All professionals at Preferred Dental Practice maintain the highest levels of accreditation and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends in the medical field. Read on to learn more about our staff's experience and training.
Dr. Thanasas was raised in Riverview, Michigan. He completed his undergraduate and pre-dentistry studies at the University of Michigan, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 1989. He continued his education at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry where he obtained his D.D.S. degree in 1993. Upon graduation from the University of Michigan, he pursued his professional education at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia. He received a Specialty Certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics in 1995 and a M.S. degree in Oral Biology in 1996. While at PENN, he was a Clinical Orthodontic instructor in both the Dental and Graduate Orthodontic departments.
Dr. Thanasas’ research interests included the transverse patterns of growth in human prenates, the effects of different surgical techniques on the craniofacial growth of cleft patients and the investigation of surgically assisted rapid maxillary expansion in adults. His master’s thesis included the evaluation of transverse jaw relationships in Caucasian and African-American adults.
Dr. Thanasas had his own private practice before joining the group practice in 2004 and becoming a partner in 2006. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and is a member of numerous organizations, which include the American Association of Orthodontists, Michigan Association of Orthodontists, Great Lakes Association of Orthodontists, Greek Orthodontic Society, American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association and the Detroit District Dental Society.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, photography, and sports of all kinds. Dr. and Mrs. Thanasas reside with their sons and daughter in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
Dr. Alan “AJ” Ker was born in Buffalo, NY and was raised in Troy, MI. He graduated from Troy High School and pursued higher education at the University of Michigan after being selected for advanced admission to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry during his senior year of high school. His undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan produced a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 2001 after only three years. Having completed his pre-dental studies simultaneously, he enrolled at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry for his dental training.
He graduated 1st in his class of 111 students, obtaining his D.D.S. degree in 2005. Upon graduation, Dr. Ker was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Fraternity, received the Samuel D. Harris award for excellence in Pediatric Dentistry, and was given a Michigan Dental Foundation Scholarship. Following his dental training, Dr. AJ immediately pursued specialist training in orthodontics at the Ohio State University College of Dentistry. He received a specialty certificate and a M.S. degree in Oral Biology in April 2008 and was chief resident during his final year.
Dr. Ker has lectured locally and nationally on his research interests. His lecture topics include smile esthetics, optimal treatment timing of orthodontic problems, and emerging techniques and technology in orthodontics. His master’s thesis investigated how the population perceives aspects of the smile and what is considered an ideal smile. His thesis also demonstrated where certain characteristics of a smile are deviated enough to be noticed by the general public and helped establish guidelines for when the characteristics warrant correction. This work was featured as the cover article of the October 2008 Journal of the American Dental Association for its relevance and importance to all types of dental clinicians.
Dr. Ker is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. He is also an active member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the Michigan Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the Great Lakes Association of Orthodontists. Dr. Ker is a lifelong learner, attending many continuing education courses annually to remain current with the latest advances in providing orthodontic treatment.
Dr. Ker resides in Troy, MI with his wife Stacy, and their two children Eliana and Calvin. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and the arts of photography, music, and gardening. He loves to play and watch sports, especially his Michigan Wolverines.
Dr. Ralstrom received his D.D.S. degree from the University of Detroit School of Dentistry. He went on to complete a residency in pediatric dentistry at Children’s Hospital of Michigan where he served as Chief Resident. He returned to the University of Detroit where he earned his Master of Science degree in Oral Biology while doing research on the effects of oral electrical burns on craniofacial growth and development.
Dr. Ralstrom has been an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Detroit. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association of the School of Dentistry. In addition, Dr. Ralstrom has served as Associate Chief of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Co-Director of the Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. In 2006, Dr. Ralstrom was honored by his physician colleagues to be chosen Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Alumni of the Year.
Currently, he is a member of the teaching and attending staff at Children’s Hospital of Michigan as well as an attending staff member at Beaumont, Grosse Pointe and St. John Providence. Over the years, Dr. Ralstrom has published articles on a variety of topics related to pediatric dentistry.
Dr. Ralstrom is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. He is also a member of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society. Dr. Ralstrom has been chosen by his peers to be recognized in the field of pediatric dentistry by Hour Magazine’s Top Dentists.
Dr. Ralstrom has been an active participant in organized dentistry on the local, state and national levels of the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He has been president of the Macomb Dental Society, Michigan Council of Dental Specialists and the Michigan Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Dr. Ralstrom was raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. In 2005, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences at Kalamazoo College and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. During her time at Kalamazoo College, Dr. Ralstrom studied abroad in Spain for 6 months to pursue her interest in the Spanish language.
Following her undergraduate training, Dr. Ralstrom attended University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, where she obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2008. She graduated first in her class, was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society and was awarded the Oral Diagnosis Award, the Biomedical Sciences Award and the Pediatric Dentistry Award.
Dr. Ralstrom continued her training in a Pediatric Dentistry Residency at the Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where she served as Chief Resident. During her residency, she completed her master’s thesis on the Impact of Oral Health in Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease. Her research has been published in Pediatric Dentistry, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. She completed her training in 2010, earning her specialty certification in Pediatric Dentistry.
Dr. Ralstrom is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She is also a member of the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. She has served on the executive board of the Michigan Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and enjoys being active in organized dentistry and other volunteer activities. She maintains hospital privileges at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and St. John Providence.
