LOUISVILLE, Ky. – As a child growing up in Prestonsburg, Ky., Brandon Stapleton, D.M.D., had unique jaw problems requiring surgery to correct his bite. His gratitude for the work of his dentists, orthodontists and oral surgeons created in him a desire to follow in their footsteps.
“I wasn’t raised with things handed to me; I always had to work hard. I knew who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life, and that was to help people and give them something that was given to me — a smile,” Stapleton said.
Stapleton is one of the first to complete the University of Louisville School of Dentistry’s prosthodontics residency program, which reopened in 2012. He is starting his own business this summer in Lexington, Ky., iDENTity Dental Studio, while also serving part-time on the UofL School of Dentistry faculty at the Miller Clinic in Elizabethtown.
“Brandon is a role model for youth coming out of Eastern Kentucky. His intelligence, determination and hard work has helped him evolve into a highly-trained dental specialist who will give back to the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said John J. Sauk, D.D.S., dean of the UofL School of Dentistry. “Our school, through its summer and traditional programs, is committed to training bright students, like Brandon, who have a heart for service and a mind for science.”
Stapleton has enjoyed a long history at UofL, initially through participation in the Professional Education Preparation Program (PEPP), a summer program for recent high school graduates from underserved communities to help them pursue health care careers.
“During that summer I re-affirmed my goals and future career in dentistry. It seemed lofty since no other family members, other than my aunt, had graduated from college, much less earned a professional program in the medical field,” Stapleton said.
He completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Alice Lloyd College and participated in UofL’s MCAT/DAT Review Summer Workshop to help him prepare for the dental admission exam. Stapleton was successful and received acceptance to UofL School of Dentistry’s class of 2011. He then spent one year in the General Practice Residency before entering and completing the Prosthodontics Residency Program.
Stapleton said he can’t wait to start his new career as a prosthodontist, helping create beautiful smiles for Kentuckians.“It is amazing what a difference you can make in someone’s life in such a short amount of time, with a new denture or newly implanted teeth,” he said.
Stapleton credits Prosthodontics Residency Program Co-Director Bryan Harris, D.M.D., for professional guidance and encouragement during his eight years at UofL.
“Brandon is in part what keeps me in education. His success and foundation has been laid through his pursuit of education. Watching him take every day captive has truly been a great pleasure,” Harris said.