Duluth Dentists

My former dentist retired recently and the dentist who took over his practice seems to me like he’s running a scam.  After a couple of questionable experiences, I won’t be going back.  I have plenty of friends who love their current places, but it seems like those dentists are all on the verge of retirement themselves.  So, I turn now to PDD for advice.  I am seeking a dentist who:

  • Is currently accepting new patients
  • Is not planning on retiring in the next 5-10 years
  • Is good with children
  • Won’t try to scam me on prices or leave my mouth worse off than before I went in

I never understood why people hated going to the dentist until I encountered a true scumbag years ago during an insurance switch.  While most of the dentists I’ve had have been wonderful, I’ve seen the other side, and no sir, I don’t like it!  So tell me please, who makes you smile?

35 Comments

TimK

about 10 years ago

I have had many bad dentist experiences- very few having to do with pain (in my mouth at least). Our dentist when I was a kid drilled holes in healthy teeth and filled them to make money off of us. Alas, he is now dead. Today, I have a great dentist. The Belamys at Chester Creek Dental (14th Ave. and 1st St) have been a real breath of fresh air for me. Dr. Bill is a pragmatic practitioner and won't bilk you. They will discuss all cost up front, and help you come up with a plan of attack if you need a lot of work done over time (and to fit into the limits of your insurance if you're lucky enough to have it). They book fast, so introduce yourself ASAP.

brian

about 10 years ago

Wayne Gatlin in the Medical Arts Bldg.

SMBalmer

about 10 years ago

Dr. Nelson of Madison-Nelson, also in the Medical Arts Building.

Rae

about 10 years ago

I have gone to Dr. Kevin Mikel of Family Dentistry in Superior, WI for the last 25  years.  I ask him when he is going to retire and if he will refer me to someone as good as him, and he laughs and says, "He won't be retiring anytime in the near future." I figure I'll get another 10-15 years out of him.

Granted, I've never been to another dentist in my life, but there is a reason for that. He is gentle, calm, has a great facility, nice dental hygienists, only once did they forget to submit my claim to insurance and then did so immediately after I called them.  

My mom once told me that he does charge a little more than some dentists for some procedures (but most stuff is covered under your annual exams and usual and customary charges under insurance.)  I've paid an extra $20 to have white fillings instead of metal, but he made that my decision in the end.  He does take twice annual bite-wing xrays which may only  be covered once per year under your insurance plan, but I've never questioned him on it, because I figure he has a reason.

Anyways, I highly recommend him to everyone who asks which dentist I go to.

Meg

about 10 years ago

Hi!
  I started seeing the dentists at Gallery Dental on Central Entrance (next to Blockbuster video) about a year and a half ago and both of them are fantastic! Dr. Dryke and Dr. Zelen are both young females who do family and cosmetic dentistry, and they won't be retiring for a very long time! They are great with children, they help me out a lot with insurance (I'm in college so I need a lot of explanation!), and they give all the options before doing anything. I've also found them to be very flexible in scheduling. Good luck!

Bad Cat!

about 10 years ago

I see Kathy Bellamy of Chester Creek Dental (724-1332‎). I went to her after going to a local dentist that wasn't sanitary and thought it was cool to berate his staff in front of me.
Kathy listens to you (how much pain are you in, what you're looking for out of treatment) and is highly skilled.
I once heard someone refer to her as "the tooth whisperer" - I'm not making this up.

Lindsay

about 10 years ago

We are big fans of Lakeside Dental! Nice, new office with sweet equipment at each seat. X-rays taken right at your seat and all your info/record right on the computer screen for the dentist/hygienist to see. 

Very personable and friendly staff and very flexible with scheduling. Highly recommend them! 

http://www.lakesidedds.com

kerc

about 10 years ago

Todd Hansen or Kara Conry at Lakeside Dental. My kids like them and their staff. Clean, nice personable people who act like they are Duluthians: they live and work here and treat the people in their office like they might actually run into them again.

I pay cash for my dental stuff and they were totally cool, without a guilt trip, when I decided to wait six months on an xray. Discount for paying in cash/check on the day of service too.

Claire

about 10 years ago

When I was a kid I went to a dentist w/ big hands. I have a small mouth. So ever since I am very careful to go to a dentist with small hands. I go to Dr Kathy Bellamy, who is in her mid to late 40s I think. She rocks. No complaints -- and I hate going to the dentist.

Mickey

about 10 years ago

+1 vote for Todd Hansen @ Lakeside Dental. Our whole family just started going there and the kids (4 and 2.5) were very well taken care of. Dr. Hansen was way better with them than the pediatric dentist we used to see over in Piedmont.

Lord Phosphorus

about 10 years ago

Carter Johnson,   
Pike Lake Dental Health Ctr
5670 Miller Trunk Hwy
 
Carter is GOD!

ironic1

about 10 years ago

I have been very happy with my dentist for the last 8-9 years, Dr. L'Abbe at 1432 London Road.  He has been great with my kids and when one of my kids had a tooth crack on Labor Day he didn't hesitate to come into the office and help even though, from his dress, he clearly had other plans for the day.  I'd definitely recommend him.

