Top Dentists 2009
Looking for a dentist? Whether you need a dentist for routine appointments or for more specialized procedures, this list can make a recommendation. Who’s doing the recommending? The dentists themselves, who voted for their colleagues in a survey that resulted in this list of 210 Hawaii dentists, in seven specialties.
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As you read this, Norman Chun is approximately a month into his second tour of duty in Baghdad with the Army National Guard’s 29th Support Battalion. While on deployment, this Hawaii pediatric dentist provides dental care not only to the battalion’s soldiers but also several Department of Defense officials.
“There are a shortage of dentists in Iraq so I’m helping our soldiers,” says Chun, who’s been practicing in Kailua for 22 years. If his commanding officer permits, Chun will also go on humanitarian missions to rural Iraqi cities and provide care to local civilians in need.
“Going [to Iraq] really puts life in a different perspective. We are so lucky here and take things for granted,” says Chun. “We grumble about [whether to do] rail or not, when most people in Iraq don’t even have a car and are just trying to make it by.”
Chun’s brothers, Mitchell and Mark, will take Norman’s patients while he’s deployed; they share the same practice their late father, also a dentist, established 60 years ago. Volunteering for the National Guard runs in the family along with dentistry. Mark, a retired colonel, was also deployed as a dentist to Iraq.
Although he enjoys his overseas work, Chun looks forward to returning to his family and his practice. “I love it, it’s enjoyable work.”
General and Cosmetic Dentist
It’s not uncommon for some of Keri Do’s patients to cry and hug her for the work she’s done on their mouths. Do is a volunteer dentist for Give Back a Smile, a national program started in 1999 by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry to provide free dental work and restoration to survivors of domestic abuse.
“It makes a huge difference in somebody’s life to replace a patient’s missing front teeth, some who have been that way for years, but have no way of replacing them,” said Do, who is one of 10 Hawaii dentists who volunteer with the program. “My goal is to help them integrate back into society and give them great smiles.”
In between working on her cosmetic dentistry accreditation, Do provides free work to qualified patients and sits on one of the five Give Back a Smile committees that appropriates funds and approves cases. Do hopes to see more dentists get involved. “I think a lot [of dentists] don’t know about the program. We especially need help on the Neighbor Islands.”
Hawaii currently has 32 domestic-abuse survivors, most of them women, on a list—the national programs’ longest—waiting to receive tooth replacements and other dental work. Since its inception, Give Back a Smile has donated $237,317 worth of work. “This program changes a patient’s life.”