OUR CARING TEAM
Our Clinic Administrator
Our Team Leaders
“This is My Passion”
In 1977, Dr. Walter Hunt founded Personal Care Dentistry in a small office space with three employees on Hamline Avenue in Roseville. He had just graduated from the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry and he was determined to build a different kind of dental practice, one that focused on what he calls the “Golden Rule of Dentistry” – caring for all of his patients the way he would care for his own family.
Now, 40 years later, Personal Care Dentistry has grown to take up the entire third floor of the office building on Hamline Avenue where he started his practice. Four dentists and more than 30 staff blend the latest technology with a gentle touch in a warm, caring and compassionate atmosphere.
And the entire care team at Personal Care Dentistry still follows the Golden Rule of Dentistry each and every day. “We take the time to really listen to our patients and provide close, personal attention to best customize their care,” emphasizes Dr. Hunt. “I know the kind of care that I demand as a patient, and that is the kind of care that I strive to provide. I call it the ‘Golden Rule Dentistry.’ It is a philosophy shared by all of our staff members.”
This never-ending quest for excellence in dental care by Dr. Hunt has been embraced by all of the dentists, dental assistants, hygienists and office staff at Personal Care Dentistry. It has resulted in a chest full of awards from fellow dentists and consumers, including:
“Our patients truly feel we are an extension of their family and that they can always depend on us to provide excellent care based on compassion, respect and personalized service,” emphasizes Dr. Hunt. “We believe in a conservative approach to care, which means that we don’t recommend care that is not necessary at the time they come in for an appointment. Our motto is ‘We Serve the World’s Greatest Patients’ and we take that approach with each of our patients.”
Dr. Hunt’s approach to patient care and his “Golden Rule of Dentistry” have roots that go back much further than his 40-year dental career. Dr. Hunt grew up in northwestern Indiana in a small town named Merrillville. By the time his family moved to Minnesota at the beginning of his junior year of high school, he had become an accomplished athlete in both football and baseball. It was then that he also reached a defining moment in his life, one that has influenced his approach to life and dentistry.
“My family didn’t have much money – we lived in a poor neighborhood in Merrillville – so I had a lot of friends who were also poor. But because I was a good athlete in football and baseball, I also had a group of friends who came from families with money. And I didn’t like the way the kids with money would treat the poor kids. It was then that I vowed that I would always treat everyone equally with the same amount of caring and respect,” emphasizes Dr. Hunt. “The worth of a person should not be defined by what they have or how they look.”
For Dr. Hunt, being a dentist and the founder of Personal Care Dentistry is not a job. It is a passion. He has had the same goal for almost half a century – treat people with dignity and respect, and as a dentist, provide them with the best care possible.
“This is my passion, and this is how I can contribute to helping other people have better lives. Even today, I still feel like I get more out of caring for others than they do. I love being here at
Personal Care Dentistry,” says Dr. Hunt.
Dr. Hunt has many hobbies and interests, but his real passion is nature photography. Nearly every picture hanging throughout the practice is one he took on his many travels across the globe! He also loves sports, (especially baseball – he played as a pitcher and second baseman in a men’s over 35 league until a hip injury forced him to retire when he was 59), plays the guitar like you wouldn’t believe, enjoys traveling and spending time at the cabin with his wife, Michelle and his four grown “boys” and their families.
“Every Patient I See is Treated with Compassion and Excellence”
Dr. Kyle Hunt is a 2014 graduate of the dental school at the University of Illinois (Chicago) and earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry at Gustavus Adolphus College. He is the son of Personal Care Dentistry’s founder, Dr. Walter Hunt, and has been helping out in the practice since he was 10 years old.
“Being able to start my career as a dentist at Personal Care Dentistry has been a dream come true for me,” says Dr. Kyle. “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to take advantage of my dad’s mentorship and I think it has helped to greatly enhance my skills as a dentist.”
In the 2 1/2 years that Dr. Kyle interned in the University of Illinois clinics, he was able to work on many cases and gained a variety of clinical experiences due to his persistence in seeking out patients that needed complex dental care. Dr. Kyle believes in fact, that due to the large patient population, he completed more complex procedures than he would have anywhere else in the country.
