The foundation of our dental tradition began in 1939 when Walter Bunce, DDS graduated from the University of Minnesota Dental School and opened his dental practice on Grand Ave in St. Paul, MN. Wally, as he was affectionately known, practiced for a year and a half in St. Paul and then moved the practice to historic downtown Stillwater in 1941. He married and enlisted in the Army in 1942 and served in WWII. The practice was temporarily closed during his service. He resumed practice in downtown Stillwater upon returning from WWII in 1946.
Brian Bunce, DDS joined his Father in the dental practice on October 1, 1975 after graduating from the University of Minnesota Dental School. He practiced dentistry for 43 years until his retirement in September, 2018. Ann Bunce was his long-time office manager/front desk and dental assistant for most of those years and the couple retired together after Ann hinted to Brian that the time was right.
Sara Cody DDS purchased the practice from Brian in September, 2018, renaming it Lift Dental. She expanded the 1 chair operatory to 3 operatories adding dental hygiene services and moved to a larger new clinic at the current location 1 block to the south on 2nd Street in February, 2019. Grand Opening of the new clinic and a Retirement Celebration for Brian and Ann Bunce was held April 5, 2019. Sara is a 2006 graduate of Marquette University Dental School and 2007 graduate of the Milwaukee Veterans Affairs Medical Center Advanced General Dentistry Residency Program. She has been in private practice in Milwaukee, WI, and Cleveland, OH, from 2007-2010 and in Hudson, WI, since the family returned home to the Stillwater area in 2010.
Dr Cody and Lift Dental cherishes and continues the legacy of Bunce Dentistry in downtown Stillwater going into its 80th year overall and 78th year since Wally Bunce DDS saw his first patient in Stillwater in 1941. We honor our founders, the Bunce Family, with a mural on the front wall in the clinic of Wally examining Brian when he was 5 years old. You can see the mural and Wally’s original dental chair on display in the front of Lift Dental.