Updated: May 18
The doctors in our dental office are great Dental Professionals, but they're even more amazing people! In these articles, it's our goal to share with you our doctors' stories and give you a different perspective of who they are.
Meet your doctor, Dr. Paul Romriell.
He's the owner of SmileMakers Dental, is responsible for a long list of successful treatments, and has made a major impact on countless lives. Paul has not only improved smiles but as a Maxillofacial Prosthodontist, he provides incredible prostheses to replace eyes, ears, noses, and entire portions of the face.
Dr. Paul received several accolades from the very start of his dental career, as a student, and continues to excel as a doctor in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and maxillofacial prosthesis.
Dr. Paul Romriell has undergone an additional 4 years of dental school to specialize in cosmetic and maxillofacial dentistry. While other dentists are legally qualified to offer you treatment, they may not provide the long-lasting and effective results you deserve. This is an incredibly important factor in deciding who your dentist should be and how you spend your hard-earned income for your oral health.
We hope that by sharing some of Dr. Paul's story we can inspire others in our community, give some solid leadership advice, and make you laugh with the same goofy-humor that we all experience each day in the office working with Dr. Paul.
We had a great conversation just after Dr. Paul finished making more smiles with his last dental appointments for the week.
Q: Dr. Paul, what do you do when you’re not working? (More work!?)
A: Kinda, that's true! I do have to do a ton of work in and outside of the office! I love traveling with my family. On my own time, most of what I enjoy doing involves being outside. I like to golf, go bike-riding, and definitely look forward to skiing whenever I have the opportunity. (water skiing & snow skiing) I wrestle with my kids to wear them out. My favorite thing is to hang out with my family.
Q: What inspired you to become a Dental professional?
A: That's a good question! I've been around it my whole life because of my dad (Dr. Greg Romriell) and it's something I remember considering at different times. Actually, it wasn't until I had braces the 2nd time that I truly considered being a dentist. (haha!) Working around my dad and thinking about the care I received from my orthodontist both got me thinking more and more about becoming a dentist as I got older. The more I learned about it the more I was drawn to it.
At some point, I ended up kinda-accidentally joining a pre-dental club during my early days in college, thanks to a friend of mine. My friend needed one more member to join the club for it to qualify - anyway, I show up once just as a favor (having no intention of being a dentist at this point) and then I show up a second time. I found myself showing up to more and more of these meetings because they really caught my attention. Before I knew it I'd changed my career over from engineering to becoming a dentist, myself!
What's really cool is that my friend and I both applied for the same school, interviewed, and got accepted to the same school at the same time. We still keep in touch to this day. He's now a dentist in Dallas, Texas.
Q: What are one of your favorite books? (or) Favorite movie?
A: Oh boy! My favorite movie of all time is Rudy. I also like Meet the Robinsons. I like both of them because they have very inspirational messages to never give up. As far as books (*big exhale*) I read A LOT of books! Just recently I finished reading one of the Jack Reacher books. They're all awesome! Another book I read recently that's quickly become one of my all-time favorites is called Boys In The Boat. It's a biography of the 1941 Olympic rowing team and their journey that lead to their success. I definitely recommend that book since it has so many life lessons.
Q: What is one thing you’re glad you tried but would never do again?
A: Dental school. (haha!)
Really, though, dental school was awesome because it taught me that I could push myself way past the point that I ever thought I could go prior. It really taught me that if you push long enough towards a goal you can achieve it. If you put in the time and work you can achieve anything.
Q: What is something you have only recently formed an opinion about?
A: There's major inequality in the NCAA and how it treats its athletes. Aside from housing, food, and school the NCAA doesn't compensate it's players even though, as a franchise, the owners make millions of dollars from their play. The free market is a free market so why doesn't free-market rule for these athletes? This seems entirely unfair to the players and I hope that will change in the future. It's especially important because some players get severely injured before ever getting to the NFL and have no way of taking care of themselves post-injury.
Q: What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
A: Service. I think everyone should perform a service in their lifetime. It can be the soup-kitchen or anything else that's physical service that (preferably) involves helping someone in need. Service is the #1 way to prevent self-pity. I think it helps people who have depression and, ultimately, it's difficult to not be happy when you're helping someone who really needs it.
Q: Alright Dr. Paul, let's dive a little deeper. What is on your bucket list?
A: In my lifetime, I want to make a patent. (That's a big one for me!) I want to get some of my ideas to market.
Q: Wanna tell me those patents?
A: Sure! (haha!) . . . No way.
-- I'm so practical with my goals that I might sound boring! (both laughing) You know, I'd really like to visit Australia again and just be a tourist. I want to see the rest of the country and maybe New Zealand as well. I just like the people, the climate, and how different the scenery is. There's a lot of adventure in Australia.
Q: You've helped a lot of patients, are there any moments you cherish, in particular?
A: The things that stick with me are the times when I've made someone a new set of teeth that they haven't had for years or someone who's had teeth that they've been made fun of for. When I can give someone a new sense of confidence with their teeth that's really big.
I remember the first time I gave someone a new nose (with Maxillofacial Prosthesis). It was such a deep and emotional moment with the patient. I think it all goes back to that thing I talked about before: everyone should do a service! Go make someone's life better.
Q: What do you wish your brain was better at doing?
A: Communicating. (haha!) I guess I don't have a lot of confidence in big social settings and it's super tough for me to mingle! When it comes to dentistry and being in my practice I have tons of confidence since I know a lot about it. If I'm at a party come hang out with me over by the fruit punch and snacks while I'm trying not to draw attention to myself.
Q: What does your humor come from and how do you balance being professional?
A: I like being silly and my family brings it out of me a lot. Most of my seriousness comes from when I just finished dental school. Since I looked super young when I finished dental school no one would take me seriously and always asked "Are you old enough to be a dentist?" I wanted to be taken seriously so I changed my hair-do and tried to be less goofy. Another big reason is because about 30% of general population is very afraid of going to the dentist. It's tough to balance being a goof-ball, so you can build a connection, and being serious so you can gain trust and respect from your patient(s). Sometimes being silly causes more anxiety which is the last thing I want to have happen! I try to gauge every patient and be funny for the patient that needs laughter and more serious for the patient that needs a sense of calm.
Confidence is a huge factor that determines if I'm allowed to be silly with a new or returning patient. I definitely don't want to give the wrong impression about my intentions since it's so important to help whoever is sitting in front of me.
Q: As a leader, what's one piece of advice you can give other's reading this article?
A: Wow, that's a big-big-question! I feel like I'm going to be continually studying that question my whole life. I'd say the two things I know for now are:
2. Doing What You Say You'll Do
Both of these are very difficult to always do, but they're so important because they are what maintain the trust of the people you lead. Trust is everything when it comes to successfully working with and leading a team.
Being a great leader means sacrificing a lot of your own self-wants. It's important to not fall too deeply into your own feelings and be a good listener. At the end of the day your decisions and conversations should always be about solutions. When great people come together and focus on solutions amazing things happen. I have a great team and I look forward to all the things we'll accomplish together.
As we came to a close in our conversation Dr. Paul continued to make me laugh and teach me tips about leadership. Year after year, month after month, week after week, and day after day Dr. Paul maintains a constant drive to make SmileMakers Dental the best dental practice in the world. His dedication to providing the best service possible is second-to-none.
We hope you've enjoyed reading about Dr. Paul Romriell just as much as we enjoy having him in our dental office! We hope that the next time you see Dr. Paul you'll feel like you have much more in common. Stay tuned as we post about our other incredible members of our team. Thanks for reading and, as always, remember to smile! :)