Dr. Craig Herre was honored with the 2017 Dentist of the Year Award on Saturday, April 8 during the KDA Annual Meeting.
Dr. Craig Herre has lived in Johnson County, KS his entire life. Growing up a twin, he always had his best friend and playmate around, and still does, as his brother, Chris, lives in Bonner Springs, KS. He also has a younger brother, Scott. His best childhood memories come from his parents’ home in Prairie Village.
While in college at Baker University, Craig met his future wife, Joanne. He transferred to the University of Kansas to be with her and knew he needed to work hard to gain acceptance into dental school. Craig went to college with a declared major in Art, but was eventually inspired to make a change.
Craig was influenced by his father, Carl William “Bill” Herre, Jr., D.D.S. He used to enjoy spending time in his father’s office, and playing around in his dental lab. While his dad never urged him to become a dentist, it was in his blood. So, Craig went to work on a degree in cell biology. He graduated from KU with honors (Summa Cum Laude) and was accepted to UMKC School of Dentistry. After his second year in dental school, he married Joanne, his biggest advocate, and they will celebrate their 38th anniversary this summer. Craig graduated from dental school in 1981 with the honor of Summa Cum Laude and a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon.
Craig began his career in dentistry as an associate with his father and they worked together until his father’s retirement in 1991. His brother, Scott, also a dentist, joined the practice in 1988, so it truly was a family dental practice in all respects. In 2008, Craig was honored to have his son, Tim, join him in practice. The opportunity to associate with his father, and now with his son, has been amazing. Currently, the Herres are the only third generation dentists in the history of Kansas.
Over the years, Craig was very active in organized dentistry, serving in all the offices of the Fifth District Dental Society in the early 90s. He also chaired many committees and was awarded Committee Person of the Year for his work with Peer Review after serving as Chairman for ten years. After taking a break from volunteerism to raise his three children (Tim, Bill and Megan), Craig began working closely with the Kansas Dental Association. He served on the Executive Committee, eventually becoming President in 2012. Craig is primarily responsible for changing the concept of the KDA Annual Meeting – separating the governance and initiating the KDA Summer Getaway.
Craig has also served organized dentistry as a delegate to the American Dental Association, 2017 being his ninth consecutive year. The current ADA President, Dr. Gary Roberts, appointed Craig to the ADA Council on Communications four years ago. Since then, he has served as Vice Chair and is now the Council Chair.
In addition, Craig has been elected to the American College of Dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He is also a co-founder and co-director of the Texas Center for Occlusal Studies in Dallas, TX, which is a training center for dentists to learn how to diagnose and treat TMD.
Craig and Joanne are also blessed with 4 grandsons (all under the age of 3), Max, Henry, Leo, and James, and are expecting their first granddaughter in May.
Dentistry has been more than a profession for Craig, it has been his passion. He has been blessed with the opportunity to serve so many, including his patients, staff, family, and organized dentistry. He hopes for many more years of fun, health, and happiness doing what he truly loves. His belief is that dentistry, as a profession, provides for a great life, and the future of dentistry looks very bright!
Congratulations, Craig! We thank you for your service to the KDA!