Our Faculty & Residents


Graduate Prosthodontics Team

Program Directors

Heather J. Conrad, DMD, MS, FACP, FRCDC
Associate Professor & Director


Dr. Conrad graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, with a Doctor of Dental Medicine in 1997. While working full time in private practice, she became a Sessional Lecturer and Course Coordinator for the second year Fixed Prosthodontics class at the University of Saskatchewan. After six years, she decided to leave private practice and pursue an academic career by enrolling in post graduate studies at the University of Minnesota. She completed the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics and Master of Science degree in 2006 and accepted an offer for tenure track Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry. She has since completed the American and Canadian specialty examinations to become a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists and a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. In April 2012, Dr. Conrad was appointed the Director of the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics and promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure. Dr. Conrad is the Course Director for PROS 7200 Advanced Clinical Prosthodontics, PROS 7210 Advanced Technical Restorative Dentistry, DENT 7111 Current Literature Review Seminar, DENT 7112 Treatment Planning Seminar, DENT 7220 Prosthetically-Driven Implant Surgery and Treatment Planning, and DDS 6496 Predoctoral Prosthodontic Honors Course. She is also a member of the Advanced Education Program Directors Committee, Core Scholastic Standing Committee, and Graduate School Faculty Roster. Nationally, Dr. Conrad was elected to a 4-year term on the administrative board of the ADEA Council for Hospitals and Advanced Education Programs and serves on the ACP Postgraduate Educator Committee and Question Development Team for the National Dental Examining Board of Canada. Most recently, Dr. Conrad was honored with the 2015 Educator of the Year award by the American College of Prosthodontists and was accepted as a 2015-6 ADEA Leadership Institute Fellow.

Full bio

James R. Holtan, DDS, FACP
Associate Professor (Retired)


Dr. Holtan arrived at the University Of Minnesota School Of Dentistry in 1986 after retiring from the Dental Corps of the United States Navy. He is presently an Associate Professor in the School of Dentistry. He has served in a variety of educational and administrative positions at the School of Dentistry including Chair of The Department of Restorative Sciences from 1997-2004. Dr. Holtan has authored a number of scientific abstracts and articles in his area of interest. He is a member of appropriate professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the American College of Prosthodontists, the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics and the International Association for Dental Research. Dr. Holtan is currently Director Emeritus of the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics.

Full bio

Richard J. Goodkind, DMD, MS
Professor Emeritus


Dr. Goodkind graduated from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1962 and graduated from the University of Michigan Rackham School of Graduate Studies in Removable Prosthodontics in 1964. He is a life Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics. He has published extensively in refereed journals with color in dentistry being his main topic of interest. In addition, he has co-authored a textbook with Dr. James L. Baker titled Theory and Practice of Precision Attachment Removable Partial Dentures. He has lectured extensively throughout his career in the United States and abroad. Dr. Goodkind directed the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics at the University of Minnesota from 1969 till his retirement in 1997. He is presently a visiting instructor and guest lecturer for the graduate program.


Ranier M. Adarve, DMD, MS, MHPE
Associate Professor


Dr. Adarve is a graduate of University of the Philippines College of Dentistry with a degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) in 1996 and Masters in Health Professions Education (MHPE) in 2002 from the UP-National Teachers Training Center for Health Professions. For five years, he was a part time faculty member of the UP College of Dentistry while working full time in private practice. In 2002, Dr. Adarve pursued further postgraduate programs in University of Minnesota. He completed Advance Education Program in Prosthodontics and Masters of Science Degree in 2005 and also completed Multimedia Design and Development from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of the School of Education in the same year. In 2005, Dr. Adarve was appointed Assistant Professor in Oregon Health and Sciences University and became the Director of Fixed Prosthodontics Program. In 2007, he moved back to University of Minnesota to accept an offer to be a member of the faculty of the Department of Restorative Sciences Division of Prosthodontics, where he was appointed to be the Course Director for Pre-Clinical Fixed Prosthodontics. Since then, he held various teaching and service roles for undergraduate dental students, International students, and Graduate Prosthodontic residents. Dr. Adarve is an active member of American Dental Education Association (ADEA) since 2004. He became the President of the Educational Research / Development and Curriculum Section of the ADEA in 2011. Currently, he is the most published author in MedEdPORTAL and in 2012; he received the Teaching Excellence Award by ADEA-Colgate Palmolive Co. in recognition of his scholarship and educational innovation. Dr. Adarve is also a practicing Prosthodontist. He is a consultant of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry for Prosthodontics and also a liaison to Central Regional Dental Testing Center (CRDTS). He lectures locally and internationally and runs a study club for general dentist.

