Dr. Marlene Feisthamel, a general dentist in Battlefield, Mo., was named the 2017 Missouri Dental Association (MDA) Dentist of the Year Award on November 3, 2017 at the MDA House of Delegates in Jefferson City.
The Dentist of the Year Award recognizes a member dentist who has demonstrated outstanding service to the Association, to the profession of dentistry and/or to the community in the past year.
Dr. Feisthamel is being recognized for her efforts to advocate for continuing community water fluoridation, which was being considered for removal this past spring by her Public Water Supply District (PWSD).
Ultimately the PWSD voted to discontinue fluoridation in the community, however, Dr. Feisthamel’s efforts caused the water board to delay its removal of fluoride, to give proper notice of its intention and to hold a public hearing, all of which had to do to be in compliance with a recently-passed statute, supported by the MDA, which called for a 90-day notice of a vote to modify a water system.
“As the only dentist in town, I felt obligated to speak for my patients, the community and our profession,” said Dr. Feisthamel. “The public generally isn’t aware of the decrease in dental decay that water fluoridation has provided. Ironically, Community Water Fluoridation is such an inconspicuous method of delivery and has worked so well over the years that the public no longer perceives the threat of dental decay that it has prevented.”
Dr. Feisthamel received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1994. Dr. Feisthamel practiced in Aurora, Mo., for 10 years prior to moving her practice, Feisthamel Family Dentistry, to Battlefield in 2004. She also completed a Master of Science Degree in Applied Anthropology at Missouri State University in 2012 and currently assists local authorities with forensic dental and anthropological identifications.
Dr. Feisthamel is originally from Brookfield, Mo., and has a daughter Dusty and son-in-law Rick.