30 Years of Dentistry!

This year is my 30th anniversary of opening this dental practice in Wayland, MI.  I am proud to have been  a part of this awesome community for three decades.  For the rest of the year we will be celebrating and sharing some of our memories and achievements.  Follow all of the fun on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WaylandFamilyDentistBruceSexton  Please like our page and share it with your friends and neighbors.  All of the 30 year items can be found at #30yearsofdentistry.  My next several blogs will be a history of my journey from 1984 until today.

My Start in Dentistry

Growing up, my family dentist was Dr. Arnie VanDyk. He was a good friend of my dad’s and began talking to me about dentistry while I was in high school. He knew I had an interest in medicine and he encouraged me to consider dentistry instead. He explained that being a dentist meant being your own boss, running your own business and setting your own hours. He argued that being a dentist still allowed you to care for people’s health while avoiding the extended educational commitment of medicine which included internships and residencies.

By my junior year at the University of Michigan, I had decided that I wanted to go to dental school. I did well on my Dental School Admission Test and began applying to dental schools. One of the schools I was accepted to was Ohio State University. I was friends with several football players, and this did not sit well with them. When I finally got accepted at the University of Michigan Dental School I think they were almost as happy as I was.

I finished my Bachelor of Science degree in the spring of 1980 with a dual degree in Anthropology and Zoology. Dental school began that fall and was a four year program. In the beginning we took a lot of the same courses as the medical students, but we start seeing patients our very first year.   We began by cleaning teeth in the dental clinic one afternoon a week. By our senior year we were seeing patients four days a week mornings and afternoons.

In the spring of my junior year, my mentor Dr. Arnie VanDyk called and asked me to look at a dental practice that was for sale. It was the Wayland, Michigan practice of the late Alan Dangremond. It was located on the corner of Main and Superior and was the front corner of the building containing the Wayland Hotel & Bar.

After talking things over, Dr. VanDyk decided to purchase the practice and let me run it for him until I was able to handle things on my own. We spent several weeks doing clean up, restoration, renovation and remodeling. Some new equipment was purchased and some of the used equipment was cleaned up and made ready for use. Arnie’s business manager Chris was instrumental in getting things ready to go.

By June of 1984 we were ready to go. However, I had to take board exams and wait for my licensing. So Dr. VanDyk began working the practice on his days off. He saw the first patient in the new practice on June 4th 1984. Arnie and Chris did a great job of re-opening the practice and getting the patients of Dr. Dangremond to schedule with the new dentists in town. I owe them both a lot of thanks for their hard work.

Thanks for Reading,

Dr. Bruce