Celebrating 50 years

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of our practice. As we look back and reflect on where we started and where we are today we want to say thank you for your continued support. We would not be where we are now without our dedicated team and our amazing patients. 

We look forward to the next 50 years!

HISTORY of Associated Dentists

Associated Dentists began in 1973 when ten dentists, who all had their own offices, came together to form the practice. Group practices were a new concept at that time and by combining ten different dentists in one workplace Associated Dentists became Minnesota’s first large group dental practice. 

While the practice was the largest in the state the care provided was always personal. The staff was tight-knit, worked well as a team and everyone was well known throughout the community. Associated Dentists was THE place to work when it first opened. There was constant interest in being part of the large group practice due to its novelty and reputation. As soon as one person left there would be someone to take their place. The office was very busy, was fully staffed five days a week and was originally open for extended hours on Tuesday nights and half-days on Saturdays. That schedule has changed over the years and is now operating Monday through Friday.

During the ‘80s there were many annual staff parties with live music including summer picnics and recognition dinners at local country clubs. During holidays staff would dress up and Halloween was especially fun with each dental team coordinating themed costumes. Jill Zats, who has been a Hygienist at the practice for over 40 years said “I remember one year, sometime in the ‘80s one of the doctors  brought their Harley into the office for the Halloween party.” Jill also remembers a story about Dr. Winter, “we couldn’t find Dr. Winter one day, we looked all over for him because he had patient waiting. We eventually did find him skinning a deer with George Huber in his garage behind Associated Dentists. We had a lot of fun.” 

From the start, Associated Dentists has put patients first. In fact, a handful of patients were with them when they opened in ‘73 and are still with the practice to this day. 

Doctors at the practice have always been very involved with continuing education, evolving their experience, and supporting staff to do the same. Many of the original doctors volunteered their time either at the University of Minnesota or by visiting other countries to teach dental techniques and perform dental work. That spirit of helping others continues with the practice today including special trips, volunteering, and more.

The location of the office has remained the same since the practice began, on West 7th in St. Paul.  The building, as it is known today, was built in 1973 shortly after the practice was started. After the limestone building was constructed, and during the first few decades, the basement was used for orthodontics. Eventually, the spaces changed to children’s dentistry which included a big yellow car for kids to sit in. The building went through several transformations throughout the years and the interior was completely remodeled in the early 2000s. Throughout the internal changes, the original footprint still remains. 

Over the years dentistry continues to evolve and now includes caring for the “whole patient” not just the dental aspect. To this day the staff at Associated Dentists says they love that the doctors really care about their work, the collective family atmosphere and that the entire staff is kind – it just feels like working with a big group of friends.