Former Dowagiac resident marks 30 years as Centreville dentist

Published 2:24 pm Wednesday, September 4, 2013


CENTREVILLE — Richard Shields, D.D.S., is marking the 30th anniversary of opening his Centreville practice.

Locally-owned and operated, Shields Family Dentistry opened in 1983 with one dental chair in shared office space in a small building in Centreville.

Thirty years later, the practice has grown to seven operatories with two full-time dentists and three hygienists. The current facility underwent a major overhaul five years ago, incorporating many technological features to better serve patients.

“I always wanted to practice comprehensive dentistry in a small community. I am so grateful to the people of Centreville and surrounding St. Joseph County communities for making that dream come true. If someone told me 30 years ago that my practice would have grown to this size, I never would have believed them,” said Dr. Shields, who grew up in Dowagiac.

Over the years Dr. Shields has demonstrated a career-long commitment to attending to the dental needs of many physically and mentally impaired citizens in St. Joseph County, and providing access to dental care to children in the Healthy Kids program.

Dr. Shields uses his proficiency in Spanish to serve the local Spanish-speaking community.

He and his hygienists have provided preventive dental education to children in Centreville schools, and Dr. Shields offers free dental screenings at the annual Centreville kindergarten round-up.

In 2007 and 2010, Dr. Shields, his wife Pat (Hillmann, who directed Domestic and Sexual Assault Services for 16 years; DASAS in 2007 named its Three Rivers shelter Hillmann House), and his hygienists brought week-long dental clinics to a small village in El Salvador, as part of church mission trips.

Dr. Shields said, “I am privileged to work with an outstanding team of professionals. They are caring, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and absolutely committed to making patient care our number-one priority. On a daily basis they carry out the practice’s stated philosophy that we are never content with the status quo, and that we continually strive for excellence, growth and improvement.”


Dr. Shields received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1983. He graduated from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish, and elementary teaching certification.

He served his country in the U.S. Navy for four years during Vietnam, then taught middle school science and Spanish prior to entering dental school.

Contact Shields Family Dentistry at (269) 467-9325 or