Meet Dorothy Paul, DDS
CREATING BEAUTIFUL SMILES IN HOUSTON, ONE DAY AT A TIME!
Piney Point Living magazine sponsor spotlight
Written by Elizabeth McCabe
Childhood experiences have a great influence on people’s lives. Dr. Paul is a good example of that. She is a practicing dentist at the Woodlake Office Park building.
Originally from Poland, as a child, she was exposed to an old type of dentistry since Western technol- ogy was not available to dentists and their patients in her country at that time. She comments, “As a child, I disliked the dentist with a passion. Once, I even found myself leaping from a dental chair and running away through the open window to escape dental treatment.” Learning to deal with such fears and wanting to have a positive impact on a patient’s comfort during such frightening experiences was very important. It was a motivating factor in her life in becoming a healthcare professional. While still in Poland, she started her education in a nursing high school. Together with her brother, she was also involved in an amateur/ folkloric dance troupe, which allowed her to travel to France on a tour in 1984. Given this opportunity and the continued oppressive political situation in Poland, both sib- lings decided to defect. After spending some time in a refugee house in Paris, thanks to their biological mother’s sponsorship, who had already become a U.S. citizen many years before, they arrived in Chicago. Life presented new challenges in a new environment; consequently, she found herself mov- ing to Houston one day short of her 18th birthday. Full of gratitude, she says, “Thanks to many won- derful people, I had the pleasure to meet in Texas, I was able to begin a new life.”
Upon arriving in Houston and after learning English, she enrolled with the Texas College of Medical and Dental Careers and became a certi- fied medical assistant in 1988. Becoming a medical
assistant seemed like a great way to continue in the healthcare profession. She worked for 18 years caring for patients, mostly in internal medicine and in oto- laryngology (ENT) head and neck surgery, in the Houston Medical Center. She recalls, “During that time, I found a dentist who was really passionate about dentistry. He took time with me to work through my fears. His compassion showed me that dentistry could be done without pain. This experience helped me to start thinking about dentistry from a whole new perspective.”
At the same time, while still working at the ENT office, she talks about how that job gave her more insight into the problems found in the oral cavity. “I started thinking about what I liked to do in life, which was fixing things and being in the health industry. I decided that dentistry might be worth looking into, especially with my empathy for dental experiences,” says Dr. Paul. Her past experiences have made her sensitive to the needs of others who suffer from fears of the den- tist, and she believes this allows her to serve patients better.
Dr. Paul’s Education and Experience
Dr. Paul decided to study dentistry for her profession, earning her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas – Dental Branch in Houston, Texas. She completed her undergraduate studies starting at the Houston Community College and transferring to the University of Houston while continuing to work full time at the ENT office. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, and Greater Houston Dental Society. Best of all, Dr. Paul is passionate about her profession.
“Dentistry allows me to incorporate things I like to do,” says Dr. Paul. “I like to interact with people, listen to the problems they are having, and listen to the interesting life histories many patients have. It makes me happy to come up with solutions for my patients.”
“Dentistry gives me instant gratification. I can solve some of the problems in a short time and sometimes alleviate pain. It’s so grat- ifying when patients are happy. It also allows me to utilize artistic creativity in the process, within reason, of course,” she jokes.
Starting a Practice
Following her graduation in 2007, Dr. Paul worked as an associ- ate dentist in Katy before branching out on her own.
In 2010, Dr. Paul’s dream of having her own practice became a reality when she took over the practice from Dr. Robert L. Wynne. She comments, “I am so proud to continue 40 years of Dr. Wynne’s legacy in providing quality, personal care for over 11 years now.”
Dr. Paul moved to her current location on 2500 Tanglewilde Street in 2015. Her state-of-the-art office is welcoming, inviting, and offers the latest technology to patients. “Our entire staff is happy to continue to care for our longtime patients, and we always have open arms to welcome new arrivals into our dental family,” she adds.
Dr. Paul excels in general dentistry. She and her compassionate staff offer everything from diagnostic exams – utilizing digital radiography and oral cancer screenings with the use of VelScope technology. Preventive dentistry is on top of the list, so dental cleanings and periodontal maintenance procedures are pro- fessionally provided by highly-skilled and, most importantly, painless dental hygienists. They offer at-home and in-office teeth whitening options. Restorative dentistry such as preventive sealants, fillings for cavities, root canals, crowns for badly bro- ken or cracked teeth, traditional bridges, implant restorations, traditional and implant-supported dentures, as well as hybrid restorations (commonly known as all-on 4 or teeth in a day) are
a big part of daily procedures. They utilize the newest materials available and work with local highly specialized, reputable labs. They will also help to coordinate visits with a specialist if needed as they work closely with a large group of specialists in the Houston area. “Sometimes I see myself as a quarterback – guid- ing the patient in the right direction to ultimately achieve the goal of a healthy mouth,” she adds.
Preventing problems is important when it comes to oral health. With regular cleanings and dental guards, people can protect their pearly whites. For those who have had orthodontic treat- ment in the past, retainers can protect their teeth from moving out of alignment.
For anxious patients, Dr. Paul allows extra time and listens to the reason why they have anxiety. When Dr. Paul discovers the cause for the anxiety, she is able to modify her approach.
Dr. Paul has a big heart for others and likes to give back in any way she can. For the past 15 years, Dr. Paul has supported Operation Smile, a dedicated global operation that provides life-changing surgeries in third world countries to those with a cleft lip/palate deformity. Ever since her time in dental school, she’s been a monthly supporter of their cause.
Operation Smile not only changes smiles, but they also transform lives. With surgery, cleft lip/palate can be remedied, resulting in a healthier and happier life for patients. It is giving children and young adults social acceptance and a new chance in life.
We are honored to feature Dr. Dorothy Paul in this month’s issue.