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Davis Journal

Retired dentist volunteers time, talents to Pantry Smiles program

Jun 16, 2022 10:28AM ● By Becky Ginos

Dr. Duane Orchard (center) stands in the dental clinic at Davis Tech with (left to right) dental assistant instructor Kira Simpson, Dr. Larry Fisher, lead dental assistant instructor Cathy Turnbow, dental assistant instructor Ashley Wiser and Pantry Smiles Director Lorna Koci. Orchard has been donating his time to the Pantry Smiles program for eight years. Photo by Becky Ginos

KAYSVILLE—Every other Friday for the past eight years, Dr. Duane K. Orchard has been donating his time as a dentist to help patients who would otherwise not have access to dental care receive the treatment they need. Orchard was part of the Pantry Smiles donated dental program that is a partnership between the Bountiful Community Food Pantry, Davis Technical College (DTC) and Weber State University (WSU). He retired from the program last week.

“I’ve been doing it since retiring from my practice in 2014,” said Orchard. “Lorna (Koci, Pantry Smiles director) and Dr. Jim Guinn put the thing together.” 

Pantry Smiles provides services to uninsured Davis County residents depending on their income. Patients receive treatment in a modern clinic at the DTC where dental assistant students give chairside assistance to the volunteer dentists.

Orchard was born in Richmond, Utah and raised in Idaho Falls. He attended Brigham Young University after serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Dublin, Ireland. He attended Northwestern University Dental School and was commissioned in the army dental corp where he served for two years. Orchard opened up his own dental office in Bountiful in 1976.

Since retiring from his practice in 2014, Orchard has gone on several dental missions. “I went to dental clinics in Samoa and Tonga and spent a month in Mongolia,” he said. “Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be a dental assistant in Samoa.”

“He’s been a master teacher,” said Cathy Turnbow, lead dental assistant instructor at DTC. “He was always helping our students. That made all the difference.”

Pantry Smiles also works with residents at Red Barn Academy. “I was going through a longtime recovery a long time ago,” said Kevin who now works at Red Barn. “I didn’t have any front teeth but I have them now because of a dentist who was kind enough to donate materials and time to get me my teeth. It’s a big deal, it makes a big difference for our guys.” 

Orchard is known for his jokes, said Koci. “One patient said ‘I wish you were still my dentist. I’ll miss your jokes.’ Another patient said he was an artist. ‘He made sure everything looked perfect before I left.’”

“There have been some nice people,” Orchard said. “I’m very appreciative of this opportunity. It has been rewarding to maybe help them get on with their lives.”

“He is loved and respected by all who have been privileged enough to know him,” said Koci. “There are many, many people’s lives you have helped. We love Dr. Orchard and are so grateful you’ve been willing to be a part of this.” l