Practice News

We had another team retreat this month! We think it is so important to step away from the day to day and work on team building – with a little bit of fun!

Dr. Kenny coordinated a puzzle challenge, Danielle presented on updated day to day office processes, the United Way of Cass Clay surprised us with our nomination for a Live United Award and we all were able to learn how to throw an axe thanks to Rough Cut Social!

We can’t wait for our next day of team building fun!

It was our 10th birthday on January 14, 2021! It’s so crazy how time has flown by and how the practice has grown over the years!

In January of 2011, Dr. Marvin Ugland sold his practice to Dr. Johnson. Then in the fall of 2017, James F. Johnson, DDS was officially renamed to Saving Smiles Dentistry. In January of 2018, Dr. Johnson helped another fellow dentist, Dr. James Colbert, begin his journey to retirement. With that, Fargo Family Dentistry became a part of Saving Smiles Dentistry, and our team grew! Then in June of 2019, Saving Smiles Dentistry welcomed Dr. Kenneth Bartholomew to the practice as a second doctor.

We are so grateful for everyone who has supported us over the past 10 years and we look forward to many more!

November is the perfect time to think about all the things we are grateful for, especially after how challenging this year has been. Our team is thankful for the support we get to spend time giving back to our community. The best way for us to show our gratitude is by helping make the world a better place.

Saving Smiles Dentistry became a Marquee Sponsor for the Historic Fargo Theatre this fall. By making a donation, we were able to have our name on the Fargo Theatre Marquee. Our team wanted to help support the survival of this 94-year-old non-profit because we appreciate how they have been able to connect people in our community through film, history and performing arts.

Our assistants recently volunteered with Toothbrush Ministries’ Brush ‘N Learn event. This organization focuses on helping others have basic self-care items. Our team members were able to go into Head-Start programs (fully masked) to help educate youth on oral health. It was important for our team because we know that if these children are educated on dental hygiene when they are young, these habits will follow them into adulthood.

One of our hygienists recently joined the Heart and Soul Community Café in preparing 500 sack lunches to members of our community with food insecurities. Heart and Soul Community Café is a non-profit that serves locally-grown fresh food. This is important to our team because we know how important diet is for oral health.

We also partnered with the United Way in their Live United, Give United campaign last week. We were a match sponsor for their online and drive-thru event. United Way focuses on reducing hunger and homelessness, preparing children to succeed, helping people be independent and lifting people out of poverty.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon and knowing that it will look different from previous years’ holidays, we have continued to remind ourselves just how thankful we are for so many things; especially being a part of our community.


We’re so excited to announce that Dr. Kenny has been selected to be a part of the 2020-21 Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class! 😃 On this blog post, our team interviews Dr. Kenny about why he wanted to be a part of the leadership class.

Saving Smiles Team: Why did you apply for the Chamber Leadership program?

Dr. Kenny: I have always believed being involved in the local community is of the utmost importance. My family has been involved in the Chamber of Commerce back in Sioux City, Iowa (where I am originally from), so I explored the local chamber here in Fargo. I saw the Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo leadership group online, did some more research on the group and thought the leadership group is exactly what I am looking to be a part of. It seemed like the perfect fit for someone new to the community, like me, to get to know some like-minded local business leaders and to learn about different organizations in the area.

Saving Smiles Team: What are you most excited about for the Chamber Leadership group?

Dr. Kenny: I am the most excited for the opportunity to get to know more people in the greater Fargo area, and hopefully make some new friends. I am also eager to learn about the city of Fargo on a more thorough level. I know locations of the big businesses in town and also the same few restaurants I seem to frequent, but I think with this group I will learn about the smaller organizations/restaurants off the beaten path that really give Fargo its character.

Saving Smiles Team: How do you think the program will benefit you and our team?

Dr. Kenny: I believe the leadership program will benefit me by getting me outside my everyday routine. It will hopefully expand my outlook on the community and increase my knowledge. Along with the increased knowledge and understanding of Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo, I plan to share this knowledge with our team.

Saving Smiles Team: You have been in Fargo a full year now, what are some things that makes the Fargo area special?

