by: Photo By Holly Gill - Dentists Owen Smith, left, and Robert Pressprich.

   Dr. Robert Pressprich of Bend is taking over the traditional schedule of longtime Madras dentist Dr. Owen Smith.
   "I'm honored to assume the care of Dr. Smith's patients, and looking forward to helping new patients," Pressprich said.
   Smith, who will work on Thursdays, noted that finding a dentist who would continue to place patients' needs first, "with compassion and skill," was a major concern to him as he scales back his hours.
   "Dr. Pressprich, I feel, fulfills these concerns, and I feel very fortunate to have him succeed me here in Madras," said Smith.
   A native of Michigan, Pressprich graduated from Michigan State University in East Lansing with a bachelor of science degree in biology, and went to work for his father's medical supply company.
   After visiting a friend in Oregon, he was smitten with the state and decided to settle in the Portland area to pursue dental school.
   "One of my college friends moved here, and I came out here to visit," he said. "We went on an overnight camping trip on the Deschutes River." Pressprich fell in love with the area, and went back to Michigan and announced his plans to move to Oregon.
   When he was 25, in 1979, he moved to Portland and went to work for a bank while he established residency and took the tests necessary to apply for dental school. In 1981, Pressprich was accepted at, and began attending the Oregon Health and Science University School of Dentistry in Portland.
   In 1985, he graduated with a doctor of dental medicine degree, and joined the U.S. Navy.
   "The allure of going into the military with a guaranteed salary was pretty attractive," he said.
   For three years, he was a dental officer for the U.S. Navy in San Diego, where he held the rank of lieutenant.
   After his military service, Pressprich returned to Oregon with his young family and went into private practice in Forest Grove, where he remained for seven years.
   For the past 10 years, Pressprich has worked in a busy private practice in Bend. He is looking forward to a more family-oriented private practice here in Madras.
   "I think it's a perfect fit," he said. "Dr. Smith has a history of treating people really well, and I'm looking forward to carrying on that tradition."
   Pressprich will work Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Smith will work Thursdays. Hygienist Theresa Bex will continue to see patients on Wednesdays. Dianna Barrett is the dental assistant, and Kathy Hunt, the receptionist/bookkeeper.
   Pressprich said that it was the outdoor activities that first drew him to Central Oregon. He is an avid skier, who has taught skiing, and served on the Mt. Bachelor ski patrol.
   Bicycling is another of his sporting interests, and he has participated in Cycle Oregon seven times.
   In his spare time, Pressprich regularly volunteers his services at Kemple Children's Dental Clinic in Bend.
   Pressprich lives in Bend with his two daughters Elena, 18, and Nicole, 16.
   "I'm looking forward to getting to know the folks of this community," he noted.
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