Dr. Steven Perlman is a Clinical Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at The Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM). For the past 40 years, he has devoted much of his private practice as well as his teaching, to the treatment of children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities.
Dr. Perlman worked with GSDM and Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver to create Special Olympics Special Smiles®, a program to provide on-site dental screenings to athletes at the Special Olympics Massachusetts games, in 1993. Now an international program, Special Smiles® also seeks to break down the barriers that too often prevent dental care professionals from working with people with intellectual disabilities. It now has over 215 events each year taking place in every state in the United States and in over 80 countries. He currently serves as their Senior Global Clinical Advisor. In 2010, Massachusetts Special Olympics honored him with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver “Let Me Be Brave” award at a banquet honoring his achievements.
Dr. Perlman graduated GSDM with a master of science in dentistry and a certificate of advanced graduate study in pediatric dentistry in 1976. Dr. Perlman was the first dentist in Massachusetts to receive the Exceptional Physician Award. Dr. Perlman received the GSDM Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the Community in 1993 and the Boston University Alumni Award for Service to the Community in 1995. He was the first graduate in the history of the Dental School to also be recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of Boston University.
Dr. Perlman is a past president of both the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities and The Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. In addition, he has served on the executive board of both organizations for many years. He is a Fellow of The Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities, a Fellow of The American College of Dentists and a Diplomate of the American Board of Special Care Dentistry.
He is the recipient of the Harold Berk Award from the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities and the Manny Album Award from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Both awards are the highest honors of the organizations recognizing lifetime achievement in the care of people with disabilities. Dr. Perlman has also been honored by The Pierre Fauchard Academy and in 2002, the American Dental Association presented him with their Access Recognition Award.
Dr. Perlman is a cofounder of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) and in 2005 and 2006 served as an advisor to the President’s Committee for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. He is currently president-elect of the AADMD.
In 2009, The Academy of General Dentistry honored Dr. Perlman with their Humanitarian Award. Perlman also received the Chicago Dental Society’s George Cushing Award, which recognizes those who raise public awareness about the importance of oral health. Also in 2009, A.T. Still University of Health Sciences presented Dr. Perlman with the honorary degree: Doctor of Humane Letters.
In 2008, in Shanghai, China, Special Olympics honored Dr. Perlman with a special Lifetime Global Leadership Award in promoting human dignity.
In 2007, Perlman received both the Special Spirit in China Award, Special Lifetime Global Leadership in Promoting Human Dignity from Special Olympics for his work with the organization and the EMARC Person of the Year Award from the Arc of East Middlesex in Peabody, Massachusetts.
In 2005, Dr. Perlman received The Exceptional Parent Maxwell J. Schileifer Distinguished Service Award for dedication to improving the lives of individuals with special needs and disabilities as well as The Trudi Birger Community Service Award from Alpha Omega for extraordinary contribution to children with special needs all over the world.
In 2002 the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation named Dr. Perlman Dentist of the Year for his significant contributions to the dental profession and the specialty of pediatric dentistry over an entire career of distinguished service.
Dr. Perlman is an adjunct professor of pediatric dentistry at the School of Dental Sciences, University of Technology in Jamaica and an adjunct faculty member at A.T. Still University of Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health.
Dr. Perlman has published over 200 articles and was a contributor to the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health in 2001. He maintains a private pediatric dental practice in Lynn, Massachusetts, with Dr. Michael B. Koidin.