Graduation Year: 1997
Current Position: Owner Dentist Brenner Family Dental/Brenner Dental Group, Rockford/Buffalo MN
Please give a brief description of your current position and where you're working. I am a general Dentist in Rockford and Buffalo, MN. I have owned my own practice since 2008.
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job? After Dental school I worked as an associate Dr. for 1 year then joined the Air Force for 4 years. I was stationed at McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kansas. After the AF, I returned to MN and worked with Ling Family Dentistry in Blaine. In 2008 I had the opportunity to purchase a small practice and become my own boss. It has been a lot of work trying to grow an office and team.
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career? First enjoy your time at SJU! The experiences and growth that I had at SJU formed me into the man, husband, father, and dentist that I am today. Make sure to take both challenging courses from the science perspective but also ensure you are a well-rounded individual. Take time to volunteer and learn about people and experiences. When we meet our patients we must realize there is more to a person than their teeth! I would suggest looking into summer employment at a dental lab or dental office. Getting to know the field is important to ensuring it will be your passion.
What skills are important in your field? There are several things which can make you a better dentist. Knowledge-always seek to grow, never take someone's input as unimportant. Other dentists and staff members have knowledge that can make your life easier. Communication: we must be able to listen to our patients and team members and inform them of the procedures and diagnosis in ways they understand and can buy into. Physics: the physics of chewing and function in the mouth dictates materials and procedures. Understanding the concepts gives us the ability to succeed. Three-dimensional reasoning: we have to know how what we do will affect other teeth in the mouth. Fine dexterity: in some ways we are a daily study in arts and crafts. Light and refraction: what we do is reflected in light. Shades, shadows, translucency all play a part in making a restored tooth look perfect.
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career? Track and Cross Country: Tim Miles and my teammates brought me to be focused and dedicated to long term goals. I firmly believe I am where I am today because I was an athlete at SJU and learned to give everything into goals. The well-rounded curriculum allows me to see multiple points of view and perspectives. Faith Experiences. Life is about more than ourselves.
What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job? Working with patients and helping them overcome dental concerns. Seeing a patient progress from severe dental needs to a healthier person.