Dr. Kare Opaneye is a prime example of exemplary care and attention to detail that Rodeo stands firm by. Not only has he earned his DDS, but he also has a Master of Public Health Degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and postdoc training at Harvard School of Dental Medicine in his adopted home of Boston, Massachusetts, with his focus on patient safety and treatment outcome measures.
He decided to specialize in pediatric dentistry and spent time at Boston Children’s Hospital to garner pertinent experience that will impact his practice.
Originally from Nigeria’s capital, Lagos, Dr. Opaneye says that this area has a lot of similarities with his birthplace in Western Africa.
“It reminds me of home,” Dr. Opaneye said. “The close family units where multiple generations live very close to each other and there is a tremendous need for pediatric dentistry, so I am at the right place at the right time.”
He explained his choice to specialize in the care of young patients.
“I’m a dentist by original training but usually a dentist chose multiple specialties and I chose taking care of children,” he said.
He also explained how his degree in public health allows him to view dental care holistically, watching regional trends rather than each patient as an isolated case.
“If you fix a particular kid that has a cavity and don’t look at the trend, you just help one person,” he said. “But if you are in a community and you take a step back, you can see what is causing an issue. The Valley is a perfect location because you can understand the culture and the diet at the same time, and your impact is even greater.”
Dr. Opaneye is passionate, enjoys clinical care of pediatric patients, and works with fellow dentists to review, refine, and improve dental care nationwide.
He is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a Board member of the Texas Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Institute of Healthcare Improvement.
“You can have some providers who just want to put a crown on everything but aren’t necessarily interested in preventing a child from having cavities, enduring pain, limiting parents from missing work,” he said. “I think this is a location where my expertise is needed and I can impact my patients and the extended community.”
One area that he applauds Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics is adding an important offering to its core services.
“Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics is one of the leading providers of safely executed In-office-based general anesthesia,” he said. “We’re able to offer extensive comprehensive dental work that children need in a safe, predictable environment, in the office. We’re basically bringing a surgery center into the office while obeying all the same protocols as you will find within a hospital facility. I understand people in the Valley may not want to go to the hospital, it can be a scary experience. We make it less scary and bring them to the clinic. It doesn’t mean we aren’t doing things in a safe way. We’re just trying to demystify the whole process.”
Improving Dental Outcomes in the RGV
Part of Dr. Opaneye’s approach to public health and health improvement is pulling at problems from the root, the source. One of his main concerns is young children and their families skipping H20 in exchange for other drinks.
“There is a tremendous amount of milk being consumed in the Valley,” he said. “We are trying to encourage and educate parents and the grandparents, and sometimes they are the one taking care of the child, milk is not a substitute for water. It does not quench thirst, water works wonders. Having the kid sleep with a bottle overnight with something sweet like juice or milk cooks up the teeth and that’s where a majority of cavities are coming from.”
While it can be a complex topic, he said that breakthroughs are being made with many patients and families.
“When I started practice in this area and trying to connect with this topic, there was about a 5% connection rate with patients, and now that is up to about 50%,” Dr. Opaneye said.
Dr. Opaneye is one of many healthcare professionals working hard to improve outcomes for residents of the Rio Grande Valley.
Under the distinguished leadership of Doctors Zarrabi and Mansour, Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics & Orthodontics has 15 locations across the RGV and 34 locations across Texas and Colorado. They are committed to bringing and providing cutting-edge dentistry and recruiting the best doctors nationwide.