Getting to Know You: Dr. Brooke Fukuoka

Dr. Brooke Fukuoka, a general dentist in Twin Falls, Idaho, takes a Viennese Waltz lesson with her husband Hiroshi in Vienna. She works at a FQHC and owns a private practice, treating adults with special needs.

Why dentistry?

The freedom that I have to cater methods, treatments and materials to my unique patient needs keeps me on my feet and keeps me motivated to seek knowledge and study evidence-based dentistry.

Why are you an ADA member?

The ADA connects like-minded practitioners across the country. This type of support is very valuable for a new dentist. The people I met and the lessons I learned with the ADA’s Institute for Diversity in Leadership have proven very valuable. The skills I gained going through the various local leadership positions have given me the confidence needed to take the leap of starting a very unique niche practice from scratch.

What was your first job?

The summer between my junior and senior year of high school I worked at a day program for kids with disabilities. I was paired with a young boy who had a developmental delay and had just had a cochlear implant placed. We worked every day with word flash cards trying to teach him to speak.

What has been the best time of your career so far?

A patient who I treated in 2016 in the operating room (due to her fear leading to dangerous behaviors) was able to get a filling done in an ordinary dental setting in 2018. She was so proud of herself. I offered her a volunteer position in the Special Smiles clinic for Special Olympics Idaho. She was so excited to work with me. She even got her nails done for the event. The best time of my career so far was listening to her tell her peers about how she was afraid but then realized that coming to the dentist was fun and not scary. This was not prompted or scripted.

When I’m not practicing, I’m: Enjoying live music from the Jerome High School Band, or my husband’s jazz group at a local brewery. I also enjoy golfing, fishing, snowmobiling, ballroom dancing, traveling and sampling local beer.

One fun fact about me: I have enough life-size plastic skeletons to field a baseball team. I keep some of them in my guest room closet for fun.

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