Restoring Function and Esthetics

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 Richard W. Panek, DDS, dedicated oral surgeon, expert in dental implants and facial trauma, outdoor enthusiast and traveler.

Why oral surgery? I enjoy being able to relieve significant pain and disease for patients. It’s especially gratifying when I’m able to piece together facial and jaw structures after facial trauma to restore a patient’s normal function and aesthetics.

Favorite spots in Grand Rapids: My wife and I enjoy visiting the Downtown Market, Wealthy Street Bakery, Art of the Table and Martha’s Vineyard/Nantucket Bakery.

What outdoor activities do you enjoy? We enjoy cycling and have made many bike trips locally as well as along the Lake Michigan shore and Northern Lower Peninsula.

Favorite TV show: The Repair Shop on Netflix. The show is about professional art and historical object curators who repair or refurbish treasured heirlooms people bring in to the shop.

Best vacation: Palm Springs for Modernism Week, a festival of midcentury modern art, design and culture. If you are into the Rat Pack era, it’s definitely a must do. There are home tours, receptions and lectures on all things midcentury modern. The highlight was attending a party at the former home of Frank Sinatra.

Professional activities: I volunteer at the Mel Trotter Mission dental clinic and have provided charity care for Hope Network patients in my office. Also, I’m president of the Michigan Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons and served eight years on Michigan’s Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Specialty Licensing Exam Committee. Nationally, I’m a delegate for the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons and serve on the Commission on Professional Conduct.

Bio Sketch

Dr. Panek grew up in Chicago. He moved to Grand Rapids in 1989 after completing his residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Education and training

  • Residency in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center/ Stritch School of Medicine
  • DDS, Marquette University School of Dentistry
  • BS, Marquette University

Board certifications and professional fellowships

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry
  • Fellow, American College of Dentists
  • Fellow, American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons


  • Oral implantology
  • Facial trauma


  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Rockford, MI


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

For more information about Dr. Panek and to refer patients to him, call 616-361-7327.