Introducing the latest addition to the Uptown Dental Clinic
Introducing the latest addition to the Uptown Dental Clinic
I grew up in Port Townsend, attending its schools, walking to friends’ houses, playing in Chetzemoka Park and Fort Worden, and enjoying Waterfront pizza each Friday night at the Mathias household. I enjoyed the small, close knit community, the beauty of the town and the emphasis on remaining a small town with a heavy artistic influence as well as an appreciation for living healthy lives. As high school graduation approached, I was uncertain of a career path. I felt a strong pull toward art as well as science and medicine, from my mother and father, respectively.
I left Port Townsend to pursue my undergraduate degree, a bachelor of arts in biology, at Whitman College in Walla Walla. After graduating, I moved to Seattle, where I considered studying medicine or physical therapy, yet neither of these seemed right for me. An acquaintance suggested I look into dentistry. After volunteering at a local dental clinic and shadowing its dentists, I quickly realized dentistry provided exactly what I had been looking for: a mix of art, science and caring for people.
I finished the prerequisites, continued volunteering, and was accepted at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Within the dental school, I was one of eight selected to take part in the RIDE (Rural Initiatives in Dental Education) program, which focuses on bringing awareness and access to care in rural areas. We spent our first year of dental school studying in Spokane, and the second half of our fourth year practicing in community health clinics in Eastern Washington. I graduated second in my class and was granted honorary membership into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society, which also awarded me scholarships in each of the previous three years.
I continued my post-graduate work at Idaho State University’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry program in Boise. This program allowed me to practice with specialist mentors in all areas of dentistry, expanding my procedural knowledge. In addition to learning tangible skills, I refined my practice philosophy. My goal in dentistry is to use my knowledge and skills to act as my patient’s trusted advisor in their oral health and deliver exceptional comprehensive care. Oral health is integral to systemic health and I strive to help patients achieve that. Whether my patient’s goal is to improve their smile, relieve dental pain or if they don’t have any complaints and just want to stay healthy I would like to share my knowledge and advise of action plans regardless of whether it is something that needs another dental visit or if it is simple homecare tips to help make the next check-up a good one.
Upon completion of this residency I decided to return to Port Townsend to practice alongside my childhood dentist, Dr. Steven J. Scharf. I am pleased to return, not only to enjoy the benefits of Port Townsend like taking a run in Fort Worden, strolling through the farmers market and downtown, or catching a movie at the Rose, but to share my passion with the community where I grew up. Port Townsend is a special place that helped to shape who I am today. It is an honor to be able to return and support the health of my community.
Since my father was in the military, I was born in Kansas and lived as an infant in England. Our family roots are from the Snohomish area. I, however, grew up in Portland, Oregon and then Tacoma, WA, where I graduated from High School.
In four years at Lewis and Clark College in Portland I earned a B.A. in biology, followed by four years at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, where I received the Academy of General Dentistry Award. After a General Practice Residency (an optional hospital-based one-year internship) in Burlington, Vermont, I established my practice in Port Townsend.
During my second year of Dental School, I visited a friend in Port Townsend in 1975 and decided on the spot that this was where I wanted to live. I began my dental practice in Port Townsend in 1978.
Gayle earned her Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene from Pierce College. She joined our staff in 2000. A lifelong interest in science along with what she describes as “fascinating and positive dental visits,” led Gayle to a career in dental hygiene. When she’s not at work, Gayle has many interests, including road and mountain biking, camping, road trips, exploring places off the beaten path, sewing, quilting and enjoying the peace and quiet of home.
Grace E. Lytle, RDH, earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from Eastern Washington University. Having worked as an assistant to Dr. Scharf for many years she returned here after dental hygiene school. When she’s not cleaning teeth, Grace enjoys reading, crocheting, walking at Fort Worden State Park and spending time with her husband and young son.
Shannon earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene at Eastern Washington University. She has practiced in Washington since 1991 and joined us in 1997. Shannon always knew she wanted to work in the medical or dental field and found that dental hygiene offers the perfect work and family balance. When she’s not cleaning teeth, Shannon loves textiles and creating. Whether quilting, sewing or knitting, she tries to create something every day.
Sarah earned her Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene from Shoreline Community College in 1980. Sarah finds dental hygiene a rewarding career and enjoys teaching patients how they can improve their oral health. When she’s not working, Sarah loves spending time outdoors and living a healthy lifestyle!
Cami earned her Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene from Shoreline Community College. She has practiced in Washington since 2004 and joined us in 2007. Cami chose a career in dental hygiene because it allows her to spend extended time with patients and the opportunity to improve their oral health. When not working, Cami and her family enjoy beach walks, hikes, camping, sailing and playing hard!