Small town life, great friends, and great people have enticed Dr. Mark Eilers to practice dentistry in Prineville.
Eilers was born and raised in Portland. He and his family recently relocated to Prineville to join Dr. Anthony Ramos in the Ochoco Dental family as a full-time dentist, after working part-time on a by-weekly basis, traveling from Portland. Eilers had an established dental practice in Portland prior to moving to Prineville.
Although Prineville is very different than Portland, the small community feel is what Eilers likes most about it.
"It's incredibly different, which is why we are here. We are glad to have the smaller community, and it has been great. We have always vacationed down in Central Oregon and loved it down here," said Eilers of his reasons for making the move.
After graduating from West Linn High School, Eilers moved to Bend to play in the mountains and attend school at Central Oregon Community College. After spending two years in Bend, he moved to Bozeman, Montana, to finish his degree in premedical sciences and continue playing outdoors. After college, Eilers decided to continue his family legacy and apply to dental school.
Ramos and Eilers attended dental school together and remained friends. Eilers received his dental school education from Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Dentistry and graduated in 2005. He is the seventh dentist in five generations of his family.
While in school at OHSU, Eilers met his wife, Laurissa Champion. Laurissa continued on at OHSU as a specialist in periodontics. They have an almost 5-year-old daughter Harper, 2 Â½-year-old fraternal twins, Harlan and Ada, a German Shepherd (Greta), and an English Shepherd (Marley). During his free time, he spends as much time as possible outdoors with family and friends.
During the interval that Eilers was traveling between Prineville and Portland to work part-time for Ramos, the possibly of having him come and stay permanently became a topic of conversation.
"Over the last couple of years, he asked me if I would be willing to sell my practice up in Portland and come and join him, and we actually made it work. It has been an absolute blast, and we are having a ton of fun," Eilers added.
He went on to say, "We wanted to make sure that it was going to be a good fit, and Prineville was going to be a place that I wanted to raise my family. Tony and I are friends before we are business mates, and we wanted to make sure that we were going to be happy practicing together and that it wasn't going to be detrimental to our relationship. It has been absolutely the opposite. It has brought our families closer together, and the practice is thriving and the team we have associated here that we have built."
He noted that with Ramos being so connected with the community, he has been introduced to many of the people in the community and become connected and involved in community events.
"We are meeting great people and great families and getting to do more and more stuff with the community involvement and help out with the Patty Pint for next year."
He noted that they are also doing outreach to the ER doctors in town on emergency dental medicine and preparing to do a lecture on the topic. He spends a great deal of time helping with local law enforcement, as well as Doernbecher and Randall Children's Hospital doing bitemark analysis, age estimation and identification. He does this work free of charge as a way to help the community he knows and loves.
Eilers has been involved in athletics his entire life. His love of sports got him involved in sports dentistry right after dental school. He became involved with the American Academy of Sports Dentistry in 2006 and has been a team dentist for the Portland Winterhawks and many local high schools ever since. In 2012, Eilers was accepted to a two-year Fellowship in Forensic Odontology at the University of Texas, San Antonio.
Eilers is dedicated to providing the best quality cosmetic and general dentistry in a comfortable and caring environment. He takes pride in building long-term, trusting relationships with patients and community.
"It has been fun—it's fun interacting with everyone in the community and feeling appreciated for the work that we do, and enjoying that aspect of things," he concluded.
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