The History of Milford’s Oldest Continuing Dental Practice

Our History: 80 years in Milford and Highland

Huszti Dental Care is the oldest continuous practice in the Milford and Highland area. Established in the late 1940s, the dental office has been providing quality dental care to our communities for over half a century. This legacy of treatment comes with responsibility and the team at Huszti Dental Care honors the contributions of the past and is proud to take an active role in shaping the future of the dental profession. Above all, the people at Huszti Dental Care value the impact on the families they care for and the friendships they have developed.

IT ALL BEGAN IN HIGHLAND

In the 1940s, Highland was considered the country. Dr. Floyd Vernier Jr. opened his office in a small brick professional building at 1830 N. Milford Road in Highland. For over 30 years the two dentists cared for adults and children including the area’s many farmers. According to patient records fees, dental services typically ranged from $3 to $6. Because of the rural nature of the communities and the scarcity of dentists, they served a wide area that encompasses present day Highland and Milford townships. 

Stories from these days illustrate the close-knit nature of these communities. For instance, when Milford’s Peterson Bridge was originally constructed, it could accommodate only one lane. Neighbors would rely on the courtesy of their neighbors and politely take turns should there be oncoming traffic. Another favorite story recounts a routine transaction at the general store in downtown Milford. If no cashier was present, patrons would simply check themselves out, leaving their money in plain sight, on the unattended counter.

 
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DR. FLOYD VERNIER, SR.

According to periodic announcements in the Michigan Alumnus, a magazine for University of Michigan alumni, Dr. Floyd Vernier Sr. had some very eventful years following his 1921 graduation from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Announcements in the publication included his marriage to Winifred Wilmot in 1923 and the birth of Floyd L. Vernier Jr. in 1924. Dr. Vernier Sr. practiced dentistry on the corner of Dix and Clark streets. It’s here that Vernier Jr. was inspired to continue his father’s work.

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DR. FLOYD L VERNIER, JR.

Floyd Vernier Jr. grew up on the southwest side of Detroit in the family home on 1200 Hubbard Avenue in Detroit. He was only a few blocks away from his father’s dental office. In 1943, he attended the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry, graduating in 1947. Soon after, he opened the office in Highland.

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DR. CARMAN W EMPKIE

Dr. Empkie graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1952. Soon after graduation, the two men began a lasting friendship. In 1952, Dr. Emkie was invited and joined Dr. Vernier’s practice in a small dental office next door to a convenience store in Highland, Michigan.

Gentle Dental Care — Dr. John Rex Moriarity

Dr. Moriarity graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1974. Following his undergraduate studies, he served his country for four years of military service before enrolling at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1978. He graduated in 1982 and approached Drs. Vernier and Emkie to carry on their tradition of care at the Highland dental practice. He took over the office at 1830 N. Milford Road in Highland, and practiced there for 10 years before relocating and expanding the dental office in 1992. He changed the name of the practice to Gentle Dental Care.

Gentle Dental Care in Highland

The more spacious dental office for Gentle Dental Care at 1185 S. Milford Road in Highland’s Lakeview Plaza allowed more efficient patient care and was closer to his growing list of patients including those at the nearby Milford High School. Dr. Moriarity enjoyed the tradition and camaraderie of Milford’s AmericanLegion Post.

In 1993, Dr. Moriarity transitioned from Gentle Dental Care and returned to the upper Michigan community he had previously called home. Dr. William Huszti and Dr. Anna Chong-Huszti had fallen in love with the Highland and Milford area and eagerly accepted the challenge to continue the quality of care the growing patient base had come to expect.

After nine years at the Gentle Dental Care office in Highland Drs. Huszti and Chong-Huszti were pleased to experience a great demand for their brand of dentistry. Preventive care and restorative dentistry were always the hallmark of the practice, but there were growing demands for dental implants orthodontics, and cosmetic dentistry. The increased growth in the practice made the decision to build a state-of-the-art clinic very compelling.

It was clear that most find visits to the dentist a bit intimidating. To ease the stress associated with dental appointments Drs. Huszti and Chong-Huszti set out with ambitious goals. The resulting Huszti Dental Building and its clinic would be designed to reduce the stigma associated with dental appointments. 

Patient comfort was the mandate given to the architect and design team. The building site was chosen for its relaxing views of water, meadows and woods. In all, nine acres were preserved to offer open-space views from each treatment room. A specialty architectural firm with award-winning credentials designed the clinic. The dentists’ patient-centered treatment philosophy would be mirrored in the design.

Huszti Dental Care in Milford

In 2002 the Huszti Dental Building was open for business and established as the new home for the practice’s patient care. Along with the move from 1185 S. Milford Road in Highland came a name change to Huszti Dental Care. The practice had now been moved three times along Milford Road. The move, two miles south of its former Highland location, is just one mile from Milford High School. 

Today, the practice address of 1800 N. Milford Road, Suite 200 Milford, MI 48381 serves as a central location to the many communities served. We are proud to play a small part in the In 2018, Huszti Dental Care celebrated its 25th anniversary and looks forward to even more.