Dr. Kenny: One of the most memorable pieces that Fargo and North Dakota are special for is this never-ending wind and cold winters. Being from the Midwest, I thought I understood wind and cold. However, Fargo comes into a person’s life and you realize that North Dakota is in a different game. Winter in Iowa is like the amateur baseball leagues and North Dakota is the MLB professionals.

The aspect that makes Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo one of the best places to live are definitely the people. The patients and friends I have met here are some of the best people, they are the most optimistic, well rounded people I have met. After being around these superb people, I proudly tell others that I live in Fargo.

We have now been open for over a month after our COVID-19 related closure! We are so excited to be back helping our patients with their dental care!

For those with upcoming appointments, we wanted to give an idea of what to expect at your next visit:


  • We will be contacting every patient prior to their scheduled appointment to confirm their appointment and to complete a COVID-19 screening. We will be rescheduling those patients with concerning symptoms, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  • We ask that patients do not bring anyone else with them to their appointments, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Once patients arrive for their appointment, they will wait in their vehicle and call or text us to let us know they have arrived.
  • A team member will come out to the patient’s vehicle to take their temperature with an infrared thermometer. Patients with a temperature of 100.4 or above will be asked to reschedule their appointment. Patients with a temperature below 100.4 will be given a COVID-19 screening form to complete similar to the pre-screening questions they were previously asked over the phone.
  • Once we are ready for the patient, we will contact them to come in.
  • We encourage patients to wear masks as they are escorted in and out of our office.
  • Patients will use hand sanitizer upon entry and exit of the facility.



  • All hygienists, assistants and doctors will have additional protective gear for certain procedures including N95 masks, eye wear, face shields, etc. and non-clinical team members will have masks.
  • All team members will both be asked the same screening questions as patients and have their temperatures taken daily as they arrive to work.
  • Additional surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between patient visits.


If you have any questions about our additional protocols and processes, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

📱 701.237.4297 (call or text)


Did you know that it can take years for a cavity to form and get through the outermost layer of the tooth called the enamel? But once the bacteria that causes cavities gets to the middle layer, the dentin, it can take only a couple months for that cavity to grow large enough where it can start to damage the pulp.

Each tooth has three layers:

The outer layer (ENAMEL): This is the hardest substance in the human body (85% mineral).

The middle layer (DENTIN): The dentin is harder than bone, but nowhere near as hard as enamel (47% mineral).

The innermost layer (PULP): This is where the nerve and blood supply to the teeth is located.

Many times when Dr. Johnson or I perform our routine dental exams we place “watches” in your electronic chart to indicate the start of a cavity (the cavity is just in the enamel). If that cavity grows large enough where it reaches the dentin, we need to treat that cavity as soon as possible to prevent it from reaching the pulp. If the pulp is reached, you run the risk of having a painful (abscessed) tooth. Trust me, having an abscessed tooth is not fun!

Dr. Johnson and I are better able to monitor “watches” in your chart and help educate and encourage you to keep up with regular dental care when you come in for cleanings and checkups at least 2 times per year. The frequent visits also allow us to diagnose and treat cavities when they are small. If you start to miss your periodic exams, we could start seeing an increased frequency of large cavities, other issues and severe tooth pain.

Please make sure to continue with your regular dental care, even through this pandemic! Most dental offices, including ours, are taking steps to keep their patients and team safe, while continuing with routine dental care. Click here to see what we are doing to keep our patients and team safe: Saving Smiles Dentistry COVID-19 Response.

If you are at an increased risk of complications from the novel COVID-19 virus, please continue bushing twice per day for two minutes and flossing daily until you feel you are able to visit your dental office for your regular cleanings and exams. If you have any questions about keeping up with your dental health, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Stay safe and healthy,

Dr. Kenny Bartholomew, DDS


We had our first team retreat in early March to step away from the day to day, work on team building and have a little fun!

One of our first tasks was to split up into small teams and build the tallest structure with the items on our tables, all in three minutes. It was fun to see the collaboration in each of the teams! Dr. Johnson, Tiff, Nancy and Bailee were the winners, having the tallest structure when the buzzer went!

We can’t wait for our next day of team building!

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