My education background is I started out in Civil Engineering and I did well at that, I liked that. It's funny, you liked playing in the sandbox as a kid, but I guess I just never outgrew that so I liked all the big equipment on the construction sites. The problem was I wanted to have a family life and I didn't want to travel and be on the job site until the job was done, so I started looking for something that I could do close to home and dentistry was just a natural fit. I joke and I tell people I used to build big bridges, now I build little ones, so they all like that. I used to be a civil engineer, now I'm a dentist and I love it. I love dentistry, I love that I can be creative, work with my hands. The main thing I love about dentistry is that I get to help people. There is no greater feeling than when someone is embarrassed to smile and they come in and we can just change their life. That, to me, is all the reward I could ever want, you know?
When you can help somebody ... say they're embarrassed to go to a job interview because they don't want to talk to somebody and smile. You know, when you can help somebody find employment, you know, just be confident about themselves and who they are, that is an enormous reward.
Chet Swartzentruber believes quality dentistry can change peoples’ lives. Seriously, if you look better you are going to feel better about yourself. If you eat better, you are going to be healthier, and your quality of life is going to improve. If you find that you have a cancer before it has spread, a life can be saved. Dr. Chet has helped patients live real stories like these, and their life-changing gratitude fuels his passion to help you too.
Quality and relationships are two pillars of Dr. Chet’s practice philosophy. In other words, if you’re going to do something, do it well. In addition, remember that there is a real person with real feelings and emotions connected to that tooth. He wants to recognize the needs of the whole person and, if possible, use his gifts to help change that life for the better.
Dr. Swartzentruber obtained a degree in civil engineering from Purdue University and worked some years in the real world before deciding to go back to dental school. Sometimes he jokes that he used to build big bridges; now he builds little ones.
Dr. Chet’s engineering and dentistry talents have allowed him to help others in Africa and Central America. After college he lived six months in Uganda volunteering with Engineering Ministries International, and during dental school, he traveled to Honduras and Costa Rica extracting painful teeth for poor villagers. He looks forward to one day taking his kids to another country so they can gain some perspective on how blessed they truly are to be American.
Although often credited to his engineering training, Dr. Chet will tell you that his problem-solving and creative abilities are a result of his farm upbringing. It’s one thing to have book knowledge of a subject matter, it’s another to be able to apply that knowledge in a useful way. It is yet another to have the hand skills to artistically create physically what the mind has conceived. These are some of the qualities that make up a good clinical dentist.
Originally from rural southern Indiana, Dr. Swartzentruber attributes much of his values and character to the life lessons learned on the family farm. Hard work and dedication are two of his core beliefs. His most important conviction is that Jesus is Lord and God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). Dr. Chet, his wife Ashley and their family attend Centerpoint Fellowship Church and would love for you to join them for worship sometime. Dr. Chet plays the drums in the worship band most Sundays.
Dr. Swartzentruber is in all the professional associations one would expect like the Alabama Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry.