning, practicing and teaching concepts of restorative dentistry.

Dr. DuPont is a past president of the Pinellas County Dental Association and a founding member of the Dawson Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry and the American Equilibration Society and is involved with many other study groups and professional organizations. Dr. DuPont has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally.


Andrew C. Cobb, DDS

AndrewCobbDDSDr. Cobb was born and raised in the Washington DC area and graduated from Georgetown University School of Dentistry in 1984. He joined the practice of his father, Dr. Everett Cobb, and maintains a private practice in the District of Columbia focusing on restorative and esthetic dentistry. Dr. Cobb is involved with a number of dental organizations including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Equilibration Society and is a Fellow in the International College of Dentists.

In addition to maintaining his practice, Dr. Cobb volunteers extensively both nationally and internationally. He volunteers routinely with local dental clinics for the underserved in the DC area, the AACD “Give Back a Smile” program and Somos Amigos Medical Mission in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Cobb has been on numerous trips with Somos Amigos and is the dental coordinator for the mission. He has been recognized with numerous awards for his philanthropic efforts.

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