Dr. Stillwell serves as clinical associate professor in the Department of Operative Dentistry and is the director of patient admissions and treatment planning for the UF College of Dentistry. He earned his dental degree from Louisiana State University School of Dentistry in 1983, and completed a General Practice Residency at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry.
Stillwell maintained a private practice from 1986 to 2002, focusing on hospital dentistry, implantology and family care. His teaching experience includes appointments at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry, the Department of General Surgery at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, and as clinical associate professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry.
He is career-long member of the Academy of General Dentistry and was conferred his AGD Mastership status in 1998. Stillwell currently serves as President of the Florida Academy of General Dentistry, and is one of seven national recipients of the 2007 AGD Lifetime Learning and Service Recognition Award.
He was elected to the membership of Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honorary Fraternity in 1983. He was recognized both in 2003 and 2004 as Clinical Instructor of the Year while at UMKC School of Dentistry, also receiving the “Distinguished Teacher Award” in 2004. Professional interests include dental anomalies, sports dentistry, dental management of eating disorder syndromes, implant placement and restoration, and prosthodontic use of precision and semi-precision attachments.
Where were you born?
St. Louis, Missouri, January 1957—a very stubborn Capricorn.
What made you decide to go into dentistry or into your current field?
I had decided by my 11th grade year. I was motivated to go into dentistry by my private dentist, Dr. Bill Beller. He seemed to have the world in his hands. Later, after I graduated from dental school, I approached him for a starter position as an associate. He said to me, “I always had you pictured going into teaching.” That statement stayed with me for 20 years of private practice—and I still reflect back to that meeting as the pivotal point in my decision to pursue academics.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
I have enjoyed my opportunity to work through the complete credentialing process in the Academy of General Dentistry, but right now I am very proud to be in the team leader position here in the college and to take part in building a brand new way of teaching clinical dentistry.
If you could live anywhere on earth (and money was no issue) where would you choose to live?
I have lived in six states, in all types of geography. So, for me, the spring and summers in the mountains of Montana, and then the west coast of Costa Rica for wintering. Monster brown trout followed by monster billfish—is that the life of Riley, or what?
How do you most like to spend your free time?
See previous response—the grandkids will be no stranger to the water or a rod and reel.
What was the last book you read?
“You’ve Graduated, Now What?—A guide to navigating those first years in the dental profession.” I passed out copies of this manual to the seniors and wanted to know the quality of the information contained.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My Mom—she was divorced and with three children to raise on a secretary’s pay. She sewed clothes at night. She made sure we went to the dentist. She got all of her children through college. She is a classy person!
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I wish for a photographic memory and a gift for gab.</e