Dr. Michael Atencio
Thanks to a childhood bicycle accident back in the summer of 1974, I started on my journey to become a dentist.
I was having a bike race with my younger brother, Pat, around the basketball courts at Longs Peak Jr. High School. I was so intent on beating him that I was digging the pedals as hard as my legs could go with the handlebars going back and forth, as they do when you are trying to pedal fast. All of a sudden, the handlebars came loose. In a flash, the front wheel turned 90 degrees, and I went flying face-first onto the pavement.
There was blood, broken teeth, crying, and lots of pain. When my brother and I made it home, my dad called our dentist to no avail. It was after hours and no one answered. My dad was finally able to get a hold of a dentist, Dr. Fred Coats, who agreed to meet us after hours.
Even though I was in extreme pain, I was scared to go see the dentist. I just knew that more pain was to come. My memory is kind of blurry, but I do remember that Dr. Coats made quite an impression on me with his gentleness and compassion. He stitched my lips, fixed my front teeth, and, most importantly, relieved my pain. He even called to check on me that night and the next day.
It was that accident and Dr. Coats’ handling of my care that made me want to become a dentist. He took a scared little boy in lots of pain and gave me a smile again.
From that summer on, anytime anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer…a dentist. And I never wavered.
So, after I graduated from Longmont High School nine years later in 1983, I went on to Colorado State University and entered their Pre-Dental Program. After finishing at Colorado State University, I was lucky enough to be accepted by a number of top Dental schools.
I selected the University of Nebraska Dental School and graduated with my DDS in 1991.
The University of Nebraska was a life-changing choice for me. Not only did I accomplish my childhood dream of becoming a dentist but it was at the University of Nebraska that also met my future wife, Christy.
Christy is a Reno native but was attending the University of Nebraska training to be a Dental Hygienist. She graduated in 1990, and we were married a couple of months after her graduation.
After I graduated the following year in May of 1991, we decided to move to Reno. It was a great choice.
Not only is it a great community with so many great activities but I also was able to practice side by side with Christy’s Father, Dr. Gary Toogood. Dr. Toogood was and is an excellent dentist who still practices dentistry today in Las Vegas at 80 years old. He has been my best mentor since I graduated.
Christy and I have three children, a son, Cole, born in 1991, and twin girls, Sydney and Skylar, born in 1995.
I love my job and I will be doing it for a long time. But more than the job… I love my patients. I am always honored that they have selected me among their many choices to be their dentist.
I don’t take this trust for granted, and I will always work to give them the best.
- Northern Nevada Dental Society
Meet Founder Dr. Michael Atencio - Schedule Your Appointment Today
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- Digital X-Rays As Needed
- Complete Exam
- In-Depth Consultation
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