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After high school graduation, I became a German-trained dental technician followed by 5 semesters of studying dentistry. Immigrating to Canada in 1957, I worked as a dental technician in Edmonton before successfully challenging the exams to become a licensed denturist.
As the owner of Schaefer Dental Laboratory and Schaefer Denture Clinic, I mentored my daughters Barbara, DD, RDT, and Christa, RDT to become successful members of the dental profession.
With the help of my wife Susanne, a retired pharmacist and our business manager, we raised 5 children who have all become professional people in their own right.
With 19 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, we still find time to engage in and promote the arts. At age 70, I attended night classes, learning to put colour to my sketching skills and took private lessons in aquarelle painting. As a choir member for 74 years, I recently joined the Edmonton Swiss Men’s Choir. Besides taking continuing education courses, I attended night school in accounting, was an avid equestrian in dressage and jumping, obtained a pilot’s licence and became a licensed glider instructor.
As a 5-year board member of the Alberta Denturist Society and author of professional articles nationwide, I was instrumental in achieving the legal rights for our profession to provide partial denture replacement for our patients.
For all the years of the clinic's existence, I have been involved in many areas. I have been a delivery lady, book keeper, receptionist, money manager, social advisor, planner, cleaner, organizer and human resource person. Most of the work was and is done behind the scenes, but all still gives me great pride and pleasure.
To see patients coming back again and again lets me know they were treated with scientific knowledge and know-how, but also with kindness and sympathy towards their individual dental problems by Gerhard, Barbara, Christa and all our staff.
Hello, my name is Joshua Schaefer. I am 24 years old and have just graduated from NAIT and the Denturist Program. It has been a goal of mine to become a denturist for quite a while. It all started when I was 6 years old. My mom (Barbara Schaefer) would bring me into the denture clinic with her and let me play around with wax and teeth. When I was 8 years old I told my mom I wanted to be a denturist. She agreed and encouraged me but did not “hold her breath” because you and I both know that kids say the silliest things!
However by the time I was 12 I had a lot more exposure in the family denture clinic, I would go to work when I had a day off school and even helped out on summer vacations. When I was in Senior High School I searched online for the requirements for the Denturist Program at NAIT. This was the time I really set my sights on becoming a denturist.
After I graduated high school, I took some time off school to work and earned some money to travel the world and pay for my schooling. After backpacking in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia with my younger brother for 75 days in 2013-14, I was finally accepted into the denturist program at NAIT, and I could start working towards my goal of becoming a Denturist.
I had been very involved with the NAIT community. Often staying later at the school to work out at the gym, study for my classes, talk with friends, or to be a part of the student senate, which is a student run governing body. I am very fortunate to be able to have these wonderful and fulfilling experiences; they have really let me grow as a person.
I am happy to be giving amazing new smiles to all my patients, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for me. I am a 3rd generation denturist, following in my mom's footsteps, while she is following the footsteps of my grandfather (Gerhard Schaefer). So I guess you could say it's in my blood! Hopefully I will see you soon =)