Full bio

Bobby Birdi, DMD, MS, FACP, FRCDC
Adjunct Assistant Professor


Dr. Birdi is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta and his DMD with distinction from the University of Saskatchewan in 2006. Dr. Birdi then moved to Minnesota for post-graduate training in Prosthodontics, and then Periodontics (University of Minnesota). He is a Fellow and Examiner of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, a certified specialist in Prosthodontics and Periodontics, a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontists, a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists, and a member of the Association of Prosthodontists of Canada. He is also a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, the Academy of Osseointegration, International Team for Implantology, and the American Academy of Periodontology. He is a reviewer for the Journal of Oral Implantology and the International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants (IJOMI), and has been appointed to the IJOMI Editorial Review Board. Dr. Birdi is currently in private practice in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. His practice focuses on complex esthetic and prosthodontic treatment and the placement and restoration of dental implants. Dr. Birdi is also teaching part-time in Prosthodontics and Implantology at the University of Minnesota.

Brandon DeWitt, DDS, MS, FACP
Adjunct Assistant Professor


Brandon DeWitt graduated as a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the School of Dental Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2007. He then attended a one year general practice residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Following this he completed a three year advanced training program in Prosthodontics at the University of Minnesota and obtained a master's degree. In 2011, he joined the staff of Hennepin County Medical Center's Department of Dentistry and was accepted into the National Health Service Corps. He currently enjoys providing compassionate care that truly bridges the various gaps many patients must overcome in order to access dental treatment. The hospital's integrated environment also enables him to coordinate multidisciplinary treatment goals with his medical colleagues. In addition to this, he has responsibility for clinical instruction, presentations, and prosthodontic mentoring to dental residents in the general practice training program. His current role demonstrates the function of Prosthodontics as a primary care dental specialty.

Richard R. Dryer, DDS, MS
Adjunct Assistant Professor


Dr. Dryer is a recent graduate of the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics at the University of Minnesota. He is from Dearborn, Michigan, and graduated from the University Of Michigan School Of Dentistry in 2002 and completed a general practice residency at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, in 2003. Rich practiced general dentistry in Chicago, Illinois, for two years before entering the Indian Health Service as a Civil Servant where he worked and lived on the Zuni Indian Reservation for five years. Rich enjoys spending time with his family and two unruly dogs at their home in Minneapolis.

Steven E. Eckert, DDS, MS, FACP
Adjunct Professor


Following graduation from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Dr. Eckert completed a General Practice Residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago. After his graduate training in Prosthodontics at the Mayo Clinic, he remained there to earn a Master of Science degree. He was then invited to be on staff at this prestigious clinic where he remains Professor Emeritus in Dentistry at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Perhaps Dr. Eckert’s greatest achievement was being elected by his peers to be a director/examiner for the American Board of Prosthodontics.
 Dr. Eckert has written extensively about implant dentistry and is currently Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants.

Kendall James, DMD
Adjunct Assistant Professor


Dr. James is from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In 2006, he graduated from University of Lethbridge, Alberta with a Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Neuroscience. During his time in Lethbridge he completed research in Emotional Cognition through the Canadian Center of Behavioral Neuroscience. Dr. James received his dental degree from the University of Sydney, Australia. In his final year of dental school, he was the student body president, and served on several dental committees including the Australian Oral health foundation Committee, the NSW ADA recent graduates committee, the Faculty of Dentistry Academic Committee, and the Dental Alumni Committee. His honors research topic “Quantifying central incisor dimensions using external and internal anatomical landmarks”, received grant funding from the Australian Dental Research Foundation. After completing his education in Sydney, Dr. James worked in private practice in Tropical Queensland, Australia. He returned to North America in 2011 to be closer to his extended family and pursue a residency in Prosthodontics. Dr. James research interests include quantifying the general population’s perception of esthetics and how dental esthetics enhances ones mate value. When Dr. James isn’t in the lab or clinics he can be found spending time with his family, mostly outdoors. His family has added “survived a Minnesota Winter” to their list of accomplishments.

