By Joan Janzen
Dr. Dana Bailey’s long career first began with a decision made by a Grade 11 student who attended a U of S career night and was attracted to the College of Dentistry booth. “I decided that night I would like to be a dentist,” he explained, and eight years later he graduated with distinction from the U of S College of Dentistry.
Dr. Bailey was an associate dentist in Regina, along with Dr. Lloyd Orthner. Both desired to raise their families outside of a city environment, so after doing some investigating, they purchased a lot in Kindersley, tore down a building and built a dental clinic, which opened in May of 1978.
Tragedy struck in 2006 when Dr. Lloyd Orthner passed away. “I was very depressed with the loss of a friend and the pressure of managing a two dentist practice,” Dr. Bailey said. It was during this time that he relied on God’s strength and the strength of friends. His wife, Marge stepped in and managed the dental business, and was a major source of support. He also noted that “Our amazing employees stayed connected under hard, long days.”
Throughout the years Dr. Bailey’s passion for learning has been coupled with a desire to provide the best treatment possible. He has diligently completed continuing education courses in order to stay current with the newest techniques and technology.
In 2009 Dr. Krista Maedel came on staff as associate dentist, and eventually purchased Lifetime Dental in 2016. Dr. Bailey is now working part-time as one of the associate dentists in the practice.
During the thirty-eight years he owned the practice he has seen many changes take place. He noted the most significant period of change was the transition from ledger written appointment books to online appointment scheduling.
He’s also gained the trust of families, from generation to another, not only as patients but as friends. He has provided orthodontic services as a general practitioner, and is now seeing the children and grandchildren of patients he treated when he first stared practicing in Kindersley.
He has seen first hand the necessity of keeping people out of pain, as the increasing stress of daily life effects the teeth, jaw, joints and muscles. He also said it’s rewarding when “Changing people’s smiles, changes their attitude and confidence about themselves.”
Beginning in 2004, Dr. Bailey also began bringing smiles to people in Guatemala. “We had used dental equipment from UBC College of Dentistry shipped to Guatemala and set up a dental clinic at a mission base. We mainly did dental extractions and fillings, as we would in Canada,” he explained. However, in Guatemala the clinic used only generators for electricity, and there often was no continual water supply.
“I always wanted to help people in severe need, and give my gift of providing dental treatment to the poor.” Because the oral health conditions are so much worse in Guatemala, the patients are much more grateful when they receive dental care.
Each year he and a team of volunteers would travel to Guatemala, where the dental clinic would be in operation, and other projects would be completed. Seeing such a deep appreciation for what the team does has revitalized the passion of anyone who has travelled with Dr. Bailey to Guatemala. Unfortunately a team is unable to travel to Guatemala in 2021 due to the current restrictions.
Dr. Bailey is also an ordained pastor and has led a congregation in Kindersley since he was ordained in 2002. He also serves on the local ministerial board.
An avid sports fan, he has been the team dentist for the Kindersley Klippers and the KCS football team. He’s always been involved with the local curling club, and his other pastime is golfing, which he now has more time to enjoy. He’s also a long time Roughrider fan, holding season tickets since 1979.
Dr. Bailey recently celebrated his 70th birthday. The staff posted on facebook, “He makes us smile and brings so much joy and laughter every day he’s in the office.”
“As a stranger to this community in 1978, I was felt accepted here to do what I loved – dentistry with an amazing team of professionals in a warm, clean, progressive rural community. I am so grateful for the relationships that we have built over the years. This is truly our home!”
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