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Dr. Roy Burkhalter, DDS

Can a dentist visit change a person’s life?

It sure did for Dr. Roy Burkhalter. He didn’t grow up going to the dentist like most people. His first visit to the dentist was when he joined the army at the age of 18 years old. He grew up in Rome, Georgia in a family that couldn’t afford dental care. That first visit to the dentist literally changed his life. He had to go through multiple dental procedures to be healthy and ready for future military deployments. For the first time in his life, he smiled at people, he felt confidence he had never had before. His army deployment led him from Ft Riley in Kansas to Iraq in 2007.

Fast-forward to today, Dr. Roy is someone you would never guess struggled in those areas in life. He is a smart, funny, and a deeply caring dentist at White Pine Dental Group in Harlan, Iowa. After completing his undergraduate degree at Kansas State University, Dr. Roy attended the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the College of Dentistry in 2017. His professors noticed he was very talented in the area of oral surgery and encouraged him to apply for an oral surgery fellowship following graduation. The fellowship was extremely competitive but Dr. Roy successfully got the seat. He spent over 5,000 hours doing IV sedation procedures, and removed more than 1,500 impacted wisdom teeth during his time of extensive study, all while being taught and overseen by some of the best faculty in the United States. Dr. Roy also had intensive training in dental implants, bone grafts, and sinus augmentations.

After that first dental check-up that changed his life, Dr. Roy had the confidence to strike up a conversation during college with a cute girl, better known today as his wife, Samantha. Samantha is from Manning, Iowa and took Dr. Roy back to her home town often while he was finishing his studies. Dr. Roy slowly fell in love with small town living. He especially loves how everyone waves at each other! Moving to Harlan was an easy choice for him and Samantha when the time came to decide what their future would be. Samantha has spent over 10 years teaching dance and is excited to get back to her love of performing arts at an area studio. 

Asked why he chose White Pine Dental Group, located in Harlan, Iowa, Dr. Roy had this to say, “I like where everyone knows you, everyone is open and welcoming. We liked the small school district so our kids can do many activities. I see my kids raising a family here one day too. By joining White Pine Dental Group, they support me in doing advanced procedures so that people can stay here when before they had to travel to the city. Provide more services to people locally is one of their mantras. We are the only area dental clinic that is licensed by the state to do IV sedation. This helps our community receive world class care in the comfort of their small town.”

In your first conversation with Dr. Roy, you can feel his passion for dentistry shine through. When asked why that is, he smiled confidently and said, “Dentistry changed my life and gave me self confidence. I probably wouldn’t be married, I would have became a different person with a much different life if I didn’t have that first dental appointment.” After a long thoughtful pause, he concluded, “I want other people to have that gift too.”

Dr. Burkhalter and Samantha stay busy with their sons Landon (7) and Cooper (2), and their newborn daughter, Eva. The family goes camping, enjoys hitting that area garage sale, playing outside, and are active in their church community. Their German Shepard, Jake (all good dogs are named Jake!) loves to go on runs with them.

Dr. Roy is looking forward to meeting you and your family soon!

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