Pictured are Keith, Mickey, and Katie circa 2006
I was born in California, but moved to Massachusetts shortly after. I did some elementary school there, before moving back to Southern California where my parents lived until recently. My mom recently moved to Florida which works out well since I love taking my kids to Disney World and the Florida Beaches. My older sister lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two kids.
It was during high school that I knew I wanted to become a doctor, and more specifically, a surgeon. During my senior year, I learned a greater appreciation for the variety of dental procedures available. I was the Captain of the track team and managed to chip my two front teeth while running hurdles (or more correctly, crashing into a hurdle). Later that summer, I chipped two more teeth while body surfing, and had my wisdom teeth removed. The following winter while on a ski trip, I realized one of the chipped teeth needed a root canal. After having wisdom teeth extractions, a crown, a root canal, and bonding, I received quite a bit of first hand experience about the many procedures involved in dentistry.
I went to UCLA for college where I studied a pre-dental and pre-medical curriculum. After college, I applied to both dental and medical school. When I was accepted to both, I had a serious decision to make. While I was an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work in the UCLA Periodontal Clinic for Post-Doctoral residents assisting surgeries, and loved it. There I realized that as a periodontist I could establish a personal relationship and provide surgery to my patients in the comfort of my own private practice. I worried that working as a medical surgeon in a hospital, I would not have a chance to get to know my patients as well. I also compared the lifestyle of a periodontist to that of a surgeon in medicine. While I am 100% dedicated to my patients and happy to help them with after hour emergencies, the frequency and severity of dental emergencies are much less than medical emergencies. I myself once called a surgeon in on Christmas Day for an appendectomy. As a periodontist, I am able to give each of my patients the personal attention they need while maintaining a happy and balanced personal life with my family and friends.
I decided to remain at UCLA for 4 more years for dental school. I was given a Regents Scholarship which awarded me money for tuition, but more importantly gave me on-campus parking (a true rarity at UCLA). The dental school years enabled me to see my beloved Bruins return to the Rose Bowl Game in football, and win the National Championship in basketball. I am still a dedicated UCLA football fan, maybe even as much as a Broncos fan.
Following graduation, I moved to Portland for 3 years of Post-doctoral Residency training at Oregon Health Sciences University. I selected this program for its extensive clinical training in periodontics and multiple dental implant systems. Portland is a great city. On a dry day, you can't beat it. From November to May, it's a different story.
I moved to Colorado for the lifestyle. I started skiing here when I was in high school, and knew I wanted to live here. I love the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer such as skiing, hiking, caving, biking, camping, and running. I also play competitive volleyball and Colorado has a great system for that passion. I play year round on indoor sand courts on 4 person teams. During the summer, I play in lots of doubles and fours tournaments. I have even traveled to Ixtapa, Mexico three times to play in beach volleyball tournaments. One time I had the thrill of playing against a professional AVP player, Brent Doble (he won...easily).
Volleyball has been a great way to feed my competitive spirit. It is also how I met my wife. She is a biostatistician, doing medical research with some of the doctors I teach with at Denver Health and CU. We were married in 2005. My son, Keith Thomas, was born in 2008. Katie Ann was born in 2010. She is a serious lover of dogs. She has yet to see a dog that she has not made a request to stop and pet. COVID-19 cancelled our travel plans for March 2020 so in lieu of a vacation we got a puppy. Muffin is a malti-poo born in 2020. He has bonded with me to the point of following me around everywhere in the house. If I have the audacity to step into a different room for a minute, he will bark for my return.
I am also a continuing education fanatic. I attend multiple meetings and lectures annually so that I can learn about, and continue to teach to other doctors, the latest advances in periodontics and implants. The field of periodontics has changed significantly since I was in school. Constant learning is required to keep up. Fortunately, I love traveling, so I can combine my dental meetings with fun destinations.
I believe the purpose of life is to enjoy yourself. I am very fortunate in that I love what I do (after 12 years of higher education, this is a good thing). Coming to my office is fun for me. I like to keep the atmosphere relaxed and personal, and hopefully this attitude is passed on to my patients. I understand that not everyone wants to go to the dentist; however, if you go to an office where the doctor and staff want to be there and make you comfortable, I think you can tell the difference. If you're ready to have healthy gums and a great looking smile, I promise to give you the best treatment available.
Eric A. Dale, D.D.S.