Home-grown, high-tech dentistry
What can you tell us about your background?
I grew up on a cattle ranch in Crawford, Nebraska, which is a small town in the very northwest corner of Nebraska. My family homesteaded this place somewhere around 1883. It’s amazing to think about the fact that no one else has owned this property prior to this — it even was part of the Louisiana Purchase! My sons are the sixth generation to have lived on the original homestead. After attending the University of Nebraska for undergraduate studies, I traveled south to dental school at the University of Oklahoma. It was a great place to study and an excellent clinical school. Upon graduation, my wife and I decided to move back to our hometown to raise our family, and in June of 1997, I joined my childhood dentist back home in Crawford Nebraska. I opened my first implant-only office in 2008 in Rapid City, South Dakota, and eventually moved with my family there full time in 2010. This is where I call home today.
Is your practice limited to implants?
Yes, my practice is limited to the placement and restoration of dental implants and has been since 2008.
Why did you decide to focus on implantology?
It took only a matter of months in private practice to realize that dentures, partials, and bridges were not the long-term solution. I could not see myself providing these services for the rest of my career when there were better solutions using dental implants.
How long have you been practicing, and what systems do you use?
I began placing dental implants in 1998 after taking several courses throughout the country. It was very rewarding being the only dentist offering implants for over 100 miles. The first system I used was Sterngold/Sulzer, and I used it until I believe Zimmer Dental bought them sometime in the early 2000s. In 2007, I tried BioHorizons® dental implant systems and have been with them ever since.
What training have you undertaken?
As with anything you do as a young dentist, you have the success that drives you, but it’s the failures that motivate you to become better for you and your patients. I went through the Misch International Implant Institute™, becoming a fellow and then one of Dr. Misch’s first masters. I also completed the Medical College of Georgia AAID Maxi-Course in Atlanta, Georgia, and every dental implant course I could get my hands on. Through this process of implant education, I realized I wanted more prosthetics and comprehensive dental education, so I completed the curriculum at the Kois Center in Seattle, Washington, and ultimately became a Mentor at the Kois Center. It was this culmination of experience and education that inspired me to work on my credentials, becoming a Fellow, Master, and Diplomate in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), Fellow and Associate Fellow for the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), and ultimately a Diplomate in the American Board of Oral Implantology.
Who has inspired you?
My father, David Moody. Since he is a rancher, he is part doctor/veterinarian, part engineer, and part superhero for doing the chores he does and working the hours he works. In dentistry, it’s Dr. Roger Plooster in Lincoln, Nebraska; he is my friend, my colleague, and my mentor in dentistry and especially implantology. Because he graduated from Crawford High School with my father, I have always known him, but when I graduated from dental school, he took me in as one of his own sons. He use to host what we called an “implant rodeo” — a day where three to four of us would gather in one of our offices and place dental implants on those who couldn’t afford it. We would do procedures that challenged us as a group, and I can’t tell you how valuable these days were.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your practice?
Having a patient say, “Thank you.” It’s that simple!
Top left: Father/son pheasant hunt
Top right: Friday night lights for Dr. Moody’s oldest son, Aaron
Lower left: Black Angus cattle on the Moody Ranch
Lower right: Crawford, Nebraska, city limit sign
One day I received a thank-you note from a doctor whom I had trained. He said that dental implants have given his career a new start, and how he loves to go to work now. When you hear someone say that he/she considers you a mentor, that’s the moment when you sit back and realize that you made a difference in someone’s life. That’s what I am most proud of!
What do you think is unique about your practice?
Without a doubt, it’s the fact that I am a general dentist with a referral-based practice. I have over 70 doctors in five states that have trusted their patients’ implant care to me. It’s an honor and a privilege to work with each and every one of them.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Educating the public about dental implants. So many people still to this day feel like dental implants are only for the rich. It is the standard of care, in my opinion, for the replacement of a missing tooth or teeth and should be offered to all our patients.
What would you have become if you had not become a dentist?
A farmer/rancher. It’s a great way of life.
What is the future of implants and dentistry?
Digital. The future of implant dentistry is in CAD/CAM and the ability to provide ideal placement and restorations through guided surgery.
What are your top tips for main-taining a successful practice?
The best tip I have is to keep it about the patient, doing what you feel is the right thing every time. It is not our right to be a doctor; it’s a privilege and an honor to have patients place their trust in you as a dentist.
What advice would you give to budding implantologists?
Never stop learning! Take as many courses as you can, and provide your patients with the very best in care. Choose an implant system based upon science, not price. Treatment plan your cases using a CBCT — there is no substitution for knowing the whole story. And give back. We have the best profession in the world that allows for us to change someone’s life.
What are your hobbies, and what do you do in your spare time?
I like to travel with my family, attend sporting events of all kinds, and hunt birds here in South Dakota.