Dr. Scott Smith celebrates 30 years in dental business
Dr. Scott Smith D.D.S. of Merced will be celebrating his 30th year in private practice this week. Dr. Smith specializes in Periodontics and Dental Implants, a career that he imagined after moving to Merced in 1973 as a junior in High School.
Dr. Smith has always considered himself a “valley boy.” He was born in Fresno but his parents moved to the Bay Area for a few years before coming to Merced where they settled down. He completed his last two years of high school at Merced High, graduating in 1975.
He attended Merced College for two years and took some time off to do missionary work before completing his undergraduate education earning a Bachelor of Science degree at Brigham Young University in 1983.
Brigham Young University was really the school where he became very interested in a career of dentistry. The university provided underclassmen the opportunity to take pre-dentistry courses.
After graduating with degree from Brigham Young University, he attended the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School earning his DDS degree in 1987.
Wanting to return home to California, he applied and was accepted at the University of California, San Francisco, where he enrolled in their post graduate Periodonal Program and received his certificate to specialize in Periodontics in 1989.
Periodontics is the diagnosis and treatment of Periodonal disease, often referred to as gum disease. It starts as inflammation of the gums, otherwise known as gingivitis. If gingivitis goes undetected and/or untreated, the disease advances to the jaw bone, causing bone loss around the teeth becoming periodontitis. This disease affects more than 50 percent of the adult population of the United States.
After his post graduate program ended in August 1989 he was ready to see his first patient; however, instead of going to work for a big dental firm, he started out on his own, waiting for the phone to ring. It was a slow start but eventually what was a two-chair niche in a dental office grew into the present business, which now has two locations in Merced and Turlock, and serves many patients in this area of the valley.
As Dr. Smith’s business has grown he has also focused on patients with hopeless or missing teeth. For these patients, dental implants are the best answer and he uses the very latest in technical equipment to insure the implants are properly installed.
Not all was smooth sailing for Dr. Smith as his business grew and tragedy struck in April 1999 when he received an early morning call from his hygienist who had arrived at the office early and told Dr. Smith he had better come to the office immediately. Dr. Smith saw several fire engines as he approached his office. A fire had started in the suite next to his office and consumed his building. Everything was lost in the fire except for the patient charts.
It was a miracle that the firefighters acted so quickly and literally threw all the charts out of the burning building. It was a devastating fire and the building was a total loss. Fortunately with the help and generosity of fellow colleagues, Dr. Smith was able to rebuild his office at the original location.
Coincidentally, at the same time, a fellow Periodontist in Turlock decided to retire and asked Dr. Smith if he would be interested in purchasing his practice. In September of 1999, Dr. Smith acquired the Turlock practice and he has continued to see patients at both Merced and Turlock ever since.
Meanwhile, Dr. Smith married his love and helpmate Justi Morais and for a time she was his right arm in the business, managing both locations. She later acquired a business of her own and has become a very successful State Farm Insurance agent in Merced.
She and Dr. Smith have a wonderful daughter Masyn who is 15 years old and attends Stoneridge Christian School. Dr. Smith also has a son by his first marriage who lives in Washington State with his wife. His son is studying to become a physician.
Dr. Smith has four siblings, an older brother who lives in Fresno, an older sister who resides with her husband here in Merced, a younger sister whose family lives in Idaho and his youngest sister living here in Merced.
Life has been good for Dr. Smith. He is well known in the community and has a fine and very successful business which is very much needed by people who have problems with their gums and/or need dental implants.
He is an active member of the Merced Rotary, serves on the California Dental Association Board of Trustees and continues to engage in teaching and research. His hobbies include music, coin collecting, travel and family.