Westminster woman follows her dentistry dreams with head, hands and heart

Westminster woman follows her dentistry dreams with head, hands and heart
Kelsey Jones, of Westminster, performed a procedure last September while volunteering for Mission of Mercy at project Homeless Connect in Baltimore. (Rebecca Rogers)

As a child, Kelsey Jones knew she wanted to be a dentist. Under the mentorship of Dr. Liz Moore, Jones learned that she had the capacity to succeed in that profession.

"I learned that I was good with my hands, and that I had a natural ability to make patients feel comfortable," said Jones, of Westminster. "For me, there is nothing better than making people smile, and I finally have affirmation that I am where I am supposed to be."


After years of hard work and dedication to the craft, Jones ranked at the top of the Class of 2017 at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD). She graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in May.

It wasn't always easy for Jones. She recalls that she initially struggled as an undergraduate.

When she sought advice from her college biology professor, he advised that science was not for her and that she should give up.

At first Jones took his advice, switching her undergraduate major from pre-med sciences to psychology. She did well in college, but as graduation approached, Jones realized that she still aspired to be a dentist.

Kelsey Jones, of Westminster, graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in May.
Kelsey Jones, of Westminster, graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in May. (Kelsey Jones)

During the last few weeks of college, she found a job as a dental assistant with her childhood dentist Dr. Liz Moore and enrolled in post-baccalaureate classes to prepare herself for dental school.

"I vowed to not let anything or anyone get in my way this time," Jones said. "Dr. Moore was very encouraging and she let me be independent. She gave me a lot of confidence."

Moore said Jones is "a fabulous dentist."

"She's extremely honest and straightforward but very kind with patients," Moore said. "She's very good with people. She's great at going in the room and making the patient feel comfortable."

As a member of the UMSOD's Class of 2017, Jones was a participant in the Diamond Scholars Program, a selective program through which the highest achieving fourth-year students are chosen to work in the clinic alongside Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residents.

Through the ambitious clinical training program, Diamond Scholars are allowed opportunities to participate in more complicated dental treatments and perform more procedures than typically performed by fourth-year dental students.

"I knew I wanted to go into general dentistry and it was a way to get the most experience during my dental education," Jones said. "You get to work with more people who had different philosophies about how to do different procedures and have different ways of approaching treatment."

AEDG's director Dr. Doug Barnes said he is proud of Jones.

"She was a very hardworking student," Barnes said. "She was really motivated and she had a very good bedside manner."

AEDG'assistant director Dr. Ira Bloom said Jones was number two in her class of 130 students.


"In this profession you need the three Hs: head, hands and heart. She had all three," Bloom said. "She cares about her patients and her patients loved her. She'll be very successful in private practice."

Jones plans to begin practicing at Ridgefield Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Ridgefield, Connecticut in August.

"I want to encourage girls to keep trying for what they want to do," Jones said. "It's OK if they don't succeed the first time, keep trying."