Adam Anderson, D.D.S., and Kelly Russell, D.D.S.
Adam Anderson, D.D.S., and Kelly Russell, D.D.S.

Imagine driving two hours just to see the dentist.

That’s what most people living in rural Nebraska have to do.

And that’s why UNMC College of Dentistry grads Kelly Russell, D.D.S., 28, and Adam Anderson, D.D.S., 27, decided to open Sandhills Family Dental in Valentine, Neb., a town of 2,789 people situated along the South Dakota border in the north central part of the state. They also operate a satellite office in Mullen, Neb.

Sandhills Family Dental treats adults and children in one of the largest counties in the state with the fewest options for dental care.

“It’s so important for people to have access to dental care close to home,” Dr. Russell said. “There are many people who would probably neglect their dental health if they had to drive two hours every time they had an appointment.”

Sandhills Family Dental also is the only practice within a 150-mile radius that accepts new Medicaid patients, Dr. Anderson said, another plus for the residents living in Valentine and the surrounding communities of Cherry County.

Drs. Russell and Anderson, 2013 graduates of the UNMC College of Dentistry, make a point to be active members of the community, selling concessions at high school activities, taking part in fundraisers for Cherry County Hospital, coaching basketball and mentoring students through a local church.

“We love our town and we want to do all we can to keep it growing and thriving,” Dr. Anderson said.