Holistic Family Dentist. Special Needs Patient Advocate.
Special interests include sleep health, airway management, early interventional growth & development therapy, & collaborating with Pediatricians & ENT Physicians.
My patients call me Dr. Jill, so feel free to do the same. You can read about my credentials below, but I thought it to be most important to share our practice philosophy and how it came to be:
We aim to partner with our patients through honest conversations and with the most advanced systems to deliver conservative, comprehensive care in a comfortable and fun environment.
Now, this isn’t some random jargon I think sounds good. I really believe in this. And here’s why. While in college, I played Division I field hockey. I loved being an athlete, and working hard and pushing myself were woven into my very being. Unfortunately, I had to stop playing after two years because I started having unexplained episodes of unconsciousness, shortness of breath, head and chest pain.
Starting late in my college career, my parents and I went on an exhaustive search that included various specialists in Houston and Dallas to diagnose exactly what the cause was of my symptoms. From neurologists who thought I might have epilepsy or a neurodegenerative disorder, to endocrinologists and immunologists who included autoimmune disorders, food allergies, and hormone issues as part of my differential diagnosis. I think my initial differential diagnosis included about 10 possible systemic conditions, and my parents and I saw no less than 20 different specialists for consults and second opinions. It was terrifying, exhausting, and at times, seeminly hopeless.
During my second year of dental school, we finally found a team of cardiologists who properly diagnosed my condition as having a worsening PFO, or patent foramen ovale. It is a hole in the heart that exists in all babies in the womb, but once born, it closes for proper functioning of the heart. Sometimes the hole doesn’t close properly, and that is a cause of some pediatric heart surgery cases. Very rarely does someone grow to my age without having this condition discovered. Shortly after the diagnosis was made and verified, I was scheduled for heart surgery, and I went on to have two open heart surgeries over the course of 11 months to repair the defect in my heart.
After recovering from the surgeries, I continued my training in dental school and graduated with my Doctorate of Dental Surgery only 16 months after my second surgery. I’m also very proud to say that I went on to complete a half-marathon within a year of my second surgery, proving to myself that I was still that athlete that could work hard and achieve new goals.
And while I would never wish to go through any of this, I know that this journey made me the compassionate healthcare provider I am today. I know the struggle of going to multiple providers to figure out what’s going and how confusing it can be when you have multiple “professionals” all telling you different things. I know that awesome feeling of restored health. And I know that in the big picture when things can be stressful, a sense of humor and a little fun can really make a difference.
And it is this “empathy + honesty + exceptional care + bad jokes” burrito of a dental office philosophy that I hope to bring to each one of my patients. I am genuinely interested in understanding what your priorities are and how I can help you achieve your goals.