Wook-Jin Seong, DDS, MS, PhD, FACP
Associate Professor and Director, Division of Prosthodontics


Dr. Seong is an Associate Professor, a tenured faculty in the Division of Prosthodontics, Department of Restorative Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota. He started his academic career as an Assistant Professor in 1999 and has successfully completed his specialty board certification process from the American Board of Prosthodontics in Feb. of 2000. He is currently responsible for undergraduate implant prosthodontics preclinical and clinical instructions as well as graduate seminar and clinical instructions. Dr. Seong has earned his Master of Science degree in the area of dental implants in 2000. His continued interests in implants made him further pursue his PhD degree in oral biology. He earned his PhD in the area of biomechanics with oral biology major and biomedical engineering minor. His research area covered nano-indentation technique on biologic tissue and materials, implant stability measurements, and healing bone-implant interface characterization. Upon completion of his PhD in 2006, his research expanded to the area of bone stimulation, dental implant bone cement & polymer-CNT bone scaffold developments, and clinical trials and animal studies. Dr. Seong is participating in several subcommittees on research, clinic, and curriculum in an effort of making school-wide strategic planning successful. Dr. Seong also serves public by practicing prosthodontics including dental implants in the faculty practice clinic.

Full bio

Charles Stendahl, DMD, MS
Adjunct Professor


Dr. Stendahl is a 1971 graduate of Northwestern University Dental School and received his Master of Science in dentistry from Marquette University School of Dentistry in 1981. He was certified by the American Board of Prosthodontics in 1982. Dr. Stendahl was employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1978 to 2007 when he retired. During this period, he served as Staff Prosthodontist, Director of the General Practice Residency Program, Assistant Chief and Acting Chief of the Dental Service. Since 1980, Dr. Stendahl has been a part time faculty member at the University Of Minnesota School Of Dentistry and is currently an adjunct professor in the Graduate Prosthodontic Program. Dr. Stendahl’s professional interests are in the areas of complete and removable partial prosthodontics.


Samuel Hickman, DMD
Chief Resident


Born in Ottawa, Canada, Sam has spent the last eight years studying, working and traveling in Australia. Dr. Samuel Hickman graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Science before heading off to sunny Sydney to study Dentistry. Sam studied at the University of Sydney, and upon completion of his degree wasn’t ready for his Australian adventure to end. Sam found a modern dental practice in Darwin and dove into this truly ‘Aussie’ opportunity. There he experienced the realities of dentistry in the outback, overcoming challenges of both time and distance. It was in this isolated place where specialists were in short supply that Sam had his skills as a general dentist tested. Ultimately, it was also these experiences that led to his decision to pursue a specialty in prosthodontics. Once Sam has completed his specialist studies at the University of Minnesota, he plans to return home to Canada and join his Orthodontist father in opening a specialist dental care clinic.

Joseph Lucero, DDS
3rd Year Resident


Dr. Lucero grew up in Brighton Colorado. In 2009, he earned a B.S. Degree in Chemistry with emphasis in ACS certified Biochemistry and a minor in Biology. The distinguished professors, Dr. Schreck, Dr. Galovich, and Dr. Burns, mentored him while he earned this degree at the University of Northern Colorado, in the town of Greeley, Colorado. In 2014, Dr. Lucero received a D.D.S. degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He received acknowledgments for his dedication to Creighton’s ‘One World’ community health program and for helping teach sophomore partial denture prosthodontics laboratory. Creighton University is very well known for producing highly skilled clinical dentist, and upon commencement Dr. Lucero was awarded the “Whip Mix Best of the Best Award for Excellence in Prosthodontics”. Dr. Lucero enjoys being outdoors in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. He also greatly values every moment he spends with his parents, brothers, and grandparents.