Starfire

about 10 years ago

I second Dr. Nelson at Madison/Nelson in the Medical arts building.

baci

about 10 years ago

I second Wayne Gatlin. He's nice. His dad is the general. His Dental Asst. is real good with kiddos.

speechie

about 10 years ago

Dr. Mikel has teenaged triplets. He definitely won't be retiring soon!

B-man

about 10 years ago

I agree with Meg.  The folks at gallery Dental are great.

pebble

about 10 years ago

Lakeside Dental

Peanut

about 10 years ago

I suggest NOT going to Miller Hill Dental.  My current dentist actually laughed when he saw the dental work they did for me.  Then when he asked them for copies of my records (to try to figure out what they'd done), they informed him that I'd never been a patient there.  And don't even get me started on their billing practices.

c-freak

about 10 years ago

Dr. Eileen Patterson in the Medical Arts Building is my dentist and I recommend her.

amy a.

about 10 years ago

I love Gallery Dental! Great with kids, massaging chairs, and good mags. They took me as a walk-in a year ago and I wouldn't go anywhere else.

heysme

about 10 years ago

Downtown Dental with Dr. Gary Hedin
324 West Superior Street - 722-3679
In the Medical Arts building - they validate!

Switched to him about a year ago - I was very pleased with the tooth extraction he performed on me. He was extraordinary with my daughter's first root canal! She was comfortable the entire time for both visits.

bluenewt

about 10 years ago

I like Scott Polzin a lot, and I don't think he's likely to retire any time soon. He is thoughtful and smart, and he listens. His office is on East 1st Street, almost downtown. Very convenient.

redpebble

about 10 years ago

Sorry to break it to you Lord Phosphorus, but Carter Johnson of Pike Lake Dental died a very long time ago (in the 1990s). He was awesome though!

Lord Phosphorus

about 10 years ago

Hey, Redpebble...

Wow! Didn't know Carter phased out of spacetime. He was my dentist back in the 80s and was "extremely" liberal with the Nitrous. He would even show up at parties with his tank and mask in tow!!!

He was an awesome dentist, indeed.

Rae

about 10 years ago

"Dr. Mikel has teenaged triplets. He definitely won't be retiring soon!"

@speechie -- EXACTLY!

MJ

about 10 years ago

Thanks so much for all of the recommendations.  You guys are awesome!

Jill

about 10 years ago

Dr. Eileen Patterson, Patterson family Dental.  Switched to her because my previous dentist was fine with me but not with my kids.  She's great for everyone and has many years until retirement.

Piglet

about 10 years ago

Lakeside Dental all the way. I have an appt. next Monday and actually look forward to it. Jackie & Linda at the front desk are a hoot and Dr. Todd is more like a friend than a dentist. And...he has  a young child too so no retirement in his future. 

Unless he won the lottery and I just don't know it yet. Goodness...I hope he's there on Monday!

Jenny

about 10 years ago

Yep, Dr. Polzin in the dental office by 13th east and 1st street is excellent!

He is the best dentist I've ever had, no doubt, in any state. He's really quite good. You don't even feel the anesthetic needles enter your jaw/cheek/whatever.

Lojasmo

about 10 years ago

Carter was my dentist all through my childhood.  I second Carter Johnson up on miller trunk.  Always did right by us.

Lojasmo

about 10 years ago

Ah... Posted before reading the thread.  RIP Carter.  Give god a good whiff of nitrous for me.

Carolynn

about 10 years ago

Carter Johnson passed away quite a few years ago. I was a patient of his and I agree- he and his staff were awesome. I actually looked forward to going to the dentist. However, another awesome dentist took over Carter's practice- Dr. Matt Jugovich.

emcee

about 10 years ago

Dr. Heidi Spoelhof at Piedmont Heights Dental is wonderful.  She and my children are long-time friends.  When my dentist retired, I waited for her to finish dental school.  Now my doctor is retiring; I wish she had a clone who was a family practice doc.

Mary

about 10 years ago

This is a bit of a tangent, but if you're ever in need of a root canal and your regular dentist won't do it, I was very impressed with Dr. Zbaracki at Lake Superior Endodontics.  He and his staff were great about answering my questions, plus they were friendly & personable and they fit me into their schedule pretty quickly, too.  They made me feel much less anxious about the whole ordeal.

Dulusion

about 10 years ago

I can echo two recommendations, Dr. Conry at Lakeside Dental. Great staff, new clean office and up to date equipment. She did a very nice job capping a molar. Her staff are very personable, made me feel like one of the bunch. Dr. Conry is very down to earth, she's an artist and mom of twins who seems to really care about her patients. Really really nice people! 

Also, I had a root canal with Dr. Zbaracki a few years ago. This dentist really knows his stuff, for all the fear of a root canal, it was completely painless.

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