The team at Liberty Hill Dental loves being involved in community activities.
These are pictures of some of the good times we have had.
Liberty Hill Dental participated in the First Annual Liberty Fit Health Fair. Ashleigh and Bree explained the benefits of substituting xylitol for sugar and using dental products containing xylitol to help reduce caries. Our booth included xylitol informational pamphlets, gum and candy made with xylitol and a variety of prizes for children and adults answering a “Xylitol Trivia” question correctly. The fair had a great turn out and we were able to education the public on many xylitol points. Be sure to read our “Xylitol: Promoting healthy teeth” blog for more detailed information regarding the multiple health benefits of xylitol!
This is when Liberty Hill Dental sponsored Liberty Hill Night at the Austin Toros Basketball Game on March 27, 2014. Bill Burden Elementary, Courage Cheer and Dance United, and the Liberty Hill High School Band all performed. A portion of the ticket proceeds went back to the schools as a fundraiser.
We love supporting our local baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, FFA, rodeo and cheer teams!
Liberty Hill Christmas Festival 2012
Every year at this festival, Liberty Hill Dental sponsors the Letters to Santa booth. Santa writes each of the children back, if they send their letter through our special mailbox to the North Pole.
Making Mouthguards for the
Austin Toros Basketball Team!
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
Dr. Gillespie teaches the Liberty Hill elementary students how diet, brushing and flossing habits effect their health.
Liberty Hill Dental was a Proud Sponsor of the
Fellowship Fest 5K and Costume Fun Run October 22, 2011
Liberty Hill Dental Supports Health and Wellness in the Liberty Hill Community
And the Smile Makeover Winner is…
For Dr. Thad Gillespie, It’s all about ‘Creating Smiles’
Leader Staff Writer
Change a smile … change a life. That has been a lifetime motto for Dr. Thad Gillespie, from his first graduation from dental school in 1980 through his years in the Air Force right up to moving his private dental practice to Liberty Hill in 2001. In fact, the father of seven has a history of caring and commitment that has had a decided impact. And that commitment was in evidence long before he came to Liberty Hill.
However his decision to be a dentist was almost on a whim. “(How I decided to be a dentist) is a little strange, but it was part fate and part process of elimination,” said Dr. Gillespie. “My dad is a pharmacist and talked me out of doing that. My physician was a general practice doctor that delivered babies and did surgery in the hospital in addition to his practice. He started out at 6:30 in the morning and went home after doing hospital rounds in the evening. Sounded like too much work! My dentist didn’t seem to work too hard. He came in and did a little work and I assumed went to sit and read or something until he came back to see me. In reality, he saw three or four other people before he came back. So, I got lucky because I based part of my decision on faulty information. My dentist was pretty cool though and helped me with a science project in sixth grade. By the time I was in junior high I already knew that I wanted to be a dentist. It has been a great profession choice for me and with all the advances in technology is getting better every day!”
After graduating from Midwestern State University and the University Dental Branch in Houston in 1980, Dr. Gillespie served in the United States Air Force from 1980 to 1984. During his tour, he received several honors, including the Defense Meritorious Service medal for work identifying Marines who died in the 1983 bombing in Beirut. He also served on a team that examined and treated hostages who were released from Tehran.
Dr. Gillespie returned to Texas in 1984 and opened his own practice in northwest Austin in 1985. He opened a practice in Liberty Hill in 2001. He became immediately involved in the community, joining the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce, the All Sports Booster Club, Band Boosters and Christian Business Leaders as well as sponsoring many sports teams. He also assists with the Head Start Program in Liberty Hill, Leander and Georgetown, providing exams, treatment and classroom education.
But Dr. Gillespie’s heart didn’t stop there. He wanted to give back to a community that is so quick to help others. He decided to offer a Smile Makeover to a community-minded individual as his way of paying back to the community.
“Servants’ hearts are often overlooked and seldom rewarded,” stated an initial press release for the Smile Makeover contest. “At this time of the year and at a time in our history when people are hurting more than ever, Dr. Gillespie and the team at Liberty Hill Dental wanted to reward those who give so much and receive so little with a new reason to smile.”
The contest required an application to be filled out and then applicants were asked to write an essay on why they wanted the smile makeover. Applications were taken from Liberty Hill and the surrounding area. Members of the Ministerial Alliance in Liberty Hill were asked to review the essays and pick who they thought was most deserving. When it came time to decide, the pastors narrowed it down to two very deserving people. So, Dr. Gillespie decided to award them both. Those two outstanding applicants were Stacee Caseltine and A.J. Collins.
