On this season of giving, all who know him say one Roseburg endodontist has gone above and past all expectations.
After greater than 40 years, Dr. Alan Liesinger estimates he has given away roughly $1 million price of dental providers and provides.
Now, he says, it’s time to hold up the forceps — not less than for now.
Throughout greater than 4 many years, Liesinger has had a apply in Winston, the place he did common dental work for 10 years, he had a satellite tv for pc workplace in Coos Bay for a time.
Since 1990, he has targeting endodontics — diagnosing and treating tooth ache, performing root canals and, when vital, extracting a tooth. He plans to retire from his dental workplace within the Harvard Medical Park on Dec. 31, however he gained’t be completed with dental work simply but. He needs to maintain giving again to individuals in want.
His donated dental care is among the issues he’s most pleased with.
A lot of his charity work has been at his clinic in Mulegé, a small neighborhood of about 3,800 residents, alongside the Sea of Cortez on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, the place he and his spouse, Susan Liesinger, purchased a home a number of years in the past.
The Liesingers go to their clinic yearly for 4 months, providing dental work to locals, who’re 80 miles or extra from primary dental providers. Most can’t afford the transportation to get to and from the providers, a lot much less afford to have the dental work achieved.
Alan Liesinger began flying to Mexico about 25 years in the past with fellow Roseburg dentists Tom Schmidt and Dick McDonald. Each dentists, who’re additionally Rotary Membership members, have been instrumental in beginning a small Rotary clinic within the city, and Liesinger additionally acquired concerned in it.
“We used to take off within the spring and fly to Mexico, hopping from grime strip to grime strip,” Alan Liesinger mentioned.
Liesinger ultimately acquired a pilot’s license of his personal and commenced flying again to the city annually.
“We’d spend two or three days serving to the individuals out, and that sort of grew and there have been increasingly (dentists) coming and now it’s a fairly large deal, so my spouse and I took over the possession and management of (the clinic) 20-plus years in the past,” he mentioned.
Now the Liesingers furnish all of the dental tools and provides and invite different dentists to return and spend a while. About 50 completely different dentists have come to assist through the years. The clinic serves 500 to 800 sufferers annually, doing cleanings, extractions, silver and composite fillings, chrome steel crowns, root canals, and sealing the tooth after root. They don’t cost something, however they do take donations to assist run the clinic from these that may afford it.
“They don’t have any dental service. Once I’m not there, there isn’t a dentist,” he mentioned.
The Liesingers have additionally gone to Guatemala to supply dental providers in distant villages and mentioned the experiences working within the clinics have been fulfilling.
“It’s actually rewarding while you seize the mirror and present them what you’ve achieved,” Susan Liesinger mentioned. “We’ve had them cry, hug us, deliver members of the family again to have extra dental work achieved, deliver us meals or invite us to their properties. They’re ever-so grateful.”
The Liesingers, after Alan Liesinger’s official retirement, are scheduled to go to Mexico once more in February. So he gained’t be working for pay, however he’ll be working and nonetheless having fun with it.
Alan Liesinger mentioned day by day appears to deliver one thing completely different, and he’s seen some huge modifications over his profession as an endodontist, particularly in expertise.
“I’ve acquired surgical working microscopes and digital units to inform me the place I’m at in a tooth, and I’ve acquired digital radiography and every kind of stuff that wasn’t even considered once I was in dental college,” Alan Liesinger mentioned.
Alan Liesinger grew up in Sutherlin and is a 1967 graduate of Sutherlin Excessive Faculty. He attended the Oregon Faculty of Training — now Western Oregon College. He then spent 4 years as a instructor and coach at South Umpqua Excessive Faculty earlier than he opted for a profession change.
“I made a decision to go to dental college, and I used to be shocked that they let me in,” he mentioned.
They did let him in, so in 1974 it was off to the College of Oregon Dental Faculty.
He and Susan have been married 18 years in the past and have labored collectively for 17 years.
Not solely is she the workplace supervisor on the Roseburg clinic, however she additionally handles the operation of the clinic in Mexico.
“He’s been one of the best boss, personally, that I’ve ever labored for,” Susan Liesinger mentioned. “He treats his employees and sufferers with kindness and respect.”
Martha Pitts, Alan’s longtime dental assistant, mentioned there has all the time been nice camaraderie and respect within the workplace.
“He actually, actually values training and he needs his employees to be educated,” Pitts mentioned. “He’s not certainly one of these medical doctors that claims do it as a result of I instructed you so, he needs you to know why he’s asking you to do it.”
The Liesingers plan to proceed to run the clinic in Mulegé for so long as they will, and are additionally making an attempt to recruit an endodontist to take over the Roseburg apply. However for now, they need to preserve doing the charity work.
“You attempt to affect as many individuals as you may with that ability set and go so long as you may earlier than age catches up with you, however I’ve by no means misplaced the will to do it,” Alan Liesinger mentioned.