The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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SMU alum heads up first Texas eco-friendly dentist office

Every day that summer, hundreds of Romanian people in need of modern dentistry filtered through the doors of an old Romanian church. Overwhelmed by boxes of antibiotics and dental supplies, this is not your average dental school.

For then dental student and SMU alum, Kim Jackson, the make-shift dental facility was the site of her first tooth extraction – a moment she’ll never forget.

“[The Romanian woman] was so happy. She just kept hugging us and even though we can’t understand each other, you can tell they are so thankful,” said Jackson.

As a student of dentistry, Jackson embraced her ability to have an impact through dentistry with her involvement in the Serving HIM (Healthcare International Ministries) organization. The organization’s mission of spreading medical and dental aid worldwide brought Jackson to Romania during the summer of 2003. Doing her part to make a change wasn’t short lived and certainly propelled her career as a Dallas dentist.

Now, as the head dentist at Texas’ first eco-friendly dental facility, PURE Dental, Jackson is leading a company striving to make a typically non-green field, evergreen.

“I really wanted to be a part of this,” said Jackson. “It’s affordable, green and the same quality as anywhere else.”

Founded by the Dallas-based dentist, Brody Hildebrand, PURE Dental is part of Hildebrand’s growing passion to impact the environment and world around him.

Together, Hildebrand and Jackson strive to be more than just dentists. Through being part of an eco-friendly dental practice and reaching out to less fortunate people with dental needs abroad, their dental work is about making a positive world change.

“Dentistry is not just about fixing teeth and making money … there’s an appreciation about what we’re doing and you can’t put a price tag on it,” said Hildebrand. “You’ve got a great opportunity to help other people, you should take advantage of it.”

After opening at Mockingbird Station in early March, PURE Dental is one of the first eco-friendly facilities in the country.

The office is as aesthetically modern as it is environmentally innovative. Complete with sleek lines, a Mac computer bar, local modern art and iPod docks in each room, this is not your average dentist’s office.

But PURE Dental is not just about seeming green, it’s about being green. The office is 100 percent paperless: e-mailed receipts, digital X-rays and computer-kept records. Those paper cups used (then tossed) for rinsing are no more. Instead, PURE Dental uses shot glasses (cleaned and sterilized) for any quick sips. The heating and air system is low energy and based on a zone and sensor system. The list goes on from the floor to fillings; even the toothpaste is eco-friendly.

The chic décor and upscale appearance of PURE Dental may intimidate those expecting the typical (and often feared) dentist’s office. However, in the case of PURE Dental, green doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive. In fact, PURE Dental’s eco-friendly philosophy is meant to be attainable and inclusive.

“The other day I had an older couple come in for an appointment and at first they were intimidated and were like ‘no, this can’t be for us.’ But I just kept telling them ‘yes, this is for you. It’s for everyone,'” said Jackson.

As part of a PPO insurance network, PURE Dental works one-on-one with each patient and their insurance provider when dealing with payment. Rewards and benefits are even offered to patients who use the DART Rail, biking or walking as their mode of transportation to their appointment.

Making green accessible and affordable within the offices of PURE Dental is just the beginning. A kid-friendly office, located in the same facility, is under construction and expected to open in the upcoming months. PURE Dental also plans on giving 2 percent of all profits back to Mockingbird Station. The reason? Funding for the installation of solar panels to make all businesses at Mockingbird Station more environmentally friendly.

Giving back to benefit the greater good is something that Hildebrand hopes his PURE Dental staff embraces as well. He encourages, and in some cases will give financial backing to those on staff interested in working abroad with groups such as Serving HIM. Jackson plans on using her position at PURE Dental as a way to increase her dental influence to less fortunate countries.

“[Hildebrand] encourages all of us to travel and be a part of Serving HIM. He wants us to travel and help others. It’s very contagious,” said Jackson.

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