Meet Dr. Piers

Dr. Piers family photo

Dr. Christian Piers
Doctor. Family Man. Leader.

Dr. Piers was raised in Holland, Michigan by two teachers—a middle school science teacher and a professor of social work—who taught him an early love for both science and people. One of his favorite pastimes was writing, and Dr. Piers knew from a young age that someday he wanted to combine his loves for science, writing, and interacting with others.

Dr. Piers and his wife during CollegeDr. Piers pursued that goal at Hope College, a small, Christian liberal arts school in his hometown, where he triple-majored in Biology, Chemistry, and English with an emphasis on creative writing. On his first day of orientation, he met his future wife, Rachael—a captain of the college soccer team who would soon lead the Flying Dutch to two MIAA championships as their Most Valuable Defensive Player. He also began training year-round for the college’s Guinness Record-holding freshmen vs. sophomores tug-of-war, “The Pull.” This three-hour competition would solidify his passion for working as part of a team. Dr. Piers graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hope College and was elected to both Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board, receiving the Erika Brubaker Senior Award for Proficiency in Literature (presented to the top two senior English majors).

Dr. Piers Surfing in HawaiiRachael and Dr. Piers got married right after graduation and two days later moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, where Rachael worked as a Special Education teacher and Dr. Piers worked as a seahorse farmer at Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm. (Click here to watch his high-pitched, overly-excited video tour of the farm!) They became avid surfers during this time, and Dr. Piers became more and more comfortable using resin and bonding agents to achieve smooth, esthetic surfboard repairs—a skillset that would serve him surprisingly well as a dentist.

It was while living in the islands that Dr. Piers and Rachael first fell in love with North Carolina, flying twice a year to Dr. Piers’ graduate school campus in Swannanoa, NC—the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. After earning his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Fiction, Dr. Piers pursued a Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Colorado, where he received the International College of Dentists Leadership Award, the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Dental Student Award, and was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon.

Dr. Piers speaking at the American Student Dental Association and posing with his wifeWhile in dental school, Dr. Piers was elected national president of the American Student Dental Association and served as the official spokesperson for its 20,000 members (90% of US dental students). In this role he met with dental leaders and US congressmen, lobbied for procedural changes, and grew further in his commitment to volunteer leadership, eventually reforming Colorado Dental Board policies to protect both dental patients and young dentists in the state of Colorado.

He also began to combine his love for both literature and science through dental journalism. His writing has since appeared in the two most-read publications in dentistry, Dental Economics and ADA News, and he is the 2015 recipient of the American Association of Dental Editors and Journalists (AADEJ) Meskin Journalism Award for excellence in dental student publications. In June 2018, he served as guest editor for the special “Millennial Dentists” issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association, which received the International College of Dentist’s Golden Pen Award for importance to the dental profession.

Orthodontics, though, has remained Dr. Piers’ passion. He has always been interested in the growth and development of the face and jaws, and in dental school he was recognized with the American Association of Orthodontists Award for the Demonstration of Outstanding Qualities in the Study of the Oro-Facial Complex. He was then accepted as one of six residents in the three-year University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Orthodontic Residency, widely known as one of the top orthodontic residencies in the world. Dr. Piers was further recognized with the Greg and Andrew MacArthur Brooks Fellowship in Orthodontics, a three-year fellowship at UNC awarded to a single resident per class. His research on alveolar bone modeling after tooth movement with TADs was published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), and he graduated in 2019 with a certificate in orthodontics and a Masters of Science in Orthodontics for his clinical trial comparing customized traditional and self-ligating CAD/CAM brackets.

Dr. Piers and his familyDr. Piers is now a Board-Certified Orthodontist – a designation held by only 30% of orthodontists. He serves as the only orthodontist on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), the most read scientific journal in dentistry, and regularly lectures to dental students across the country as an ADA Success Speaker. As an orthodontist he feels unbelievably lucky to get to combine his three passions—science, writing, and working with people—every time he walks into the office.

Dr. Piers and his family love to get outside, and especially enjoy skiing, scuba diving and mountain biking. When he’s not in the office creating beautiful smiles, you can find Dr. Piers hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his wife and two children (daughter Kai and son Koa), or grabbing their heavily repaired surfboards to make a beeline for the North Carolina coast.

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