After 36 years of caring for Harborites’ teeth, Dr. James Pritchett is retiring from his Aberdeen dental practice.
An Aberdeen High School graduate, Pritchett hands over his practice to a Grizzly today. Hoquiam native and 1993 Hoquiam High grad Dr. Todd Johnson will take over with the same staff.
“When I was growing up we didn’t really hang out with people from Hoquiam,” Pritchett said with a grin. “I’m very happy to have a dentist from the local area take over. … It couldn’t be better, I think.”
Both are graduates of the University of Washington School of Dentistry.
“I have a lot of patients I’ve been with for 30 years,” he added. “I will miss them. But … I’m ready to move on to the next chapter.”
That will likely start off with delayed household projects, followed by travel throughout the Southwest and exploring hobbies such as hunting, cycling and genealogy. He and his wife, Maryse, plan to visit her family in France.
“The most important thing is I’ve got two granddaughters in Portland,” he said, whom he’ll be able to see more often.
“We’re excited, we’re always accepting new patients,” Johnson said.
Johnson has been the dentist at Stafford Creek Corrections Center since 2009, and has worked as an associate dentist with Dr. Richard Hanson since 2005. He said he looks forward to updating his technology and techniques as the field changes.
“The technology in dentistry is always changing. Just in the last 10 years there have been huge changes in what we can offer people,” Johnson said, from types of materials to variety of services.
“That is what I’m going to miss,” Pritchett added. “We can do more beautiful porcelain crowns than ever before.”
He said he feels confident handing over the reins to a younger doctor with roots on the Harbor. Johnson lives in the area with his wife, Brittany, and 7-month-old daughter.
“The transition is going to be nice because Todd slips in and I slip out,” Pritchett said.