Arden G. Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry

Dr. Arden Christen reviews medical content for Healthwise, a nonprofit organization with a mission to help people make better health decisions. Dr. Christen is Professor Emeritus of Oral Biology and consultant in the Department of Oral Biology at Indiana University School of Dentistry in Indianapolis. Notably, in dentistry, Dr. Christen is coauthor of a leading textbook titled Primary Preventive Dentistry, 4th Edition, published in 1995, and is an expert on smoking cessation and co-director of the Indiana University Nicotine Dependence Program and Director of the Fairbanks (Addiction) Hospital tobacco cessation program in Indianapolis. Dr. Christen has authored or coauthored nearly 20 books in dentistry and medicine and has published over 300 scientific articles on a wide variety of subjects.

Dr. Christen retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force in 1980. Since then, he has been involved in many tobacco-related research projects, focusing on nicotine withdrawal therapy in dental practice and the effects of using smoked and smokeless tobacco. He is coauthor of the 1990 Surgeon General's Report, "The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation," and Technical Expert to Surgeon General Koop's Advisory Committee for the development of the report, "The Health Consequences of Using Smokeless Tobacco" (1986).

In addition to dentistry, Dr. Christen's interests include lifestyle modification, stress reduction, chemical dependency, preventive dentistry, oral pathology, environmental protection, history of the dental profession and ethics, motivation and persuasion, and the clinical effects of tobacco on oral and perioral tissues.

Healthwise Knowledgebase Topics Reviewed

Basic Dental Care
Cleft Lip
Cleft Palate
Gum Disease
Tooth Decay
Wisdom Tooth Problems


DDS: University of Minnesota, 1956
MS in Dentistry: Indiana University, 1965
MA in Public Service: Ball State University, Muncie, 1973

Academic Appointments

From 1980 to 2004, Dr. Christen was a full-time dental school faculty member at Indiana University School of Dentistry, serving twice as a department chair; professor of preventive dentistry and graduate school faculty (1985-2004); and adjunct faculty member, department of public health, Indiana University School of Medicine (1998-present). He retired June 1, 2004, assuming Professor Emeritus status.

Hospital Affiliations

Chairman, Dept. of General Dentistry, Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, 1969–1970

Consultant and Director of the Indiana University Nicotine dependence Program at Fairbanks Addiction Hospital, Indianapolis, IN, 2004-present

Professional Affiliations

American Dental Association and National Cancer Institute, consultant on smoking cessation, tobacco education and control

Selected Publications

  1. Cohen SJ, Christen AG, Katz BP, et al. (1987). Counseling medical and dental patients about cigarette smoking: The impact of nicotine gum and chart reminders. American Journal of Public Health. 77: 313–316.
  2. Transdermal Nicotine Study Group (Christen AG, Beiswanger B, Mau M, Walker C) (1991). Transdermal nicotine for smoking cessation: Six-month results from two multicenter controlled clinical trials. JAMA, 266(22): 3133–3138.

Selected Textbooks

  1. Christen AG, Klein JA (1997). Tobacco and Your Oral Health. Quintessence Publishing.
  2. Harris NO, Christen AG (1995). Primary Preventive Dentistry, 4th ed. Norwalk, CT: Appleton and Lange.

Financial Disclosure

This reviewer reported no financial conflicts.

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