Walt Pfitzinger, DDS, MS – Sleep Medicine
Dr. Pfitzinger founded Plaza Dental Group in 2008 with a vision for incredible customer service, patient convenience, and high quality of care standards. His objective was to create a general and multi-specialty dental group practice in the heart of Missouri. In this group practice model, dental specialists and general dentists work together in an environmentally friendly facility that encompasses all the technology that today’s dentistry has to offer.
After completing his undergraduate work at Mizzou, Dr. Pfitzinger graduated from St. Louis University School of Dentistry. Following two years as a general dentist in the U.S. Army, he completed his residency in pediatric dentistry at Marquette University and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. He then founded a multi-specialty group practice in St. Charles, MO, Family Dental Services, where he practiced for 25 years.
Dr. Pfitzinger’s practice today is focused solely on the emerging field of dental sleep medicine, in which dental appliances give relief to patients with obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, he is an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine.
Stuart Pickens, DDS – Pediatric Dentist
“My goal is to make dentistry for children as pleasant an experience as possible. Frequently, we find that children who have had bad experiences in the dental office have fears of dental treatment that continue throughout their lives. For this reason, we often treat young children using sedation, or when necessary, general anesthesia. I look forward to seeing you and your child and assure you that we will treat your child with kindness, respect, and a big smile.” – Dr. Pickens
Dr. Pickens is a graduate of Mizzou, class of 1976. He went on to graduate from UMKC Dental School, after which he completed his residency in pediatric dentistry in 1983. He practiced in Slidell, LA for 14 years before moving back to Missouri. Dr. Pickens joined Plaza Dental Group in 2008 and had the excitement of meeting the very first patient who walked in the door.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that parents bring their child in for his or her first visit around one year of age, and Dr. Pickens fully supports that recommendation. The reason for this early visit is to make sure the child is not susceptible to early childhood decay, consult with the parent on proper home care, and provide any preventive care, such as fluoride varnish, if warranted. We also are able to comment on the development of the child’s teeth and growth patterns. This early visit also helps establish a trusting relationship between the child and dentist.
Dr. Pickens and his wife Kay have five sons. Although their children are grown and have left home, they travel the country to visit them. Dr. Pickens enjoys cooking for friends and family, wine tasting, and gardening.
Christian Francis, DDS, MS – Orthodontist
“The power of a healthy, attractive smile really enhances self-confidence. I learned this personally as I finally opened up with my smile after years of not showing my teeth when I smiled due to embarrassment. That personal transformation that accompanied my own orthodontic treatment led me to begin working at an orthodontic office from the age of 16. To this day, that contagious smile from a patient with newly aligned teeth is still the most exciting and rewarding aspect of my work.” –Dr. Francis
Dr. Francis supports the American Association of Orthodontists’ recommendation that children be seen by an orthodontist beginning at age seven. Certain dental and jaw relationships can only be treated early to avoid surgery or further compromise later. However, research shows that orthodontic treatment is most efficient in a single phase of comprehensive treatment when possible and that is Dr. Francis’ preference as well.
Dr. Francis grew up in Bozeman, Montana. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Brigham Young University and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas School of Dentistry. It was during his orthodontic residency at the University of Kentucky that he and his wife first visited central Missouri and considered relocating to the area. Dr. Francis and his wife Shannon have three sons: Tyson, Austin, and Neal. They love hiking and camping and spend most of their family time playing games together and riding bicycles and tricycles around the neighborhood.
Arthur Misischia, DDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
Dr. Misischia is a graduate of Washington University Dental School, and an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon certified by the Missouri Dental Board to perform general anesthesia in an outpatient setting. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the National Board of Anesthesiology, and a Fellow of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and in Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
Dr. Misischia is certified to administer General Anesthesia for patients in the convenience of our office.