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 Western Dental & Orthodontics, John continues to focus on quality, ensuring that all Western 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.