“One of our goals in doing the smile makeover was to help someone who was either unemployed or underemployed get a better job,” said Dr. Gillespie. “Along those lines, Stacee’s story was very compelling. When I met her for the first time, I was even more interested in what future was possible for her. It was very gratifying to see the joy in her face when she could finally smile. A smile is an easy thing to take for granted until you don’t have one. Since finishing, Stacee has gotten married and found a great job! An added benefit was her ability to participate with her kids activities without fear of embarrassment for the kids or herself. This was priceless!
“When the ministerial alliance picked Stacee, I was not surprised. But as we went through the applications, A.J.’s stood out as well. It was submitted by his wife Joni whose letter was very compelling. I felt that we needed to include A.J. even though it was for different reasons. He was already out there working and doing much for the church. She felt that something needed to be done for A.J. as he never asked for anything for himself. He was a delight to work with and things turned out very well.”
Within two weeks of contacting the winners, Dr. Gillespie was ready to roll. And roll he did. Both winners had extreme fear of dentists, but both were put at ease. Now, one year later, both willingly smile with confidence, reflecting on the outside how they feel on the inside.
A member and Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Gillespie is a mentor with the Kois Center and was a teaching associate with the Hornbrook Group. He also serves as the dental director for Samaritan Health Ministries in Cedar Park, an organization that treats indigent patients or those who do not have medical coverage. His practice, Liberty Hill Dental, is located at 14933 W. SH 29, just south of the railroad track in Liberty Hill, (512) 515-0171. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit their website at www.libertyhilldental.com or find them on facebook.
Casteltine Regains Confidence after Makeover
By Linda Lattanzio
Staff Writer, The Leader
It’s hard to believe Stacee Casteltine was ever less than the confident person you meet today. The mother of three has degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice and is a published novelist. But just one year ago Stacee had withdrawn from society.
“I once was a motivated, competent, capable and dedicated person,” Stacee wrote in her essay. “I miss life. I miss contributing to ociety. I miss smiling. …
I am not a vain person, but I am hurt every time I see someone react to my dental problems. I do my best to hide my teeth but that’s not an easy task. The emotional and psychological pain is as bad as the physical discomfort which is significant.”
Today Stacee’s smile is as brilliant as her outlook. Since her smile makeover, she has gotten a job she loves and has recently remarried. “I’m a crisis counselor,” Stacee said. “I love my work.”
Her dental problems began years earlier.
“It started like five, six years ago,” Stacee said. “I had an illness, so I had a lot of medications I had to take and at first it was just small little things. They were weakening, they were breaking. But it was small things so I had a little bit done here and a little bit done there, and couldn’t figure out why it was going on. I had a dentist tell me it was genetics. I had a dentist tell me it was just, you know, getting older. I finally realized it was more than that because they started breaking and breaking significantly.”
Then “I was in a car accident, and my teeth were already weakened, and they had been chipping. That was about two years ago. I dealt with it for about a year,” she said. The car accident broke a front tooth. It was “constant pain every day. Sensitivity and, you know, just…it’s hard to explain. I had a lot of jaw pain. It was not a pleasant experience.”
Her oldest son, Anthony, heard of Dr. Gillespie’s Smile Makeover contest and encouraged his mother to enter. “I remember him asking me about it,” Stacee said.
For Stacee, it was a hard essay to write.
“I heard about the makeover at Liberty Hill Dental from my 14-year-old son Anthony,” Stacee wrote in her essay. “I am an extremely private and proud person so this is a difficult essay to write. In spite of having written many grants and even publishing a novel, I struggle to articulate my feelings well here. I came to the realization after many attempts that your time had already said what I wanted to receive from the smile makeover – change a smile, change a life. I truly believe it would do just that for me and my children.”
Members of the Ministerial Alliance who were asked to select the winner of the contest agreed. Stacee was chosen.
“It’s been an interesting experience, that’s for sure,” Stacee said. “He did some upper transformation and, I’m trying to think how much. A lot of crown work and then he removed some teeth from my lower jaw. My lower back jaw. Steroids had basically killed them. So there’s still work to be done there. But for the most part his part is complete, but it’s set up for (implants) in the future.” The makeover also included some veneers. All in all, her makeover took about 5 months.
“I have a huge fear of the dentist. I had a pop in the mouth when I was really little and back then when they cocoon-wrapped everybody when they were kids. They used to wrap people to do work on your mouth. And so I have a horrible fear of dentists,” Stacee said. “And…I am a big chicken. I have very little memories of the process. I didn’t have any discomfort or any pain. So that’s a credit to him. Usually your jaws are sore for days. Nothing. His staff made me feel completely comfortable. They were able to sedate me for some of it…not for other parts. So that, to me, deserves a lot more credit, and the fact that he is so willing to work with people.
