Meet Dr. Forbes


Dr. David Forbes, DDS, MS, PhD

“He is extremely knowledgeable in his field and beyond.” I am a graduate of the University of Maryland Dental School (magna cum laude). I was voted “The Dentists’ Dentist” by my classmates and received The University of Maryland Pediatric Dentistry Award. From 1975-1981, I attended Northwestern University where I completed a post-graduate degree residency program in Orthodontics and received a Master of Science (M.S.) as well as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Oral Biology. Following my specialty training in Orthodontics and attaining my Ph.D. degree, I was appointed as the Program Director of Graduate Orthodontics at Northwestern University Dental School. In 1986, I was promoted to the rank of Full Professor with tenure and in 1987 I was appointed Chairman of the Department of Orthodontics and Co-Director of the Cleft Palate Institute.

From 1981-1993, I was a full time academic professor at Northwestern University Dental School where I held joint appointments in the Departments of Oral Biology, Orthodontics, Cell and Molecular Biology and the Cleft Palate Institute. I was elected into the Sigma Xi Research Society (an honorary research society) and selected to present my scientific work to the American and International Associations of Dental Research, Gordon Research Conferences, the American Association of Orthodontists, American and International Cleft Palate Associations’ Symposiums, and the American Academy of Periodontology, and a principal speaker at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry. I have been an invited guest lecturer to numerous study groups, notably the Seattle Study Club National Meeting in Hawaii, 2016. My lectures have reached beyond the United States borders, to such locations as: Acapulco, Mexico; Milano, Italy; and Monte Carlo, Monaco. I enjoy teaching others about Orthodontics. I have lectured at the University of Birmingham, South Carolina, Louisiana State University, Louisiana, New York University, New York, Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, Northwestern University School of Speech and School of Medicine.  On February 24, 2017 I was a principal all day speaker at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting sponsored by the Chicago Dental Society and Illinois Society of Orthodontists at the McCormick Place in Chicago.  Currently, I lecture to the graduate orthodontic residents at Marquette University, Wisconsin.

As a Co-Director of Northwestern University Cleft Palate Institute, I have gained a deep understanding of treating children with congenital disabilities and work closely with Dr. Pravin Patel at the University of Illinois  and the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Chicago.

I have also reviewed grants from the National Institutes of Health (N.I.H.) and the American Association of Orthodontists. With Dr. Perry, I co-authored the textbook: Understanding Orthodontics (Quintessence). I have published numerous articles in such journals as the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, the Journal of Craniomandibular & Sleep Practice, The American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Journal, The Journal of Developmental Biology and Craniofacial Genetics, the International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, and the Compendium for Continuing Education in Dentistry (see the PDF articles on this website). I am a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontists and served as President of the Illinois Society of Orthodontists (2003-2004).

“Orthodontics is an art and a science. I have wanted to be an orthodontist since the age of twelve when I saw how much fun my orthodontist was having. I have always been distinguished as an excellent artist and loved science as well. When I came home after a trip to my orthodontist, Dr. Gilbert, I declared to my mother that I had made up my mind. I want to be an orthodontist! My mother, thinking that I would change my decision many times during the next 6 years said ‘that’s nice’. As it turned out, I never veered. I am delighted that I didn’t. My backup profession was to be a medical illustrator. Recently, I realized that dream also. Throughout this website, you will see some of my medical illustrations. This duality of skills: artist and scientist, makes me uniquely qualified to craft an amazing smile.”

I have been fortunate to be elected to a diverse array of associations including: The American Association of Orthodontists, The American College of Dentists, The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, The American Society for Cell Biology, American Association of Bone and Mineral Research, The American Association of Developmental Biology and The American Academy of Restorative Dentistry. Recently, I was inducted into The Association of Medical Illustrators as a Professional Member.

Since leaving an academic career at Northwestern University in 1993, I have dedicated myself full-time to Orthodontics in private practice (West Dundee IL). I am devotedly married to Nancy and we have two sons (Colin and Tristan).