For Kyle Gernhofer, it’s Game, Set, Smile | WMU Alumni Skip to main content

For Kyle Gernhofer, it’s Game, Set, Smile

Kyle Gernhofer (B.S.′00, Biomedical Sciences) has seamlessly transitioned from serving aces on the tennis court to serving others with his dental expertise. Kyle G Headshot

“Growing up in Traverse City, Michigan, playing competitive tennis was a big part of my life,” he said. “I wanted to play Division I tennis and my decision came down to being a Bronco or a Spartan. Fortunately, I chose WMU, received an unbelievable education, met lifelong friends and played for a legendary coach, Dave Morin!” 

Navigating the rigors of student-athlete life, Kyle recognized early the importance of honing his time management skills. “I majored in biomedical science, which seemed like the most logical path because I knew I wanted to be a health care professional,” he said. “Effective planning was extremely important because the coursework was challenging.

“To this day, I’m grateful for the education I received at WMU,” he continued. “It enabled me to go to dental school at the University of Michigan and enjoy a fulfilling career as a dentist.”

On campus, Kyle focused his energy on tennis, his studies and building friendships. Athletic and academic scholarships allowed him to immerse himself in pursuing his purpose at WMU, which included experiential learning.

“I was very fortunate to receive financial assistance, which also included receiving a grant to do research in the biomedical sciences department during the summer months,” he said.

After graduating from dental school at U of M, Kyle embarked on a two-year deployment aboard the USS Tortuga (LSD-46), providing vital dental care to more than 700 sailors and marines. “This experience taught me a lot about leadership, hard work and resolve, which I carry with me today,” the alumnus added.

Following four years of service in the U.S. Navy, Kyle practiced dentistry for 10 years at Mission Boulevard Dental Group in San Diego, California. Amid the pandemic, he then changed gears and founded DenScore in 2020. DenScore is a free web application that helps people make smarter decisions about their oral health. 

DenScore“It’s the only online tool in the world that provides free dental advice tailored to someone’s age, health history and insurance coverage,” Kyle explained. “People use DenScore when they need assistance finding a dentist, choosing the right dental insurance or understanding potential treatment options.” 

While Kyle’s journey has taken him far from Kalamazoo, he still fondly remembers his alma mater, especially his time on the tennis team. “Playing tennis with my brothers outside on WMU’s tennis courts stands out for me. During my junior year, our team received the first NCAA tournament bid in school history. We flew to Los Angeles to play UCLA. Even though they were the No. 1 seed, we played a close match and created a memory for a lifetime.”

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