Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

New dentist seeing patients at Polson Tribal Health Clinic

By B.L. Azure
THD PIO

Kansas native Dr. Scott Springer, DDS, has joined the Tribal Health Department Dental Division staff. (B.L. Azure photo)Kansas native Dr. Scott Springer, DDS, has joined the Tribal Health Department Dental Division staff. (B.L. Azure photo)

POLSON — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Tribal Health Department recently welcomed Dr. Scott Stringer, DDS, to the fold in its Dental Division. The 27-year-old Kansas native began seeing patients in Polson Aug. 11. Besides that he continues to get the lay of the land. W He said what he’s seen so far is stunning, especially the view of the Mission Mountains from atop Ravalli Hill.

Stringer was raised in Joplin, Missouri, a town made famous by its mention in the classic road song “Route 66” and by the devastating tornado in 2011. Luckily, the Stringer family as well as their residence suffered only minor injuries and slight damage.

The medical profession flows through Stringer’s veins. Scott’s father is a doctor who specializes in surgery; his mother is a retired schoolteacher. He has three younger sisters.

Scott graduated from high school Joplin in 2005. He then attended Pittsburg State University in Kansas where he graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree. After that he enrolled at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Dental School where he graduated in 2013 with a Doctorate of Dental Science.

After graduation he worked in a public health clinic in Denver then moved on to private practice. After six months in private practice he began to look outside the Denver area for employment opportunities that would get him out of the big city environment and to a less populated area with an abundance of recreational opportunities.

Dr. Scott Springer, DDS, is now seeing patients at Polson THD Clinic. He will also occasionally see patients in St. Ignatius. (B.L. Azure photo)Dr. Scott Springer, DDS, is now seeing patients at Polson THD Clinic. He will also occasionally see patients in St. Ignatius. (B.L. Azure photo)

“I have always wanted to move to the West, to live in Montana. I love the active outdoor lifestyle and there are plenty opportunities for that here,” Stringer said, adding that family vacations in his youth included Montana destinations. “When I seen this job was available, I jumped at the opportunity. I am where I wanted to be as a kid. The view here is stunning, the mountains, the lake. It’s beautiful.”

Dental Division Director Dr. Garry Pitts said Springer fits into the mix well.

“We are pleased, very pleased to have Scott aboard,” Pitts said. “He’s worked in both the private and public health sectors and brings a lot of experience to the table.”

Pitts said he’s had time to observe Stringer in action — root canals, crown bridges, surgery, patient interaction — and likes what he’s witnessed.

“He’s not just out of dental school so I don’t have to teach him much, he has experience,” Pitts said. “Scott is very proficient in all aspects of dental care and how to relate to patients because he’s already lived this. He was very itchy to get back in practice; we put him to work right away. His desire to work in the public health sector and the balance of experience he brings are welcome additions to the dental staff.”

Stringer’s hobbies, include: skiing, hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, and fly-fishing.

He said he has been checking out the area and is looking forward to swooshing down Big Mountain this winter and skimming on top Flathead Lake next summer.

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