Our Team Leaders Becky Carver | New Patient Specialist “I Really Enjoy Getting to Know Our New Patients” Krista Dirksen | Hygiene Assistant Team Leader “Patients Say Everyone Is So Nice Here and They Feel Comforted and Truly Cared For” Brandy Fulton | Financial & Treatment Plan Coordinator “We Truly Care About the Patients We Treat” Kari Olson | Dental Hygiene Team Leader “Our Patients Are Like Family” Jessie Pichler | Front Desk Team Leader “I Have a Sense of Pride Being Part of This Team
Some of Our Team Members Kim Bruss | Dental Hygienist “I Want to Give Each Patient a Personal, Caring Experience” Missy Hall | Dental Hygienist “Everybody’s Different and I Find what Works for That Individual”
Dr. Walter Hunt, D.D.S. | Dentist & Founder
“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:
◊ ‘Top Dentist’ by Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine for 4 years ◊ ‘Top Dentist’ by Roseville Review readers for 9 years ◊ ‘Top Dentist’ by Minnesota Monthly for the last 3 years ◊ Angie’s List Super Service award for 5 years
“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. Find out the story behind Dr. Hunt’s decision to follow the Golden Rule in his dental practice.
“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.
Dr. Andrew Heinisch, D.D.S. | Dentist
“This Is a Practice That Values Building Person-to-Person Relationships”
When Dr. Andrew Heinisch decided to move his dental career to the Twin Cities in the Fall of 2018 from Worthington, Minnesota, he had a wide range of options in where he would practice and how he would practice. “I looked at both private practices and chain practices, in both downtown locations and suburban offices. But I kept finding that their goal was not to develop patient relationships based on trust and quality of care.”
But when Dr. Heinisch interviewed with Dr. Walter Hunt, founder of Personal Care Dentistry, and spent time getting to know some of the care team at the Roseville practice, he knew he had found a new home. “They really do provide personal care at Personal Care Dentistry,” he says. “I knew pretty quickly that it was a practice that fit me.”
Since joining the Personal Care Dentistry team, Dr. Heinisch’s initial impressions have been accurate. “This is a practice that values building person-to-person relationships with their patients. They treat their patients as people, not a set of teeth. The staff are very kind and are genuine in the way they treat patients and talk to them. I see a lot of smiling team members at Personal Care Dentistry.”
That approach to patients fits Dr. Heinisch’s philosophy. “Dentistry should revolve around the patient, and if they are happy I am happy.”
Dr. Henisch grew up in St. Paul and went to Harding High School. He worked office jobs in two Twin Cities hospitals after he graduated from high school, including three years when he managed to juggle both full-time jobs. Eventually he decided to enroll at the University of Minnesota as an undergraduate and majored in biochemistry. He worked the entire time he was at the U of M, and also volunteered at the Union Gospel Mission and taught GED classes in math and science. Dr. Heinisch graduated in 2010 from the University of Minnesota, and then was accepted in the dental program at the University of Iowa.
“I was attracted to dentistry because it is a medical profession that is its own specialty and I was always attracted to the medical field,” notes Dr. Heinisch. “I have always been interested in oral health and dentistry was the perfect field for me to pursue.”
Dr. Heinisch graduated in 2014 with a dental degree, and joined a practice in Iowa Falls that had several clinics in Iowa and Minnesota. He worked in their clinics in Fort Dodge and in Des Moines for a year, and then moved up to Worthington, Minnesota in 2015 to work in their dental office.
Dr. Heinisch believes in giving back to his community. “I have always wanted to serve underprivileged populations. I was on a Kiwanis board and helped with a free clinic – we offered services to people who couldn’t get service.”
Dr. Heinisch and his wife Brandy live in downtown St. Paul and have one daughter– Nadia – who was born in the summer of 2018. They also have a pair of dogs – Roxie and Piffy – and a cat named Brady (Dr. Heinisch’s wife is a New England Patriots fan). They like to bike and kayak and Dr. Heinisch loves to spend time in his kitchen baking.
Our Complete Dental Care Team
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.
Meet Our Team Leaders
Becky Carver | New Patient Specialist
“I Really Enjoy Getting to Know Our New Patients”
Becky Carver’s opportunity to learn and grow in her work career was a big motivator when she took a Patient Coordinator position at Personal Care Dentistry in August 2014. She was looking for a health care setting where she could make a difference and work with people that she liked and respected. Little did she know that all of those areas of her job would be realized within just a couple of years.
“I had worked as a veterinary technician for more than a decade, and I loved it before I had kids but I got burned out after all those years. I love dogs and cats, but I loved the medical science part of the job as much. Eventually, I decided that I needed to find a new career in health care – but this time with people. I answered an ad for a Patient Coordinator at Personal Care Dentistry and when I interviewed with Brandy (Personal Care Dentistry’s Financial and Treatment Plan Coordinator) at the clinic I remember thinking ‘this is a place where I feel like I could grow and I really like that it is a private practice’.”
Becky got the job, and she worked as the Patient Coordinator with a lot of patient insurance coverage and spent a lot of time on the phone with insurance companies. She also worked extensively with patient treatment plans.
