BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – “It’s good to be home.”
Those were the words from Dr. David Courtney Thursday afternoon from behind a desk at Family Dentistry West in Fort Madison.
Courtney’s clearly comfortable being back where he wants to be – helping Fort Madison families.
The renowned Fort Madison dentist came out of retirement on June 1 to help with clients at Dr. Mark C. Pothitakis’ Family Dentistry West at 4723 Avenue J.
It takes about five seconds to realize that Courtney, who operated his own dental office for 37 years at 525 Avenue G, is completely at ease coming out of retirement.
You won’t see his trademark lightning bolt head dress or the super soakers… yet, but the Fort Madison native is still happy to be around the people he calls family.
Courtney joins Dr. Pothitakis and Dr. Stephanie Heyland and staff at Pothitakis’ newest office just east of the Baxter Sports Complex, across from Lost Bear Coffee on 48th Street. The office can be reached at 319-372-4882.
“It’s just been great,” Courtney said of his first two days back in the office. “I was surprised how good it felt. It’s good to see people I hadn’t seen in years.”
Courtney retired in October of 2016 and moved to St. Louis, but he said the small town kid in him brought him back to Fort Madison.
“I don’t like the city. I’m a small town kid. I went to high school here and everything. This is just coming back home.”
Convincing Courtney to come back to work was a small hurdle.
“People were talking to me about it and Dr. Pothitakis talked to me about it and I said, “Sure… it sounds like fun.”
Courtney is an avid cyclist having done RAGBRAI about seven times, and Rocky Mountain runs in Colorado. Daily he still rides either 18.5 miles or 26 miles. He said the coronavirus has pulled him back a day here and there, but he says cycling is part of his life.
“I’m just addicted. This is my 32nd or 33rd year of riding that much every day,” Courtney said.
But his other addiction is family dentistry. He said he’s kept tabs on the new gadgets and tools being used in the industry. He said the only real adjustment was the coronavirus.
“The protocols for the COVID-19 thing were different, and the software is just a smidge different, but all the techniques and procedures are just about the same,” he said.
“But now everybody’s asking me about my Nerf™ guns and super soakers and it’s just my first week. But we used to have kids come in and we’d have shootouts. It was a crack up.”
Courtney is at the west end on Mondays and Thursdays.
“I’m so glad to be home That’s my biggest message. It’s good to see everybody again. They were like family. It’s really true. Monday I got flowers, cupcakes, and a chocolate cake,” he said.”
“So I guess I’m the dentist with a sweet tooth.”