A Passion for Problem Solving

To give you a little insight into our team and provide some lighter reading, we include Q&A profiles like this one in our e-newsletter. We hope you enjoy learning more about Emily J. Van Heukelom, DDS, dedicated oral surgeon, expert in dentoalveolar/dental implant surgery, anesthesia and hospital based-procedures, as well as active mother of twins.

Why oral surgery? I love solving problems for patients. It’s really satisfying when my team can make an experience that someone expects will be difficult or painful go really well.

Favorite recent book: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. The protagonist is vivid and compelling. Also, I love the way Owens wove in a good deal of biology.

Best professional event: I’m getting a group of women dentists together to establish a chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists. We had our first meeting in February 2020. It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a dental or oral surgery meeting!

Fun family traditions: Our twins have dubbed Friday night “noodle night.” We cook some kind of pasta with a buffet of sauces, mac and cheese or gnocchi. After dinner, we watch a movie or play a game. In winter, we all snowshoe and sled. The rest of the year, you may see my husband and I out on our bikes.

Professional activities: I’m a surgeon mentor to area dentists on guided surgery for dental implants and give lectures to oral surgeons, dentist anesthesiologists, local dental societies and residents at the University of Michigan. Also, I’m working on applying for fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.

Bio Sketch

Dr. Van Heukelom grew up in Iowa. After spending her first few years as an oral surgeon in New Hampshire, she joined the Center For Oral Surgery & Dental Implants in March 2015 so she and her husband could raise their twins closer to both of their families.

Education and training

  • Chief Resident, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Boston University and Boston Medical Center
  • General Practice Residency, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics
  • DDS, University of Iowa College of Dentistry
  • BS, Microbiology, University of Iowa

Board certifications

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Anesthesiology


  • Dentoalveolar/dental implant surgery
  • Anesthesia
  • Hospital-based procedures


  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Rockford, MI


  • Spectrum Hospitals
  • Mercy Health, St. Mary’s Hospital

For more information about Dr. Van Heukelom and to refer patients to her, call 616-361-7327.