Meet Dr. Stephen Kern

Philosophy of Patient Care

Dr. Stephen Kern tries to be flexible and give patients what they want while making them aware of what is possible with modern dentistry. The office always tries to address the patient’s primary complaint or problem as the first order of business. Beyond that, patient desires can span the spectrum from silver fillings to tooth colored ones, to crowns or bridges, implants, and root canals to extractions and partial or complete dentures. Dr. Kern has extensive experience in all these areas. Especially in porcelain, he has done many large cosmetic cases where the beautiful results completely changed the patient’s smile and self-confidence.

Dr. Kern’s philosophy is to offer what he would want done in his own mouth and then tailor the plan to the patient’s requests. Above all, he wants to be known as honest and trustworthy, and not overly aggressive in treatment planning.

Dr. Kern arrived at Ft. Lewis in 1992 and completed his 21-year Army Dentistry Career there in 1996. He moved to Olympia that same year and purchased his practice from Dr. Glenn McKay who retired after 35 years here.


Dr. Kern graduated near the top of his class at Tufts University School of Dentistry in Boston in 1975. During his Army career, he was the top graduate in his two-year General Dentistry Residency. He is celebrating his 40th year as a dentist this summer!


Dr. Kern has experience that you can trust. He has done more than 10,000 crowns, hundreds of dentures and partial dentures, and tens of thousands of fillings. He is always looking for the best materials and techniques. He is a Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, which is a designation few dentists earn. It involves thousands of hours of continuing education and post graduate tests. Many dental laboratories have told him they enjoy working with his cases because of the precision he brings to his work. His crown and bridge lab is across the street, and he goes there daily to discuss his cases. When cosmetics are important, this enables him to deliver the best possible aesthetics.

On a Personal Note

Dr. Kern chose Olympia because it was a fast growing medium sized community with lots of opportunity. His wife Laura, an operating room nurse, wanted to keep working at Madigan Army Medical Center. Their young children liked the Great Northwest. The Kerns were and still are active in their church at JBLM. Lastly, Dr. Kern loves crabbing and fishing and needed to be close to the salt water! Dr. Kern has many hobbies such as woodworking, wine and hard cider making and  an amazing vegetable garden each year. He loves to share secrets to a successful garden and learn new tips from patients. r

You may have also heard that Dr. Kern is a singer! He performed again this year in the October UGM Dental Clinic benefit concert. He made up a parody to “Taking Care of Business” called “Taking Care of Patients” to help open this year’s show at the Washington Center for Performing Arts.

Back to top