Dr. Nickel graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois before attending Loyola University School of Dentistry where he received his dental degree on a full Health Professions Military Scholarship. He earned his certificate in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Nickel is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and a Fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He is board certified by the National Board of Dental Anesthesiology and a Fellow of the American Society of Dental Anesthesiology. He is a member of the American Academy of Osseointegration and President of the Chicago Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons for 2008-09.
Prior to starting his private practice on Chicago’s North Shore, he was Director of the four year Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program at Tripler Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has lectured all over the world on various aspects of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Nickel participated in some of the original research on the use of dental implants in the jaw reconstruction of cancer patients who had received high dose radiation therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In a multi-center study in the United States and Sweden, he researched the use of anti-fibrinolytic agents in the treatment of patients with bleeding disorders. In 2007, he was honored as one of “America’s Top Dentists” by the Consumer Research Council of America.
Dr. Nickel retired from the United States Army Dental Corps in 1999 with the rank of full Colonel and a record of distinguished service: his hospital in Korea was awarded the U.S. Navy Distinguished Unit Citation for their work in the rescue, care, and identification of 55 young marines who were injured during the fiery crash on take-off of a large Sea Stallion Helicopter. He received numerous other decorations for his contributions during his twenty year career including the Legion of Merit Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Dr. Nickel participates annually in dental/ medical missions to Mexico, Central and South America where he works with other volunteers to improve the lives of those who have little or no access to dental care. He is a member of several volunteer organizations to include Healing the Children, El Nino Rey (“the child king” ), the Illinois Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, and Cara (“old friend” in Gaelic).
Dr. Nickel lives in Winnetka with his wife, Pamela, and their two children, Alex and Olivia. His hobbies include bicycling, swimming, scuba diving, camping, and the martial arts.