About the Kois Center


“…a system that enables us to share information, develop new ideas and create solutions in dentistry that will leave a legacy…”
John Kois
The Kois Center is an advanced graduate didactic and clinical program for practicing dentists. The Center features a comprehensive nine-course curriculum, with the latest advances in esthetics, implant and restorative dentistry. The curriculum is based upon the mission statement: “Enabling motivated dentists to achieve extraordinary levels, expanding knowledge and application skills in restorative dentistry.”

What makes the Kois Center special?

The Kois Center is located in Seattle, Washington, on the shore of Lake Union. Fifteen years ago, the Center began forty miles south of Seattle in the back room of a dental office in Fife, around a table with room for only twelve students to attend each class. As word travelled about the incredible teaching to be found in that back room, dentists from around the world sought spaces on waiting lists, hoping to be one of the twelve.

The Kois Center in Seattle was built to accommodate the increasing number of dentists eager to become students, and incorporates the latest technology to maximize student learning over each three-day course. Live patient demonstrations can be broadcast directly to each of the 26 students. Multimedia electronic presentations allow rich content to be memorably shown, and students have the opportunity to practice new skills on patient simulators.

But the Kois Center is unique because it is SO much more than a physical location or a facility. The Kois Center is part of an educational network inspired by John Kois and
populated by dentists who have made a commitment to a rigorous program of continuing education. This network is actually a living, maturing postgraduate educational
think tank. The Center’s growth is the result of the continued support and participation of those who have graduated. The collaboration of these members has created an
ever expanding knowledge base at the Center and is a pathway for extraordinary professional growth.

Graduates can return annually to attend the Symposium, which includes a review of the prior year’s published dental science, speakers who are pioneers in their field, and the inspiration of likeminded colleagues. As graduates incorporate their new knowledge
into their dental practices, they can apply to become Mentors, who return regularly to the Center tooffer help to current students, continuing the cycle of contributing to
an improved dental profession.

The Kois Center can now use the knowledge of its membership to improve the curriculum of the Center, enhance the professional growth of its members and improve
the dental health of the patients they serve. The Kois Center provides an intense educational experience which allows your dentist to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to assist you, the patient, in keeping your teeth healthy and esthetically
pleasing for a lifetime.


John C. Kois, D.M.D., M.S.D.

Received his D.M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine and Certificate in Periodontal Prosthodontics with an M.S.D. from the University of Washington, School of Dentistry. He maintains a private practice limited to prosthodontics
in Tacoma and Seattle, Washington and is an Affiliate Professor in the Graduate Restorative Program at theUniversity of Washington. Dr. Kois continues to lecture nationally and internationally, is a reviewer for many journals and is the Editor-in-Chief
for The Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry. Dr. Kois is the recipient of the 2002 Saul Schluger Memorial Award for Clinical Excellence in Diagnosis and Treatment
Planning, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from both the World Congress of Minimally Invasive Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is the past president of both the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry and American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, and a member of numerous other professional organizations. In addition, he continues to work with restorative dentists at the Kois Center, a didactic and clinical teaching program.

Who Is John Kois?

John is not a master because he has “great hands”—an inborn talent for dentistry. He became a master through dogged perseverance and years of hard work, with an attitude
that embraced challenges. He is a student every day, willing to be wrong and willing to change his beliefs when necessary. John changes the lives of those who come to his teaching center, both through his personal example and his unwavering belief that inside
each student is an expert waiting to be born.

Master clinician

“I don’t have a problem with failure; I have a problem with not learning from failure.”

John Kois is an outstanding clinical dentist because he views every patient and every restoration as an opportunity to excel. Yet he is not afraid to examine a failure, regarding
it as an opportunity to improve and avoid that pitfall tomorrow. His dentistry sets a standard for precision and he is recognized by his peers as a master clinician. He is the expert that other dentists seek for their own dentistry.  He uses practical experience to
develop systems and checklists so Kois-trained dentists can more easily and uniformly provide excellent care to their patients. It is these systems that form the core teachings at the Kois Center.

Creative innovator

“If you have to think outside the box, you need a bigger box.”

John Kois is a relentless questioner: Why does this smile look so natural? Why have the teeth worn in this particular pattern? How can we make our success more predictable? He is unwilling to blindly accept conventional thinking about dentistry without rigorous evaluation. He is also willing to reject popular theories that have no scientific basis. When he saw too many exceptions to accepted beliefs, he carefully examined his own work to better understand what was successful and why. He formed his own research center to
test theories and add to the science of dentistry—entirely so dentists can make better decisions for their patients. He continues to develop innovations and instruments to
make excellent dentistry easier to provide.

Master teacher

“Never the teacher, ALWAYS the student.”

Have you ever been inspired by a teacher: One who saw the greatness inside of you? A teacher who helped you reach a goal that you would have never believed was possible? A teacher who could present complex material in a clear, understandable way? John Kois is
that teacher. Passionate about his subject, he works long hours year after year to stay current and design new ways to teach. He is a successful teacher because he has
never stopped being a student: questioning, challenging, learning. He understands new knowledge must be used for learning to be effective, so he developed comprehensive notebooks for each student to take home to aid in implementing what they had learned.

Visionary leader

“None of us is smarter than all of us.”

John believes that together we can be better than any of us could ever be separately, and his leadership has created and fostered a unique community of likeminded dentists who are committed to continuous learning. Kois Center graduates are members of a family—a think tank populated with dentists dedicated to helping each other and their patients achieve the absolute best. When a dentist completes a class, they can stay connected with peers and mentors for support and advise them on their own journey to expertise.


