By Phyl Newbeck
David Stephens was born in Williston but he and his wife wanted to experience other parts of the United States. After graduating from UVM with a major in biology, he got his dental degree at Temple University before moving to Rhode Island where he practiced for several years. Stephens had always planned on returning to Vermont and on a visit to see his father who had practiced dentistry in Williston, he learned that Bruce Metz was thinking of retiring from his Hinesburg practice. Stephens’ wife had initially been reluctant to return but she had a change of heart and Stephens met with Metz the next day. In October of 2011 he placed a deposit on the practice and in March of 2012 he came home and put down roots in Hinesburg.
Stephens is thrilled to have taken over an existing dental facility. “It was a very up-to-date practice in a perfect location,” he said. “It seemed like a perfect fit.” Stephens enjoyed his job in Rhode Island but he had always wanted to own his own practice so it was an easy decision to make the jump. Most of Metz’ patients have stayed with the practice and although there has been some staff turnover, Stephens believes it has been a good transition. “We may have been different ages but we have similar ideologies on how to treat people in dentistry,” he said. The practice is open Monday through Thursday and Stephens is accepting new patients in the hope of expanding his hours. He is enjoying the opportunity to reconnect with some familiar names from his days at CVU and meet others in the community.
Stephens does all phases of dentistry including root canals, extractions and dentures. The practice is completely digital including digital x-rays which are low radiation. There is also a special laser device which diagnoses cavities. Stephens grew up working at his father’s practice and later became a surgical assistant at another facility. The fact that his father enjoyed the work influenced his decision to become a dentist. “It’s a good fit for my personality,” he said. “I love working with my hands and interacting with patients. It’s been very hands-on and busy, but enjoyable. Time does not crawl.”
Stephens’ growing family is another reason he wanted to return to Vermont. He has a 10-month-old and a 3-year-old and while their presence has limited his time skiing and cycling, it has given him the opportunity to visit places like Shelburne Farms and to introduce the young ones to traditions like sugar on snow. “I’m glad I got to experience other places,” he said “but it feels good to be back home.”
Stephens hopes Metz’ former clients are as pleased with him as he is with them. “I’m very happy with the clientele that came with the practice,” he said. “These are really good people and I’ve enjoyed interacting with the Hinesburg community and beyond. It’s a really neat practice and I’m happy to be here. I’ve improved people’s smiles and I enjoy doing that. It’s a great job.”