Putting Smiles on Faces a Continent Away

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(Last Updated On: January 7, 2015)
Dr. Margaret Allen treating young child on Kenyan mission trip.

The words of her eleventh grade high school teacher inspired Sugar Land dentist Dr. Margaret Allen to follow her passion in life.

“My mentor, the late Dr. Arthur R. Higgs, said to me, ‘If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life,’” says Allen.

Allen pursued her dream of making a difference in the lives of others, working her way up from dental assistant to owner of a successful dental practice.

At the end of each day she gains a sense of fulfillment in knowing she has helped one person smile, according to Allen.

“A smile is a universal language spoken all over the world,” she says.

Allen has treated more than 10,000 patients locally, and recently provided her dental services to patients a continent away on a medical missions trip to Kenya, Africa in June.

Allen, along with 31 missionaries traveled to Kenya to provide medical aid to the Kenyan people and educate them on the importance of good oral health. The lack of access to proper medical and dental care causes many in Kenya to lose their teeth to periodontal disease.

“The oral cavity houses a lot of bacteria and toxins. Bacteria and toxins may cause serious health issues to the body, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and even death,” says Allen.

Many of the Kenyans walked for miles, over the course of days, to receive treatment from members of the medical mission team.

“The Kenyans were so excited to see Americans and very thankful for the services provided to them,” says Allen.

For many, this was their first time ever seeing a doctor, and many had endured pain for days or months due to lack of adequate medical or dental care, according to Allen.

“I dream of other missionaries coming and providing dental services and pray we can end all the dental pain issues and gum disease,” says Allen.

A graduate from the University of Houston with a degree in biology with a dental hygienist degree from the UT Health Science Center, she describes The Church at Bethel’s Family as a “portal” that allowed her to fulfill a promise she made to herself years ago to start doing missionary dentistry.

As a part of her missionary outreach, Allen also donated three dental operating units comprised of a set of chairs for patient, doctor and assistant and a fully-equipped cabinet unit with electrical components, valued at $75,000.

Allen’s donation is only the beginning.

She also hopes to open a dental office in Kenya called “Bethel’s Place” or “Amazing Smiles Smile and be Amazed.”

“Because of the many blessings bestowed upon me, I believe that’s my way of giving back,” says Allen.

“At the end of the day, all of the hours of hard work was the best gift I could offer, and the reward was immeasurable. The appreciation and “amazing smiles” I received in return were worth more than silver and gold,” says Allen of her recent trip.

“Dentistry is my passion and I love my job,” says Allen.

Amazing Smiles works hard to fulfill its mission of providing quality dental care.

The practice provides general dental care services to patients of all ages, and also specializes in cosmetic dentistry, including crowns, veneers, implants and bridges.

As a member and board of director of the Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce, Allen’s goal also is to network with African-American owned businesses to keep consumer dollars circulating in the black community.

Joining the chamber has allowed her to venture into other business opportunities, keep money in the black network, meet other business owners and reach other markets in the dental world, says Allen.

The Sugar Land dentist and BPBCC member is making significant headway in achieving her goals.

As she looks back on her decision to enter the dental field, the words of her professor ring back in her ears, and she has no regrets.

Amazing Smiles, PLLC is located at 14090 Southwest Freeway, Ste. 402 in Sugar Land. Hours of operation are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesdays, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

In the fall, Amazing Smiles will open the doors of a new dental practice in Bethel’s Place Empowerment Center.

For more information or to make an appointment call 281-240-8080.

Putting Smiles on Faces a Continent Away