CR Dentistry Update Speaker Bios

Gordon J. Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD

Dr. Gordon J. ChristensenGordon J. Christensen is Co-Founder and Senior Consultant of Clinicians Report Foundation (CR) and Founder and CEO of Practical Clinical Courses (PCC). CR offers unbiased research on thousands of dental products. PCC is an international continuing education organization that provides courses and videos for all dental professionals.

Dr. Christensen has presented over 45,000 hours of continuing education throughout the world and has published many articles and books.

Gordon and Dr. Rella Christensen are co-founders of the non-profit CR Foundation (previously CRA), which Rella directed for many years. Since 1976, they have conducted research in all areas of dentistry and published the findings to the profession in the well-known CRA Newsletter now called Clinicians Report.

Gordon's degrees include: DDS, University of Southern California; MSD, University of Washington; PhD, University of Denver; an Honorary Doctor of Science from Utah State University, and an honorary Doctor of Dental Education and Research from Utah Valley University.

Early in his career, Gordon helped initiate the University of Kentucky and University of Colorado Dental Schools and taught at the University of Washington.

Gordon is a practicing prosthodontist in Provo, Utah. Gordon and Rella's sons are both dentists. William is a prosthodontist, and Michael is a general dentist. Their daughter, Carlene, is a teacher.

Michael Dorociak, DDS, MAGD

Michael Dorociak

Michael Dorociak is Chairman of the Board of CR Foundation, a Project Director and Clinical Evaluator for Gordon J. Christensen Clinicians Report, Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Florida, Associate Editor and Project Director of a national dental publication, serves as a mentor and clinical instructor for a leading educational group, and lectures at local and national conferences.

Mike graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry and Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. He completed a general practice residency at Miami Children's Hospital and a comprehensive dentistry program at the University of Florida.

He received the prestigious Mastership Award from the Academy of General Dentistry in 1996, and the same distinction from the Florida Academy of General Dentistry in 1998. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Florida Dental Association, the International College of Oral Implantologists, and The Shepard Project; A Sarasota Dental Study Group. Dr. Dorociak continues to teach and receive advanced education in cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, oral surgery, endodontics, prosthodontics, and many other dental disciplines.

When Dr. Dorociak first began his practice, he believed very strongly that by providing his patients with honest, excellent dental care, he would become the dentist of choice for Sarasota families. Today, Dr. Dorociak is proud to have been recognized as the "Best of the Best" and "Top Dentist" by Sarasota Magazine and continues to uphold his foundation of good, honest dental treatment in an ultra-modern, caring, high-quality, and pain-free environment.

Dr. Dorociak grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, a town near Chicago where he rooted for the White Sox and the Fighting Irish. He misses the memories not the weather. He enjoys a good pizza and baseball or softball game. He is blessed to be in Florida and enjoys amusement parks and Disney. He loves spending time with his family, traveling, photography, sports, and reading. His daughter Jackie is a dentist and his daughter Katie has a phD in Neuropsychology.

Mark R. Durham, DMD

Dr. Mark R. DurhamDr. Mark R. Durham is a proud graduate of LSU’s 2010 prosthodontic program and has a decade of experience with esthetic and complex dental reconstruction cases, implant prosthetics, and traditional prosthetic cases. He is also a Presidential Endowed Chair, the Section Head of Prosthodontics, and an Associate Professor of the University of Utah. For more than a decade, he has taught dental students, residents, dentists, and specialists in the United States and abroad on the most up to date topics in clinical prosthodontics and clinical dentistry. He is an active prosthodontist with years of clinical experience in private practice, faculty practice, and the Veterans’ Affairs Hospital.

Mark is famous for leading the teams that built augmented-reality modules for new-age surgical visualization (X-Ray Surgical Glasses); low cost haptic-reinforced skill training system (dentistry meets video games); and hundreds of virtual-reality distance learning micro-skills modules (virtual-reality meets dental school).

One of Mark’s favorite undertakings right now is the combined efforts of the University of Utah and CR Foundation to fuse "The Dental Test Clinic." This research clinic is made up of a wide variety of clinicians who test products to make the dental industry better.

