Dr. Michael J. Ryhn is a native of Minnesota, growing up in Alexandria and graduating from Concordia College in Moorhead in 1992. He began his career in the Army in 1993 when he attended the Officer Basic Course and followed with Airborne School. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 2005 and completed an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) Residency in 2009.
Dr. Ryhn began his career as a Medical Service Corps officer in Vilseck, Germany. During his tenure as a platoon leader, he was awarded the Expert Field Medical Badge. He moved to Heidelberg where he served as the Executive Officer of the HHC, 30th Medical Brigade. He served as a logistician in the USAREUR Command Surgeon section and this led to a life changing moment. The position of Executive Officer and Troop Commander for the Heidelberg Dental Activity (DENTAC) opened up and he applied and was selected for it. During this time, he was drawn to dentistry but when COL Wayne Olson allowed him to scrub in for cases, he was hooked. He applied for entry to dental school and was accepted.
Dr. Ryhn was chosen to serve as the Assistant Program Director after graduating from the four-year OMS residency. He was assigned to the Hawaii DENTAC as the Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) 2 Year Residency OMS Mentor and Assistant Program Director. He deployed with the Air Force 455th Expeditionary Medical Group in 2014. Upon his return to Hawaii, he took over as the Program Director. He then moved to Fort Hood and served as the Officer in Charge until 2020 when he moved to the DENTAC US Military Academy at West Point.
Dr. Ryhn is a Diplomat of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and is board certified with the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He achieved the Surgeon General’s “A” Designator for clinical excellence and was awarded the Order of Military Medical Merit. He and his wife Bernadette are excited to now be part of the WNC community. They have three daughters, Aine, Alyssa and Saoirse.
Dr. Ryhn rotates between the Waynesville and Sylva Rockcliff locations.
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