Dr. Grant R. Smith
I was born genetically predisposed to be a dentist. My father was a dentist and a pharmacist. My mother is a dental hygienist with a degree in Physical Education, and the ability to instruct anyone in how to resuscitate their fellow man. From my father, I decided to try my hand at working in a pharmacy; from my mother, I learned an aversion to exercise, but from both of them I learned that teeth are where it’s at.
My parents raised my sister and I, sent us to scouts, tried to get us to learn an instrument or two, made sure that we could speak Spanish, took us on trips all over the place (mostly dental trips so that my father could write them off). Finally, my sister and I were sent to Shawnee Mission East High school, and then our parents sent us both up to Lawrence. My sister got a degree in Social Work, and I got a degree in Human Neuroanatomy and Physiology. Shortly before entering dental school, I met a Music major on the internet. She could dance, she could understand my jokes, and she would eat anything that I cooked for her (props to Alton Brown—I owe him). It was love!
I went to dental school at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). When I was done with that, I did a residency in the special patient care clinic. There I worked with transplant patients, oncology patients, and others who needed more care than the rank and file at UMKC could provide, or they needed things done quickly to prepare for surgery. I learned more in this residency than I perhaps ever learned in my whole life.
While I worked there, Melissa (the Music major) had started as a dental hygiene student. She evidently thought my parents were right as well about teeth being where it’s at. I started practicing with my father, and shortly after that, Melissa and I were married.
My wife and I then decided that there should be more Smiths in the world, so we had a couple of kids! I bought the practice from my father and Melissa came to work with me. Now she’s the office manager, which is fun as she’s now the one responsible for telling me what to do. Eva, one of our kids, is in charge of our social media campaigns, and Eric, our other kid, has decided that he might want to learn to pull teeth out professionally. Who knows what’s going to happen next? But I know it will always make for an adventure!
Dr. Allan D. Reichman
After 30 years in one office in Prairie Village, a change of scenery beckoned. I packed up my solo office and moved away: about two blocks east on 83rd Street to join with Dr. Grant Smith at Prairie Village Dentists. This has provided me a stimulating experience of working with a group of talented team members who are conscientious, caring, and ethical.
Though the trip over 83rd Street is a straight line, my destination into dentistry was definitely a zigzag path. With a degree in English literature from KU, I was not really sure of what should follow. So, for two years I had a variety of opportunities, from driving a forklift, to repairing binoculars and telescopes, to delivering mail for the U.S. Postal Service.
Along with obtaining an English degree, I had taken courses to complete prerequisites for the health sciences. Would it be graduate school in English or dental school? I already knew how to read, but I did not know the dental arts. It was off to UMKC School of Dentistry. After time in a hospital clinic, I entered private practice.
My wife Nancy and I were married just before I began dental school. She had been teaching English at Lee’s Summit High School and continued to do so while completing her master’s degree in education at UMKC. Several years ago Nancy came to help in the office on a temporary basis, but she’s still here. Perhaps she prefers dental office duties to grading high school English essays.
Nancy and I, as well as our daughter and son, attended Shawnee Mission East (a few years apart though). Three of us became Jayhawks, while our son turned up as a Nebraska Cornhusker. Currently our daughter and son-in-law are living in Adelaide, Australia, where he grew up. (They met in Poland, but that’s another story altogether.) Our son and daughter-in-law and year-old grandson live in York, Pennsylvania.