What motivates Dr. Kyle as a dentist? “To help people,” he says. “To use the skills I have and will continue to develop to help people be more confident in their smile and their oral health, and to make sure every patient I see is treated with compassion and excellence.”
“I’m proud to follow in my Dad’s footsteps and I think he’s pretty excited about it too,” says Dr. Kyle with a smile.
When he’s not taking care of his patients at Personal Care Dentistry, Dr. Kyle enjoys a wide range of hobbies. He has completed numerous marathons and triathlons, likes to golf and play tennis, and enjoys watching the Twins and Wild. He also likes to cook, often creating original recipes. His favorite pastime, though, is a weekend at the cabin with his family, boating, wakeboarding and just relaxing.
Read more about Dr. Kyle Hunt’s journey to becoming a dentist in an article on the Gustavus Adolphus website. Dr. Hunt earned his undergraduate degree from Gustavus.
“I Love Going to Work and Helping People”
When Dr. Teo Baylon joined Personal Care Dentistry in 2013 she brought with her a wealth of skill and experience as well as her own style of compassionate care. Born in Bulgaria, Dr. Baylon (her patients call her Dr. Teo) came to Minnesota with her family when she was 15 years old. Throughout high school and college she had an aptitude and interest in math, but decided at the last minute to enroll in dental school.
Through her studies, research, teaching and practice she honed her skills, but her interest in dentistry came at a very young age. “As a very young girl I was always fascinated by all the tools and small compartments in the dentist’s office,” says Dr. Teo, whose ever-so-slight Bulgarian accent adds to her charm as she reminisces about her childhood. “My dentist noticed my interest and gave me my own set of dental tools. I would go home and line up all my dolls and pretend to fix their teeth.” She also received encouragement from family. “My grandmother would let me work on her dentures as well. She wouldn’t let anyone else touch them but me,” she remembers affectionately.
As a graduate from the University of Minnesota Dental School, Dr. Teo completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program at Wisconsin’s Marquette University School of Dentistry where she was a clinical instructor for undergraduate dental students. Dr. Teo has practiced in both community and private settings focusing on prosthodontics (cosmetic dentistry) and oral surgery as well as pediatric dentistry. Prior to her career at Personal Care Dentistry she worked for a fast-paced cosmetic dentistry office in Manhattan, New York, but moved back to Minnesota to be closer to family. “It was very different in New York. It was not as compassionate or caring. Here I get to connect with my patients,” says Dr. Teo. “Dr. Hunt was expanding the practice and needed another dentist so I joined the team to help them grow.”
About her work environment Dr. Teo says, “We all have different styles that complement each other. I’m honest and I have a very strong personality, but I don’t always need to be the leader. I work very well with other strong personalities. The doctors work as a team and there are no surprises. We just do what makes sense.”
Dr. Teo engages her patients by getting them involved in their treatment. “I listen to my patients. We’ll talk through their dental history and issues they are having. I’ll listen for cues about how they like to be treated. I want them to feel in control and make them comfortable,” she says. Her techniques and her chair-side manner let the patient direct how she proceeds. “I’ll propose ways to get the work done and help put them at ease. Some people want to know every part of the process and I will talk them through step-by-step. Some don’t want to know so I don’t tell them. I try to distract their brains to think about the positive end-result.”
Her interest in the people she treats goes beyond her desire to provide optimal care. “When they leave the office, I want my patients to not only have a step toward better health, but to have a great experience. I want them to have fun and have a great day,” explains Dr. Teo, adding, “I love going to work and helping people. It’s a natural part of my day and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
When not in the office, Dr. Teo loves to travel with her husband and enjoys being outside. “It’s not often that I’m able to travel but it gives me an appreciation for life,” she says. “We have a lot of projects around the house as well.” It’s no surprise that Dr. Teo is a fitness fanatic taking yoga classes and lifting weights. “I love moving the body and being healthy. It’s a passion of mine. I used to dance more. I did traditional Bulgarian dances as well as ballroom and Latin dancing.” She also expresses her creative side through painting and drawing.
