Our Practice History…
Exquisite Smiles Oak Park had its humble beginnings in 1945, shortly after WWII. That is when Dr. Frank J. Smith opened his one-man dental practice on North Avenue in Oak Park.
Dr. Smith graduated from Loyola Dental School, served his internship at the Zoller Institute at the University of Chicago, and trained in maxillofacial surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. In 1941, he enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned aboard the USS Albany. While stationed on the Albany, he performed reconstructive surgery on naval personnel injured in the attack on Pearl Harbor. At the age of 24, Dr. Smith was the youngest commander in the U.S. Navy.
As the war ended, Dr. Smith returned home to Oak Park and began what would be his legacy of a 70 + year dental practice. He and his wife Lee raised their 5 children in River Forest and remained active in the community throughout their lives. Those who knew him would say “Dr. Smith is everything you could ask for in a dentist!” Words such as gentle, compassionate and humorous were commonly used to describe this “wonderful dentist and really great guy.”
Dr. Smith enjoyed the personal connection with everyone. The comfort of his patients and their confidence in the care he provided was very important to him. It is no wonder many patients referred to him as DDS – Darling Doctor Smith!
As the years passed, Dr. Smith realized that it was time to pass the baton to a new generation of exceptional dentists. Knowing the personal relationships he had developed with his own patients and with the greatest concern for their ongoing care and treatment, he chose Dr. Joseph M. Burbick and Dr. R. Tage Welindt as his successors before fully retiring in 1991. Many of Dr. Smith’s patients, along with their children and grandchildren, continue in our practice today.
Dr. Smith passed away in 2006 at the age of 88, leaving a legacy of exceptional care and excellence in dentistry.