Though patients surely have noticed that Carefree Smile in Cave Creek is under new ownership, Dr. Sam Swainhart wants everyone to know that little else has changed.
Longtime local dentist Dr. Peter Finocchiaro announced his retirement last summer, and in hopes of continuing the legacy of exceptional cosmetic and general dentistry at Carefree Smile that has been over two decades in the making, he sold it to Dr. Swainhart, who feels blessed to have the opportunity to start his practice at the well-established location.
Raised in a small Kentucky suburb just outside of Cincinnati, he is excited to now serve his community in much of the same way he remembers his dentist growing up back home.
“The dentist in the community became like a family friend, and we have great memories at the practice with the dentist and his staff. That dentist and his family practice lead me to pursue dentistry,” says Dr. Swainhart.
That pursuit led him to a scholarship with the US Army, which allowed him to attend the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Upon graduation, he served as a Captain in the US Army Dental Corps, where in addition to general dentistry, Dr. Swainhart also received training as a forensic dental officer.
Forensic cases took priority, none more so than following the tragic events at Fort Hood in April of 2014, when a shooting spree took the lives of four people and left another fourteen injured. Dr. Swainhart was called upon to help provide identification of the shooter and the victims, for which he received the Army Achievement Medal and Army Commendation Medal for his service.
“What made this case unique was that the Fort Hood Commanding General was literally standing right outside the door waiting to pass the identification up the chain of command,” says Dr. Swainhart. “Never had I been a part of such a high profile and active investigation.”
Helping others is a passion that runs in the Swainhart family, as his wife, Ashley, is finishing up her surgical training in Plastic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic. Together they have done mission work that has taken them to remote locations in Mexico, Brazil and Haiti, where on one trip alone Dr. Swainhart recalls performing over 250-tooth extractions for patients, who in most cases, had to walk many miles to the clinic in an effort to receive care.
The Swainharts are both excited to now call Arizona home and look forward to continuing both of their respective careers here in the Valley. Dr. Swainhart is also confident that he has found a home at Carefree Smile, where he and his staff are committed to continuing the tradition of providing the highest level of care possible while still maintaining a laid back environment where patients feel like part of the family.
“We will always take time to listen to, laugh with, and get to know our patients,” explains Dr. Swainhart.
“Each day I meet patients that have come from all across the country. Many from the Midwest, places like Chicago, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Many patients come from the East Coast as well. We love chatting about sports, sharing stories about our home states, and somehow we even find time to do some dentistry as well.”
Carefree Smile is located on Carefree Highway and North 60th Street. Dr. Swainhart is accepting new patients and can be reached at 480.488.7010, or by visiting CarefreeSmile.com.