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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 20, 2004

UI Dentists Named To 'Best In America' List

Twenty-three dentists from the University of Iowa were selected for inclusion in the inaugural edition of "The Best Dentists in America," a listing of the best-trained and most skilled dentists in the United States.

The "Best Dentists" list for 2004-2005 was prepared by Woodward/White, Inc., publishers of "The Best Lawyers in America" and founders of "The Best Doctors in America" ("Best Doctors" is now operated independently).

The "Best Dentists" list was selected through an exhaustive peer-review survey in which thousands of the nation's top dentists confidentially evaluated their professional peers. Dentists are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed. The 2004-2005 listings were based on over 150,000 detailed evaluations of dentists by other dentists. The list is available online at

David C. Johnsen, D.D.S., dean of the UI College of Dentistry, said the rankings underscore the UI's commitment to patient care, research and dental education. "The dental needs of Iowans are well-served by the skills and expertise of our dentistry faculty and staff," he said.

Kirk Fridrich, D.D.S., head of the Department of Hospital Dentistry at UI Hospitals and Clinics, said the rankings are a testament to the expertise available on the UI campus and through the Department of Hospital Dentistry at UI Hospitals and Clinics. "Iowans are fortunate to have these specialists available to them," he said.

Woodward/White's publications have been frequently featured in the U.S. media, including the CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes," "CNN Headline News," and "Today," and in newspapers such as the New York Times, USA Today, Reader's Digest and the Wall Street Journal.

Here are the UI dentists listed in "Best Dentists," by specialty:

ENDODONTICS: William T. Johnson, D.D.S.

GENERAL DENTISTRY: Stephen T. Bender, D.D.S.; Ronald D. Elvers, D.D.S.; Patricia K. Meredith, D.D.S.

ORAL AND MAXIOFACIAL PATHOLOGY: Michael W. Finkelstein, D.D.S.; Harold L. Hammond, D.D.S.; John William Hellstein, D.D.S.; Cynthia L. Kleinegger, D.D.S.; Steven Douglas Vincent.


ORTHODONTICS: Samir E. Bishara, D.D.S.; John S. Casko, D.D.S., Ph.D.; Karin A. Southard, D.D.S.; Thomas E. Southard, D.D.S.; Robert N. Staley, D.D.S.; James J. Wheeler, D.D.S.

PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY: Michael J. Kanellis, D.D.S.; Kaaren G. Vargas, D.D.S., Ph.D.

PROSTHODONTICS: Steven A. Aquilino, D.D.S.; Ana M. Diaz-Arnold, D.D.S.; Robert J. Luebke, D.D.S.; Forrest Scandrett, D.D.S.; Clark M. Stanford, D.D.S., Ph.D.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,