A leading figure of the Italian-American community in the Chicago area, Dr. Dennis R. Pietrini has announced his retirement after a distinguished career in the field of dentistry. He is retiring this summer after 42 years as a dentist, and after having distinguished himself in his profession, as well as dedicating his career to the improvement of the Italian-American condition.
To list all of the accomplishments of Dr. Pietrini would require volumes but, in the interest of space, we highlight a number of his significant achievements. Dr. Pietrini is a past president of the Midwest Chapter of the Academy of Laser Dentistry, a non-profit organization devoted to the advancement of lasers in dentistry. The ranks of its membership include clinicians, academicians and researchers in all major laser wavelengths. The academy, especially with the influence of Dr. Pietrini as a past president, is devoted to clinical education, research and the development of standards and guidelines for the safe and ethical use of lasers in dentistry.
Those active in the local Italian-American community also know that Dennis was honored as a true leader of our community in 1998, being recognized as the Man of the Year on the 20th anniversary of the founding of our Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park. Dennis is a charter board member and for decades a contributing member of the leadership at Casa Italia, having served as its chairman in its formative years.
Retiring as principal at Franklin Park Dental Associates, Dr. Pietrini is a classic example of that old adage: “When you want something done, give it to a busy person.” For example, he is listed in “Who’s Who in Dentistry,” and three times has served as chairman of the Department of Oral Medicine at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, where he has also been a member of the Credentials Committee for 15 years. He is currently chairman of Gottlieb Hospital’s Laser Safety Committee.
Dennis was born to Samuel and Millie (Cannova) Pietrini, both children of Italian immigrants. The Pietrini side hails from Tuscany, and the Cannova side from San Biagio Platani, Agrigento, Sicily. The family settled in River Grove, where Dr. Pietrini grew up.
A graduate of East Leyden High School in 1963, Dr. Pietrini attended the University of Illinois and Elmhurst College before going on to study dentistry at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry, where he earned his doctorate in dental surgery in 1970. That same year, he married Elaine Bartley and served two years active duty in the United States Navy Dental Corps.
On the national front, Dr. Pietrini has also served on the board of directors of the Academy of Laser Dentistry since 1993, and was treasurer in 1996, secretary in 1997 and its national president in 2000. His professional involvement includes membership in the American Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society, the Academy of General Dentistry and the Academy of Laser Dentistry. A pioneer in the field of laser dentistry, Dr. Pietrini co-authored “Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education.”
Dr. Pietrini has contributed time, expertise and financial support to the Franklin Park Chamber of Commerce, Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization, Joseph Gentile Post #2 of the Italian American War Veterans, the Arcolian Dental Arts Society and the Italian Cultural Center.
He and his wife Elaine have two daughters, Jennifer (Roy) Prochaska and Debby (Mike) Robertson.
Now, at the age of 66, Dr. Dennis R. Pietrini plans to spend more time with his beautiful wife, two daughters, grandchildren and parents who still live in River Grove.
Another example of the best our community has to offer.