Doctors and Staff
Meet the experienced and friendly dentists and staff who make Mark R. Laurin, DDS Inc. the leading provider of oral hygiene and personalized dental services in Anchorage.
Dr. Mark R Laurin, DDS
Born and raised in Alaska, Dr. Mark R. Laurin is a lifelong Alaskan who maintains a private practice in South Anchorage. He graduated from Service High School in 1983, with honors, and in the fall of that year started his undergraduate studies at The University of Portland. Four years later he completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry with a minor in Philosophy, with honors, and started his graduate studies at the University Of Washington School Of Dentistry (widely regarded as one of the elite programs in the world for the study of dentistry). In 1991 he became the first in his class to graduate with a dental degree, and started practicing in July of that year.
Dr. Laurin is a member in good standing with: The American Dental Association, Alaska Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry, Spear’s Faculty Club, American Academy of Facial Aesthetics and Crown Council. He is a former President of Alaska Dental Society in 2005 and member of the Executive Council of Alaska Dental Society from 2001 till 2006. He was also voted by the Anchorage Daily News as the Best Dentist in Alaska in 2007.
Dr. Laurin is a pioneer in: microscopic dentistry, digital x-rays, paperless office, and 3-D imaging in dentistry. In 1992 with advanced training in microscope use he became the first dentist in Alaska to implement it into private practice for root canal therapy, crown/veneer preparation, and routine general care. In 1995 he became a beta-tester for Trophy, a digital x-ray company that was developing computer generated images from a sensor to reduce radiation exposure to patients by 90 percent. At present, digital x-rays are consider the standard of care due to their tremendous success of reducing radiation and the variety of software programs that can enhance the original image. Dr. Laurin’s office has been completely electronic since the year 2000. In 2008 he became the first person in Alaska to acquire the Galileous/Sirona advanced 3-D imaging system, which allows for virtual viewing of all bony structures involving the skull in three dimensions instead of two dimensional traditional analysis that can lead to misdiagnosis. Dr. Laurin has spent the last few years with a primary focus on Bruxism, TMJ and TMD Pain, and Sleep Medicine.
With the future full of possibilities and research, nothing remains static and change is inevitable. Our office always pushes forward implementing those changes as they come, however small or large they may be. Dr. Laurin loves technology and the change it brings. We now know that as health insurance changes, we can maximize both medical and dental insurance easing financial burdens for the patients.
Sara Carter, Operations Manager
Sara, our operations manager, joined forces with Dr. Laurin to help build the awesome team we are today. Sara is passionate and competent when it comes to dental care; she was recognized as VIP Woman of the Year in 2016 by the National Association of Professional Women as well as the recipient of Pinnacle Professional of the Year by Continental Who’s Who. Utilizing her dozen years of dental experience she’s created her own Innovative Coaching and Consulting business to help other offices reach our standard of care. Outside of dental care she enjoys horseback riding, coaching cheer, and spending time with her daughter and family at the cabin. Her passion is taking care of patients and her team and she will always go the extra mile to answer any questions you have from insurance to dental treatment.
Ruth VanBlankenstein, Hygienist
Ruth has been a friendly and familiar face around our office since 2001. First a dental assistant she later graduated from UAA with a degree in Dental Hygiene in 2005, her class ranked 2nd on the national board exam. She enjoys helping patients achieve maximum dental health and the rewarding relationships she creates with patients. Professional affiliations include Crown Council and American Dental Hygiene Association and professional interests include Botox and pathology. She is the mother of five sons and hobbies include boating, inner tubing, white water rafting, dirt bike riding, decorating and cooking. Ruth looks forward to seeing you at your next cleaning appointment.
Tessa Creel, Hygienist
Tessa joined our team in October 2014. She brings along 12 years of experience in the dental field. First a dental assistant she graduated with honors from Dixie University and received her license as a Registered Dental Hygienist with Local Anesthesia in 2009. Originally from Utah, Tessa has fallen in love with Alaska and recently relocated from Homer to South Anchorage with her husband and three pugs. When she’s not making patients feel better about their smiles she enjoys fishing, hiking, and watching movies. Her optimistic personality and infectious smile is proof she loves what she does. Tessa will make your visit as comfortable as possible while providing modern preventive dental services to make your smile bright and beautiful.
Michan Ford, Dental Assistant
Michan is a national board certified dental assistant, graduating UAA in 2005. Very knowledgeable in all things dental, she continued with the university as a coach for new dental students and is proficient in insurance and office management as well. Patient comfort is her top priority and she does her best to make patients feel relaxed during their dental visits. Michan and her family are highly active; camping, fishing, playing softball, 4 wheeling, anything to get dirty! Michan loves meeting new patients in particular and it’s her personal goal to make sure every patient has a positive experience and leaves the office with a smile.
Laura Gabriel, Dental Assistant
Laura has brightened our office with her smile and friendly personality for over a year. Laura has a dental assistant for over 20 years and will be ready to answer any questions you have about your dental treatment. Growing up in big family on the Kenai Peninsula Laura loves the outdoors and all things Alaska including fishing, camping, and hiking. Laura enjoys educating patients about their dental health and will make sure each patient understands the “why” behind every diagnosis.
Kara Brown, Dental Assistant
Kara completed UAA Dental Assisting Program and joined our team in November 2015. Kara has been a quick study in all things dental and has the natural ability to put patients at ease with her sweet “southern accent” and friendly smile. Originally from Florida, Kara and her husband, who serves in the Air Force, relocated here with their small children in 2012. Kara will go the extra mile to make your visit as comfortable as possible.