The Kois Center is a family of dentists and dental professionals who are passionate about dental healthcare and have the discipline to pursue excellence. A heavy emphasis on community exists, and I am proud to associate with the professionals who attend the Center which promotes a culture of generosity, humility, kindness and passion for learning. These individuals are integrity-based and committed to both their patients and education. Dentists who attend the Center seek evidence-based knowledge, willing to question their beliefs in pursuit of excellence. The Kois Center community works to provide the best, most efficient and cost-effective care to their patients and help one another to achieve this goal.

Graduates have completed all nine courses in the curriculum at the Center. Once students become graduates, they have the opportunity to attend an Annual Symposium. At the Symposium, current updates based on new studies are discussed, and our community of professionals and their families have the opportunity to network and get to know each other better. Graduates also have the privilege of being part of our referral service on the website, wherein other graduates can search for contact information and refer patients who are moving or are out of town to another highly trained and skilled dentist.

Graduates have made a serious commitment to this rigorous curriculum—sacrificing time away from families, home and their practices—challenging themselves to be the best. To achieve this goal has required questioning of traditional standards and examination of strongly held beliefs under the light of published evidence. It has also required the courage and willingness to change, when necessary, how they practice dentistry.

Above all, dentists attending the Kois Center are committed to excellence and doing their best for their patients.


What does it mean when your dentist autographs their work with excellence?

It simply feels different when you walk into a store or an office where excellence is the standard. In an era when people are constantly bombarded with mediocrity and apathy through poor customer service and the performance of products below expectations, it is refreshing and reassuring to encounter excellence. Dental offices that consistently excel at customer service, also have a tendency to hire carefully and provide in-depth training for their employees. These offices personify excellence.

Excellence in dentistry includes words like integrity, trust, and empathy. It means you can trust your dentist and staff to autograph their work with excellence; they aim for perfection on every procedure, every day, even when no one is watching. Decisions that will affect your oral health and well-being for a lifetime must be made in collaboration with someone who is looking out for your best interest now and in the future.

Excellence cannot be static. The doctors and staff that you entrust with your dental health must continually seek new knowledge to enhance the predictability of their work and remain connected with exceptional colleagues who support continuing professional growth.

Excellence is the sum of many parts. Attention to detail and accuracy of diagnosis, along with the skilled hands of an experienced dentist, will provide you efficient, informative, individualized treatment in a cost-effective manner. Your dentistry will be fabricated using the best materials available with a built-to-last attitude. At the Kois Center, EXCELLENCE permeates every educational and interpersonal interaction—ALWAYS! This book is an overview of how Kois-trained dentists make excellence their standard and how you, their patient, will benefit.


Have you ever felt a twinge of guilt when the dental hygienist asked about your flossing habits? Do you hesitate to make a dental appointment because you will have to admit how long it has been since your last cleaning? These twinges of guilt can be greatly magnified if you believe that your mouth is unhealthy or your smile unattractive— and it is YOUR fault. But the surprising truth for many is that fault and guilt have simply nothing to do with your oral health.

Some people have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars caring for their teeth throughout their lifetime, yet continue to experience new areas of decay, gum disease, or teeth that break and wear—seemingly no matter what they do. Often these people are embarrassed to seek help because they believe that the condition of their mouth is purely their own fault. Sadly, they may even describe their mouth as “hopeless.”

Your Kois-trained dentist understands that gaining or maintaining oral health depends on more than just daily flossing. They are concerned about risk because science tells us that your resistance to getting a cavity or losing the support around your teeth is specifically related to both your ability to fight disease and to the type of bacteria that inhabit your mouth. Your dentist also knows that bite and jaw problems occur when the muscles and joint cannot adapt to imperfections in the way you chew. Some of these tendencies are determined by your genetic makeup, and some start when you are an infant. Your risk for dental problems begins even before your first birthday!

If you are one of those embarrassed people, hesitant to seek dental care, please let go of any guilt and understand that your Kois-trained dentist will not judge you. They will thoroughly learn about your current oral conditions, determine your susceptibility to future breakdown and discuss a plan to help you successfully achieve and maintain a healthy attractive smile.


Paradigm shift

A paradigm is defined as a model to follow with a set of rules and regulations (written or unwritten) that does two things:

  1.  Establishes or defines boundaries
  2.  Tells you how to behave inside the boundaries in order to be successful.

A paradigm shift: a change to a new game, a new set of rules.

Dentistry has been a very traditional profession with a long-established paradigm where the rules of the game have changed very little over the past 100 years. Accepted practices of dentistry, with little or no scientific basis, have been and continue to be taught in dental schools and continuing education programs. This has had an unfavorable outcome on the level of dental health care, perceptions of what is needed in order to maintain dental health and what insurance companies will cover for their participants.

For instance in the 1960s, the original Crest toothpaste advertising campaign promised healthy teeth if one would brush twice a day with Crest and see their dentist twice a year. This advertising slogan became part of the dental paradigm, accepted as scientific fact without any research to test the validity. Dental insurance companies subsequently established a policy to cover teeth cleanings twice a year. The scientific truth is some people do not need two cleanings a year while others would be better served by having their teeth cleaned four times a year. The best cleaning interval depends on your risk for disease.

At the Kois Center, we are not constrained by dental philosophies and practices just because they were taught to us years ago. We are committed to learning, growing and getting better for our patients and their care. All dental practices and procedures are questioned as to their purpose; the rationale and basis for their use are continually being examined. We are willing to build a bigger box—or even throw away the box—if science and treatment in the best interest of our patients calls for that action. In this manner a Kois Center Graduate is at the forefront of technology and knowledge when diagnosing and treating patients with the most up to date and predictable procedures and technologies.

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