UNMC dentistry grad heads to rural Nebraska

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | May 15, 2015

Image with caption: Jessica Sanborn, D.D.S., will practice in Creighton, Neb.

Jessica Sanborn, D.D.S., will practice in Creighton, Neb.

It will be a whirlwind over the next two months, but by July, Jessica Sanborn, D.D.S., who graduated May 8 from the UNMC College of Dentistry in Lincoln, will be seeing her first patient at Family First Dental in Creighton, Neb.

It's the ideal ending to Dr. Sanborn's four-year journey through dental school and a cherished bonus to the rural citizens who live in and around Creighton, a community of 1,100 people just 45 miles north of Norfolk, Neb.

"It's a small, one-person practice, that makes a big impact on the community," Dr. Sanborn said.

Is she nervous?

"Absolutely," she said, laughing. "But the company that this practice is part of, Family First Dental, has appointed a mentor for me from a neighboring practice, and I still have the support of the faculty at the College of Dentistry."

Faculty have repeatedly told Dr. Sanborn that she is welcome to email radiographs, call with questions or any other concerns she might have.

"It's reassuring to know I am just a click or phone call away," Dr. Sanborn said.

UNMC graduates working throughout Nebraska generate an economic impact of $3.9 billion. Based on profession, physicians have a $2.7 billion impact or $1.3 million per graduate, followed by dentists whose impact totals $534 million, equivalent to $750,000 per grad.

Dr. Sanborn and her husband, Daniel, who is a nurse, wanted to live in small town to raise their 15-month-old daughter Samantha.

Creighton might only have one sandwich shop, a dollar store and a bowling alley, but what it lacks in big city convenience it makes up for in the people who live there.

"The friendliest, nicest people you ever met," Dr. Sanborn said.

"I think we met every realtor in town when we were looking for a home and everyone commented about how excited they were to have a new dentist right in their community, so they wouldn't have to drive to another town to seek care," she said.

That's the icing on the cake for Dr. Sanborn, who said it's humbling to be able to provide the kind of dental care everyone should have access to.

Dr. Sanborn's future goals: "I want to get involved, I want to support the local businesses, and most importantly I want to help this community thrive."


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Bill Bryant
November 04, 2015 at 12:32 PM

Bennet, Nebraska is looking for a dentist to open a practice there. How would one go about providing rental information that's available? Bill Bryant, bbryant@inebraska.com

Paul Hansen
May 15, 2015 at 5:48 AM

Great article, best wishes in your career.