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ANSI Mourns the Loss of John Stanford, Standards Giant of the Dental Industry

John Stanford, Ph.D., a champion and driving force behind standards for the dental industry, passed away on February 23, 2011. He was 83 years old.

A 40-year veteran of the American Dental Association (ADA), Dr. Stanford was a key figure in the world of national and international standards for dental products, and is credited with establishing the ADA standards program as it exists today, according to Sharon Stanford, director of ADA Standards Administration and Dr. Stanford's daughter-in-law.

Dr. Stanford was a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 106, Dentistry - the group responsible for developing internationals standards for dental products used worldwide. The secretariat of TC 106 Subcommittee 2, Prosthodontics, for many years, he served as chair of ISO TC 106 from 1991 to 1999, and was appointed chairman emeritus in 2000. He was also a past chair of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Medical Device Standards Board.

ANSI recognized Dr. Stanford's enormous achievements to the standards community with the Astin Polk International Standards Medal in 1992. The medal honors distinguished service in promoting trade among nations through personal participation in the advancement, development, or administration of international standardization, measurements, or certification.

"John was a giant in the dental industry and at the international standardization table," said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO. "His tremendous contributions to standardization have had an enormous impact on shaping the dental industry today. He will be sorely missed by many as an esteemed friend and colleague."

Dr. Stanford began his career as a dental technician in the U.S. Army and later joined the ADA in 1952. He was appointed assistant director of the ADA's research division at the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology - NIST) in 1961, where he conducted research on the mechanical properties of tooth structure and was involved in certification and testing. In 1965 he became secretary of the ADA Council on Dental Materials, which has since been merged into the Council on Scientific Affairs. He was made an honorary member of ADA in 1994.

Past honors include the Bernard J. Conway Award, an honorary doctorate in Odontology from the Umea University in Sweden, the Wilmer Souder Award from the International Association of Dental Research, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy Michinosyke Nakayama Memorial Award.

Dr. Stanford earned his bachelor's in chemistry from the University of Maryland, and his master's in dental materials and doctorate in medical and dental science from Georgetown University.

A memorial service will be held on March 12, 2011, at the Messinger Pinnacle Peak Mortuary in Scottsdale, Arizona.

To read more about Dr. John Stanford, read ADA's tribute or visit his online memorial at


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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