Speaking with Dr. Teo you get a sense of her self-confident yet charming disposition. She is confident when she speaks, but never overbearing. “I’m maybe a little too flexible sometimes. I’m agreeable and tolerant, but I have a threshold. I’m a passionate person and I support and protect the things I’m passionate about – like dentistry,” she notes.
Asked about her future goals she says, “I want to optimize my time and find more balance in life. I always want to be growing and improving. I want to develop more and learn more. I never want to settle at where I am at today. I want to be a better person and a better dentist for our patients.”
“There is Such a Good Energy Here”
Dr. Marwa M. Gamam-Forest earned both her undergraduate degree (in biology and physiology) and graduate degreesfrom the University of Minnesota. After earning her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Minnesota in 2013, Dr. Forest spent a year as a General Practice Resident at Hennepin County Medical Center. “I took the residency because I wanted oral surgery experience. I worked a lot with kids who were 5 years old and younger. It was an eye-opening experience that required a lot of patience. I am so glad I worked at HCMC.”
After her residency, Dr. Forest practiced at a Metro Dentalcare location in Brooklyn Center for two years. The dental office gave her a lot of general dentistry experience which complemented her work in surgery at HCMC.
The opportunity at Personal Care Dentistry has her excited about her future as a dentist. “This is an amazing clinic. You usually don’t see dental clinics where the patients are really happy and excited to come in for an appointment. There is such a good energy here and the staff is outstanding. I see a lot of respect from the staff toward our patients.”
Dr. Forest’s philosophy of caring for her patients matches perfectly with the approach at Personal Care Dentistry. “I think you should treat your patients like they are family, and Personal Care embodies that belief in everything they do. Here, we provide our patients with options for their care plans and we don’t push unnecessary care on them.”
Dr. Forest grew up in the Twin Cities’ northwestern suburbs, and decided when she was in high school that she wanted to become a dentist. After shadowing a dentist in Blaine, she realized that dentistry offered her a combination of medical science, dental artistry, and helping people with their health care needs. “I love doing things with my hands,” notes Dr. Forest. “Dentistry gave me the opportunity to blend all of those areas together, and I am so happy that I pursued this field. I love being a dentist!”
Dr. Forest and her husband Christopher have twins – Zakariya and Zayna – who were born in in December 2015. In her spare time (which isn’t much these days), she enjoys running, boating and traveling.
Our team of Dentists, Dental Assistants, Hygienists, Financial Advisers, Receptionists, and Administrative staff are what make Personal Care Dentistry one of the best places for Dental Care in the Roseville, MN area. We understand that every patient is unique and we make a very conscious effort to pair you with a personable care team that will best fit your dental needs as well as your personality. Some of us are the “bubbly, extra-friendly” type, while others are the “quieter dental artisan” types… We have expertly trained staff to match your personality and oral health needs. Our amazing team is truly what makes our practice a GREAT place to work and the perfect choice as your new dental home.
“We Have Such an Astounding Team”
For Zach Hunt, Personal Care Dentistry is a family affair – his father Dr. Walter Hunt founded the practice in 1977 and his brother Kyle joined the practice several years ago after graduating from dental school. “I grew up with Personal Care Dentistry in my life, and I was always drawn to the culture of compassion and care that my dad had nurtured.”
Zach brings a wealth of expertise in business, marketing & management to his role as Personal Care Dentistry’s Clinic Administrator. He graduated from Purdue University with his Bachelors of Science degree in Business and attended graduate school at Valparaiso University and finished with a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. Before college Zach was in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at Quantico, Virginia. He served in the air wing as an Air Traffic Controller.
Zach has a ready smile and an outgoing personality that is hard to miss. “I’m very passionate about a lot of things that I hold near and dear. I would go to the ends of the earth to ensure the happiness of those around me!”
