Dental Schools: Arizona School of Dentistry; University of Detroit Mercy
Years in Practice: 11
You were born and raised in Norway. Is that where you first developed an interest in dentistry?
Yes. Growing up, I had one uncle who was a dentist and another uncle and a grandfather who were attorneys. I was really fascinated by both professions. I actually went to law school for two years before deciding, and realizing that I’d rather become a dentist.
What do you miss most about Norway?
I really miss the food and the beautiful nature. When I first moved to the U.S., every time I would travel to Norway I’d bring an empty suitcase just so I could bring food back. Now, fortunately, thanks to the internet, it’s actually pretty easy to order Norwegian food and candy.
Why did you specialize in endodontics and root canals?
I realized while I was in dental school that endodontics was the one specialty of dentistry that I enjoyed the most. Endodontics fits my personality: It’s very problem-focused, it requires the most utmost attention to detail and it gives me instant gratification. My patients arrive in pain and leave pain-free.
You’ve worked in public health and now run a boutique practice. How has serving patients on both ends of the economic spectrum affected your approach?
Whether it’s working with “the 99 percent” or with “the 1 percent,” my focus is always on treating people the way I want my wife to be treated. I find great pleasure in getting to know my patients, and take pride in always scheduling enough time with all my patients to allow me to talk with them and hear their stories.
You speak six languages fluently! Which language’s word for “teeth” is the most fun?
Yes, I speak six languages relatively fluently, and can get by in another six. “Teeth” is pretty boring sounding in most languages. The funniest I’ve heard is probably in the East Indian Kannadigas language: hallugaḷu.
According to our online sleuthing, you are an honorary consul for the Republic of Namibia. How did that come to pass?
I have served as the honorary consul for Namibia in Arizona for almost two years. I got appointed by President [Hage] Geingob and Ambassador [Martin] Andjaba to represent Namibian interests and promote Namibia in Arizona. I’m currently working on establishing a nonprofit dental mission to help underserved people in Namibia.
What do you do in your spare time?
I spend time with [my wife] Cristin and [child] Mackenzie and our three dogs. We like to spend our weekends in the pool. We also like flying out to California on the weekends – Orange County and Napa are always a fun time.