Well-known Red Deer cosmetic dentistry “pioneer” Dr. Brian Saby died on Sunday at age 62.
“It’s a big loss,” said his long-time friend Jim Sutherland, who learned Saby died of a heart attack on Sunday at his home in Norglenwold, on the shores of Sylvan Lake.
Saby was known across the country as an early proponent of cosmetic dentistry.
“He was a pioneer,” said Sutherland, who noted Saby lectured on the subject at dental conventions in the U.S.
“He was considered a world-class cosmetic dentist.”
As a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Saby attracted patients from around, and even outside of, central Alberta.
Saby is also remembered as an amiable, entertaining guy, who would cajole friends with his dry wit.
After selling his dentistry practice in 2016, Saby retired and became an expert woodworker and pumpkin carver.
“He excelled at anything involving manual dexterity, because he always wanted to be the best at whatever he did,” noted Sutherland.
Another friend, Michael Dawe, recently visited with Saby and heard he had attended an Arizona workshop several years ago, taught by the best pumpkin carver in the world.
“Brian loved life and enjoying himself,” said Dawe — “and was very passionate about his community.”
He recalled Saby was very invested in the ecological health of Sylvan Lake as part of the local watershed society.
Saby was born in Camrose in 1957 and grew up in Red Deer. He graduated from the University of Alberta’s faculty of dentistry in 1981, at the age of 23.
Following a year spent in Golden, B.C., Saby returned to central Alberta and practised in Sylvan Lake until 1989, when he moved his dentistry practice to Red Deer.
He began specializing in cosmetic dentistry, doing veneer and implants, in the early 1990s.
“He wanted to change people’s lives by creating beautiful smiles,” said Saby’s wife, Linda, a dental assistant who worked alongside her husband.
Saby also leaves two adult children. The family plans to hold a party in Saby’s memory next summer, if the pandemic allows.