Dr. Vera Stephenson (B.DSc)
We have lived in Tamworth since I was 8 years old and Tamworth will always be what I call my home. Growing up, my little brother and I were always running around the dental surgery while mum was trying to work (sorry!) but back then, the practice was just a place of familiar faces and lots of people to drive us to school or sports. It wasn't until I took a gap year, travelled and then studied a little bit of International Commerce in Sydney that I realised 2 things: the city wasn't for me, and I wanted to be a Dentist. Five years later, I graduated from University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours). During a 26 week placement at Nambour Oral Health Centre at Nambour Hospital, I was fortunate enough to work with and learn from amazing dentists. Not only was I able to improve the technical parts of dentistry, but I also faced the challenges rural Australia faces in regards to oral health.
Boredom is never an issue as outside of dentistry, I love trekking and the outdoors, netball, self defence (Krav Maga and Hapkido) and spending time with family and friends.
I am particularly interested in helping patients who suffer from joint pain, chronic pain, grinding or sleep breathing disorders. I have attended a series of intensive continuing practice development course on Sleep-related breathing disorders and temporomandibular joint dysfunction by Steven Olmos which opened my eyes to this area, and intend to do a lot of further training. This is a challenging and heavily debated area of dentistry, but I have seen how much chronic pain can impact someone's life and if I can help them, then the hundreds of hours of study will seem like nothing. I am also very passionate about taking a big-picture view of dentistry as I don't feel it is appreciated enough how much the health of your mouth impacts the rest of your body and vice-versa.
Being back home feels great and I am really excited to begin my journey of giving back to the community that raised me.