James Lee, DDS
2nd Year Resident


Dr. Lee was born and raised in Cardiff, Wales, UK. He graduated from the University of Manchester, School of Dentistry in 2010 with distinction in his final year and was awarded the degree with honors. Following graduation he completed a year of Dental Foundation Training in general practice and was awarded the prize for the best clinical presentation case. He then went on to be appointed as Senior House Officer in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, Wales, where he gained experience in the management of facial trauma, lacerations and dento-alveolar surgery. During this time, Dr. Lee also achieved the Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scotland. He then returned to work as a general dentist for a further two years. In 2014, he earned his Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Aesthetic Dentistry at the prestigious Eastman Dental Institute, University College of London. More recently, James was awarded first prize for his Restorative Case at a national level at the Aesthetic Dentistry Awards 2015. He received the award in London for his treatment involving multiple veneers and crowns. Dr. Lee strives for perfection and providing the highest quality treatment to his patients. This passion led him to embark upon specialty training at the University of Minnesota in order to manage and treat the most complex of cases. He feels very privileged to be surrounded by like-minded individuals. Outside of dentistry, Dr. Lee enjoys travelling, fitness and martial arts.

Dane McMillan, DDS
2nd Year Resident


While pursuing his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at New York University College of Dentistry in New York City, Dr. Dane McMillan’s passion for prosthodontics was ignited. He was one of six students selected to NYU’s Honors in Prosthodontics program and also presented research posters at the American College of Prosthodontics Annual Sessions, winning 3rd place in the predoctoral competition in both 2013 and 2014. At NYU, Dr. McMillan was elected to the Aesthetics Society Executive Board, being appointed Co-President in his final year. His leadership contributions led him to receive the NYUCD Student Leadership Award. In May 2015, Dr. McMillan received an award from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry on behalf of the Aesthetic Society for their efforts in raising over $45,000 for the AACD’s Give Back a Smile charity. Dr. McMillan is originally from Alberta, Canada, growing up in Grande Prairie and receiving his Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Kale McMillan, DDS
2nd Year Resident


Dr. Kale McMillan was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Alberta. He then attended New York University College of Dentistry in New York City. Throughout his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree program, Dr. McMillan focused his education on prosthodontics and aesthetic dentistry. He was Co-President of one of NYU’s largest and most active student organizations, the Aesthetics Society at NYUCD, and was selected into the Honors in Prosthodontics Program. As a student leader, he has been selected to take part in multiple student advisory panels at NYU and was one of the winners of the Student Leadership Award. Through his education, Dr. Kale McMillan has presented multiple prosthodontic posters, winning 2nd place at the American College of Prosthodontics Conference in 2014. As a resident in prosthodontics at Minnesota, Dr. McMillan looks forward to focusing on all aspects of the specialty, including aesthetics and implant dentistry.

Owen Trinh, DMD
2nd Year Resident


Born in Vietnam and raised in California, Dr. Owen Trinh called Minneapolis home during his undergraduate study at the University of Minnesota where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. Upon graduation, Dr. Trinh spent a few years in Dallas, Texas, practicing structural engineering while exploring the youthfulness of life and the profession of dentistry. He subsequently graduated from School of Dentistry at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in 2015, where he was awarded with the School of Dentistry Alumni Association Scholarship for Excellence and the Hanau Best of the Best Prosthodontics Award. During his dental education, Dr. Trinh was driven by the desire to be excellent at esthetic dentistry and to be fully competent at providing care to patients who require comprehensive prosthodontic rehabilitation. In addition to his dental training at OHSU, Dr. Trinh had also gained teaching experience by training second-year dental students in the simulated clinic in the subjects of operative, fixed and removable dentistry. Compelled by his outstanding undergraduate experience at the University of Minnesota and the reputation of its prosthodontics program, Dr. Trinh decided to come back to Minnesota for his prosthodontics training. In the near future, Dr. Trinh is committed to fulfilling his prosthodontics training and raising a family. In the long term, Dr. Trinh intends to practice advanced prosthodontics and serve as a dental educator in multiple avenues.

