Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

“I’m probably not your usual dentist,” explained Ronda Van Horn, D.D.S., of Van Horn Island City Dentistry. She specializes in general dentistry and offers sedation dentistry for patients who are anxious. Van Horn Island City Dentistry is located at 1503 Kyle Street, near Family Fare.
Van Horn describes her business as a combination of art, compassion, and technical excellence, all things which contribute to happy and healthy patients. With 44 years of experience, and a wealth of post-graduate continuing education, she runs her office in a more personal and supportive way than you might see in other dental offices. “It’s less clinical, and you’ll get a more custom experience,” she explained. “Our staff receives relationship skills training and are very non-judgmental.”
Van Horn attended Ohio State University for dental school. Her first mentor encouraged her to “Learn to be a gentle dentist,” and that has stuck with her for all these years. “I talk to my patients a lot and tell them funny stories to distract them. It seems to help.”
After working in Milwaukee and Farmington Hills for years, Van Horn moved to Eaton Rapids. “I fell in love with the community here,” Van Horn said. “It’s a small town and the connections are more relationship-based.”
“The best part of being a dentist is the people,” she added and feels that one of her strengths is being very intuitive of her dental patient’s needs and emotions. “I’m good with fearful people,” she said.  She uses The Wand, a numbing device that slowly pushes the anesthesia ahead of the computer-controlled needle and is very helpful for those with a fear of needles. She is also using the Dry Shield, a device that helps pull bacteria out of the mouth and allows her to work faster.
Dentistry has greatly changed over the years, Van Horn explained, and it’s important to keep up with new technology and techniques. Seventy-five percent of what she learned in dental school is now obsolete, she explained. “We’ve become a whole-heath-centered dentistry,” Van Horn explained.
For those suffering from headaches or jaw pain, Van Horn offers Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatments. “The jaw is often out of alignment, which then strains the facial muscles, and can cause severe facial pain and teeth grinding,” she explained. She also offers Invisalign clear braces.
Van Horn is currently offering a tooth whitening special. Treatment fees are discounted, plus all the money collected for the procedure is donated to children’s charities, with one-half of it staying in Eaton Rapids, going to the Eaton Rapids Medical Center Foundation.
Van Horn cautions people not to let a lack of dental insurance stop them from taking care of their teeth. She offers a dental savings plan with no annual maximum. Clients pay a flat fee that allows for a percentage off any treatment and is fairly equal to what a dental insurance policy would cover.
For more information call Van Horn Dentistry at 517-663-3412 or visit the website at