In college, Colorado Springs native Corban Stettler was on a career path to become a police investigator. He completed an externship at the Colorado Springs Police Department, worked in the evidence lab and later passed the entrance exam for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

And he walked away from law enforcement when an opportunity arose that engaged his heart — he was accepted into dental school at the University of Southern California.

After receiving his doctorate of dental surgery in 2009, he worked with the nonprofit AYUDA, providing free dental work to underprivileged children and volunteering at clinics in Belize, Mexico and Nicaragua.

“I love being able to give kids a voice and help them with their needs,” said the 36-year-old. “I like helping kids and their parents take care of their teeth and maintain healthy smiles for the rest of their lives.”

Stettler served in the U.S. Air Force practicing dentistry, and completed a one-year general practice residency at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria, Ill., followed by a two-year pediatric dental residency at the University of Minnesota.

When he returned to Colorado Springs a few years later, he worked for My Kid’s Dentist and Peak Vista Community Clinic before opening a solo practice last January called Kids Rock Pediatric Dentistry at North Powers Boulevard and East Woodmen Road. He also maintains a part-time practice at Perfect Teeth.

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During kids’ visits, they learn about oral hygiene and the importance of brushing and flossing while in search of the Tooth Fairy.

“I want to make it a special experience,” Stettler said. “My goal is for kids to come in and know it’s a place for them. It’s not just a dental office but an adventure.”

Tony Peterson, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Perfect Teeth, has shared an office with Stettler for about a year and said the community benefits greatly by Stettler’s involvement.

“He gives of himself, his time and his talents for others,” Peterson said. “He is one of the finest pediatric dentists, professionals and young men I’ve known. He has an incredible enthusiasm for dentistry and an obvious love for his patients.”

Last year, Stettler was selected a top Colorado Springs Dentist by Colorado Springs Style Magazine and serves on the Colorado Springs Dental Society Board.

“Dr. Stettler is an excellent pediatric dentist and a genuinely good guy,” Peterson said.

Stettler said he’s most proud of his wife and three children and loves going to work each day.

“If you’re not having a good time working with kids, you’re doing something wrong,” he said.

— Amber Baillie