“At Fashion Isle Smiles, we are committed to treating the whole person, and we believe that with complete diagnosis, preventive maintenance, and sympathetic, gentle care, our teeth will last a lifetime.” – Rich Burkholder, DDS
Rich Burkholder, DDS
Dr. Burkholder was born in Augsburg, Germany at the US Army base in 1952, and thereafter lived in Oklahoma, California, and Washington. He grew up primarily in the small town of Lacey, Washington and graduated from North Thurston High School in 1970. In 1974 he received his BA degree in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry at Central Washington State College in Ellensburg, Washington. Dr. Burkholder took one year off, volunteering at Joe Whiting Memorial Dental Clinic in West Seattle for low-income families. He worked primarily with children and found the needs of our low-income families extensive. It was a rewarding prelude to his career in dentistry. He continued to work with these needy people during his summer breaks from Dental School, and was the J.W.M.C. Board President in 1977. Rich attended the University of Washington School of Dentistry, graduating within the top percent of his class in 1979.
Following graduation from Dental School, Dr. Burkholder traveled to Western Europe, finding a job in the Northern Swiss town of Schaffhausen. Along with his many travels through Western Europe and the Mediterranean, he worked within the entire “Canton” of Schaffhausen for 2 years, traveling from village to village, working on school age children ages 4 to 17. Either working in the Clinic Wagon, or within the school house clinics, Dr. Burkholder’s goal was to eradicate dental decay within his areas of responsibility through comprehensive care and a strong preventive program. These children were well prepared for an adult life of excellent dental health, along with a positive attitude towards dentistry.
Dr. Burkholder has been a member of the American Dental Association since 1976; Washington State Dental Association since 1982; and Seattle King County Dental Society since 1982. He was also a member of the S.K.C.D.S. Forensic Team from 1989 until 1999, and has been a member of the S.K.C.D.S. Peer Review Committee since 1986. In 1989, Dr. Burkholder developed the “Adopt-a-Patient” Program for abused and neglected children, working primarily with the children from Childhaven. In 2008, Dr. Burkholder organized a team of dental health providers to perform dental care for approximately 80 children from the country of Belarus. On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear disaster in history occurred as the result of an explosion in the Chernobyl nuclear facility in the Ukraine. 70% of the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster fell on Belarus. The children there suffer from constant bombardment from low level radioactivity. It has been found, that a six week stay in a clean environment with good nutrition can significantly recover the children’s immune system. It is during this window of time, that Dr. Burkholder offered his services to help these needy children with their dental disease.