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Local dentist is Hero Award honoree for 2009

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Trilla Cook

Oppermann enjoys creating smiles of all kinds Dr. K. Edward Oppermann, a native Texan who grew up in Houston, is more than a dentist, father and caring son. At work, he’s all about making people feel and look better. And his work away from the dentist’s chair brings him recognition as well. Oppermann recently became a Houston Business Journal Healthcare Hero Award Honoree in Dentistry for 2009. He was one of Houston Magazine’s top 100 dentists for 2007. In 2005, he received the Presidential Unit Citation Award from President George W. Bush for service with the U.S. Coast Guard during Hurricane Katrina. “I am an aircraft commander in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. I am also an Angel Flight pilot,” said Opperman. “This year, I am president of our Civic Improvement Corp. Angel Flight is an organization of pilots who volunteer their planes, expertise and time to fly non-emergency medical flights without any financial reimbursement.” As for hobbies, Oppermann has some serious ones, and certainly has a wider variety than most people. “I collect, restore and show antique cars from the 1920s and 1930s. I love to fly – in 2000, I set a Guinness World Record for a record number of landings in 24 hours. I am also a NAUI SCUBA instructor. I swam years ago for Baylor University and now I swim one mile each day four or five days per week,” Oppermann said. He set up his first dental practice in Kingwood in 1981 in a lease space on Kingwood Drive. By 1987, he had outgrown the space, so he built and now owns a larger office located at 1414 Green Oak Terrace in Kingwood – his partner is Dr. Mandeep Birring. “I grew up in Houston and wanted to stay here. I fell in love with Kingwood as I looked into where to set up my practice in the Houston area,” he said. Oppermann began to turn his thoughts to dentistry while in high school. “I worked in the evenings as a janitor for a Dr. Ron Collins in Houston – actually he was named ‘Dentist of the Year in 2007’ by dentists in Texas. He was a great mentor and an excellent dentist,” said Oppermann. Oppermann attended St. John’s School in Houston for 12 years, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Baylor University then earned a D.D.S. from the University of Texas Dental School in San Antonio in 1981. “In 1993, I received my fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry. From 1992 until 1999, I was a clinical assistant professor, part-time clinical instructor, at the U.T. Dental Branch at the Texas Medical Center,” said Oppermann. He has been practicing dentistry for 28 years and his goal is to continue to enjoy every day in the office. “I try hard to keep up with modern advances in dentistry, and I enjoy seeing my patients, many who have been coming to my office for decades,” Oppermann said. “I see continued improvement in the materials we use and the procedures we do. I am also seeing a rebound effect people who have migrated to dental clinic chains are coming back to good, private, attentive practices. Dentistry is such an intimate, one-on-one profession that people realize when clinics don’t have their best interest in mind.” He said one thing new and different at this time is the use of electric hand pieces for dental procedures, which are much quieter and have much less vibration. Family is important in his life and he somehow manages to juggle his time. “I have a great relationship with my father and my two children. My dad is 85 and he lives in a cottage next door to me. My mother was a kind, gentle lady who passed away two years ago after living with Alzheimer’s for 17 years. My children, Karl and Kara, are in college in San Antonio and San Marcos, and I enjoy flying over to see them,” said Oppermann. When asked what he finds most fulfilling about his work, he said it’s very simple – at the end of the day he can look back and know that he helped several people feel better and look better. “I take what I do seriously, and I appreciate that people trust me to help them,” he said. For more information, call 281-358-2711 or visit Photo By Anne McIlhany

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