Donald L Chi, DDS, PhD

"Most dental diseases are preventable--I went into pediatric dentistry so I could play a role in preventing disease and helping children enjoy a lifetime of good oral health. I love being able to walk scared children through pretty tough dental procedures. Its always a joy after weve completed a complex dental procedure to tell a young child what a great job they did. They walk away feeling really proud of themselves."

  • Dr. Donald Chi is a board-certified pediatric dentist and Associate Professor of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Washington. He is the first dentist to be named a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar, which funds his research interest on how neighborhoods influence oral health outcomes for low-income teens.

    He was appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry, is on the Board of Directors of the International Association for Dental Research, and is Chair of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Council on Scientific Affairs. He received the 2014 Nemours Child Health Services Research Award from Academy Health and the 2017 Distinguished Scientist Young Investigator Award from IADR. He was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University. Dr. Chi teaches public health, and sees patients at the Odessa Brown Children's Dental Clinic in Seattle and in Alaska Native communities.


Board Certification(s)

Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry

Medical/Professional School

University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, WA
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA


University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City, IA

Research Description

Dr. Chi's research focuses on understanding and reducing children's oral health inequalities. He is currently conducting a NIH-funded study to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in Alaska Native children. He is also interested in developing sociobehavioral strategies to protect the oral health of low-income children and in understanding preventive care decision making by parents.