10 Under 10: ADA recognizes new dentists making a difference in profession

'Each nominee has made an impact on those around them'

Dr. Alhajji
Dr. Bosch
Maj. Gustafson
Dr. Maestas
Dr. Mattingly
Dr. Otto
Dr. Rao
Dr. Sheinbaum
Dr. Susarla
Dr. Venkatesh

An advocate for rural dentistry and community water fluoridation. A major in the U.S. Air Force. The leader of dental oncology at New York University.

These were among the 10 new dentists who the ADA announced March 15 are the recipients of its fourth annual 10 Under 10 Awards, which recognizes 10 early career dentists who demonstrate excellence in the profession.

Selected by the ADA New Dentist Committee, the recipients demonstrated exemplary service and contributions in their own personal way that collectively work to keep the profession progressing, said ArNelle Wright, D.M.D., chair of the Subcommittee on New Dentist Engagement, which was tasked with reviewing the nominations and making recommendations to the full committee. Nominees had to be active ADA members who graduated between 2012 and 2021.

“My team and I were impressed beyond what I can express with their accomplishments and the way each nominee has made an impact on those around them,” said Dr. Wright. “They are professional examples to existing and upcoming early-career dentists. We recognize them to show our appreciation as an Association, as well as to acknowledge that their peers, colleagues and mentees have witnessed the same excellence from them.”

The winners were chosen for making a difference in science, research and education; practice excellence; philanthropy; leadership; and advocacy. The 10 Under 10 Award recipients are:

Dalal Alhajji, D.M.D., New York.

A leader of dental oncology at NYU College of Dentistry, Dr. Alhajji is an advocate for how personalized dental care contributes to the overall health of patients with cancer. She is also a faculty member at NYU’s department of oral and maxillofacial pathology, radiology and medicine, where she supervises students across three clinics.

Lisa Bosch, D.M.D., Knox City, Missouri.

Dr. Bosch leads the Clarence Cannon Wholesale Water Commission Community Water Fluoridation Project, which provides insight to questions on the impact of fluoridation for the health of the rural communities. She also serves as secretary on the University of Missouri Extension Council and president of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce.

Maj. Ryan R. Gustafson, D.D.S., Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

As a major in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Gustafson provides comprehensive dental care to the armed forces, along with serving his country and community. He currently serves at the 72nd Medical Group where he directs sedation and surgical services for nine dentists and manages a dental laboratory.

Tanya Sue Maestas, D.D.S., El Paso, Texas.

Dr. Maestas serves as dental director at La Clinica De Familia Inc. in Chaparral, New Mexico. She is an ADA Success speaker, a new dentist member to the ADA Council on Communications, and a new dentist liaison to the Council on Dental Licensing Standards and Education at the Texas Dental Association.

Emily Mattingly, D.D.S., Chillicothe, Missouri.

A fourth-generation dentist, Dr. Mattingly works alongside her husband and father to provide care to patients in underserved areas in rural north Missouri. She has served in several roles in organized dentistry including as chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee in 2020, as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Missouri Dental Association and as a delegate to the ADA House of Delegate.

Alexandra Otto, D.D.S., Buda, Texas.

Dr. Otto is the co-founder of Kids Tooth Team Outreach, a nonprofit school-based mobile dental home providing free dental care to underserved children in Texas. In addition, she also co-founded Kids Tooth Team Pediatric Dentistry, a small group pediatric practice with locations in Buda and Austin, Texas.

Aruna Rao, D.D.S., St. Cloud, Minnesota.

An adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Dr. Rao is a partner at K.O.A.L.A. Dental Care in St. Cloud, which provides comprehensive pediatric dentistry, hospital dentistry and early orthodontic services for children and adolescents, including those with special health care needs across three locations and 100 miles of West Central Minnesota.

Justin Sheinbaum, D.M.D., Los Angeles.

Dr. Sheinbaum is currently a chief resident of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the University of California-Los Angeles. During his residency, he spearheaded efforts to give UCLA dental residents the opportunity to join the UCLA Medical Center Resident Union, resulting in 92 dental residents receiving a salary and benefits package worth more than $15,000 each year.

Harlyn K. Susarla, D.M.D., Seattle.

Dr. Susarla is an advocate for children’s oral health, previously serving as president of the Washington State Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Currently a staff member at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Dr. Susarla also serves as the new diplomate representative for the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, as well as a consultant on the AAPD Council on Scientific Affairs and the Committee on Early Career Pediatric Dentists.

Anchita Venkatesh, D.M.D., Los Angeles.

Dr. Venkatesh has focused her practice to serve patients with special needs since she graduated in 2013 from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore, India. Today, she is enrolled at the University of Southern California to receive her Master of Science degree in orofacial pain and oral medicine. In addition, she is currently working on a mobile application that can be used as a dental visual sound board for autistic patients.

“This recognition substantiates the efforts I have made to improve access to care for some of our most vulnerable populations,” said Dr. Venkatesh. “It gives me the encouragement to work even harder and hopefully use my platform to inspire upcoming clinicians.”

Dr. Rao agreed and added that the award showcases new dentists’ commitment to service, volunteerism and mentorship.

“It is almost unbelievable the impact one can have in a short amount of time,” Dr. Rao said.

Recipients of the 10 Under 10 Awards will receive $1,000 cash prize, be recognized at SmileCon 2022 in Houston and featured in various ADA publications and channels, including the ADA News and the New Dentist News.

For more information on the 10 Under 10 Award recipients, visit


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