Derek K. Hein, CEO

Derek Hein

Derek K. Hein is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CR Foundation, the educational non-profit foundation founded by Dr. Gordon J. Christensen and Dr. Rella Christensen, formerly known as CRA. He has current responsibilities to oversee publication of the Gordon J. Christensen Clinicians Report, Continuing Education, Professional Relations, Product Distribution, and the CR Foundation’s operations. CR Foundation exists as the only non-profit, independent research institute that tests and compares dental products and techniques from around the world to confirm efficacy and clinical usefulness. Results are published in the monthly Gordon J. Christensen Clinicians Report which is circulated to 92 countries and is available online at

Derek was born and reared in Utah and graduated Cum Laude from Utah State University. Following graduation, he was employed by Biotechnology Center at Utah State University, and later at Hyclone Laboratories (now Thomas Scientific) in their Research and Development Department. After more than 30 years with CR, Derek considers himself foremost a dental product researcher and educator.

Derek joined CR in 1990 with the main responsibility to oversee and manage long-term clinical studies of dental restorative materials. Currently, he contributes to dental research as a member of the International Association for Dental Research and has abstracts published on restorative resins, various inlay/onlay restorative materials, and single-unit crowns. Derek has co-authored papers on in-office tooth bleaching systems and dental unit water quality. He presents dental continuing education programs for CR on various topics, including “Cutting Edge Dental Products,” “Infection Control,” and “Innovative and Helpful Concepts for Dental Hygienists.” He has co-presented the Gordon J. Christensen CR “Dentistry Update” with Dr. Gordon J. Christensen, Dr. Michael Dorociak, Dr. Karl Koerner, and Dr. David Clark. Derek has been featured by Dentistry Today as one of the “Leaders in Continuing Education.” Over the past 20 years, Derek has presented over 275 courses in 95 U.S. locations and 11 other countries.

Rella Christensen, PhD

Dr. Rella ChristensenRella Christensen co-founded CR Foundation and directed this well-known dental products testing institute for 27 years. Subsequently she served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Currently she is the team leader of a non-profit institute dedicated to in-depth and long-term clinical studies of restorative materials, preventive dentistry, and dental caries, known as Technologies in Restoratives and Caries Research (TRAC Research) which is the human studies section of CR. Her studies follow treatments within dental practices.

Rella received her BS in Dental Hygiene from the University of Southern California, and practiced dental hygiene for 25 years. She earned a PhD in physiology with an emphasis in microbiology from Brigham Young University, and completed a post-graduate course in anaerobic microbiology at Virginia Polytechnic State University. In 2002, she received an honorary doctorate from Utah Valley University. In 2012, Rella received a Congressional Record Tribute for her life-long contributions to the profession of dentistry.

She is a member of International College of Dentists, American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, Academy of General Dentistry, and International Association for Dental Research.

David Wright, DDS MBA MAGD

Dr. David WrightDr. David Wright decided he would become a dentist at a young age, inspired by his own dentist and his love of science. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a DDS degree, and later went back to get his MBA. He has managed his own practice for 35 years with an emphasis on patient care and customer service.

Dr. Wright is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, DOCS (Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation), the Michigan Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. He has earned advanced recognition as a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Wright is also a mentor at Practical Clinical Courses in Utah and co-teaches advanced dental classes with Dr. Gordon Christensen at PCC Centers in Provo, Utah.

Dr. David Wright and his family live in Birmingham, MI. His wife, Peggy, is a private practitioner in the field of Speech Pathology. David and Peggy spend their free time with their three children, Natalie, Daniel, and Julia. Dr. Wright is passionate about downhill skiing, hiking, travel, writing, theatre, and is a self-professed “Dental Nerd.” And even though his son Daniel is a dreaded Buckeye, Dr. Wright loves his University of Michigan Wolverines.

Tim Palmer, BS, Chief Scientific Officer

Tim PalmerTim has been an integral part of the CR science team since 1986 when he started as a part-time research assistant while still in secondary school. He has been actively involved with all the science departments through the years, but his favorite task is evaluating curing lights.

Tim’s daily work involves developing test methods to verify the capabilities of dental equipment and materials in laboratory tests and clinically realistic simulations. Examples include building a camera system to record real-time hydrophilic properties of impression materials; designing an apparatus to measure speed of electric and air-turbine handpieces under varying loads; mounting strain gages on electric toothbrushes to measure force during use; and building various black rooms, closets, and boxes for the evaluation of dental light sources of every kind.

Tim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Brigham Young University with a minor in Math. He and his wife Meridy are the parents of one daughter and six sons. In his free time he enjoys reading, camping, woodworking, and astronomy. He is an active leader and donates significant time to youth programs and the lay ministry of his church.