Springfield native takes over long-time dental practice: ‘I’m just a family member that is back home’

The ownership of a 49-year-old Springfield dental practice is in the process of being transferred to a new dentist.

Paul W. Schanher III DDS Inc., located at 251 Hampton Place, will soon be owned by Dr. Leslie Pinson, a Springfield native.

“When Leslie came in two and a half to three months ago, the staff embraced her," Dr. Paul Schanher said. "Our patients have embraced her. It’s like we haven’t skipped a beat. That’s the best part, the transition has been very smooth.”

Schanher told the News-Sun that everything has been agreed upon in the transfer of ownership, but they are waiting on the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration). He said the dental practice received a PPE loan in May and that loan needs to be forgiven before they can officially sign the practice over to Pinson.

In the meantime, Schanher said, “I still come into the office and oversee some things here and there from a business aspect."

Pinson, a Shawnee High School graduate, former Division I basketball player at The University of Texas Pan American and graduate of Ohio State University College of Dentistry, chose dentistry because she wanted to make people feel better.

“I always knew I wanted to be a doctor of some sort. I wanted to be the person to fix something, to make things right, make someone feel better. That was always in my mindset," Pinson said.

She said that throughout her college career she had job shadowed several different kinds of doctors, but chose dentistry because of the lifestyle.

Pinson saw an inside look of this lifestyle through her friendship with Schanher’s middle daughter.

“When it came down to it, I said dentistry was the way to go and when I told him (Schanher) he said, “It’s about time,”” Pinson recalled.

“I’ve known her since she was a second-grader and I know her parents and I know her background and how she was raised," Schanher said. "I know her quality as an individual, her ethics, her character, her integrity and you can’t teach that.”

He added, “That was perhaps the most driving force behind everything – the qualities that she had already that you can’t teach.”

Pinson said Schanher called her in March asking for her help at the dental practice because he no longer was able to take on the amount of patients he had in the past. After that call, she decided to quit practicing dentistry at Comfort Dental, located on Upper Valley Pike in Springfield.

Pinson said she had worked there for nine years.

“When someone calls you and says “I need you,” I wasn’t going to leave that hanging," Pinson said. "It was truly a blessing for me. It really was the perfect time to move from there to here.”

She described her relationship with Schanher as a father-daughter duo.

“My dad called me and needed me," Pinson said.

As the transfer of ownership is completed, Pinson said that patients should not expect changes to the practice’s environment or the care that is received.

“I’m just a family member that is back home,” Pinson said.

“It’s an honor to carry on a great legacy," she added. "None of this is possible without him.”

The dental practice is accepting new patients, Pinson told the News-Sun. For more information, call 937-390-8740.

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