Announcing – Dr. Duggan has now launched a partnership with Cornerstone Training Institute as Duggan Oral Design, LLC.  He no longer has a relationship with Duggan Institute of Dentistry.  All of his restorative classes will be taught at the CTI venue in Irvine, California after December 8, 2023.

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About Us

Dr. Michael Duggan

He has helped over 4000 candidates for patient-based clinical exams surpass this hurdle in their career path.  


Comprehensive Dental Coaching and Mentoring

Dr. Duggan’s extensive expertise spans patient-based exams, practical exams, advanced standing admissions, and mentoring for students and faculty. His innovative teaching methods emphasize clinical excellence, skill development, and confidence, creating a transformative impact in dentistry.


About Us

Duggan Oral Design is a partnership between Dr. Duggan and Cornerstone Training Institute, in Irvine, CA. We are working together to bring what Dr. Duggan has learned over decades of teaching restorative dentistry to benefit international dentists, dental students, dental educators and new practitioners.  We bring to you the most comprehensive course designs, developed over decades.  We look forward to hosting Dr. Duggan’s mandate, skills, methodology and passion over decades to come!


Patient-based Exams

Dr. Duggan has helped over 4000 candidates for patient-based clinical exams surpass this hurdle in their career path. He was originally asked for help by one of his colleagues who was scheduled to take the California Board in 1992. He said "yes" and soon found himself overwhelmed by people that wanted similar help. This "yes" was a singularly important word that determined the rest of his life!

Practical Exams

Manikin-based practical exams, or even hand-held typodont "bench" exams, have provided a challenge for many dentists over the years. The quality of work is expected to be reasonably high, and Dr. Duggan has worked with over 6000 students on such exams. His development of these courses, covering a variety of dental preparations, marked the the moment when teaching international dentists became a serious undertaking, with much demand, and building in real progress toward clinical excellence.

Advanced Standing Admissions

After licensure by exam in California ceased to be possible in 2008, the emphasis became to help international dentists ready themselves for competitive entrance exams to advanced standing programs for DDS in U.S. dental schools. These exams varied from school to school, but most are just like the "bench" or manikin-based practical exams that have been taken for decades. It was a natural extension from the previous 16 years to work with students with this similar need.

Student Mentoring

He often works with students currently in dental school, to help put a little more perspective into their studies, and build their skill levels beyond what has been accomplished in school. Recently he has also been working with undergraduates at UCI, who are in the predental program, helping them choose more appropriate courses to take, and to offer them experiences in hands-on learning before they go to dental school.

Faculty Mentoring

Starting in late 2023 or early 2024, the Faculty Mentorship Program will be available to faculty members at any dental school - so they can role-play teaching scenarios under the guidance of Dr. Duggan, and have actual teaching experience with previous Duggan students. Originally designed as a calibration program, it has evolved into a program for teaching hands-on dentistry, using the POV camera system originally developed by Dr. Duggan in 1999 and updated this year.

Coaching Clinical Confidence and Speed

Can you do a class II preparation in two minutes? If so, and it is acceptable - designed to last its expected lifetime - they you are probably making a good income doing operative dentistry. But, if not, there are ways to learn far more speed, with maintenance of quality. Dr. Duggan is developing a program for 2024 which fosters this improvement in your practice.


Graduated Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, 1992

After nearly 25 years of working on chemistry, it seemed that dentistry could offer a more guaranteed future, as well as putting to use his interest in chemical structure, particularly of inorganic minerals. Also, it was clear that a teaching and research position was what he really wanted, after his experience in chemistry, and it seemed possible this could be found in dentistry. Plus - he always liked working with his hands, at a very small scale, so dentistry seemed a natural fit.

Hired as Research and Clinical Faculty, Loma Linda, 1992 - 2000

Loma Linda made the offer to Dr. Duggan to teach right after graduation. His first project was the amalgam study mentioned below, but he was involved in clinical teaching most of the time there. He explored research in abfraction lesions, methamphetamine addiction and dental health, and the abrasion of tooth structure by opposing ceramics.

Conducted Largest Study of Potential Amalgam Toxicity, 1992, 1997

When the NIDCR decided they wanted to do THE landmark study of the possibility of amalgam toxicity, they needed a faculty member at a dental school to write the proposal and direct the collection of data. Dr. Duggan was in the right place at the right time, with experience writing proposals. The contract was awarded and data was collected from 2300 subjects in both 1992 and 1997. No evidence of harmful effects was found.

Private Practice 1992 - 1998. Selective patient treatment through 2010.

His practice was in Sun City, CA - and this area provided many older patients as well as those with a history of drug abuse. The range of interesting cases was quite wide and varied.

