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Turlock dentist spreads smiles with new book
McCulla book
Dr. Robert McCulla and staff from Turlock Dental Care pose with his new book, “Bringing Smiles to Life: Giving and Receiving the Gift of a Smile.”

Turlock dentist Dr. Robert McCulla has helped the local community take care of their smiles for years, and now he’s hoping to share his knowledge of dental health and give back to a good cause through his recently-published book, “Bringing Smiles to Life: Giving and Receiving the Gift of a Smile.”

In his new book, McCulla shares how his practice, Turlock Dental Care, has created a “patient-centric” approach to dental care, turning a dentist’s visit from a dreaded task into one that clients look forward to and anticipate. All proceeds from the book will go to supporting the dental clinic at Hospital El Buen Samaritano in the Dominican Republic, where over the summer Turlock Dental Care was able to provide free dental work. So far, the community has been supportive of his efforts, McCulla said.

“The community has loved the book, and it gives back to others,” he said.

There are three topics that McCulla covers in “Bringing Smiles to Life,” he said — his background and how he came to open a practice in Turlock, how Turlock Dental Care has built its practice and, lastly, a decade-by-decade guide to dental care, from how to care for baby teeth to things to look out for later in life.

“It’s for the patients,” McCulla said. “I wrote it for those that are looking for good, quality care. The ones that want to take care of their smiles for life, this will give them something to have a reference for.”

McCulla grew up from humble beginnings in Los Angeles, where he was able to attend the University of Southern California thanks to his good grades. There, after originally majoring in engineering, he decided to pursue dentistry. He eventually received a job offer in Turlock — a place he admits he had “never heard of” — and within a year and a half of moving here opened up Turlock Dental Care.

That was over 30 years ago and today, Turlock Dental Care is well-known for putting its patients first. This philosophy is one McCulla hopes many can learn from thanks to his book, he said.

“We treat patients with respect. We try to find out what their needs and wants are and provide personalized care,” McCulla said.

In his book, McCulla emphasizes the importance of “staying ahead of the curve” in terms of education and technology, and also goes into detail about an expanding part of Turlock Dental Care’s practice, which aims to serve those with sleep apnea.

“Sleep apnea is a big problem in this country because a lot of people don’t know they have it,” he said, adding that the condition can cause strokes, heart attacks, sleep deprivation and more. “I have sleep apnea, and as a dentist I have a big opportunity to help people.”

The underlying philosophy behind Turlock Dental Care’s success is one that McCulla hopes readers take the most seriously: giving back to the community. The practice is active throughout Turlock, giving back through an annual day of free dentistry in addition to their support of the clinic in the Dominican Republic, where proceeds from “Bringing Smiles to Life” will be sent.

“I want people to have health overall and health in their lives,” McCulla said. “I love seeing people be able to reach their full potential.”

Dr. McCulla’s book, “Bringing Smiles to Life: Giving and Receiving the Gift of a Smile,” is available on Amazon and at the Turlock Dental Care office, 990 Delbon Ave., Turlock.