by Chelsea Pyne
The road less traveled can take you on a wild adventure. For Dr. Laura Phelps of Laura G. Phelps DDS, PA, that path literally led her through a jungle. A mission trip in the Amazon Rainforest guided Dr. Phelps to a life changing realization. One that she has since dedicated her life to: providing dental care to those in need.
After several years of working in Mt. Airy, Dr. Phelps, a Kernersville local, has just returned home with her own practice at hand. “We are expanding the services we offer now. I perform most of my own oral surgery with a strong history of treating pediatrics as well as complex mouth rehabilitation. I have worked significantly with implants, and look forward to being able to offer this to patients. Same day crowns are very popular at this office, and I am continuing this service for our patients.” Other popular services include cosmetic, pediatrics, root canals, and Invisalign.
The easiest way for people to avoid illness is through prevention. Dr. Phelps is no drill sergeant when it comes to dentistry. Instead, she is an advocate of thorough, preventative oral care–the most cost-efficient kind. Dr. Phelps wants to keep her patients happy and healthy through a consistent oral care regimen. So, what does that look like? Less sugary, acidic foods and drinks, and more brushing and flossing. And of course, not missing your regular dental checkup.
Dr. Phelps explained, “In regard to dentistry, I focus highly on prevention. I know people are busy, and I am realistic to realize the dentist office is not people’s favorite place. My goal is preventing oral disease, which in turn keeps patients happy by having less dental visits. However, we do make sure to spoil our patients when they come into the office.”
Prevention is ever so important now that we have had our fill of Halloween treats. Just remember: cavities can be costly. Dr. Phelps advised, “I have a sweet tooth just like the next person. We all have our vices, but the trick is to keep things in moderation. Quantity of sugar is not nearly as important as the frequency in which your teeth are in contact with the sugar. While in the office, the team takes extra steps to explain the importance of diet and ways it affects the mouth. Keeping your regular cleaning appointments is very important to make sure a cavity or dental disease does not creep up.”
As Gary F. explained, “I have a pretty long history of dental issues. Dr. Phelps came up with a comprehensive two-year plan that is almost complete. The results have been beyond my imagination. Not only does her skill set make her a great dentist, but also a great listener. She came up with a treatment plan that was very individualized. My past dentists never made it to the end of a treatment plan, which was ongoing for 20 years! You can delve into the technology of dentistry and still forget the human aspect of it. Dr. Phelps understands the patient’s story, and she worked with my circumstances and history. It has been an amazing patient experience.”
The human aspect of caregiving has always been important to Dr. Phelps; however, dentistry did not enter her mind until a trip through the Amazon. She explained, “Dentistry was never on my radar growing up or when I was considering future careers. I was pursuing a major of Communications and Business at Liberty University. I wanted to work with people and thought Communications was the right choice for that. Something just never felt exactly right for me though. I decided to take part in a mission trip to the Amazon, Brazil while in college. It was on this trip that God opened my eyes to a very significant international need. While on the Amazon River, my team and I lived on a boat and visited many villages. It was there I saw a desperate need for dental care. My heart ached to do something to help these people. When I returned home, I changed my major to Biology to pursue dentistry. I was told that I would not be able to take the intense load of classes in such a short time frame in order to apply for dental school. I have doubted many things in my life, but this is one thing I have never looked back from. I felt a deep desire to help people, and I knew dentistry was the avenue I was supposed to use. By God’s grace, I did very well in undergraduate school and was accepted into one of the best dental school’s in the country, UNC School of Dentistry. Not only that, I was accepted a year early before I even obtained my Bachelor’s degree. This was incredibly humbling because I know I would not have been able to do this without the Lord.” Since graduating in 2014, Dr. Phelps has worked as an associate dentist in Mt. Airy, NC prior to purchasing her dental practice in Kernersville.
She continued, “As I look back on my journey in dentistry, I am still amazed at how a small decision to take a mission trip started a snowball effect that changed my life. Over the years, I have stayed busy with many philanthropic events. I am a strong believer in giving back to one’s community. I volunteer my time and dental services at many dental clinics, health fairs, and dental buses throughout the year. In 2015, I founded a non-profit organization focusing on helping others through dentistry locally and abroad. Each year, I take part in a team that travels to Haiti to provide medical and dental care. I feel blessed to treat patients while also teaching medical students. I hope to open more dental clinics internationally in the coming years.”
Laura G. Phelps D.D.S., P.A. is a dental practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that will result in a beautiful, long lasting smile. The office is located at 112 Harmon Lane, Suite A, Kernersville. For more information visit www.LauraPhelpsDDS.com or call 336.993.3751.