John R. Christensen, DDS, MS, MS – Pediatric Dentist & Orthodontist
The son of a pediatric dentist, Dr. John Christensen grew up in Waterloo, Iowa. After attending Harvard University for his undergraduate education he decided to also become a dentist and enrolled in the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. He moved to North Carolina for his residency training in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics at the University of North Carolina. In 1987, Dr. Christensen opened his practice in Durham. He and his wife, Lorie, have three children. Their son, “Dr. Rob,” is also a Pediatric Dentist at Durham Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. Layne, their middle child, is trained as a Physician Assistant and lives in Emerald Isle. Their youngest daughter, Kate (Pick), has a Masters degree in Special Education and is the Lower School Coordinator and a teacher at The Hill Center in Durham.
Dr. John is Board Certified with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He is one of a handful of practitioners in the United States who has specialty training in both pediatric dentistry and orthodontics. This combination of specialties allows children to receive comprehensive pediatric dental and orthodontic care in one office.
Dr. John is on faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an Adjunct Clinical Professor and has directed the orthodontic training of pediatric dental residents since 1986. In 2008, Dr. Christensen was honored by former students with a fellowship that will provide funding for post-doctoral students in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.
Dr. Christensen has prepared test questions for both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Oral Examinations and for the National Board Examination given by the American Dental Association to all dental students. Dr. Christensen is an accomplished speaker and addresses local, national, and international dental organizations. He has published multiple research articles and has co-authored one of the country’s leading pediatric dental textbooks: Pediatric Dentistry: Infancy Through Adolescence (Nowak, AJ, Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2018.) He is a peer reviewer for PLOS (Public Library of Science) and a member of UNC’s Dental Trauma Team.
He is a past-president of the North Carolina Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the North Carolina Society of Dentistry for Children, the North Carolina Association of Orthodontics, the UNC Orthodontic Alumni Association and the Durham-Orange County Dental Society.
Since establishing his practice in Durham, Dr. John has been an active member of the community serving on boards and committees. He has been a coach and sports organizer with the Woodcroft Athletic Association, Jordan High School Booster Club, and the Jordan High School lacrosse team. He is an avid golfer, loves to read, enjoys fishing at the beach and spending time with his two grandchildren.