In April 2018, Becky was named Personal Care Dentistry’s New Patient Specialist. She is the face and voice of Personal Care Dentistry when new patients walk in the door for their first appointment. She provides each new patient with an extensive tour of the clinic’s 8,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities, then sits down with each patient to initially assess what are their oral health care needs. Once they have been guided to either the hygiene team or the dental group for a chairside evaluation and/or treatment, she visits again with the patient to review their proposed treatment plan and insurance coverage. She also follows up with the patient after their first visit to find out how they are doing.
“I really enjoy getting to know our new patients and helping them not be nervous about their dental care. I get it when they are nervous because I’ve had a lot of dental work over the years. Plus I love to explain their insurance and see that ‘light bulb” go off when they understand their insurance.”
One of the main guiding principles of Personal Care Dentistry is that all patients should be treated the same way that the dental care team would want to be treated if they were patients – with compassion, dignity, and excellence. “I really believe in that approach and I think patients should expect it. We really do follow the Golden Rule here, and everyone on our team truly cares about our patients as people.”
Becky notes that Personal Care Dentistry is a busy office that provides plenty of challenges every day. “But it’s also extremely rewarding and a really fun place to work. We have an amazing staff here.”
Becky and her husband Bob live in Maplewood, which is where she grew up in the Twin Cities. They have three kids and are “busy, busy, busy” with their kids’ activities. Her husband is a mechanic who owns his own shop, and her son has also become a mechanic. The family loves to go camping up north when they have the time.
Krista Dirksen | Hygiene Assistant Team Leader
“Patients Say Everyone Is So Nice Here and They Feel Comforted and Truly Cared For”
When Krista Dirksen walked into Personal Care Dentistry in 2014 for a job interview for a part-time dental hygienist position, she knew pretty quickly that this was “the” dental clinic for her. “I was interviewing for a part-time job to take over for a hygienist who was on maternity leave, but I felt really at home almost immediately. After a second stint as a fill-in for someone else on maternity leave, they couldn’t get rid of me! Now I’m here five days a week and I love it!”
Krista is the Hygiene Assistant Team Leader at Personal Care Dentistry, working with Team Lead Kari Olson in her role. She first learned about Personal Care Dentistry through a classmate from dental hygiene school – Jenna Lind who had previously joined the practice. They both went to Argosy University, where Krista earned an AAS degree. “I originally went to Normandale Community College to get my general education credits completed before transferring to a four-year school and getting a nursing degree or a psychology degree so I could work with kids. But in the back of my mind was also the idea of becoming a dental hygienist. I had been involved in a bad car accident in high school and I had to have a lot of dental work done. The dentist who did a lot of reconstructive work on my mouth asked me what I wanted to do for a career and I said I was thinking of becoming a nurse. He said I should become a dental hygienist because the hours were better and it was a lot less stressful.”
Krista grew up in Burnsville and worked a variety of retail jobs when she was in high school and college. “It was a pretty diverse retail career – I worked in a prom dress store at the Mall of America for awhile before working at Home Depot in the flooring department. Plus I worked in an office job for an insurance company. I got to meet all kinds of people from all walks of life and that gave me a good foundation for being a dental hygienist – I can feel at ease with any patient no matter what their situation or background. That really helps with new patients when they have their first appointment here.”
Dr. Walter Hunt’s Golden Rule of Dentistry resonated with Krista when she first started working at Personal Care Dentistry. “I was so impressed at how Dr. Hunt placed so much importance on the doctor-patient relationship and how we needed to treat every patient with the highest level of respect.”
What impressed Krista even more was that the conversations she had with patients mirrored what she had heard from Dr. Hunt, who founded the practice in 1977. “Patients say everyone is so nice here and they feel comforted and truly cared for. Lots of patients have told me that they don’t like going to the dentist but they like coming here.”
Krista has found a very supportive team environment at Personal Care Dentistry. “The first week I was here, Kari (Hygiene Team Leader) told me that you can ask anyone for help and they will be there for you. I found that to be very true. It’s the most cohesive office I have ever worked in.”
Krista lives in Apple Valley with her husband Andy and their two dogs Ralphie (a terrier) and Veronica (a pug) who she describes as “a couple of real characters”. She and Andy enjoy softball, watching movies, and traveling when they have the time (and funds). She volunteers with the Big Brother program and at a free public clinic in Burnsville.
Brandy | Financial Coordinator
“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.
Kari | Hygiene Team Leader
“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.”
Jessie | Front Desk Team Leader
“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.”
Some of Our Team Members
Kim Bruss | Hygienist
“I Want to Give Each Patient a Personal, Caring Experience”
When Kim Bruss looks back at her 39 years as a dental hygienist at Personal Care Dentistry, she marvels at the changes that she has witnessed during those nearly four decades. She has watched the practice grow from a couple of employees and 500 square feet to the nearly 30 employees and 8,000 square feet that now distinguish the practice. She has seen Dr. Kyle Hunt go from a toddler who would visit the practice with his dad, Dr. Walter Hunt, to being a key member of the care team as a dentist. Find out more about Kim in this feature story.
Missy Hall |Dental Hygienist
“Everybody’s Different and I Find what Works for That Individual”
If you read any of Personal Care Dentistry’s patient testimonials and reviews it won’t take long before you come across some glowing praise for a hygienist named Missy. Since 2004 Melissa Hall has been providing the highest level of professional treatment with her characteristically compassionate chairside manner. Her winning ways are in part from her training at the University of Minnesota and by following Dr. Walter Hunt’s Golden Rule of treating Personal Care Dentistry patients as they themselves would want to be treated.Read more about Missy in this feature story.