Ronald L. King, 62, a husband, father and noted dentist, died on October 21, 2010 of cancer. In recent days, Dr. King was in a hospice in Edina, attended by his wife, Lynn, and his daughters Rachel and Lisa.
Growing up in Richfield, MN, Ronald King was a Boy Scout who attained the rank of Eagle. He played baritone saxophone in his high school’s marching band and was a ski jumper and captain on the high school’s ski team. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and in 1972 received his dental degree from the dental school there. Following that, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a dentist at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. He flew single engine planes and worked part time as an instructor at the University of Minnesota Dental School. He was an active member of the local ski patrol.
After some years in dental practice, Dr. King became curious about the controversy over the safety of dental amalgam fillings, which are half mercury. He found clinical and scientific grounds for concern about the safety of mercury amalgams and made his own dental practice more holistic. By the mid-1990s, Ronald King had become one of the few “go-to” dentists for patients seeking holistic dental care in the Twin Cities. Among the holistic options he used was homeopathy to help promote healing and reduce surgical pain. He joined several of the international academies centered on the subjects of health-conscious dentistry and became a long-time board member of the Holistic Dental Association. He served as president of Holistic Dental Association for a year.
Dr. King was known for his diplomatic ways of discussing the dental controversies with his fellow dentists. He mentored others, nurturing their understanding, and nudging them along patiently, towards a kind of dental practice that he viewed as more holistic and safer for the patients and for the dentists themselves. In 1999 he was appointed by Governor Jesse Ventura to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry. In 2003, he was re-appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty to another term.
Dr. King was a great believer in patient education and had extensive handouts for his patients on the many important issues from oral hygiene to mercury amalgams to the fluoridation controversy.
Current dental partner Dr. Sherif Said noted: “In the short time that I have known Dr. King, I found him to be an honest, caring and dedicated man. His passion to his patients and the profession of dentistry was genuine, and that is why his patients had very strong connections with him. It was touching to see how his funeral was so full that mourners had to stand at the back of the church as there was no seating room. That is the greatest gift anyone can get.”
Ronald King touched the lives of many people, not only with his caring professional work, but also with his humor, his kindness and his generosity. He will be remembered fondly, and he will be missed. Dr. King was one of the most enduring advertisers of The Edge, and this publication and its former owners are grateful for his dedication to holistic living.
By friends and Leo Cashman, executive director of Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions (call 651.644.4572 for a list of holistic dentists or other information)