A new Island dentist arrives as another retires

A Vashon native has returned to the Island to practice dentistry at Dr. Michael Maki’s dental office, and a beloved dentist there is retiring from the practice.

Dr. Cliff Eckman

A Vashon native has returned to the Island to practice dentistry at Dr. Michael Maki’s dental office, and a beloved dentist there is retiring from the practice.

Dr. Marc Langland, 26, is a 2002 graduate of Vashon High School and the son of Tom and Mary Langland, co-owners of the Vashon Pharmacy. A graduate of the Creighton University School of Dentistry in Omaha, Neb., Langland has worked as a dentist in Omaha and the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Cliff Eckman, 73, is retiring from dentistry to spend more time with his family, his garden and a few good books. He plans to continue doing volunteer dental work for free dental clinics in the area, he said.

June 29 was Eckman’s last day, and Langland began work on July 5 at Maki’s office, which treats hundreds of patients.

“Cliff’s a great guy; he’s been a good friend,” Maki said of Eckman. “And Marc is a quality young man with a great future in the profession. I’m really happy to have him on board.”

Langland said he is excited to be back in the community where he grew up.

“Not a lot of people have the opportunity to have patients who are friends, family and patients,” he said. “That’s a pretty neat opportunity, and working in this office is going to be great.”

Maki was Langland’s dentist when he was a boy, and Langland said he’s always viewed Maki’s practice as the “gold standard” of dentistry.

“They really take care of the whole patient,” Langland said. “They also have a very modern practice — contemporary care.”

Langland will perform comprehensive dental care at Maki’s office, including exams, extractions, root canals, crown and bridge procedures and bleaching.

“I’m looking forward to the youthful enthusiasm (Langland) is going to supply,” Maki said. “I can probably teach him a few things, and he can probably teach me a few things, too.”