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Meet Dr. John Luther

Pictured from left to right:  Dr. John Luther D.D.S. spending time in the kitchen cooking with his two sons, David Luther M.D. and Daniel Luther M.D.


How does someone with a degree in Marine Biology become a highly accomplished dentist with an expertise in advanced restorative dentistry?


As a Southern California native, John Luther grew up near the coast and was always fascinated by science and the beauty of the sea. He entered the University of Southern California at the age of 16 with the dream of becoming an oceanographer. 


But with the economy at graduation being what it was, John found no jobs in oceanography and spent the next year working in a hospital emergency room and giving tennis lessons before applying to Northwestern University School of Dentistry. He made the move to Chicago to complete a D.D.S. 


As a young dental student, John worked his way through school as an intern at an advertising agency, where his warm and outgoing personality was a huge asset in calming client jitters.  It was a trait that John would find invaluable later in his career as a dentist.


John took a residency in Oral Pathology at the Veteran’s Administration in Long Beach, California.  At the VA, John gained experience in more than just dentistry, completing over 50 full autopsies while acquiring a good understanding of medicine and disease processes.


(His medical experience at the VA served him well; he discovered and diagnosed a small cancerous lesion on his lip – undetected by his dentist – and sought treatment, which probably saved his life.)


John spent nearly 20 years as a restorative dentist, always saving one day out of the week to teach. Eventually, the American Dental Association expressed interest in his clinical and data background, and John moved back to Chicago to join the organization as Senior Vice President of the ADA helping set strategic direction for dental practice, dental benefits and public health.


He later served as Chief Dental Officer at United HealthCare, establishing standards of practice for medical/dental integration and clinical quality, and at Dentaquest, the largest Medicaid insurance company in the country.


Now, as Chief Dental Officer at Brident Dental & Orthodontics, John continues to focus on quality, ensuring that all Brident Dental doctors follow exacting standards in orthodontics, implant dentistry, periodontics, endodontics, cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry.  He has brought a wealth of expertise in the clinical, operational and business side of dentistry to a leading dental service organization. 


John balances his passion for dentistry with his hobbies as a tennis player, biker, prolific cook and adventurous traveler.  When he’s not at the beach in Southern California, his favorite vacation spot is Kauai.  Either way, he’s never far from his first love, the ocean.


My Perio Protect Journey, Part 2
I arrived at the Western Dental office in Hawthorne, California for a dental check-up. Being a new patient and a member of the Western Dental Plan, my exam and x-rays were free of charge. The main purpose of my visit, though, was to begin the Perio Protect program. Dental appointments can give me a twinge of anxiety, but the staff at the office made me feel calm and welcome. The first step of the process was getting a thorough set of digital x-rays from a very friendly and efficient x-ray technician (I was done in about five minutes). They needed those to build my file and to make sure I didn’t have any hidden problems before starting Perio Protect. But all looked good. Next was a teeth cleaning. The hygienist went to work on my teeth, cleaning, polishing and checking the depth of the gum “pockets” around each tooth. Anything over 3 millimeters, she explained, indicated warning signs of possible periodontal disease, or at the least, gingivitis (a milder form of the disease). I checked out ok, except for a few “4’s” around the back molars. Her advice: give extra attention when brushing, and make sure to floss. And Perio Protect was definitely going to help. After a thorough exam by the dentist, a dental assistant prepped the trays used to take impressions of my upper and lower arches. (The impressions would be used to make the customized Perio Protect trays I would need for my home-care routine.) She filled the trays with impression material (kind of like soft Silly Putty), then placed the first tray over my upper teeth and held it in place for a few minutes while the material set. After repeating the process on my lower teeth and rinsing out remnants of the impression material, they had all they needed. My part was done, for now. The office would send the impressions to a lab to make my Perio Protect trays. I’ll be back in a few weeks to pick them up and get started with the program. Can’t wait to reap the benefits!
My Perio Protect Journey, Part 1
Perio Protect is a take-home dental care treatment that prevents gum disease (with the added, long-term benefits of killing bacteria, freshening breath and whitening teeth). A Perio Protect kit consists of two light-weight dental trays made of a soft, pliable material that fit snugly over upper and lower teeth. Each tray is filled with a small amount of Perio Protect gel and worn for 15 minutes each day. The following describes one patient’s experience. Everyone loves the feel of a clean, fresh mouth. So when I heard how Perio Protect could maintain healthy gums and guarantee fresh breath by killing bacteria, I wanted to learn more. Being in the dental business, I was invited to attend a training session for dental hygienists that highlighted how Perio Protect works and the benefits of the treatment. By wearing customized trays filled with a small amount of Perio Protect Gel for 15 minutes each day, powerful medication is delivered deep below the gum line, reaching every possible nook and cranny where bacteria hide and multiply. Its clinical benefit is in the prevention and treatment of gum disease, but Perio Protect also alleviates swollen, sensitive or bleeding gums, maintains fresh breath and restores overall oral health. Over time, the mild concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the gel whitens teeth. Even though I’m meticulous about my oral hygiene, I learned what I was missing with my toothbrush, rinses and floss. I got a lot more detail than I needed, but enough to make me schedule an appointment the next day. I’ll report back after my visit. Stay tuned…