After earning one of the top 20 scores in the nation on the Dental School Entrance Exam (DAT), Dr. Ryan Shepherd was selected as one of 35 students admitted to the prestigious Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Boston, MA. There, he earned his Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree, graduated Cum Laude, and received the school’s award for Excellence in Esthetic Dentistry.
As part of his training, Dr. Shepherd spent two years as a Harvard Medical student. This gave him a broad background in medicine and allowed him to expand his focus beyond the mouth to treat each individual as a whole. He has maintained this commitment to improving his knowledge and your quality of care throughout his career.
Each year, Dr. Shepherd completes extensive continuing education to stay up-to-date on the most current dental trends and techniques. He is a certified clinician for Lumineers® and has received advanced training in a variety of dental services, including:
Why he chose to be a dentist Read Transcript
I've always wanted to work in a field where I could have a great interaction with patients and have personal relationships that span more than a 20, 30 minute interaction, so I really was looking forward to a career where I could develop relationships longterm with people. I happen to be one of those people who actually just really likes teeth, and that's a very weird thing I realize, but it's an important thing if you're going to be a dentist. I love teeth, and I love making a difference in people's lives, so if I can help with their smile and in turn use that to help them in their life, then I'm happy. Love the relationship that I've built with my patients that way.
- Cosmetic dentistry
- Dental implants
- Periodontal surgery
- Oral surgery
Dr. Shepherd is a strong advocate of conservative and comprehensive dental care and has been featured as a Top Dentist in Albuquerque, as voted by his fellow dentists in Albuquerque the Magazine on five separate occasions.Why he chose to practice in Albuquerque Read Transcript
I graduated in 2008 from dental school, and there was a dentist here locally that was getting ready to retire. I took over his practice, from there started building it into what ideally I wanted the practice to be, so I've been practicing here in Albuquerque for about nine years, and our team has grown significantly since I very first started practicing. When I first started, we were a team of seven, and now we're a team of 22, so it's a much larger practice than what we originally started as, but that has allowed us to take care of many, many, many more patients than what I was originally capable of doing. And I grew up here in Albuquerque. The home that I grew up in is about a mile from where my practice is currently, and I honestly never anticipated that this was where I would practice dentistry or where I would return as an adult, but as fate would have it, this is where we ended up, family in the area, and so came back to Albuquerque. And it's been a wonderful ... It's been a great blessing to be able to practice in Albuquerque.
A native of Albuquerque, Dr. Shepherd graduated from Sandia High School before attending Brigham Young University in Provo, UT on a full scholarship to study musical theatre. He spent several years as a professional actor on Broadway and on the road in shows like West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, and Cats alongside his talented wife, before deciding to settle down and build a family.
After 17 years away from the Land of Enchantment, Dr. Shepherd returned to Albuquerque in 2008, when he founded Uptown Dental Associates. Since opening his practice, he has maintained a clear vision of what he wants his practice to be.Continuing Education Read Transcript
Straight out of school, I did an extensive program for placing and restoring implants. Then, in that same time, I did an extensive program that was on periodontal surgery. That was something that I enjoyed in dental school and got a fairly good taste of. It is a hard part of practice, so I did a series of weekends, learning different periodontal procedures. Then, I've done a fair amount with Invisalign and with Lumineers, with DenMat, then just recently with the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique for lifting gum tissue for recession.
Dentistry is changing so quickly right now, and when we look at the dentists who are practicing now that came out of school 20 years ago, if they have not done a significant amount of continuing education, they're completely behind the times. So much is being developed and so many advancements are being made in the way that we treat different cases, that you have to be doing continuing education. If you're not, then you're left in the dust. If you haven't learned those new procedures, then what you're recommending to your patients is simply not sufficient. There's something better that they could get somewhere else. Try to stay ahead of the curve and learn everything new that comes out.
Unlike other dentists, Dr. Shepherd takes the time to get to know each patient. Because everyone has unique dental needs and smile goals, he provides a variety of treatments and will discuss all of your options with you before getting to work improving your smile. And because Dr. Shepherd doesn’t want financial stress to keep you from getting the dental care you need, he also accepts several convenient payment options.
Dr. Shepherd and his beautiful wife, Tamera, have been married for 20 years and have two daughters, Lucy and Sophie. In his spare time, he enjoys performing in local community theatre productions with his family, spending time outdoors, art, cooking, reading, traveling, being involved with his church, and “Friday family fun nights” with his family.