At Anchorage Healthy Smile Center, Dr. Terry J. Preece knows what it's like to be relied on. He once served as the sole dentist on the island of Wrangell, and was responsible for the smiles of the island's more than 1,800 residents. In 32 years of dental experience, the doctor has mastered all aspects of general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. Today, even though his office is equipped for a comprehensive range of dental care, Dr. Preece demonstrates his commitment to patients by referring them to specialists for issues including orthodontic work or assessing the value of that shark tooth they found outside.
GentleCare Dental Center's skillful staff wields up-to-date technology to attentively treat patients' teeth. During an oral-cancer screening, healthy tissues fluoresce under a Velscope's blue-spectrum light, singling out suspiciously dim areas of skin for schoolyard mockery from healthier cells (a $20 value). GentleCare's molar menders will follow up with a thorough new patient oral exam (a $117 value) and cleaning (a $126 value) and a barrage of x-rays that reveal cavities and endow the patient with super-heroic hot-dog eating powers (an $85 value). Finally, patients can carry on the noble plaque-fighting work of their benefactors with a take-home teeth-whitening kit that can spruce up stained chompers or polish up a porcelain bust of Millard Fillmore (a $450 value).
While growing up in some of America’s coldest, northernmost states—Wisconsin and Minnesota—David longed to live somewhere even wilder once he became an adult. He looked northward, setting his sights on Alaska, imagining himself as a small-town doctor or, better yet, a dentist. These days, he’s known as Dr. David Paape, founder of a local practice called Northstar Dental and a global nonprofit known as Compassionate Dental Care International. Beyond moving to Alaska, tooth tending is David’s dream. Between fishing trips in the Alaskan wilderness and volunteer work in developing countries, he cares for the community’s smiles with precision and gentleness. Northstar Dental’s services range from preventive exams, digital x-rays, and cleanings to repair work such as bridges and implants. To enhance smiles’ beauty, David also performs teeth-whitening treatments, which make enamel brighter than a supernova with a PhD.
Dr. F. Todd Wortham—or “Dr. T,” as his patients call him—is so well trained in implantology, he finds installing replacement teeth to be fun. The dentist, who has more than 500 hours of continuing education in advanced dental techniques under his belt, has learned to be one with his work to such a degree that even the challenging procedures have become a joy.
Together with longtime colleague Dr. Rachel M. Deininger, Dr. T takes time to get to know each patient who comes through the door or scratches through the drywall. In addition to installing dental implants, the doctors treat periodontal disease, whiten teeth with custom bleaching trays, and fit patients for dentures.
With more than 30 years of mouthy experience, Dr. Wynne’s practice at Dimond Family Dental Center handles general-practice services and procedures. In addition to regular checkups and cleanings, the staff is versed in such smile-saving procedures as silver- and tooth-colored fillings, crowns, bridges, and relines. Dr. Wynne’s practice states that “Patients from 6 to 106 are all welcome!”, probably because at 107 years, teeth turn into marble.