Big kid at heart: Dr. Stu Tucker’s dental practice centers around children | Local News

The sign in front of Dr. Stu Tucker’s office says it all.

He calls his pediatric dental practice “Happy Teeth.”

It’s a practice that is totally geared toward children, and for Tucker, working with younger patients is something he set out to do from the time he entered dental school. He said his passion for working with children and ensuring their wellbeing.

Tucker took over the practice of Dr. Dick Rankin, who served as a pediatric dentist in Iredell County for 44 years.

Tucker is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the North Carolina Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association and the Iredell County Dental Society.

Tucker came to North Carolina from the Pacific Northwest. He was one of eight children and helping take care of his younger siblings forged his path of working with children.

“Kids have always been my life,” he said. “I want to be an advocate for kids.”

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He earned his bachelor of science degree from BYU-Idaho and earned his doctor of dental surgery degree from Creighton University. He graduated cum laude.

Deciding to concentrate on pediatric dentistry, Tucker continued his education with a specialty residency at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital.

During that residency, he said, he learned to calm the fears and anxieties of children on their visit to the dentist.

“It’s very much about individual relationships,” he said.

Tucker and his family, which includes four children, came to Statesville two years ago when he learned the Rankin practice was for sale, and he decided to buy it.

Since buying the practice, Tucker moved into the office on Hartness Road, but set his sights on enhancing the practice with a move to a larger building across the street.

His desire to work with children goes beyond routine cleanings and fixing cavities.

Tucker said he is including school sponsorships and other community involvement opportunities as part of his practice.

“I want to invest in my community,” he said.

One of the ways he is contributing to his community is bringing dental treatments to those who may not have insurance or be able to afford some dental services. “I treat an underserved population,” something he totally understands. “I was an underserved kid. I know what those struggles are.”

Tucker said he wants every child to have the opportunity to achieve the confidence that healthy dental practices can help achieve. A healthy smile, he said, helps a child achieve confidence.

Being around children all day is a perfect fit for Tucker, who describes himself as a big kid at heart.

To contact Happy Teeth, call 704-872-6534.

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