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Three generations of Joliet dentists give office something to smile about

Dr. Thomas Streitz works patient Colleen Reeves as his sDr. Daniel Streitz grandsDr. Dan Streitz Jr. look their dental practice

Dr. Thomas Streitz works on patient Colleen Reeves as his son Dr. Daniel Streitz and grandson Dr. Dan Streitz Jr. look on at their dental practice in Joliet, IL on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 18, 2012 6:35AM

Over the last 56 years, generations of patients have placed their dental health in the hands of Joliet dentist Thomas Streitz.

For some time, patients have had the option to see the second generation of dentists, Streitz’s son, Daniel Streitz.

Later this month, they can choose to see Daniel’s son, Dan Streitz Jr.

The grandfather, father and son will work together at their dental office at 1711 Campbell St.

In preparation for Dan Jr.’s first day on the job, the office staff discussed how to tell the two Dans apart — Daniel Sr., 56, of Plainfield, will remain Dr. Dan, while Daniel Jr., 26, may go by Dr. Danny.

“Tom’s little grandson?” said Colleen Reeves of Joliet, one of Tom’s patients, when she was told he would start work this month.

“Danny’s like a little boy to us,” she said.

Danny graduated from dental school at Southern Illinois University this month and is ready to get to work. His brother, David Streitz, 24, is in dental school at SIU.

Dentistry is a frequent topic of conversation in the Streitz homes, which contributed to Daniel and Dan Jr.’s interest in the career.

Father taught son, who taught son — and all decided they wanted to work side by side.

The togetherness just makes life better, they say. After a long day at the office, they often go out hunting or fishing together to relax.

“It’s just wonderful. I hunt and fish with Danny and we work together,” said Tom, 81, a lifelong Joliet resident. “I can’t play golf with him because he’s so much better than me.”

Besides a love of dentistry and a love for the great outdoors, Tom also taught his boys to make their community a better place.

Tom is not only involved with local organizations such as the Will County Health Department and the Joliet Township High School Board, but he has traveled to South America four times to provide dental services.

Both Dan Sr. and Dan Jr. say Tom has taught them compassion for people.

Tom said they’ve made him a better father.

They all say family is a priority.

“I think that plays a role in why we’re sitting here,” said Dan Sr., who also has a dental office in Plainfield. “We have such a tight family, it has trickled down to our occupation.”

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