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Meet Dr. Lodding

Dr. Dean Lodding loves the transformative power of modern cosmetic dentistry, which gives his patients an inner and outer glow. He has dedicated his career to:

  • the pursuit of utmost patient satisfaction
  • continuing education
  • the latest technology
  • charity and community dedication
  • contributing to the forward progress of the dental industry as a whole
  • enhancing the lives of his team and encouraging their personal growth
  • being a light of optimism and encouragement in the world
Cosmetic Dentist Elgin IL - Dean Lodding DDS

Enhancing the smiles and the lives of my patients is my passion. I love being able to provide excellent dental care in a nurturing environment surrounded by the greatest team in the world.

Dr. Lodding
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About Dr. Lodding

After graduating magna cum laude from St. Norbert College, Dr. Lodding went on to earn his DDS degree from University of Illinois College of Dentistry in 1980. From 1980-81, he provided dental care to the Oglala Sioux tribe in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. In 1981, Dr. Lodding began his private practice, which is now the practice our many generations of patients rely upon today to keep their smiles healthy and beautiful. The exemplary treatment and care that each one of Dr. Lodding’s patients receives can be attributed to his dedication to pursuing the best training and education. His patients thrive from state-of-the-art technologies and advanced dentistry techniques that provide superlative results, and he strives to provide personalized dental care to optimize the overall wellbeing of each patient he serves. Dr. Lodding’s passion for performing at his best also carries over into his private life, where he is an avid drummer, dedicated golfer, and, most importantly, a proud father and husband.

The most important step in Dr. Lodding‘s persistent journey to be exceptional was becoming a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 1986. It is through his involvement in the AACD that Dr. Lodding became friends and colleagues with the best dentists in the world. He is continuously inspired by these relationships on both a personal and professional level. In 1988, Dr. Lodding became one of the first dentists in the world to become accredited in the field of cosmetic dentistry. From 1993-96, he served as Accreditation Chair for the AACD and developed the accreditation process, which has become the leading evaluator of the credentials of cosmetic dentists in the world. From 1990 to 2001, he was on the board of the AACD, culminating in his serving as AACD President between 2000 and 2001. In 2003, he was chosen as the chairperson of the AACD Charitable Foundation’s Give Back a Smile program, which was developed to help restore the smiles of domestic violence survivors who sustained dental injuries.

In 2006, in response to increasing awareness of the connection between oral health and systemic health, Dr. Lodding became a co-founder of the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health. The organization has since become a leading forum for dental and medical professionals to unite their knowledge in order to improve and save lives.

It was in 2004 that Dr. Lodding began what he considers the most significant and important phase of his professional career: On March 16, 2004 he founded Smile For Life Dental. It was the culmination of Dr. Lodding’s professional dream to establish a dental practice that would employ an incredible staff to provide the best in dental care to an amazing community of patients. He can proudly say that he and his exceptional team have made that dream a reality. Dr. Lodding has said, “I am blessed with the most amazing dental team in the most modern facility with the world’s best patients!”

Education And Professional Memberships

Former President, America Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Board of Directors, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Accreditation Committee, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Chairperson of Accreditation Committee, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • National Chairperson, Give Back A Smile Foundation
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Founding Member, Board of Directors, American Academy of Oral Systemic Health
  • Certified Member, American Academy of Facial Esthetics


Dental School:
1980 – Doctor of Dental Surgery
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentists

1976 – Bachelor of Science
St. Norbert College

Honors & Awards

  • America’s Top Dentists Award (2009-2021)
  • Consumers’ Research Council of America
  • Humanitarian Award, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Partner in Peace Award, Community Crisis Center, Elgin, IL
  • President’s Award, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Reader’s Choice Award for Best Dentist, Daily Herald Newspaper
“Dr. Lodding is professional, kind, honest, personable and above all a great dentist. I’ve had many mediocre experiences with dentists in the past until I found Dr. Lodding at Smile for Life Dental. He really cares about his patients. The rest of the staff is great too. You will always be greeted by beautiful, friendly smiles from his front desk team-Ree & Joanna. I look forward to coming here for many more years.”
- Laurie H.

