New Leadership Named for Orthodontics, Endodontics and Hygiene

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently named two long-time school leaders to serve in key chair roles for the Departments of Orthodontics and Endodontics. In addition, Dean Nader Nadershahi ’94 appointed a new director of the Dental Hygiene program. All of these individuals bring extensive expertise that will support the continued advancement of these successful programs.

Dr. Heesoo Oh ’01 AEGD, ’05 Ortho is the new chair of the Department of Orthodontics. She succeeds Dr. Robert Boyd, former chair, who recently retired. Oh brings extensive leadership, clinical expertise, interdisciplinary research and other skills to her role in leading the program. She earned her DDS degree, certificate in pediatric dentistry and PhD in oral biology from Chonnam National University, School of Dentistry in Gwangju, South Korea. At the Dugoni School of Dentistry, she completed a certificate in Advanced Education in General Dentistry in 2001, received an MSD in orthodontics in 2005 and joined the Dugoni School as a faculty member upon graduation.

She served as program director of the Graduate Orthodontic program since 2010 and director of the Craniofacial Research Instrumentation Laboratory since 2017. Most recently, in partnership with Dr. Gabby Thodas ’77, ’94 Ortho, Oh served as interim co-chair of the Department of Orthodontics.

Oh is dedicated to working with orthodontic faculty, residents and staff members to grow and strengthen both the educational and research goals of the department. She also is enthusiastic about building interdisciplinary collaborations to support predoctoral and resident learning opportunities, while improving patient care outcomes.

Dr. Ove Peters, an internationally recognized leader in the specialty of endodontics, is the new chair of the Department of Endodontics. He joined the Dugoni School of Dentistry as a professor in 2007, served as co-chair of the Department of Endodontics since 2012 and as director of the Advanced Education Program in Endodontology since its inception in 2014. He also leads the significant research efforts of the department, with more than 80 papers published since joining the University.

He earned his DMD degree from Kiel University in Germany and his certificate in endodontics, along with a PhD, from the University of Zurich in Switzerland. He brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills from his time as chair of the Division of Endodontics at the University of Zurich.

Peters is committed to working with the Dugoni School of Dentistry endodontic faculty and staff to grow and strengthen the educational and research goals of the department. With collaborative endodontics being the goal of the postgraduate program, Peters will focus on aligning learning opportunities for predoctoral education, faculty calibration and patient care outcomes. Under his leadership, the Department of Endodontics will continue its commitment to outstanding teaching, learning, research and patient care. Peters served as a co-chair of the department with Dr. Alan Gluskin ’72, who is now serving as vice chair with a focus on the predoctoral endodontics program.

Lory Laughter is the new director of the school’s Dental Hygiene program. She will assume the position on May 1 after current director, Deborah Horlak, retires. Laughter joined the Dugoni School of Dentistry in 2017 as the junior clinic coordinator for the Dental Hygiene program. She was the recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award for Dental Hygiene. She is also past president of the California Dental Hygiene Association.

She received a bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene from Idaho State University and a master of science degree in dental hygiene from University of California, San Francisco. Laughter has been in clinical practice for more than 20 years and has served as a consultant/clinical educator for industry, working with companies such as Interleukin Genetics, OraPharma and Nuvora.

According to Laughter, the Dental Hygiene program aims to continue to strengthen collaboration with dental students and faculty though shared courses and integrated clinical experiences and enhance the national appeal of its integrative educational model.