In her free time, Dr. Ralstrom enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, backpacking, camping, and playing piano. She lives with her husband and four children in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
Dr. Sam grew up in Cadillac, MI. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology at Michigan State University and worked in a muscle physiology research laboratory for a year before continuing his education.
Dr. Sam then attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry obtaining his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. Dr. Sam graduated in the top of his class receiving several dental school awards and being inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society. During dental school and again during residency, Dr. Sam volunteered at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, performing dental care for patients with physical disabilities.
Dr. Sam continued his training, specializing in pediatric dentistry, at the Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program at The University of Michigan/Hurley Health Center. Dr. Sam completed his training in 2010, earning a certificate in Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Sam taught at the University of Detroit Mercy and was in private practice on the West side of Detroit before joining our practice.
Dr. Sam is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He maintains hospital privileges at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the International College of Dentists, and the American College of Dentists. He has served on the Michigan Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Detroit District Dental Society executive boards. He enjoys being active in organized dentistry and other volunteer activities.
Outside of the office Dr. Sam enjoys coaching little league, hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors. He is married to Dr. Elizabeth Ralstrom, and together they stay busy with their 3 sons and daughter.
Dr. Daulton was raised in West Bloomfield, Michigan, although he attended high school overseas in Taipei, Taiwan. He attended and graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he received an honors Bachelor of Science degree. Following his undergraduate studies, he graduated from the University of Michigan Dental School in 1991. At graduation he was awarded the American Society of Dentistry for Children Award.
Upon graduation from dental school he entered a two-year Master Degree program in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Michigan, and was the recipient of the Rackham Graduate Fellowship. During his residency he served on the Craniofacial/Cleft Palate team at Mott Children’s Hospital, Ann Arbor and as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Michigan Dental School. Dr. Daulton then joined the practice in 1993.
Dr. Daulton is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He is also a member of the American and Michigan Dental Associations.
Dr. and Mrs. Daulton live with their sons, Braxton and Brayden and their dog Charlie in Sylvan Lake.
Dr. Tim DeMeulenaere is a 1987, graduate of the University of Detroit Dental School. He has been a full time practicing general dentist at Preferred Dental since 1989. Dr. Tim was born and raised in the area and attended nearby St. Angela School.
Dr. DeMeulenaere is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Michigan Dental Association, the Macomb Dental Society and the Academy of General Dentistry. He has a special interest in restorative and cosmetic dentistry including implant restoration.
Dr. Tim is married to his wife, Laura, and together they have three children. His personal interests include golf, bowling, and all the Detroit sports teams.
Dr. Ana Brajak was born and raised in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 2005. She completed a one-year General Practice Residency at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Dr. Brajak has been at Preferred Dental since 2006. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the Michigan Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.
Dr. Brajak meets everyone with a compassionate smile and enjoys treating all patients in all aspects of dentistry.
Dr. Matthew Bruzek grew up in Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 2006. Upon graduation, Dr. Bruzek was commissioned as a dental officer in the U.S. Navy and completed a one year post-graduate residency at Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes. After serving his time in the Navy, Dr. Bruzek and his wife Laura Wilhelm-Bruzek, a St. Clair Shores native, have made their home in Michigan since his honorable discharge from the military.
Dr. Bruzek is passionate about all areas of general dentistry, including endodontics, oral surgery, and pediatrics. He believes strongly in a compassionate, caring approach to dentistry and prides himself on his gentle touch with anxious patients. Dr. Bruzek often reassures patients that they are not alone in their fears and anxieties, as most patients feel this way, and that it is his responsibility to minimize these concerns for his patients.
Dr. Bruzek has a love for the outdoors and enjoys camping, boating, baseball, and touring wineries. He has a great passion for animals, and when not at the dental office is helping his wife with her animal rescue. Together they have 3 dogs and 4 cats, all of them rescues. Laura founded Paws For The Cause Feral Cat Rescue about 5 years ago, and last year was granted 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Recently the rescue has garnered national attention and has been featured on Detroit’s Channel 7 News as well as front page articles in the Macomb Daily and Sterling Heights Sentry, speaking out about animal abuse.
Dr. Robert Shore was born in Framingham, Massachusetts and grew up in a small town environment. He attended and completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Boston University.
After his graduation, he attended the University of Detroit Dental School, completed his studies and obtained his dental degree in 1973. He taught part-time for two years at the University after graduation. He has continued to attend many continuing education classes which have taken him all over the world. He began practicing in 1973, and has watched his practice grow from two dentists in a small setting into a multidiscipline dental office offering all aspects of dental care in one office.
Dr. Shore has participated in organized dentistry over the years in many capacities. He participated in the peer review process for dentistry for several years, has served as chairman for the Macomb Dental Society for five years.
His recreational interests include skiing, snorkeling, and was recently certified in open water diving. His true passion lies in sailing on his sailboat named Shorething, which he has sailed in Lake Erie, Lake Huron, the Georgian Bay, and the North Channel in the summer. He participates in different charitable events, including a handicapped fishing derby at a local marina, which allows him to combine his love of the water with an opportunity to give back to those who are less fortunate.
In his spare time, he has traveled throughout the world, having visiting 40 countries over the years. He continues to explore new countries and continents as time allows.
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