Meet Dr. Richard Garfinkle

On Being an Orthodontist

As an orthodontist, each day I am offered the chance to make lasting, positive changes in the lives of my patients. Each person comes to me with one goal: a healthy, beautiful smile. But each person also presents a unique challenge of different tooth and jaw structure, timeline, and lifestyle. Therefore, I need to work with and get to know that individual in order to identify the orthodontic care approaches that are right for their situation.

The end result? A great bite, perfectly aligned teeth, and a smile that will serve the patient for a lifetime. Even more rewarding, for me, is knowing that the person’s confidence is stronger as a result of the care I’ve provided, and the friendship we’ve developed while they’ve been my patient.

I came from an oral healthcare family: my father was an oral surgeon and my uncle was an orthodontist. I knew I was good at and enjoyed science, liked working with people, and wanted to make lives better. Orthodontics offered me the opportunity to make the most of all those things. Looking back at the 40 years I’ve been practicing, I can say that I made the right decision.

My Education and Commitment to Continuing Education

  • Bachelor of Science, University of California
  • Doctorate of Dental Surgery, University of California San Francisco
  • Master of Science in Dentistry, University of Washington School of Dentistry, Department of Orthodontics

Each year I pursue in-person seminars and lectures, and participate in webinars, study clubs, and meetings, in order to stay abreast of the latest developments in orthodontics. Keeping current through orthodontic and dental journals, reading the literature and the research, ensures I am able to deliver the best practices and evidenced-based care to my patients. They rely on me to provide them with the highest level of treatment and care options. I cannot imagine doing anything less.

Professional Memberships

  • American Association of Orthodontists
  • American Dental Association
  • Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists
  • Oregon State Society of Orthodontists
  • Oregon Dental Association
  • Multnomah Dental Society
  • University of Washington Orthodontic Alumni Association

Personal Life

I grew up in Alameda, CA, and moved to SW Portland in 1973, after finishing my Orthodontic Residency in Seattle. My wife, Karla Green, is an interior designer and remodeler. She has three children and I have two. One of my children, Dr. Judah Garfinkle, is part of this practice. Between Karla and I, we have six grandchildren living in the area: they are my favorite hobbies!

By the way, I’ve had one car since 1976. That 1974 yellow 911 Porsche you see parked out front? It has 387K miles on it and I still love it.