Hawthorne’s Only Dentist Wants to Retire, Underscoring State’s Rural Health Shortage

For almost four decades, Dr. Bruce Dow has filled cavities, pulled teeth and provided other essential dental health care in his hometown of Hawthorne, Nev.

As his wife, Michelle Dow, describes it: “real, down-to-earth dentistry.”

The Dows are now looking to retire. But they are aware the dentist’s departure is likely to leave a tremendous void in central and western Nevada. Located about two hours south of Reno, Hawthorne itself has a population around 2,600. But Dow sees patients from other rural communities with no dental offices of their own. This includes Tonopah, Goldfield and Mina in Nevada, as well as several towns just across the California border.

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