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Glacier Dental gives Oshkosh reason to smile

The family dental office recently moved into a new, custom building on Witzel Avenue

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August 10, 2023

OSHKOSH – A lot has changed with Glacier Dental since Dr. Wyn Steckbauer purchased the practice in 2002 – known then as Dr. Robert Mitchell’s Office.

“Dr. Mitchell stayed on for about six months to help me transition and introduce me to the patients,” Steckbaur said. “He had a good way about him that gave a young dentist confidence.”

After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, Steckbauer got his start in Wisconsin Rapids working with Dr. Robert Klement at River Run Dental.

“He was an excellent dentist, and there’s a lot of things you don’t know when you come out of school in terms of how to work with dental labs and supply reps and team members,” he said.

Steckbauer said working with Klement and Mitchell provided him with “really good experience” and gave him an idea of the kind of practice he wanted to have.

“Dr. Mitchell was great, but he didn’t do a lot of advanced dentistry – he wasn’t into technology,” Steckbauer said. “So, when I bought the practice, it was bare bones. Dr. Clement was an excellent higher-level clinical dentist, and he did more advanced procedures involving technology. It showed me, ‘yep, that’s the way I want to go.’”

Today, Steckbaur said Glacier Dental offers a wide variety of family dental services, including routine dental exams, gum disease, crowns and bridges, implants, dentures, dental surgery, cosmetic dentistry, veneers, teeth whitening, dental sedation and children’s dentistry.

Over the years, Steckbauer said the practice has continued to implement advanced technology.

“We did a lot of training with our team and dentists so we could bring in a 3-D Cone Beam CT machine, and with that, we can see infection before traditional X-rays,” he said.

When someone needs endodontic therapy, like a root canal, Steckbauer said the machine allows the Glacier Dental team to take 3-D film and digitally place a dental implant exactly where it will be in the computer software.

“Then we create a guide that only allows us to place that implant in the exact spot we digitally designed it to be in,” he said. “It’s the safest way to do it because the guides don’t allow you to go anywhere else but that spot, so you know you’re not going to hit a nerve or hit an opposing tooth.”

Steckbauer said Glacier Dental also offers CAD/CAM (computer-aided-design and computer-aided-manufacturing) technology – which aims to provide the “best patient experience.”

“Our technology helps with that,” he said. “Traditional methods, like the goop that goes in your mouth to form a mold of your teeth, have an inherent error rate. The stone that’s poured into that mold to create the impression also has an error rate. (With CAD/CAM technology), we can do things more safely and accurately, without that error rate, and that efficiency saves us money in the long term.”

Steckbauer said Glacier also offers less traditional services, like cosmetic Botox and Botox for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction.

“When you think of the medical professionals who are most familiar with the musculature of the face and giving injections, it’s dentists,” he said. “Giving an injection internally in the mouth is much more difficult than externally on the face, so, to us, it makes sense. We’ve sent some of our doctors to get that advanced training, and people are coming in regularly for those services.”

New location
Prompted by increased demand, Glacier Dental recently moved into a new, custom building at 2300 Witzel Ave. in Oshkosh.

“Our previous location was right next to the Fox River Brewing Company, and it was a great spot in centralized Oshkosh, but we were growing out of it,” Steckbaur said. “We’ve had rapid growth over the past 10 years, even with the COVID-19 pandemic causing issues with the supply chain and raising interest.”

Though some people told him it wasn’t the right time, Steckbauer said he “felt it was time” to build a new facility.

“We were out of capacity, so we couldn’t grow anymore,” he said. “We had people calling, and we couldn’t get them in.”

As a dental office, Steckbauer said patients must be the No. 1 priority, which was included in the planning process for the new office.

To achieve the best patient experience, however, Steckbauer said he believes there must also be a great team atmosphere.

Dr. Wyn Steckbauer said there are floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the building, which brings in natural light and helps reduce that claustrophobic feeling some people get at the dentist. Photo Courtesy of Glacier Dental

“The first thing we wanted to do was bring natural light into the building, both for our patients and our team,” he said. “The building now has a nice outdoor space upstairs where our team can relax… we have cornhole set up, and they can have a good time.”

Steckbauer said he wanted a space for the team “because they work hard.”

“We also added a fitness facility, so if somebody wants to get a workout in before work, they can, and there are showers, too,” he said. “We have a conference room upstairs, which can fit up to 75 people, and we (bring in) speakers to continue our team’s education. There’s also a small boardroom we use for meetings, as well.”

Steckbauer said he also focused on patient comfort when designing the new building.

“The back side of the building is lined with trees and there’s a flowing creek,” he said. “We have basically floor-to-ceiling windows in every operatory, which brings in natural light and helps to reduce that claustrophobic feeling some people get at the dentist. Our seats are heated with massage rollers, and every room has a TV so patients can watch Netflix or listen to music through a headset during the appointment.”

Steckbauer said there are amenities available for patients in the waiting room, as well.

“We have a kids’ area with toys and a big touchscreen game off the main reception area, and there’s also a beverage station where you can get cappuccinos and sodas,” he said.

Much thought, Steckbauer said, also went into developing efficient spaces.

“We want to make it a great experience, but at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone wants to be at the dentist longer than they have to be, so we worked with Design Ergonomics, which prioritizes efficiency, to design the rooms and provide all new equipment,” he said.

While the new facility offers spaces for staff and patients, Steckbauer said, it’s also available for the community.

Each patient room at Glacier Dental’s new location has a heated massage chair and TV, which focuses on patient comfort. Photo Courtesy of Glacier Dental

“We’ll have other dental practices come in to see speakers as well, to raise the level of dentistry in our area, and we also use the conference room for businesses that may not have a space of their own,” he said. “For example, the Oshkosh Chamber is coming in August for their leadership course, and we’ve talked about bringing yoga in on certain days or even a speaker that’s interesting to our community of patients and/or the community in general.”

Autism friendly
Steckbauer said Glacier Dental is certified by the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin as an Autism Friendly Community Partner.

He said his family’s experience with autism opened his mind to the idea.

“My nephew has autism, and he’s fairly high on the spectrum,” he said. “He just graduated from high school, and he’s fairly nonverbal. He’s an incredible kid.”

Steckbauer said that, coupled with an autistic patient’s feedback on his experience at Glacier, prompted him to pursue the certification.

To receive the certification, Glacier’s staff received autism training. 

Steckbauer said Glacier accommodates autistic patients of all ages with options like sequence cards prior to the visit, a tour of the space, as many breaks as patients need, quiet rooms and toys, such as fidget spinners.

Part of larger group
RISE Dental Practices is Glacier Dental’s parent company, along with four other practices: Great Blue Dental (Marinette), Fox Run Dental (Appleton), Willow Cove Dental (Green Bay) and Bull Falls Dental (Wausau) – but Steckbauer said each practice is an individual entity. 

Wyn Steckbauer

Steckbauer owns Glacier, Fox Run and Willow Cove outright, and co-owns Great Blue and Bull Falls Dental with Great Blue’s head dentist.

For more on Glacier Dental or any of the RISE Dental Practices, visit

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