In 1999, I participated in the writing of a 500-word bio of Dr. Lindsey Dewey Pankey, Sr. for his posthumous induction in the Pierre Fauchard Academy International Hall of Fame. Although he was born over a century ago, his legacy has impacted many thousands of dentists and millions of patients.
Sharing this abridged bio with you 20 years later means that the asterisked number of dental professionals instructed by The Pankey Institute has greatly grown. Nevertheless, I offer this to you in its original words to make his abridged biography more widely known.
From the Pierre Fauchard Academy International Hall of Fame of Dentistry, 1999
Dr. L.D. Pankey, Sr. Was born on July 31, 1901. He received his Doctorate in Dental Surgery degree from the College of Dentistry at the University of Louisville, practiced in New Castle, Kentucky for one year, then relocated to Coral Gables, Florida, where he practiced dentistry until 1969. In 1932, he became a member of the Florida State Board of Dental Examiners and served 12 years, including his term as secretary and chairman. Concurrently, he was a member of the American Association of Dental Examiners, serving as Vice President in 1942 and President in 1943.
Throughout his professional career, Dr. Pankey was an essayist, lecturer, and student.
Having made presentations before countless local, state, national and international dental groups, he was best known for his seminars on “A Philosophy of the Practice of Dentistry.” In 1956, his Philosophy lectures were organized into three-day seminars. Subsequently, a curriculum was developed whereby practicing dentists would attend a series of once-a-year classes over a three-year period. In these classes, Dr. Pankey helped dentists find fulfillment through building relationships with patients about the benefits of optimal dental care. He helped his colleagues seek a balanced life. And he inspired them to do their personal best for every patient.
Dr. Pankey also developed a procedure for occlusal rehabilitation. In collaboration with Drs. Arvin W. Mann of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Clyde H. Schuyler of New York city, he developed a teaching manual. In 1959, they began giving seminars, attracting dentists from throughout the United States and many other nations. Their occlusal rehabilitation procedures became known as the Pankey-Mann-Schuyler Technique (PMS). He was acknowledged by the dental profession for this work by being elected President of the American Prosthodontic Society.
Over 7,000 dentists attended the occlusal rehabilitation and philosophy classes taught by Dr. Pankey. The dentists who attended these classes formed the nucleus of support for establishing The L. D. Pankey Foundation, Inc., and creating “The L. D. Pankey Institute.” The Pankey Institute was the first advanced dental education organization of its kind in the world. It opened the doors to its first class in Miami, Florida in 1972. The curriculum was organized into what has become known as “The Continuum,” a series of one-week classes taken at a pace that is convenient and pertinent to the growth of the participant.
Well beyond simply honoring its namesake and continuing his teaching, The L. D. Pankey Dental Foundation, established a higher mission for dentistry “to bridge the gap between what is known and what is practiced.” Since 1972, The Pankey Institute has instructed over 17,000* dental professionals from many nations of the world, affecting the dental outcomes and well-being of millions of patients. Dr. L.D. Pankey, Sr. was deeply committed to the Institute’s success, participated in its development, and lectured at the Institute up until the time of his death in March of 1989.
Dentistry, our beloved profession, is better because of the man we recommend for induction. The Academy is privileged and honored to induct Dr. Lindsey Dewey Pankey, Sr., into the PFA International Hall of Fame of Dentistry.