Denturist sinks her teeth into her job
November 2, 2005
Dr. Pamela Miller opened her South Lake Tahoe practice in February and people still get confused with what she does. She’s a denturist, not a dentist.
Once the curious ones discover this, the idea of starting over with their teeth sounds intriguing.
“I tell them to hang in there because dentures are harder to care for,” she said.
Miller, who received her doctorate five years ago, has heard many interesting requests over the years. One of the strangest involved a woman who wanted her dead husband to have dentures – which can be defined as prosthetic teeth.
Miller sees about eight patients a day. Some come from as far away as Reno.
The Fallon native, who has raised three children, comes from a family of ranchers. Like her father, she was interested in medical science. She joined his practice in Fallon – the Lawrence Hill in the Hill Dental Laboratory.
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“He would still tell me what I was doing wrong,” Miller joked, referring to the family’s tough love. “But he respected new ideas. He was open-minded.”
The facility was founded by her grandfather, Dr. H.M. Hill. It was the first dental lab in Nevada.
Medical denturity is an evolving health care profession that involves diagnosing and treating dental problems with dentures. Like others in the field, Miller is able to recognize tempormandibular joint disorders (TMJ), sleeping problems, headaches and oral pathologies. She makes the dentures in house.
The doctor has found few women in this field.
When Miller isn’t practicing, she’s partaking in another male-dominated profession – ranching. She still runs a ranch in Fallon with her husband, Larry. The couple has 14 horses to care for.
Miller’s South Shore practice, which is located at 2209 South Ave., can be reached at (530) 543-0346.