A child’s sweet smile is a sure sign of success for Bernadette A. Delumpa, DDS, MS.
Through her private dental office, SmileBrite KiDS (Kids Dental Services), she focuses on comprehensive oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs. Her office is located at 401 Wall St., Suite D, in the Vale Park Medical Center in Valparaiso.
“Our staff is highly trained and dedicated to care for our patients in a calm and nurturing environment,” Delumpa said. “Working with children and getting apprehensive kids through a dental appointment with smiles and hugs is a gift.
“Whether I’m seeing children in my office, schools or on dental missions, they invoke in me the desire to gain their confidence and trust by making them feel comfortable and having fun with them.”
Delumpa grew up in the health care world with both parents serving the Valparaiso region as physicians.
“I gained invaluable experience from helping my dad in his urology office and my mom in her pediatric office,” she said. “Witnessing the doctors, staff and patients working together made a lasting impression on me.
“My upbringing instilled in me a desire to work hard and to serve.”
It was her own time in the dentist’s chair as a child that solidified her career choice.
“The relief I received from the caring service of my dentist, Dr. Altenhof, had a profound impact on the quality of my life,” she said. “I feel very fortunate to have had opportunities and experiences throughout my education.”
After graduating from Indiana University School of Dentistry, she returned to Valparaiso to practice general dentistry.
“After a few years, I decided to specialize and received my master’s degree from the University of Michigan Pediatric Dentistry program. This education and experience gave me the skills to treat infants and children that suffer from one of the most common childhood diseases, dental decay,” she said. “As a diplomat of the American Board Pediatric of Dentistry, I am dedicated to lifelong learning and providing exceptional patient care.”
Delumpa’s desire to innovate her office led her to NW-ISBDC business adviser Gary Brownlee.
“I researched extensively and was trained and certified in the use of the first Carbon Dioxide dental laser cleared by the FDA for hard and soft tissues in dentistry called the Solea. I saw it as an opportunity to introduce the cutting edge in dentistry to the community I serve, as well as in this region,” she said. “My venture led me to Gary Brownlee, and with his expertise, we worked on projections that I needed to secure a loan to purchase the Solea. His continued interest and confidence in me is a big support.”
Delumpa said the dental laser has “revolutionized” her practice.
“The Solea produces light energy that absorbs and destroys caries-producing (cavity-producing) bacteria in teeth. Subsequently, it reduces the need for local anesthesia, which is beneficial in young children,” she said. “The avoidance of vibration and noise of the hand-piece has proven to be a crowd pleaser.”
The Solea also has offered noninvasive procedures that can assist infants who have difficulty nursing, can improve speech, orthodontics and breathing and aid infants who have problems due to lip and tongue ties.
“Science is proving that medicine and dentistry are merging. If oral health isn’t good, it affects our quality of life,” she said. “It is possible to raise a generation of kids without dental disease. There are major advances in dentistry, and I am excited to convey this to all the families that seek our services here at SmileBrite KiDS.”
For more information, call (219) 286-6228.