We often wonder at least a little bit about the human story behind our dentist or doctor. Today, we publish a short interview with Dr. Kelli Slate.
Hi Kelli, I wanted to start by asking why you became a dentist? It is an interesting story and I understand a little bit unusual.
I began dental assisting at age 16 as part of a school/work program at Skyline High School. After graduating from high school, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas.
Then you went on to working in a dental practice as a hygienist?
Yes, during my ten years as a hygienist, I was privileged to work for number of great dentists. One in particular, the late George W. Jarman D.D.S., inspired me to return to school and become a full- fledged Dentist. Dr. Jarman became my dentist and he was the only dentist I ever knew who could consistently give completely painless injections.
What or more correctly, who inspired you?
I was inspired by his compassion. Dr. Jarman also hand made all of the crown and bridge work for all of his patients. He knew he could make crowns fit better than any lab, and he was right. I had never seen such precision.
And then you decided to go further and study to become a dentist yourself?
My parents were very instrumental in my decision to further my education. My father, Bill Slate, said to me “Kelli, you will be 36 years old when you graduate from dental school”. I replied “I will be 36 anyway, so I might as well be a 36 year old dentist!”
Also, very importantly, my parents gave me a great deal of emotional and financial support. They made my decision to quit my dental hygiene job and return to college much easier. I returned to Baylor College of Dentistry and some of my instructors from dental hygiene school were still there and remembered me from ten years earlier.
So after you qualified as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S), where did you first start working or did you immediately create your own dental practice in East Dallas?
I became an associate of Dr. Steve Craig in North Dallas for three years after dental school. Then an opportunity presented itself to acquire a practice in the Casa Linda/Casa View area, just down the street from where I grew up.
I practiced in that location for seven years and I loved it. When the opportunity arose to purchase the Lakewood dental practice in East Dallas, I was the first in line. Lakewood had been the location I had dreamed about practicing since I had begun dental school!
It only took one month, to the day, from the time I first heard about the Lakewood practice becoming available, for me to sell the Casa View practice and be in possession of, and practicing in the new Lakewood location. It was truly a dream come true!
As a dentist in East Dallas you’ve been serving the community for many years. You have a great reputation looking at the reviews people have left about your practice. – testimonials and more here google reviews.
Yes, I am really proud and touched by the reviews people have left.
As a team in the Lakewood dental office we all work really hard to provide top quality dental care to all our patients from across East Dallas. We are also especially aware that many patients worry or suffer from anxiety when they visit the dentist. We do our best to relieve those worries, we are gentle and always explain the procedures in easy to understand terms.
Thank you Kelli. Human stories are always interesting and it is nice to know a little about your work and how it all begun. Is there anything you would like to add?
Well yes, Dr. Sonny Shaddix is now working at the practice. He performs procedures that I would have previously referred to a specialist, such as extractions, some root canals and Invisalign (clear aligner orthodontics). He is a great dentist of immense experience. We are really proud to have him working at our Lakewood dental office.
Thank you again Kelli for an insight into how it all began and your dental practice.