“Calling Dr. Willis, The Smile Restorer”
Is it much of a stretch to say that most of us don’t exactly look forward to going in for dental work? But what if the promise of attractive teeth and an enhanced smile is coupled, no less, with an equally attractive orthodontist?
I’d eagerly make an appointment with Allena Willis Kennerly, DMD—superficial reasons aside.
Her mission: Social justice through dental public health.
Her Platform: Periodontal Disease Awareness.
One of the dental profession’s most ardent family dental health advocates and among its most passionate orthodontics specialists, Dr. Willis is founder and owner of Smashing Smiles Orthodontics, located in the heart of Washington, D.C.
“What distinguishes us from other orthodontic practices is that we treat people with chronic headaches and migraines using the TruDenta system. We’re the only provider of this service in the District of Columbia,” she emphasizes. “It’s amazing because it works. I’m currently in treatment myself for long-term chronic pain to my TMJ [chronic jaw joint/facial muscle pain].”
Smashing Smiles also is a Premier Provider for Invisalign–clear aligners that are an alternative to metal braces for adults, kids, and teens–an honor designation that only 5% of practicing orthodontics hold.
Mrs. Kennerly’s passion for dentistry stems from her involvement in a near-fatal car accident at the age of seven. The shattered glass shards damaged her left eye, left index and middle fingers, and dislocated her lower jaw. “Unfortunately it took a toll on my self-esteem and -image,” she opens up. “My parents made certain that I had the best pediatric plastic surgeon, ophthalmologist, and orthodontist to make me whole again.
“I wore braces from age 13 to 16, never feeling beautiful like the other women in my family. I still remember looking in the mirror for the very first time after having my braces removed and feeling a sense of pride and joy that was so overwhelming. I knew then that I wanted to make other people feel that way.” Hence, the orthodontics profession would soon welcome one of its brightest stars.
And so will the Mrs. DC America Pageant (MDCAP) on March 8.
Mrs. Kennerly will compete with a slate of her peers in the preliminary regional pageant for the opportunity to participate in the Mrs. America pageant. At the Mrs. America pageant, 51 women compete for the coveted title of Mrs. America, who will then move on to the Mrs. World pageant.
The Mrs. DC America organization promotes married women, 18 and over, living or working within 25 miles of D.C., who’ve made personal, professional and community achievements.
“I highly recommend the pageant for married women because it represents the strength of women in marriage, family, community and business,” Allena shares. “It recognizes the importance of balancing family and professional responsibilities.” The pageant will also provide an influential opportunity to promote her platform: Periodontal Disease Awareness.
As a Mrs. DC America entrant, Mrs. Kennerly reps the Mrs. Logan Circle 2014 moniker, a reference to the neighborhood she chose upon admittance to the competition. Logan Circle is of historical significance–it is one of the first homes to freed slaves from Virginia and Maryland during the Civil War, of original architecture, as well as one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in D.C.
The symbolism is in no way lost on her: “So many people paid a price so that I can be free to shine my light to the world.”
And it’s that very humility, that never-forget deference to our forebears and their sacrifice, Dr. Willis, that so inspires me to honor you as this Pamper-Her-Friday’s Pamperee. In pageantry, in business, in the community . . . in life, you’re a supreme difference-maker.
“The divine lives in us all to do something great that will help others.” -Dr. Allena Willis Kennerly
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