I grew up in the small town of Prescott, Wisconsin and received my Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Surgery degrees from the University of Minnesota. For the past 20 years, I have been practicing in the East Metro and nearby communities and have brought my passion for comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry to Cottage Grove and the surrounding area.
We’ve all experienced that inevitable question from a child or an inquisitive adult, “why did you decide to be a … (fill in the blank)?” In my case, I’ve sometimes been asked, “Why would you ever want to be a dentist?” Last week, my youngest child was in the midst of her homework as I walked into the door after work. She informed me that her class discussed careers at school and she wanted to know why I decided to be a dentist. Exhausted, I gave her a trite, but truthful response that I enjoyed helping people. During dinner I thought about her question and realized in my haste to get dinner on the table that I had hardly conveyed the passion that I feel about my profession. As I tucked her into bed that night, I told her what led me to my career.
In the 1960s, it was commonplace for doctors to prescribe tetracycline to young children with upper respiratory infections. I was one such child. It wasn’t until the 1980s that scientists found the link; tetracycline caused permanent and severe damage to developing teeth, staining teeth varying degrees of gray, green, and yellow. Mine were a deep yellow with horizontal stain bands throughout. In addition to the stains, I had fallen and broken a front tooth. From elementary through high school I hesitated smiling, self-conscious about my teeth—I hated them.
Dentistry was always a priority for my parents, and as soon as I was old enough I was finally able to get veneers and crowns. My family dentist had just attended a course on veneers and was eager to help me improve my smile.
I loved my new smile; I couldn’t believe how great my teeth looked. This experience had a profound influence on me. It was incredible to me that my dentist significantly changed my life by improving my teeth and smile.
Of course, I too have continued to pursue treatment. I understand my patients’ fears and concerns and know very well how invasive dental work can feel. Moreover, I empathize with the countless patients who feel vulnerable in a dental chair.
Yes, I’m in dentistry because I love to help people improve their health, to get out of pain, or to comfortably eat the foods they love. It is an honor for me to help improve the lives of my patients and bring a smile to their faces.
6936 Pine Arbor Dr. Suite #210
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
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