BY REBECCA PALMER
BOUNTIFUL — Once, an American woman who hosted a Japanese talk show traveled all the way to Bountiful to have her teeth restored, recalls Dale Linton, a dentist who has been in practice here for more than 37 years.
The TV personality left with a big smile and new confidence, and back in Japan her mother was so impressed, she also came to Utah for dental work from Linton.
Another time, after working two 12-hour days running a volunteer clinic in Mexico, a teacher brought to Linton a 14-year-old girl who the dentist called exceptionally tidy and clean, but with teeth so badly decayed that she was planning to drop out of school. Working into the night, Linton and his staff restored her teeth fully.
After his long career, service trips across Mexico, teaching events around the world and involvement with organizations such as the South Davis Dental Society and Academy of LDS Dentists, Linton has sold his practice to Jordan Davis.
The two are working together in their office at about 400 South Medical Drive.
This will be the first practice for Davis, who grew up in Idaho Falls as the son of a dentist and the grandson of a well-known delivery doctor.
“I grew up around it so I think I’m used to seeing how my grandfather was in the community,” said Davis. “Everybody loved him, and I grew up learning that.”
Linton has been looking for someone to take over his practice for years and even had three offers to buy it, but none felt right until Davis called, Linton said. Now, for the first time in decades, Linton is working as an employee of another dentist.
Linton plans to continue traveling and doing volunteer work, and Davis is already planning to go with him.
Davis brings oral surgery and sedation expertise to the practice and hopes to add to Linton’s existing reputation for full reconstruction work and minimally invasive dentistry.
Both men believe that dentistry is about more than aesthetics, and that having teeth in proper form leads to healthy function.
“There are several cases where it actively changes people’s personalities, it’s not just their teeth,” Linton said. “The first thing you look at when you meet people is their teeth, because they’re talking. Then you look at their eyes to get the real meaning.”
“(Good teeth repaired) changes their perception of themselves,” he said.