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Third-generation dentist Craig Hornung brings his passion for dentistry to the community of Rockport.


Dentistry is a family affair for Dr. Craig Hornung, owner of Rockport Family Dental. His father is an oral surgeon, and Hornung helped out around the office from the time he was 13 years old. His grandfather was also a dentist and practiced in Swampscott and Wilmington.

“I’m a third-generation dentist,” Hornung says. “It sort of runs in the blood.”

After studying biology at Northeastern University and dentistry at Tufts University, Hornung worked in several places before joining a Malden practice owned by his brother (yes, another dentist in the family). As he gained experience working with his brother, however, he kept his eye out for an opportunity to go out on his own. “It was always a dream of mine to own a small, family-run practice,” he says.

In the spring of 2022, Hornung realized this dream, acquiring Rockport Family Dental. And as he prepared for running his own practice, he kept the idea of family at the forefront of his mind, planning always to treat patients like valued family members. 

State-of-the-art dentistry

His first project was to take on the physical space. The office, built in 1996, had been custom-designed to house a state-of-the-art dental practice, but hadn’t seen a major renovation since construction, Hornung says. He and his wife Lauren threw themselves into updating the building, replacing flooring, painting walls, and bringing in new equipment – like the intraoral scanner that replaces traditional dental impressions and a panoramic X-ray machine to make the process more comfortable for his patients. 

“The bones of the practice were great and the building itself was great, but it needed to be revamped,” Hornung says.

The digital look of the business was also reinvigorated, with a refreshed website and a new logo – featuring a lobster surfing atop a toothbrush – courtesy of Hornung’s mother, an artist. 

Though the facilities have been overhauled, the staff remains very much the same. Hornung chose to keep on the experienced Sharon, Karen, and Stella– many of whom have worked there for more than 20 years – who made the practice successful under former ownership.

The practice’s approach to treatment also draws on the values of family. Hornung offers a complete range of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic services from regular cleanings and fillings, to implants, scaling and root planing, crowns, veneers, teeth whitening, and Invisalign teeth straightening treatments. 

He believes in carefully explaining treatment options to make sure patients understand what will be happening and feel comfortable throughout their procedure. When patients are skittish about dental work, he is always willing to slow down the process, creating a step-by-step plan to ease their nerves. Hornung is committed to keeping his focus on the best treatment for each patient, rather than on pushing products or maximizing profits. 

“I wanted to have a family practice that we’re proud of,” he says. “We never try to upsell anything or promote gimmicky products.”

Connecting with community

Having the chance to practice in Rockport is something of a dream come true for Hornung, who has always loved the area. 

“I always knew I’d be going back to the North Shore,” he says. “My grandparents lived in Swampscott and visiting them for Sunday dinners made me fall in love with the area.” 

He and his family have thrown themselves into the community life of Cape Ann with no hesitation. The practice was a sponsor of the 5K that is part of Rockport’s popular Motif #1 Day celebration – and the Hornungs ran in the race, pushing their one-year-old daughter in a jogger. “We love supporting the Rockport community and what better way than to sponsor an event that promotes health, wellness and exercise,” he says.

Hornung and his wife Lauren have a one-year-old daughter named Henley and another baby daughter on the way. Every minute spent outside the office is dedicated to his growing family.

Hornung is currently accepting new patients and enjoying getting to know established ones – practice founder Dr. Jonas Gavelis still comes in for cleanings. 

“Taking care of people is the ultimate privilege and what better people are there to take care of than those from Rockport, Cape Ann, and the surrounding North Shore communities?” Hornung says. “We all live life to make memories with our loved ones, and our health ensures those memories are full.”

227 Main St., Rockport, 978-546-3020,