Dental Arts

God put them here for a reason.

That’s the driving force behind the three dentists—Dr. James Elias, Dr. Kirk Opdahl, and Dr. Jeremy Bowen—who lead the team at Dental Arts.

That reason is to make a positive impact on the lives of their patients and in the community at large by leveraging their collective talents in the fields of functional and cosmetic dentistry.

On an individual level, they do that by truly listening to what their patients need. If that’s sedation because of anxiety or fear of dental procedures, they’re equipped with options to turn what might be a harrowing experience into a positive one, including music, back massagers, headphones, movies, nitrous oxide, and oral conscious sedation.

Perhaps most importantly, they understand that the experience is different for each patient and they acknowledge that fears and anxieties about dental procedures are real.

The three doctors don’t do it alone, however; rather, they have built an impressive team of talented, dedicated professionals of hygienists, office staff, and a care team that caters to each patient’s needs.

“We take pride in what we do,” says Opdahl, “and we respect our patients. We respect their time and we do everything we can to make sure visits are as short and pleasant as possible.

We have a very gifted group of people who are each talented in different ways,” says Opdahl. “Some have master’s degrees, others have unique life experiences, such as being a former police officer or a leader in their church. Some are artists and others are educators. Each of them has distinctive skills and qualities that they bring to the practice.

We understand that it takes many different people to make a great team, and we prefer that people simply be themselves—when we all use our own talents, we perform at our best,” he says.

What they each share, despite their varied backgrounds and individual talents, is generosity of spirit.

“We have a very generous team, which means that each of them has a heart to help others and to make a difference,” says Opdahl.

That collective spirit shines through the various events the Dental Arts team takes part in. The practice adopts families every year for Christmas, making it a personal mission to provide gifts for those families—families who wouldn’t have gifts otherwise—to open on Christmas Day.

“We know there’s a lot of need around the world, too,” says Opdahl. “Dr. Elias has traveled about 10 times to Africa, where he sets up free dental clinics for a week at a time. He’s also taken medical and dental students there, which has been an incredible adventure.”

They’ve also organized and orchestrated a free clinic in the Kansas City area. One weekend a year from 2009 to 2013, the team joined with local dental supply companies, such as Goetze Dental, to provide free dental services to those in need.

Another clinic is being planned for August. Called MOMOM, it will bring more than 200 dentists, 75 hygienists, and more than 1,000 volunteers together to provide services to individuals who cannot afford regular dental care. It will be held close to the Dental Arts office, at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence.

“This event will be life changing for thousands of people,” says Opdahl. “Yes, thousands.” Services offered will include simple cleanings, extractions, fillings, and even some tooth replacement.

“The last MOMOM event took place in Columbia, Missouri, and helped about 2,000 people. More than $1 million in free dental care was provided then,” says Opdahl.

“We know all of this is possible through Christ, and that’s what we’re aiming for again.”

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