Dr. Avery is a native of Kokomo, Indiana. At Purdue University, he earned a B.S. degree in 1963. At Indiana University, he earned a D.D.S. degree in 1966, a certificate in pediatric dentistry in 1970, and an M.S.D. degree in pediatric dentistry, dental materials and dental education in 1971.
Dr. Avery joined the full-time faculty of Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1970 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Professor of Pediatric Dentistry in 1979. He served as Chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry from 1976 to 1993 and he also served as the Director of Postdoctoral Pediatric Dentistry from 1976 to 1998. He continued to serve as Director of the Pediatric Dentistry Division in the Department of Oral Facial Development from 1993 until his retirement in 2005. He has served as an officer and/or in numerous key advisory and consulting positions for seven national dental organizations.
Dr. Avery has been invited to lecture at various national and international conferences throughout the United States and 17 foreign countries. He has been appointed a Visiting Professor at Chulalongkorn and Prince of Songkla Universities in Thailand and at Osaka Dental University in Japan. His research activities have focused primarily on testing the efficacy of various esthetic and bondable dental restorative materials.
Dr. Avery is best known for his collaborative work with Dr. Ralph E. McDonald as the coauthor and coeditor of a comprehensive textbook of pediatric dentistry titled, Dentistry for the Child and Adolescent. The text is popular throughout the world and has been published in six foreign languages.