Milford Dental Clinic hits 25-year mark


Drs. Jeffery and Janna Spahr are grateful for the community that has rallied around them as their dental business continues to grow.

Milford Dental Clinic will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an open house on Friday, Sept. 22, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The clinic is located at 112 S. B St. in Milford.

The Spahrs hope past, current and future patients will come to meet the four dentists who work at the practice, see the recently remodeled office and learn more about the clinic’s other two locations in Fairbury and Lincoln.

“Milford is our original location,” Janna said. “In 2016, we opened Fallbrook Family Dentistry in the Fallbrook area of Northwest Lincoln. In January of 2019, we purchased the practice from Jerald Ebke in Fairbury and we renamed it to Fairbury Smile Designs.”

A Seward High graduate, Jeffery Spahr purchased the Milford dental practice in 1998, the same year he and Janna graduated from the College of Dentistry at the University of Nebraska.

“I didn’t join until 2001 when we got married,” Janna said. “I was in the Navy at the time.”

Janna, a native of Shawnee, Kansas, served as a Navy dentist for three years, supporting the needs of sailors.

“The Navy has all of the support staff from dentists to doctors to pastors, whatever is in your community, to be able to support their personnel,” she said.

In addition to adding locations in recent years, the Spahrs have added two more dentists to their staff, Dr. Brenton Matulka, who joined in 2019, and Dr. Kate Starostka, who joined in 2020.

“We usually have one doctor here at a time. Jeff and I work at all three locations, it just depends on the day of the week,” Janna said.

The practice provides all types of dental services, from basic cleanings and extractions to implants to orthodontics.

“It’s been really satisfying to be able to do a vast array of things, and business-wise, it’s nice to have the small-town support,” Jeffery said.

The doctors take advantage of continuing education opportunities to enhance their knowledge and expand their skills as technology associated with dental procedures continually changes.

When they first opened, Janna said, patients asked why they had to go to a different dentist in another town for special procedures.

“That prompted us to be very interested in taking that additional training to be able to bring it back to the community so that we could provide it here in kind of a one-stop shop,” she said. “Like in the medical field, you think about the family practice doctor who might be delivering babies but also treating broken ankles. It’s that type of thing with the general dentist. If you have the additional training and the comfort of knowing that you’re confidently going to provide the care to the same standard that a specialist would.”

Jeffery said the practice provides pediatric care for 1-year-olds, geriatric care for older folks and care for every age in between.

“My oldest patient has been 104,” he said.

The doctors enjoy hearing their patients’ stories and watching them grow.

“The kids you were seeing when they were 3 and 4, now they’re married and we’re seeing their kids,” he said. “That’s rewarding. I think it’s nice to be in the small community where we’ve known everyone. That’s part of the reason we purchased the Fairbury office, to help the rural community provide healthcare.”

Technology has changed over the last two decades, and the Spahrs try to stay up-to-date with the latest.

“We’ve invested in the technology to be able to do crowns in one day, the x-ray technology to have a 3D image to know where the roots are located if we’re going to do an extraction or a root canal, or the x-ray technology to be able to evaluate somebody’s growth for orthodontics,” Janna said.

Jeffery said patient education has come a long way, too.

“You just don’t see the decay rates in kids like you did. If you talk to the generations in their 60s or 70s, they’re like, ‘I have every tooth in my mouth filled,’” he said. “Home care has improved, and kids know more about decay from a sugar standpoint, fluoride in the water and things like that.”

The doctors have worked with Little Leaps of Faith Child Development Center to educate kids about oral health during Children’s Dental Health Month in February.

They have participated in candy buybacks around Halloween and have offered programs at Milford Elementary to help improve kids’ understanding of dental health.