Cosmetic Dentistry In The Spotlight

Dr. Lodding is a much sought-after national and international speaker on cosmetic dentistry and practice management.

Watch our full video

What Does It Mean To Be Accredited By The AACD?

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) is one of the largest and most respected cosmetic dentistry organizations in the world. It places emphasis on the importance of continuing education, quality patient care, and strictly upheld ethical standards. Members are required to demonstrate proficiency across an array of subjects, in addition to continuously expanding their knowledge within the field of cosmetic dentistry. Only those with the requisite skill, experience, passion, and knowledge become Accredited Fellows, the highest level of distinction within the organization. This title is awarded to an extremely selective number of clinicians in recognition of their superior academic and clinical expertise. In addition to being an Accredited Fellow, Dr. Lodding also had the honor of serving as a former President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He believes deeply in the AACD’s mission of clinical excellence and ongoing education, and he maintains an active role within the broader cosmetic dentistry community.

How Do I Find The Best Cosmetic Dentist Near Me?

Finding the best cosmetic dentist for your needs can be challenging, but some important factors to keep in mind include:

You should also ultimately feel comfortable with your chosen dentist, and they should readily and honestly answer any and all questions you may have about their background or the procedure(s) you are interested in.

Advancements in dental technology have made it possible for a wide range of dentists to offer cosmetic treatments, but the overall quality of your results is still dependent on the skill and experience of your dentist. Incorporating these factors into your search can help ensure that you are making an informed decision that you can feel confident about.

Questions To Ask A Cosmetic Dentist

In order to further aid your search for the right cosmetic dentist, we have compiled a list of possible questions to bring up during your consultation. The consultation is an invaluable opportunity to get to know your prospective dentist and learn more about the procedure(s) you are interested in. Topics to discuss include:

  • How long have you been practicing cosmetic dentistry?
  • Are you a member of any professional organizations, such as the AACD?
  • How often do you perform the procedure(s) I am interested in?
  • Can you explain the treatment process to me?
  • When will I see the results of my treatment?
  • Do you have any advanced technologies or treatment methods that you employ with my treatment of interest?
  • May I see before-and-after photos of past cases similar to mine?
  • Do you offer any warranties on your work?

Your safety, comfort, and satisfaction should be the top priority of any prospective dentist you consult. We hope that these questions will help empower you to guide your consultation and express any prospective concerns in an open and honest manner.

Get To Know Dr. Lodding

In order to further aid your search for the right cosmetic dentist, we have compiled a list of possible questions to bring up during your consultation. The consultation is an invaluable opportunity to get to know your prospective dentist and learn more about the procedure(s) you are interested in. Topics to discuss include:

President Award From AAOSH

  • American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) presented the President Award to Dr. Lodding for his involvement in increasing awareness of the mouth’s connection to overall health.
  • AAOSH aims to elevate the standard of dental and health care by increasing communication among physicians and educating the public on the oral-systemic health link.

Charitable Work

Dr. Lodding strongly believes in the importance of giving back. Over the years, he has contributed much of his time serving on the Board of Directors for the Community Crisis Center in Elgin, which provides shelter, care, and support for victims of domestic violence. He also served as the national chairperson for the AACD’s Give Back a Smile program, which connects those who have suffered dental injuries as a result of domestic violence with a volunteer cosmetic dentist.

In addition, Dr. Lodding has also been heavily involved with One Collective, an international missionary organization that provides food, faith, and freedom for those less fortunate around the world. He was on the board of directors for One Collective for three years. Faith and service are a very critical part of Dr. Lodding‘s life. He lives to use the gift of his skills in dentistry to provide dental care for those who, in exchange, pay it forward to others using their own abilities.

Schedule A Consultation

You deserve the best care, by the best doctor, using the best treatment available. Putting the care of your oral health into the hands of Dr. Dean Lodding and his Smile for Life Dental team is the best choice for your smile. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lodding, please contact our office today.

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