Whether he’s working on a patient at the family’s dental practice, mentoring a student who is applying to dental school or volunteering at The Kitchen Inc., Dr. Tyler Buzbee is committed to the dental industry.
He joined his brother, uncle and father at Buzbee Dental in 2001 after graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. That same year, he joined the Greater Springfield Dental Society, the Missouri Dental Association and the American Dental Association. He has served the local and state groups in several roles, including program chairman, alternate delegate to the Missouri Dental Association House of Delegates and as a delegate in 2008–09.
“Having parents who believe in volunteerism and community involvement, I learned early on the importance of giving back to our community,” Buzbee says.
Buzbee has served on the Greater Springfield Dental Foundation’s Smiles from the Heart fundraiser committee, and he has volunteered through Springfield Public Schools to provide emergency dental care for students referred to the Greater Springfield Dental Society. He also cares for patients through nonprofit The Kitchen Inc.’s dental clinic.
Buzbee says offering a helping hand is one of the ways he is able to influence others – and it doesn’t always mean performing a full mouth makeover.
“I have learned that you can never overestimate the power of some of the simplest actions,” he says. “Sometimes, replacing an old or discolored filling a person has in a front tooth is all it takes.”
In his practice, Buzbee is part of a team whose members each have their own areas of expertise.
“I have been instrumental in marketing and community outreach, technological growth and continued dental advancements of Buzbee Dental,” he says, noting that he’s continued his post-graduate education through courses at institutions such as the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies.
Buzbee shares what he’s learned with aspiring dentists who visit Buzbee Dental.
“Every year we have dental assisting students that are placed in our office as part of their training,” Buzbee says. “It is always a good feeling to see the wheels turning when a student actually gets to participate in the procedures they had only read about up to that point.”
He’s also proud that some of his assistants become dental hygienists. “These assistants started with me with no previous dental experience,” he says. “I think that I – or my dental practice – had a bit of a role in (them) wanting to move further in the dental field.”
Buzbee says he’s glad to help others along in their professional journeys, because that’s just how he got where he is today.
“What I’ve accomplished to date and the new goals I strive to obtain all began by others believing in me and setting an example for me to follow,” Buzbee says. “I want to continue that trend.”Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.