Meet Our Doctor
Dr. Arne Gundersen
Hi, my name is Dr. Arne Gundersen. People usually want to know about someone they choose as a dentist because most people feel very vulnerable receiving dental treatment. They want someone they trust and who feels safe to them.
To tell you a little about my background, I grew up in a dentist’s home: my dad was a dentist. However, he also raised Polled Hereford cattle as a hobby. Growing up, I enjoyed working and adventures on the farm. I played soccer and enjoyed hiking and biking. I had an artistic flair, and enjoyed drawing, model building, painting, and singing.
I graduated from Olympia High School and headed off to the University of Washington as a pre-medical major, and concluded those four years with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology/immunology. I quickly married my wonderful girlfriend Rose, and began to work in a biotechnology company in quality assurance.
My tendency to focus on details worked well in this new job. However, desiring to pursue Biblical studies and work more with people, I obtained a master’s degree in ministry from Pepperdine University and graduated from an internship in campus ministry in Seattle.
Another transition occurred, and Rose and I started a family with our first daughter, Anthea. Deciding to create stability for our family, I stayed in Seattle and landed a job with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Again, working in a lab doing DNA isolation and matching bone marrow donors to recipients for bone marrow transplantation, I was able to use my attention to detail to achieve quality results.
Yearning to work more directly with patients, I began to search for other options where I could use my science knowledge, my artistic abilities, my attention to detail, and my desire to serve people. This brought me ultimately to my decision to pursue dentistry. In 1995, I entered dental school—already having two children—and finished in 1999 with a third child just born. Upon graduation, we moved to Olympia where I joined my dad in his dental practice in Tumwater.
Experience and Continuing Education
It has been a blessing to be able to work directly with people now in many capacities, and serve their dental needs. Although running any business is hard work, it has been rewarding to see the benefits we have brought so many patients. Those that particularly stand out for me are the patients we have helped overcome their dental fears, those we’ve enabled to smile more broadly because they are not ashamed of their teeth, and those we have helped gradually restore their oral function and beauty over time as they have been financially able to proceed.
Invisalign® has particularly added a great treatment for our patients. It has been especially enjoyable for me recently because I am able to help young and old improve their smiles by a means that I believe is more manageable than traditional wire braces. Another new technology that I am really excited about is our 3D scanner. This technology improves the accuracy of fit for our crowns, Invisalign aligners, night guards, and snore guards, while improving the patient experience by avoiding the use of messy impressions.
To keep up to date with trending technology and make sure I provide the best care for my patients, I pursue continuing dental education every year. I may be a little slow grabbing onto something new (my cautious nature), but I believe this benefits my patients because I tend to use things that have a proven track record.
Doing things with integrity is also very important to me, so I seek to communicate well and authentically with all the people our business interacts with, whether it be our patients, vendors, or insurance companies.