Owner of Dentistry by Design, Dr. Gilsdorf is known by his colleagues for his integrity, discipline, leadership, and dedication to life-long learning. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in biology before starting dental college at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he graduated with Distinction in 2005.
Dr. Gilsdorf tirelessly pursued excellence by traveling all over the world to learn from the most respected experts in every aspect of dentistry, and is also a member of numerous study clubs. In addition to being a contributing member of several dental organizations, Dr. Gilsdorf has been recognized for his accomplishments by being awarded fellowship status in the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics and in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, the world’s largest dental implant organization.
Most notably, Dr. Gilsdorf is a Master in the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), the highest honor available in the AGD and one of the most respected designations in the profession. Less than 1% of all dentists worldwide are named Masters by the AGD and at the time Dr. Gilsdorf received this prestigious award, less than 6500 dentists have received this honor in the preceding decades.
In regard to these recognitions, Dr. Gilsdorf says, “It’s wonderful to be acknowledged for all of the extra effort and sacrifices but none of us get here on our own. I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. I have been fortunate to establish mentoring relationships with many of the most talented, passionate, sophisticated, competent dentists and dental specialists in the world. They have instilled in me a thirst for intentional growth in every aspect of my life.”
From the first phone call and with every interaction thereafter, our goal is to develop a personal relationship of mutual respect and understanding in order to foster a lifetime of dental wellness. We make every effort to educate our patients so they can understand their oral health and what options are available to them so that they can make a decision that fits into their lifestyle. We understand teeth do not walk through our doors, people do. We recognize that our patients have many things going on in their life that affect their oral health decisions. We want to understand our patients and make every effort to build a personal connection.
Dr Gilsdorf says, “My role in dentistry is three-fold; to be an advocate for my patients, a leader for my team, and an innovator for my profession. The greatest mentor in the history of dentistry, Dr. L.D. Pankey, defined professionalism as ‘…that quality of conduct which accompanies the use of superior knowledge, skill, and judgment toward the benefit of another person or society prior to any consideration of self-interests.’ His inspiration sets the standard in our practice.”
Dr. Gilsdorf was born and raised on a small farm in rural South Dakota with his older brother Sean who serves in the Air Force. His father Clifford is from a large farming family in Nebraska and his mother Holly is also from a farming family nearby in South Dakota. In addition to working in the fields during his youth, Dr. Bret earned a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, he started on the state championship football team as a defensive end, and also was a wrestler.
Dr. Gilsdorf joined the Army National Guard when he was 17, attended basic training after his junior year of high school, and went on to serve 6 years in an artillery unit. He was on the cytogenetic research team for the Bridge Lab in Omaha, NE following graduation from college before attending dental school in Lincoln, NE. His first years of practice were spent near Milwaukee, WI before moving to Chicago, IL where he met his beautiful wife Justyna.
Similar to Bret, Justyna grew up in a small rural community, but in Poland! She had lived in Chicago for over a decade before they met and it was love from the beginning. They were looking for a better life when they discovered Manhattan, KS and decided to make it home. They gave away most of their possessions, rented out their home in Illinois, shed a few tears leaving family, and moved to the Little Apple. Many of their city friends didn’t understand their decision but Justyna and Bret couldn’t be more pleased with their new life.
In 2016 Dr. Bret and Justyna welcomed their daughter, Adali Lena Gilsdorf, into the world. She is the sunrise and sunset of their day. Dr. Gilsdorf doesn’t have many hobbies anymore as he is dedicated to his practice and spending time with his family, but hopes his wife will allow him to ride his 2003 Harley Fatboy again one day!