Jennifer Voke DDS
My name is Jennifer Anne Voke, DDS. I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. I have been practicing dentistry for 9 years which unfortunately has had no effect on my insatiable sweet tooth.
I took a very atypical path to dentistry. I have never been a fan of seeing the dentist. Occasional I meet people (strange people) who tell me they like going to the dentist. In my personal experience the dentist office has always been a place to get tortured by pokes, prods, and pinches. As if that isn’t bad enough, you’re then forced to hear about all the nasty details about your mouth, look at super enlarged pictures of problematic teeth, and get brow-beaten for not flossing.
I always despised the dentist during my childhood and still today. When I was young I had the type of dentist who tells you to raise your hand if you feel any discomfort. For some reason every time I raised my hand I would hear, "I am almost done.” The staff usually had to peel me off the ceiling when he finally finished the procedure, anesthesia long gone by then. These experiences as a child eventually led me to quit going to the dentist altogether in college. I left Anchorage to attend the University of Washington in 1993. I earned a degree in Cell & Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I also played varsity tennis for the Huskies and earned an Athletic Letter. After college I decided to further my education by earning a mixologist certificate at the Seattle Bartending Academy. My parents were perplexed that I would work as a bartender after working so hard to get a Bachelor’s degree.
All of this time I neglected to get any professional dental care. My flossing habits were sporadic at best. I thought my teeth were invincible until the unthinkable happened. One fateful morning I awoke to the worst imaginable tooth ache. This pain was like no other. It kept me awake at night, forced me to walk around with my head permanently tilted to the left, and caused me to drink all fluids out of straw. I finally had to admit that this pain was not going away on its own. I was so scared that the dentist would tell me I needed partial removal of my cheek and face to rid the pain. The pain was so intolerable that I was unable to think rationally. I decided the best solution would be to have a friend pull out the problem tooth. She had prior medical training (not dental training) but refused to pull my molar while I sat at her kitchen table. This was probably a good decision for both of us.
Finally I went to the dentist and was forced to face the music. The dentist did an X-ray and immediately referred me to an endodontist. Apparently I needed an "emergency root canal". The root canal was performed that afternoon and took approximately just over an hour. It was nothing short of a miracle in my eyes. I left the office pain free with my face still intact. The endodontist spoke of the high level of artistry involved in his work and how much he enjoyed his work. I knew I didn’t want to tend bar for the rest of my life, so I began to consider the unthinkable; a career in dentistry!
In 2002 I began my training at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, University of the Pacific in San Francisco. During my training I was given the prestigious Award for Clinical Excellence by The American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. I also received honors for excellence in fixed prosthodontics. I completed my training dental training in 2005.
I worked in the underserved dental clinics in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico for the first 3 years out of school. I also worked on the Pueblo of Isleta Indian Reservation in Isleta, New Mexico. I learned as much during those three years as I had in dental school. Throughout my career as a dentist I have always been dedicated to performing dentistry at the highest possible level and I treat all my patients as if I were treating a member of my own family. I am highly skilled in the art of esthetic recontouring of natural teeth. I have found that often patients just need a little subtle shaping of their natural teeth to achieve a magnificent smile that they are proud to show the world.