Off-Campus Teaching facility opened 1996

While his early classes for international dentists were conducted on the Loma Linda campus, for several years he had additional classes in his garage! After a while the neighbors suggested he find another place to teach, so his off-campus classes were moved to an office building near Loma Linda, and "bench" and clinical exam courses were taught there through 2009

Orange County office opened 2002

In 2002 he opened a course location in Orange County, CA in addition to the office near Loma Linda. Most of the bench courses were taught in Orange County, while the clinical exam classes were still taught near Loma Linda, as that office had dental chairs.

Full-time Hands-on teaching in Orange County through 2023

From 2013 through 2023 Dr. Duggan taught through the Duggan Institute of Dentistry, Inc. This business continues to operate as a practice center, serving the needs of the international dentist preparing for entrance exams - but Dr. Duggan will teach all classes after this year in partnership with Cornerstone Training Institute, in Irvine CA.

Website: launched for public education 2020

During the original pandemic shutdown, Dr. Duggan finished his writing, starting in 1999, but now in the form of a website. The intent was to provide thorough material to the public to learn the answers to many questions they have about dental therapy. The idea was that when someone has a $6000 treatment plan that they cannot afford, maybe they want to know if things CAN be done another way. The goal is that patients might have a more active role they can play in their treatment plan and decision-making process.

Started Duggan Oral Design, LLC in partnership with Cornerstone Dental Services, 2023

In order to develop more varied courses for offering between 2024 and 2028, when Dr. Duggan plans to retire from full-time teaching, he has recently moved his teaching to the Cornerstone Teaching Institute, in Irvine CA. The teaching lab at Cornerstone is state-of-the-art, and courses will be presented in an even more compelling way than previously experienced.


College - Brown University, Grad 1970

He studied chemistry throughout high school, through six summer jobs in industrial research, and through his undergraduate years. While originally expecting to study organic chemistry, he became enamored of physical-inorganic chemistry in 1969.

Ph.D. University of Illinois 1974

His fascination with physical-inorganic chemistry lead to four years of research toward his Ph.D. degree. He studied the bonding in metallocene compounds where a metal like iron is sandwiched between two organic rings. He also studied the electronic and magnetic connection between two metal atoms bridged by various organic groups.

Post Doctoral Appointment 1976 - 1978

His postdoc at Caltech was both in organometallic and physical inorganic chemistry. He started exploring how CO2 could be chemically utilized by incorporation into organic molecules.

Faculty University of California, Irvine 1978 - 1982

His research as a faculty member at UCI was involved both with the formation of carbon-carbon bonds on metal atoms as a model for catalysis, and looking for catalytic processes that might reduce CO2.

Industrial Research, the Sun Company, PA 1982 - 1988

While continuing his looking into what might be done with CO2 that would make it profitable to remove it from the atmosphere, he also filed several patents on catalytic formation of glycol ethers.



He started photographic training in 1969 and has pursued this interest passionately for over 50 years.  He has had one-man shows in NYC, Pasadena CA, and Laguna Beach CA – as well as showing his work in the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts in 2014 and 2015.  His website is







He enjoys creating furniture and sometimes sculptural work out of wood.  His most ambitious piece, shown on the left,  was inspired by the dance troupe of Martha Graham.  It represents the swirling of the long dresses of these contemporary dancers.  








He studied jazz piano from 6 – 18 years old – but rarely plays anymore.  In his late 20s he took up flute and regularly plays with friends who know far more about music than he – it’s just for fun.  He is delighted that his granddaughter has taken up flute as well, and can read music whereas he cannot.  The flute he plays was originally purchased by his grandfather in 1952.



Competitive Sports

He started competing in swimming at the age of 12 in Connecticut, and swam AAU, county and state events and NCAA college swimming.  He was never good enough to compete on the national level until he got old enough so that everyone else stopped swimming!  He competed as recently as 2019.  He has also competed in bicycle road racing, but now just rides for exercise and pleasure, although it is a challenge to keep up with a 10-year-old on an e-bike!

Above all Dr. Duggan strives to stay healthy and strong, so he can continue serving the international dental community well ….


Life is just not the same without great food to enjoy.  Dr. Duggan studied at the Laguna Culinary Institute for several years and learned from some great French chefs.  He experiments at home with food for friends these days.  

Embodied Mindfulness

He has become involved in several modalities for developing more awareness of self and relationships.  He was trained as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner from 2016 to 2019 but has not established a practice.  SE is the most effective naturalistic modality for resolving shock trauma that is known.  His original thought was to start a practice for helping dental patients with traumatic issues so they could accept dental therapy more comfortably, or at all!  It is not clear when this might be possible to implement.


While it has been many years since he travelled outside the U.S., he has visited the Philippines, North and South India, Northern and Southern Europe, Chili, Argentina and Egypt.  In five years at retirement from full-time dental education, he hopes to start traveling more again.  The most desirable place in his mind is Japan, where he wishes to photographically study the wood joinery in the Zen temples.