Part of the reason Zach smiles and laughs a lot at Personal Care Dentistry is the great care team that he helps lead. “We have such an astounding team, that it makes it hard not to like coming in to work day in and day out. It always amazes me how our entire team is so happy and motivated when they are at work, no matter if it is at 6 a.m. in the morning or at 8 p.m. at night – that definitely makes for a fun working environment.”
What motivates Zach? “Having the opportunity to make an impact and a difference in the lives of those who I encounter every day motivates me – whether that is those who are on our care team, or the patients that we care for each and every day. If I can have a positive impact each and every day on at least one person’s life, then I consider that a win. I look at it as a sense of paying it forward.”
Conversations with Personal Care Dentistry’s patients are a daily highlight for Zach. “We try to approach patients with a sense of understanding of each of their “personal” life stories,” notes Zach. “Taking the time to listen to them makes them feel at home with us, and makes them feel like they are a part of our ‘family.’ I always like to get down on a personal level with them to understand where they are coming from.”
Zach and his wife Rachel moved to the Twin Cities from Indiana after Zach finished his master’s degree. In their free time they love doing “Explore Minnesota” weekends, which has given them a chance to see much of the state in the last couple of years. Another favorite pastime is spending time on the lake with the Hunt family. They also enjoy their dog, Ringo.
Zach is currently working toward his PhD in Training and Education from Capella University.
I Want Our Patients to know I Genuinely Care”
Tiffanie Apple is the Dental Assisting Team Leader at Personal Care Dentistry, but her role goes far beyond that title. She has been with the practice since 2007, starting as a “floating” dental assistant at the same time as Personal Care Dentistry’s first major expansion. As the practice grew, so did her role. She eventually became one of Dr. Walter Hunt’s main Dental Assistants and eventually took the reins as Team Leader.
Her interest in dentistry was sparked as a junior in high school when she took an Investigating Careers class. “I always loved going to the dentist and thought about a career as a hygienist,” says Tiffanie, who interned at an orthodontics practice her senior year. “I was really drawn to Dental Assisting and liked the variety of responsibilities that role encompassed,” she says. This brought Tiffanie to Century College where she learned the foundational skills needed for the career and in 2005 graduated with an Associate’s Degree as a Licensed Dental Assistant.
Tiffanie’s professional career didn’t initially start at Personal Care Dentistry – she spent a year at another dental practice where the environment was vastly different. “It felt like a factory just churning out patient after patient. I’m lucky to work here now and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else,” she says.
While her training, title and main role at Personal Care Dentistry is as the Dental Assisting Team Leader, she has become a versatile member of the care team. “I love teaching, coaching and helping my staff, but I also support the Hygiene Team and other departments,” says the multi-tasking Tiffanie, adding, “I truly enjoy working with our patients as well and find it incredibly rewarding. Every day I strive to go above and beyond for the people we serve. They’re like family.”
Her outlook on patient care is one that echoes throughout the office. “I make sure people are not just treated like a number. We have an amazing personality and culture here. Providing excellent care and building relationships with our patients are the most important things. The best way I can treat people is simply by being myself. I want our patients to know I genuinely care,” she says. “I hate seeing people in pain and do everything I can to help them and support the doctors.”
Tiffanie strongly advocates harmony in the office stating, “I want staff to feel comfortable coming to me and I’m often the mediator for them. I can’t stand conflict and negativity.” Another of her roles is staffing where she looks at candidates who possess a combination of applicable skills and affable nature. “When I am helping hire an assistant I want to make sure that they can work, grow and be comfortable in our environment while truly caring about our patients,” she says.
Tiffanie poetically describes working with the practice’s principle doctor and founder as, “A dance. I need to know what Dr. Walter Hunt is thinking and anticipate his needs. I become an extension of him. I’m passionate about my responsibilities and helping others,” she says.
Outside of work Tiffanie spends time with her husband and two daughters enjoying the outdoors by fishing and camping. Her personality can be described as caring and passionate with an adventurous, fun and bubbly disposition. When asked what her future goals are Tiffanie says, “I want to continue teaching, coaching, assisting and growing personally. Ultimately, I want to do whatever it takes to spread Dr. Hunt’s practice.”
