With his focus on patient comfort, Kenneth Gonzales, DDS, is a dedicated dentist who is sure to put a smile on your face.
By: Sarah Tindall
Photos by: Dustin Ashcraft
Dr. Kenneth Gonzales couldn’t be happier about his new location at 7426 South Staples St., Ste. 101. The new digs gave him a chance to design an office that is full of natural light and entirely focused on patient comfort. Each station has a window positioned for patients to enjoy the view and the latest and greatest in dental technology. He’s also now positioned as the dentist furthest out on Corpus Christi’s burgeoning south side, which makes his services easily accessible to his clientele.
Gonzales’ practice focuses on cosmetic dentistry, offering the most advanced treatment options available to patients in need of everything from porcelain veneers and teeth whitening to porcelain caps and bridges to turn those pearly whites into a perfect smile. He is a full-service dentist, too, offering cleanings, dental exams and X-rays, as well as repair work like composite fillings, crowns and bridges.
It’s all the fulfillment of a lifelong aspiration for Gonzales, who says he knew as a child growing up in the small town of Wharton that he was interested in dentistry. “My mom would always say, ‘Come here, my little doctor,’ to me as a child, but I didn’t enjoy going to my physician,” he says. “My orthodontist, however, would have pictures of his scuba diving and fishing trips up on the wall, and he also took the time to explain his work to me. He used to ask me if I had good grades and if I liked science, and when I told him I had a 100 average in science, he told me I should go to dental school.”
Gonzales grew up with four brothers and a sister and parents who worked hard and inspired him with their entrepreneurial spirit. The children spent their childhood working in mom’s flower shop, in the family restaurant and even in their tuxedo rental business. By the time Gonzales was of age, he had begun his own window cleaning business and eventually had the entire downtown market locked up.
He attended Wharton County Junior College and earned his biology degree at Texas A&M University-College Station, where he then spent a year in business school before entering the dental school. He graduated from the dental school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1993 – the same year the school was ranked No. 1 in the nation.
As a junior, he married a fellow dentist who was a senior dental student he met his freshman year. After graduation, the couple moved to El Campo and set up shop. They had a son together named Ryker, who is now 15 years old and a freshman at King High School in Corpus Christi. In 2005, Gonzales decided to move to Corpus Christi. “My wife and I had divorced, and she wanted to move to Corpus Christi because it was her hometown,” he says. “We were committed to raising our son together, so we decided that I make the move, as well.”
Now he and she live five minutes away from each other; they have a good relationship for the sake of their son and have even taken family vacations together. The move has allowed Gonzales to be as involved in his son’s life as possible, serving as a leader of his son’s Boy Scout troop and in all his other activities, as well.
After a couple of years working as an associate with Drs. Don Deaver and Allan Ng, Gonzales went out on his own and opened his practice in 2007. Things went well, the practice grew and he decided to make the move to the new location in September 2013. The new office sports two hygienists, six patient areas and state-of-the-art equipment designed with patient comfort and safety in mind.
His patients range in age from kids to adults, but he says his main focus is cosmetic dentistry work. His advanced training is in the areas of cosmetic dentistry, implant restorative procedures, orthodontics and TMJ disorder. Gonzales continues to pursue dental training in the latest techniques and technologies so he can bring his patients the best of modern dental care, focused on comfort, minimally invasive techniques and beauty. His services include veneers, crowns, total mouth rehabilitation, dental implants and whitening. He is also a certified Invisalign dentist, so he offers clear, removable braces for older teens and adults.
Gonzales places particular emphasis on his relationship with his patients. When patients approach him for a procedure, he begins with a thorough examination, including medical history, digital X-rays, digital photos and a discussion about desired outcomes.
Next, each patient is given a consultation to discuss the course of action. “We go over risk, benefits and pros and cons of their suggested treatment to give them their options and work together with them as a team to see what works best for them,” Gonzales says. This also gives them time to go over insurance options and costs. This gives the patient time to make an informed decision about the best treatment option before any work is done.
“If I can understand what they want, and they feel that they can trust me and ask questions, then I feel I am doing my best to treat them,” Gonzales says. “I and my staff try to make ourselves as open as possible so that we can best understand and address their needs.”
That attention to detail is a hallmark of Gonzales’ practice – and it can also be seen in his art. He’s an artist and art lover at heart, and his office walls are full of art he collects and puts on display to keep his office an upbeat, casual and relaxed place so his patients feel at home.
When he’s not painting or spending time scouting or hiking, running or biking with his son, Gonzales also enjoys being involved in the local community. He is the president of the Nueces Valley District Dental Society, a group comprised of all the ADA and TDA dentists in Nueces County in which he’s been involved since 2006.
He also serves as the president of the Corpus Christi Dental Study Club, a group of dentists who get together for continuing dental education and to discuss how best to meet the needs of the local population. “We meet for dinner and discuss the dental needs of our city and then do an educational presentation,” Gonzales explains. “We find out about new procedures, etc.”
Being involved like that is second nature to Gonzales, who was the first dental student on the admissions committee for his dental school his junior and senior year, as well as a member of student government. He also served as student ambassador to the University of Texas Board of Regents, president of his dental fraternity, a peer advisor, vice president of his dental class his freshman year and president of the class every year after that until graduation.
For his future plans, Gonzales intends to add another dentist to his practice and continue to offer the best in dentistry to his patients. He’s enjoyed living in the Coastal Bend with all of the outdoor activities it has to offer, and he especially enjoys doing those with his son, so he intends to enjoy his new and improved location and continue to work hard at making people happy with their smiles.
“Every time I see someone look in the mirror and how excited they are that we made such a difference,” he says, “I am happy to be able to do what I do every day.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment, go to www.gonzalessmiles.com or call 361-992-2421.