Yannie Chea, DMD
1st Year Resident


Dr. Yannie Chea grew up in Montreal, Canada, and graduated with the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) from Université de Montréal. Upon graduation, Dr. Chea earned the Quintessence award for Clinical Achievement in Restorative Dentistry. She then completed an Advanced Education General Dentistry (AEGD) Program at the Hawaii branch of the NYU/Lutheran Medical Center in Oahu. Throughout her education, she worked in local community health clinics and volunteered with a non-profit dental mission to Southeast Asia. Prior to becoming a prosthodontic resident, Dr. Chea worked as a general dentist in a private practice in Montréal and served in different villages of the Nunavik in Northern Quebec. Her interest to further her knowledge of implant restorative options and provide care to patients with complex treatment and esthetic needs brought her to pursue specialty training in prosthodontics. Aside from dentistry, she loves to draw, hike, do yoga, and travel.

Mitchell Loeb, DDS
1st Year Resident


When Mitchell was five years old, his father would sometimes let him “round” at the hospital with him, creating profound memories of the joy in seeing a smile on a patient’s face. These memories and examples of exceptional patient care are what drove Dr. Mitchell Loeb to pursue dentistry. Raised in Kansas City as the youngest of six children, Dr. Loeb ventured off to “The Little Apple,” Manhattan, KS, and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University in May 2012. While at K-State, he was accepted in the Reserved Admissions Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, helping him inch one step closer to his dream of being a dentist. Throughout dental school, he served as an intern at The Diastole Scholars’ Center and as a Teaching Assistant in the preclinical Dental Occlusion and Dental Morphology courses, slowly realizing a passion for prosthodontics. During his final year of dental school, Dr. Loeb was selected into the Advanced Studies in Restorative Clinical Sciences Honors Program and culminated his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in May 2016 with the Philip M. Jones Award for Excellence in Prosthodontics. Dr. Loeb is extremely grateful for his acceptance at the University of Minnesota, fortunate to further his learning, education in prosthodontics, and opportunity to serve patients with the utmost standard of care.

Louis Rainville, DMD
1st Year Resident


Born in Montréal, Quebec, Canada, Dr. Louis Rainville received his Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree in 2013 from the Université de Montréal. In addition to his role of Class President, he graduated with Honors, receiving the American College of Prosthodontists award, the Academy of General Dentistry award, and the Micheline-Blain award presented by the Association of Dental Surgeons of Quebec (ACDQ). After graduating, he then completed a General Practice Residency (GPR) at McGill University, where he was Chief Resident. In 2014, apart from practicing full-time in private office, he had the opportunity of teaching part-time with the GPR program at McGill University. In order to pursue his passion for prosthodontics, Dr. Rainville moved to Minnesota in June 2016. Once his prosthodontics residency is completed, Dr. Rainville plans to move back to Montréal to teach and practice. Outside of dentistry, he enjoys cycling, hockey, and spending time with his longtime girlfriend and his dog.


LuAnn Propp, CDA
Dental Assistant

LuAnn grew up in Alexandria, MN. After graduating from Brainerd Vocational Technical Institute in 1978 as a licensed and certified dental assistant, she worked for her hometown dentist. Fargo Clinic Meritcare in Fargo ND had a job ad for an assistant for a Prosthodontist. What is a Prosthodontist?! Well, she soon found out. After several years working in Fargo, opportunity called again and LuAnn moved to St. Paul, MN. For 27 years, LuAnn worked for a father/son prosthodontic practice. Recently, the Faculty Practice Clinic at the U of M was her home until a move to the Graduate Prosthodontic Clinic. LuAnn lives in Maplewood with her boyfriend and has one son. She likes to read and motorcycle. Why does LuAnn like Prosthodontics so much? The prosthodontic field can cause dramatic changes to a patient’s life and self-esteem. It is so rewarding to play a small part in this.

Emma Liljedahl, CDA
Dental Assistant

Born and raised in Minnesota, Emma graduated from Herzing University in August 2014. She completed the first rotation of her internship at the University of Minnesota in the predoctoral Prosthodontic Clinic. Emma enjoys prosthodontics because of the diversity of assisting duties and the opportunity to help patients and residents alike. After she received her license in October of 2014, she applied to the U of M Graduate Prosthodontic Clinic and has been employed since November 2014. Emma currently resides in Lino Lakes and she enjoys fishing, camping, softball, and snowboarding in her spare time.

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