Distinguished Achievement Alumni Award: W. King Smith, DDS ’65

W. King SmithThis award honors a graduate for significant professional accomplishments in science, dentistry, or education. In 2021, it recognizes W. King Smith, DDS ’65, for his lifelong dedication to excellence in oral and maxillofacial surgery, pursuit of innovations aimed at improving patient care, and commitment to superlative clinical training.   

For more than five decades, Smith has operated an oral surgery practice in Bel Air, Md., where he spent 20 years conducting clinical evaluations of analgesic efficacy on non-narcotic medications during the removal of impacted third molars. He served for 40 years as assistant professor in the division of Dentistry and Oral Surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine and taught from 2013-19 for the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) in Perryville, Md.  He continues to teach as a member of the UMSOD Dean’s Faculty at the Access Carroll clinic in Westminster, Md., with which the school partners to provide oral health care to low-income residents of Carroll County.

A Baltimore native, Smith graduated from Western Maryland College in 1961 and earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from UMSOD in 1965. He completed a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery in 1967 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. And, in 1969, he completed both a fellowship in medical genetics and a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery-didactic at Johns Hopkins Hospital and UMSOD, respectively.

Smith, who has been a member of UMSOD’s Board of Visitors since 2015, also is a life member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and belongs to numerous other professional organizations including the Maryland State Dental Association. He sat on the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners from 2000-08, serving as president in 2004.

An avid innovator, Smith was a founding board member in the1980s of the American Biomaterial Corporation where he developed the collagen plug, now used worldwide to control socket bleeding; in 1987, the patent was sold to Zimmer Biomet. He also was a founding board member of U.S. Biomaterial, which conducted research into bioactive glass and developed Perioglas and Novabone, grafting materials now used in dental and orthopedic surgery. Through U.S. Biomaterial, Smith additionally funded research conducted at UMSOD by Gary Hack, DDS, clinical associate professor in the Division of Prosthodontics, aimed at developing Novamin in Sensodyne toothpaste for hypersensitivity that is currently used in Canada and Europe. In 2008, U.S. Biomaterial was sold to GSK.

Smith is author or co-author of many articles and abstracts and has presented myriad times nationally and internationally. In 2015, he endowed the W. King Smith, DDS ’65 Scholarship Endowment in support of the next generation of UMSOD students.