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Home | About Park Dental | Park Dental History

Park Dental History

A History of Innovation and Quality Care

In 1972, Dr. Greg Swenson and Dr. “Bud” Murn formed a group practice with a vision to bring consistent, high-quality, affordable dental care to their community.

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Dental Group Pioneers

After meeting at a dental conference in 1969, Dr. Swenson and Dr. Murn began to discuss forming a group practice, which was a new concept for the dental community at that time. They believed a group practice could best bring consistent, high-quality, affordable dental care to a community.

There wasn’t a clear way to set up a group at the time, but in 1972, they successfully opened Brookpark Dental Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, with three dentists, three dental assistants, three hygienists and five other team members.

This first location was the engine and inspiration for future growth. In 1977, they opened another practice in Fridley, and in 1979, a third practice in Blaine. As each practice succeeded, the doctors reinvested resources to start the next practice. Park Dental continued to grow in this manner by providing excellent care for patients.

"In 1978, the group became the second dental practice in the country to be accredited by the American Academy of Dental Group Practice."

Standardization of Quality Processes

In 1978, the group became the second dental practice in the country to be accredited by the American Academy of Dental Group Practice. This experience helped set the stage for Park Dental to develop the process of standardizing patient records and patient care protocols, facilities, materials and equipment, a process that has allowed the group to remain consistent and cohesive while expanding to new practice locations throughout the Twin Cities metro area, greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Steady Growth and Specialization

Park Dental expanded from 3 to 17 locations in the 1980s, and by 1999, grew to over 100 doctors practicing at 27 general dentistry locations and 4 specialty locations. As a convenience to our patients and to provide continuity of care, Park Dental employed specialists so patients could receive comprehensive care within the group.

In 1999, these specialists formed a unique multi-specialty dental group that continues to collaborate with Park Dental for the specialty needs of our patients. The Dental Specialists now practice out of multiple locations and consist of 6 dental specialties: endodontics, oral maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and prosthodontics.

"We have over 125 general dentists practicing at dozens of locations throughout the Twin Cities metro area, greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin."

Organizational Structure

As a local dental group owned and led by our dentists, we have remained firmly committed to our mission to provide quality, patient-centered care.

We now have over 125 general dentists practicing at dozens of locations throughout the Twin Cities metro area, greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Our doctors are an experienced group of leaders who continue to move Park Dental forward, always striving for the highest level of clinical care and personal service for our patients.

"Our values are the same today as they were when we opened our first practice in 1972. Patient-centered care, clinical excellence and integrity, respect, community, collaboration, education…"

Our Values Remain the Same

Our values are the same today as they were when we opened our first practice in 1972. Patient-centered care, clinical excellence and integrity, respect, community, collaboration, education…these values have made us what we have become and will continue to guide us into the future.

We are proud of our history and excited to be a part of your future by providing a lifetime of dental health through quality, patient-centered care.

pd-founders

Dr. Gregory Swenson was born and raised on a farm near Grove City, Minnesota. He received a Bachelor of Science degree at St. John’s University and graduated from Loyola University Dental School in Chicago. He then moved back to Minnesota to set up his first dental practice in Brooklyn Center.

Dr. Brian “Bud” Murn grew up in Ely, Minnesota. Immediately following high school, he enlisted in the Navy and served on the USDD 513 (Destroyer). He received his undergraduate degree and studied dentistry at the University of Minnesota. He first practiced in Roseau, MN, then in Minneapolis.

Park Dental History Timeline
  • 1972

    Dr. Swenson and Dr. Murn open Brookpark Dental Center.

  • 1974

    The doctors begin structuring the group practice and creating a blueprint for expansion.

  • 1977

    Fridley practice opens.

  • 1978

    Brookpark Dental Center becomes the first group practice in Minnesota to be accredited by the American Academy of Dental Group Practice.

  • 1979

    Blaine practice opens.

  • 1980

    Park Dental is incorporated as a Minnesota Professional Corporation. Park Dental joins with three other group practices under the name Park Dental Health Centers (PDHC) and becomes provider for MedCenters Health Plan.

  • 1981

    Bloomington practice opens.

  • 1982-1984

    Four additional Park Dental practices open, bringing the total to eight.

  • 1985-1987

    Six new Park Dental practices open, and the Facial Pain Center is added to the Edina practice. Dr. John Gulon joins the Park Dental team.

  • 1988-1990

    Four new practices open, including Park Dental LaSalle Plaza in downtown Minneapolis.

  • 1991

    Park Dental becomes a long-term provider for HealthPartners.

  • 1992

    Park Dental implements Managing Total Quality and develops Dental Care Guidelines, the first such project in the dental industry at the time.

  • 1995-1997

    New practices open in Eagan, St. Paul, Maple Grove, Richfield, Apple Valley, Woodbury and Chaska.

  • 1996

    The Dental Specialists is formed as an affiliate of Park Dental.

  • 2001

    Brookpark, the original Park Dental location, is rebuilt.

  • 2003

    Dr. Alan Law becomes president of The Dental Specialists.

  • 2005

    Dr. Gulon is appointed president and Chief Executive Officer of Park Dental.

  • 2007

    Park Dental separates from its management services organization and returns to being doctor-owned and managed.

  • 2008

    Severe economic recession slows Park Dental's business and growth, but no doctors or team members are laid off.

  • 2013

    Park Dental and The Dental Specialists convert all practices to digital imaging. There are now 10 Dental Specialists practices and 26 Park Dental locations.

  • 2014

    St. Croix Valley Dental joins Park Dental, bringing the total number of practices to 37.

  • 2015

    Park Dental treats over 19,000 patients on public assistance. Park Dental grows to 40 practices.

  • 2016

    Park Dental expands to Cottage Grove and Rochester, MN.

  • 2017

    Park Dental opens locations in Owatonna and Elk River, MN.

The dental care you deserve is waiting for you at a nearby Park Dental.

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