Dave Chuljian attended Walla Walla College for undergraduate education, graduating with a B. S. in Chemistry in 1978. He went on to graduate school in Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Utah in the Jack Simons research group. After three years, he decided that if he was going to study decay rates and cavity resonances he might as well do it on teeth, and entered the University of Washington School of Dentistry in 1981, with an eye to taking over his father’s Port Townsend practice. He continued work on his Chemistry Ph.D. during dental school breaks, and defended his thesis in December of 1984. (Metastable States of Small Molecule Rotational-Vibrational Systems, in case you’re wondering. It’s not something you chat people up about at cocktail parties.) He graduated from the UW School of Dentistry in August, 1985, and began working in the office of G. T. “Chuck” Chuljian that fall. In July of 1987, he took over the practice from Chuck, who retired fully in July of 1990. Between Dave and Chuck, the dental office has been here since 1947, making this one of the oldest continuously owned family businesses in Port Townsend. Dave is a member of the American Dental Association, and also the state and local dental societies.
Dave has always enjoyed learning new skills, and even better if it involves complicated equipment. It’s not surprising that he purchased a Cerec CAD-CAM crown milling machine in 2006. Learning how to use it has required a lot of classes and practice, with a fair amount of frustration early in the process, he is now quite proficient and makes most crowns for back teeth o the machine in one appointment (no impression or temporary crown). He also knows when not to use it, as there some situations where it’s not the best option. This philosophy also applies to difficult root canals and extractions–Dave has good working relationships with Dr. Peet in Sequim for surgery, and several endodontists (root canal specialists), and will refer you if the tooth in question is a complex case. He also attends medical emergency classes at least once a year, and maintains ACLS certification, though he truly hopes never to have to use it in his office. He enjoys all aspects of dentistry, and is thankful he got out of the Metastable States business. Doing research himself has, however, given him a better understanding of how the process works, and made him skeptical of a lot of what’s out there passing as scientific study.