“We Truly Care About the Patients We Treat”
Brandy Fulton is the Treatment Plan and Financial Coordinator at Personal Care Dentistry and if that sounds like a big job, that’s because it is. Her primary role is to keep Personal Care Dentistry’s schedule full, but she is also intensely driven to get patients the care and treatment they need.
Brandy brings a trove of experience to the practice that is matched by her desire to help people achieve the highest level of oral healthcare. Her love of dentistry started when she was growing up outside of Pittsburgh in Irwin, Pennsylvania. “In high school I attended a career day field trip and was fascinated by dental practice. My passion is in the medical-dental profession,” she says. “I’ve been in the dental field since graduating from dental assisting school and have enjoyed many roles in the profession.” Brandy also served eight years in active duty with the Air Force and has been stationed in Colorado, Germany, New Mexico and Minneapolis. After active duty, she spent another 12 years serving our country in the Air Force reserves.
She also worked at a large dental center for 18 years before coming to PCD in 2010. Her role in the office is varied from designing treatment plans and quoting services to coordinating payment plans. Brandy manages accounts receivable, collections, insurance statements and works diligently to resolve billing issues, but her favorite part of the job is working directly with patients. “I love my position here and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” states Brandy adding, “The best part of my job is working one-on-one with people. I want patients to have a positive experience with the dental care they receive and with financial options. I am an advocate for our patients and I want them to know that no treatment is too big or too small for payment options.”
Brandy’s affable nature and caring disposition endear her to the people she works with. “I love what I do and I think that really comes out. I try to find a commonality with individuals and I enjoy getting to know new faces and catching up with our existing patients,” she says. “We truly care about the people we work with and the patients we treat. It’s not just lip service.”
Knowledge is the key work attribute for Brandy and continuous learning is just part of her job. “The more I know, the more valuable I am to my employer, coworkers and patients. I am always learning. It’s empowering and humbling at the same time,” notes Brandy. “I figure if I’ve learned something new today, I’ve earned my paycheck.”
As part of her growing knowledge base Brandy is helping to coordinate cross-training within the office as she continues to work closely with the front desk. “Cross-training becomes very important if one area gets overwhelmed another staff member can pick up the ball and run with it. And there is no ‘How do I do this or that’ if someone is out of the office.”
When asked about future goals Brandy says, “I want to continue learning, becoming more valuable and doing a great job. Ongoing training is important and I hope to elevate that within the practice. I want to exceed expectations and drive Dr. Hunt’s vision.”
Outside of the office Brandy enjoys cooking, reading and gardening. “I also work out at the YMCA every day and I love golfing in my woman’s league.” Brandy and her husband enjoy traveling with their adult son and teenage daughter as well. “We’re a very close family and vacation together. My husband talks about retirement, but I’ve got a few more good years left in me here at PCD,” she jokes.
“Our Patients Are Like Family”
As Dental Hygiene Team Leader, Kari Olson is a friendly, familiar face at Personal Care Dentistry. She joined the practice in 2010 and her responsibilities include hiring and coaching her hygiene staff, working with the dentists, and helping patients achieve optimal oral health.
Kari’s education includes an associate degree in Dental Assisting from Herzing University. After earning her degree, she spent four years at a small dental office in that role. “My love of dentistry helped me see I wanted to further my education and in 2007 I returned to school,” says Kari. In 2010 she graduated once again from Herzing University, this time with her Dental Hygienist License and started at Personal Care Dentistry on a very part-time basis. “I wanted more independence and one-on-one time with patients. Being a hygienist allows me to build relationships with the people I treat,” she says.
“When I started here I immediately loved the environment. It’s a super-friendly place to work and everyone is so positive,” notes Kari. “The practice I worked at before was poorly managed and it was highly stressful. I didn’t like going to work there. I feel very lucky to be at Personal Care Dentistry. This practice runs like a well-oiled machine,” she says with a smile.
On her initial start in the office she says, “I only worked four hours a week because nobody ever leaves this practice. People truly care here. It just grew from there, my hours increased to full-time and Dr. Hunt eventually made me the Hygiene Lead.”
