Trusted Care that Lasts

Al Imhoff’s four-unit bridge prosthetic is celebrating its 50th birthday this month. He had his bridge installed in 1969 at the University of Minnesota Dental Clinic in the old Owre Hall on the east bank of the Twin Cities campus.

“I have had zero problems with this bridge in 50 years, until this summer, when one tooth broke,” said Imhoff, who returned to the dental clinic for the first time in 50 years this fall. “The faculty and students were impressed, but not surprised, to see [that] the work of their predecessors lasted this long.”

Upon returning from a two-year Peace Corp assignment in Iran in 1969, Imhoff’s primary worry was the periodontitis he developed while abroad. Once School of Dentistry experts addressed his gum disease, his dentists persuaded him to replace his temporary prosthetic (he had lost one front tooth to hockey and another to basketball) with a permanent bridge.

Imhoff returned to the clinic this fall to have his bridge replaced and have additional work done.

“I know I can trust the care here,” Imhoff said. “They are up on the latest techniques. And they are very careful. Everyone is checking and double checking the work.”

Imhoff, who retired as a facilities manager at the University of Minnesota, said he is pleased with the clear communication and the ability to participate in developing his care plan. Because he is paying for his care out of pocket, he wanted to understand every detail.

“The team here gives you options,” he said. “My doctor called me at home so my wife Sue and I could hear all the options together, ask questions and make a very informed decision.”

While the practice of dentistry evolved significantly in 50 years, Imhoff said he is certain the University of Minnesota Dental Clinics’ standard of quality remains excellent.

“For me, it’s about trust,” he said. “I know that when I’m done with the restoration plan, I will have highly functional and comfortable teeth that will stand the test of time.”

Al Imhoff
Al Imhoff