Meet Dr. David Keller

Dr. Keller grew up in Washington State but has lived all over the world. A graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Dr. Keller attended the University of Washington for dental school and completed a two-year comprehensive dentistry residency in the US Army at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. He served 12 years in the US Army, six on active duty and six in the reserve, with tours in Seattle, Germany, Iraq, Virginia, and North Carolina. Dr. Keller completed a Masters of Business Administration from Northcentral University.

Dr. Keller has been awarded a Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry, and is Board Certified in General Dentistry. He has been awarded Fellowship in the American College of Dentists . He served as the immediate Past President of the Washington Academy of General Dentistry, having served for two years as the President.

Dr. Keller is passionate about his family. His six active children enrich his life and keep him constantly busy. He loves to read, teach, and enjoy the outdoors. When not at work, you’ll find him running, mountain biking, or exploring the many trails that crisscross the beautiful northwest!

What do all those letters mean?

Lots! So people have been asking about all the letters after Dr. Keller's name: Dr. David A. Keller, DDS, MBA, MAGD, ABGD, FACD. Here’s what they all mean:

DDS: Dr. Keller's dental degree. It stands for “Doctor of Dental Surgery” v. a DMD degree: “Doctor of the Medicine of Dentistry”. Just for your general trivia knowledge, DDS degrees were the only degrees offered in the US until Harvard University, which only awards their diplomas in Latin, discovered that “DDS” could not be easily adapted to a Latin diploma. So they changed their degree to DMD, which is easily translated into Latin. Now about half of the schools in the country are DMD and half are DDS. Usually the older schools remain DDS while the newer schools are now DMD.

MBA: Masters of Business Administration. Dr. Keller's MBA is in organizational leadership, which involves how to run companies, how to govern company boards, how to run non-profit companies, and lots about general leadership principles.

MAGD: Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is the largest professional organization dedicated to general dentists and our patients in the world. With more than 37,000 members, it is also the second largest dental organization in the world behind the American Dental Association. The AGD was founded on the concept of providing quality continuing education to dentists and remains the most respected and best known dental educational body in the world. The AGD offers two awards to its members: fellowship and mastership. To become a Fellow, a dentist must have been in practice and be a member of the Academy for at least three years, pass a rigorous written examination, and complete 500 hours of continuing education. There are roughly 6,500 Fellows in the US, which represents about six percent of all practicing dentists.

Once a dentist has become a Fellow, he can continue towards becoming a Master. To become a Master, a dentist must have earned his Fellowship. Then he is required to complete 600 additional hours of continuing education, half of which must be hands-on, participation courses spread among 16 dental disciplines. Mastership is the highest award presented by the AGD to its members and one of the best recognized and most respected of all dental awards. Less than two percent of all dentists in the United States have this award.

Dr. Keller is the youngest dentist ever to have been awarded his Mastership, which he earned in 2007.

ABGD: Diplomate of the American Board of General Dentistry. General dentists can become board certified. Board certification is the pinnacle of academic and clinical preparation for doctors. Only about half of one percent of dentists are board certified. To become board certified, a dentist must complete an eight-hour written examination, an eight-hour oral examination in 16 disciplines in dentistry, and then successfully present and defend a handful of clinical cases to a board of certified dentists.  Board certification does not imply clinical superiority over other general dentists or specialists.  

FACD: Fellow in the American College of Dentists. The American College of Dentists is the nation’s oldest national honor society. Established in 1920, its members have exemplified excellence through outstanding leadership and exceptional contributions to dentistry and society.  This award is usually an award given to dentists as they prepare to retire or after their retirement. Dr. Keller was completely shocked and very humbled to be selected for Fellowship. While the MAGD, ABGD, and MBA’s were earned through hard work and wonderful support from my family and staff, Fellowship in the College was by secret nomination.  Dr. Keller counts it as "the greatest dental honor I have ever received".

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