Kari speaks about her place of work with enthusiasm and warmth. “PCD is amazing. Many of our patients come from word-of-mouth so Dr. Hunt is obviously doing something right. I have a sense of pride being part of this team.” She talks about the staff with genuine affection saying, “We all get along. Our team is incredible. It’s so nice to work some place where you know your team has your back. If I’m out of the office for any length of time I genuinely miss everyone here. All of us strive for the same thing – The Golden Rule,” Kari says, referring to Dr. Hunt’s belief that every member of the staff treat people as they would want to be treated themselves.
When speaking about treating patients, comfort is king with Kari. “I always ask what I can do to make them more comfortable in my chair. Reading body language is important and if I can sense they are uneasy I will do what I can to make them comfy. I’m passionate about doing a good job for them.” About her chair-side manner Kari clearly conveys a sense of caring compassion. “I don’t want people to feel like just a number… they really matter to me. I love getting to know patients and catching up with them when they come in,” she says.
Asked about her future goals Kari states, “I never want to be stagnant. I strive to be the best hygienist I possibly can be and continue to hone my treatment skills. I want to be perpetually learning and growing this incredible practice with Dr. Hunt.”
Outside of work Kari enjoys spending time with her husband, friends and family – especially her two young nieces. She has a terrier mix dog named Lola that she calls a little diva. “I love to laugh and have fun,” says Kari. “I like to think I’m the right amount of easy going.”
“I Have a Sense of Pride Being Part of This Team”
When you first walk into the offices of Personal Care Dentistry one of the bright faces you’re sure to see is Jessie Pichler. As the Front Desk Lead Jessie has a myriad of responsibilities including managing schedules, working with her team and other office related responsibilities, but her passion for helping patients is what makes her a truly dynamic asset at Personal Care Dentistry.
“I really enjoy meeting new patients and having the privilege to get to know different people. Our regular patients are like family and it’s always great working with them twice a year, seeing the changes in their lives and catching up,” says Jessie, who has been engaging people at Personal Care Dentistry’s front desk since 2014.
Her training and certification in Medical Administration prepared her for the demands of a busy practice, but her interest in the medical field began much earlier. “I’ve had an interest in anatomy, healing and medical practice since I was little,” she says adding, “I finished my educational training and was fortunate to know someone who worked here at Personal Care Dentistry where my professional career took off.”
Jessie’s demeanor in the office conveys who she is as a person and she describes her approach to the people she greets as, “Being personable. I treat people how I would want to be treated in their specific situation with attention to their needs,” she says, citing Dr. Hunt’s Golden Rule. “I try to be a bridge between what the patient needs and what the doctors need. I’m like an extension of the doctors.”
She takes an empathetic approach to more anxious visitors, focusing on her ability to understand and share the feelings of another. “I try to make patients more relaxed by relating my own experiences. We’ve all been there.” With every individual she meets, Jessie asks herself the same question. “Does this benefit the patient? If not, cut it.”
Jessie can easily be described as outgoing, “I’m laidback, but talkative and a little loud,” she says with a laugh, “I’m always trying to have more fun.” Why does Jessie thrive in her work environment? “I enjoy the culture of The Golden Rule here at Personal Care Dentistry. I love the people I work for and the staff.” What keeps Jessie coming to work every day? “The people mostly, but I have a strong sense of duty and don’t want to let anyone down.”
Outside of work Jessie keeps busy with her two young children, a daughter and a son, and balances the life of a working mother. When asked about her future goals she says, “I want to learn something new every day. I want to continually grow.” Regarding her outlook on her role at Personal Care Dentistry moving forward Jessie says, “I want to do the best I can for the patients and the staff and help Dr. Hunt take the practice wherever he wants it to go.”
“I Believe You Should Love What You Do”
Sue Anderson has been with Personal Care Dentistry for nearly 17 years working with patients one on one, making them feel comfortable and welcome.
Sue was recently selected as the Personal Care Dentistry Employee of the Year, and we thought our patients and friends would like to know the woman behind her ever-present smile in this feature story about her.