David DeTar, DDS

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  • Mar 13 2013
  • 👤 Dr. DeTar
  • 📥 History

My Professional Journey

You may have seen the time line on the ABOUT US page of this website. I would like to expand on that and state my philosophy of what it means and what are the obligations of a professional.

I believe that to uphold the trust of being a professional, a requirement of continuous learning is inherent. If one does not continue to grow, one becomes stale and not useful. This is especially important when one is entrusted with relieving pain and treating disease for the improvement of the physical and emotional well-being of others.

Dental school graduation in 1972, as much of a relief as that was, only marked the beginning of learning in my chosen profession. My first step on the journey was in the Navy Dental Corp at the submarine base in New London, Connecticut. For the next two years, I would increase the quality and efficiency of what I had learned in school by shear repetition. By the time I opened the practice in Joplin in 1974, I had become very proficient in basic dentistry.

In 1975 I joined the Academy of General Dentistry. My purpose was to learn about new treatments and techniques in general dentistry and to learn in areas where I had little or no previous training. To maintain a state dental license only 75 hours of continuing education every 3 years is required, but to fulfill my own goals much more was needed. After accumulation of 500 hours of credit, I received the AGD Fellowship status in 1985.

Realizing that the more I learned, the more I didn’t know, my pursuits continued toward the next level in the AGD; Mastership. The requirements were more exacting in every aspect of dentistry. That was great because I was interested in expanding the services I offered. After 600 more hours I received my AGD Mastership in 1995.

I learned to do things that were not even known when I was in dental school. Porcelain veneers, light cured composites, and others as well as improving existing skills and an insight into the world of TMJ disorders.

From 1997- 2003, I completed an arduous process of becoming Board Certified by the American Board of General Dentistry. This was series of volunteer self-improvement examinations to become even more proficient in my chosen field. In passing I joined an elite group of 300 dentists nation wide. I learned a great deal from that experience which has been very beneficial ultimately for our patients. But that is not the end.

A new era started as I discovered a great connection between dental and many medical problems. I focused on this area in several high level multi-year teaching programs. I learned the intricate and complex way the chewing system works and relates to general health from the Dawson / Piper Center of Advanced Dental Studies, the Orognathic Bioesthetic Institute and the Center for Advanced Biologic Orthodontics. It is now possible to diagnose and treat most any condition of the TMJ’s, headaches, airway constrictions, dental occlusion (the bite), worn or misaligned teeth, facial growth, and facial esthetic problems.

The journey has required sacrifices and commitments but has been exceedingly rewarding. I feel I am fulfilling my professional obligations to those who entrust me with their care.

  • Mar 13 2013
  • 👤 Dr. DeTar
  • 📥 History

A Tradition of Innovation: 110 Years of Service

There are five generations of doctors in my family. Each has brought something new and needed in the form of health care to our community.

In 1903 my great- grandfather, George A. DeTar graduated from medical school. He left the family farm in Albia, Iowa and headed to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to practice medicine and open a pharmacy in Narcissa. “George A” was the first real doctor in the area. He moved to Miami when lead and zinc mining started and the population center shifted there. He was the classic horse and buggy pioneer doctor who often times delivered babies in homes and performed surgery on the kitchen table. I’ll always treasure the stories he told me about those times.

Many times Dr. George A. was accompanied on his house calls by my grandfather, Burleigh. It seemed natural for him to pursue a medical career and in 1924 he graduated from KU medical school and then Columbia Medical School in New York for advanced surgery training. In 1946, he built an innovative clinic which brought specialists together under one roof. I loved the stories of earlier times which always began with the the phrase, “When the world was young...” He practiced for 60 years.

My father, Burliegh Jr., was a curious perfectionist. After KU medical school in 1945, he became the chief resident in thorasic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 1950. Like his predecessors, he brought his skills home. He joined the DeTar Clinic and provided state-of-the-art surgery at the local level.

I grew up in Joplin. After dental school and a two year service in the Navy Dental Corps, I too returned home to began practice in 1974. Since then I have continued my journey of the tradition of innovation in dentistry and medical-dental inter-related care. Recognition as such in the areas of heart disease, diabetes control problems, and pre-term births is now mainstream. In obstructive sleep apnea, ADD/ ADHD, and certain auto-immune diseases, dentistry plays a vital role in airway health.

My oldest daughter, Amanda, is continuing the family tradition. She practices Emergency Medicine in Springfield. I am amazed at the miraculous advances that are possible today for seemingly hopeless situations.

Quality health care should be available locally. The tradition of innovation to serve the people of the four states is one of which we are proud.

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