“He does really good work, and the level of staff, comfort and care … They are just very compassionate, very kind. Everybody, everybody, there is so kind. They made the process easy for me. And I had a lot of work done. It was a lot of hours. Never pushy and he was … I never felt like ‘oh, I’m doing a Smile Makeover’ … ‘you’re going to do it my way’ … I never felt like I was at their mercy whatsoever.
“It would have been thousands of dollars for me to get that done. I mean, you can finance some of it…but still it’s a lot. It’s a huge gift.
“One appointment alone was an entire Friday I was there. An entire day. They were really good … since I was such a big baby when it comes to this dental fear they had someone come in and sedate me so he did an entire full day and got everything ready without making me come back repeatedly. They really go above and beyond to make people comfortable and not subjecting you to any more than they have to. I got huge pluses from him. I tell people since then if it’s fear, don’t worry about it. Because I had a HUGE fear of dentists.
“It took such an effort just to walk through the door because when you’re already uncomfortable, you don’t want to be touched, and it’s just such a personal thing on top of that and then you add the cosmetics part of it and the emotion. You know, I had had baggage and background trauma for that. The first time I went in I wasn’t sure what to expect but the second time I wasn’t even nervous. And the last appointment I didn’t even mind … they didn’t have to sedate me .
“I’d recommend him without any hesitation whatsoever.
“You’re just not quite you when you can’t smile and talk.”
Collins Finds Himself Beaming Following Procedures
By Linda Lattanzio
Staff Writer, The Leader
“Who ya rootin’ for?”
Everyone knows A.J. Collins. From his years of leading cheers at Panther football games to active involvement in Project Graduation, as junior high and high school youth leader/teacher, and member of Fellowship Baptist Church, Fellowship Bass Club and Holy Smokers BBQ Team Coordinator, A.J. is a community-oriented resident that loves Liberty Hill.
But 12 years of gum disease damaged more than A.J.’s teeth – it destroyed his confidence. It took his number one fan, his wife Joni, to enter him in the Smile Makeover contest.
“Dear Dr. Gillespie, I am so excited to be able to nominate my husband, A.J. Collins, for your most generous offer of a Smile Makeover. Thank you so much for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!” Joni wrote in her essay.
“You see, A.J. has had trouble with his teeth for many many years. Not only have they caused him excruciating pain, but their obvious deterioration has given him a tremendous complex when it comes to his smile,” Joni wrote. “While he refuses to let it dampen his spirits, it breaks my heart to see him put his hand over his mouth when laughing or purse his lips together in an attempt to keep his teeth from showing in his own smile.”
“My gumline was deteriorating and you could really see it,” A.J. said. “Over the years you get a complex about it. Now it’s like a new car. You want everybody to see it. I went from never smiling to smiling all the time.”
He was so scared the first time he went into the office they offered him a sedative.
“They are a great group of people. Very willing to work you and get you through being scared.
“I went from being scared of the dentist to enjoying going there. I recommend them to everybody. For someone who’s had a bad experience in the past, they will take care of you,” A.J. said. “It’s been a blessing to me.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Gillespie and his entire staff at Liberty Hill Dental, for choosing me to receive a “Smile Make-Over” in their contest.
“I had no idea my wife Joni had written an essay, after seeing the contest in the local newspaper, nominating me for the prize. It wasn’t until months later that I took the phone call that would change my life. When Ellen, from Doctor Gillespie’s office, called to give me the good news, I couldn’t believe it!
“Joni and I met with Doctor Gillespie and after several weeks and numerous procedures, I was no longer in pain or ashamed of my smile! I haven’t stopped smiling since!
“In a time when the dollar tends to take precedence in most people’s lives, it is truly a blessing to know that Dr. Gillespie and his staff of true professionals care so much for the people in their community.
“Thank you Liberty Hill Dental, and thank you Joni for making this all possible! God is good and truly works through his servants!”
COMMUNITY EASTER EGG HUNT 2011
We enjoyed hosting our first community Easter Egg Hunt with some of our favorite Liberty Hill businesses. Thank you Happy Trails Learning Center, Liberty Hill Office Supplies, Sabrina Jordon, Mary Kay Sales Director, Alisha Smith, Delilah’s Salon, Courtney Harrison, Delilah’s Salon, Dana Clark, Delilah’s Salon, Simply Chiropractic, and Ms. Shelly’s Bakery.
Congratulations to our winners, Lisa Kirk and Kate Ludlow!!!
SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE 2010-2011
All five of the Liberty Hill school district campuses benefit from the school supply drive coordinated by Liberty Hill Dental!
Liberty Hill Dental organized a community-wide school supplies drive to support the fantastic Liberty Hill teachers! Every campus received a box full of their most needed supplies. Thank you to all the generous donations from our patients and staff! The winner of the drawings were:
Remember, our community can support the schools all year round!
Ongoing Teachers Wish List: