The husband-and-wife dentists at Lafayette Dental have been awarded a fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry.
David Lepelletier and Katrina Verendia, who have owned the practice for the last three years, received the award during the Academy’s commencement celebration in Connecticut, along with 240 other recipients.
“The whole idea is that it’s after education after dental school,” Lepelletier said. “As a dentist, you’re only required to do 20 hours per 2 years. We’ve taken courses where we’ve taken 200 per year. All that adds up.”
The Fellowship Award is presented to dentists who have completed 500 hours of continuing dental education, passed a comprehensive written exam and fulfilled three years of continuing membership in the Academy.
“The AGD is designed to influence professional growth and development through continuing education and we are proud to honor Drs. Lepelletier and Verendia for their commitment and dedication to prove their patients with advanced and exceptional oral care AGD President Neil J. Gajja said in a statement.
Only 6 percent of dentists are awarded the fellowship.
They both took different paths to dentistry.
Lepelletier lived in Lake Shawnee in Jefferson Township until he was 10 years old and his family moved him to Roxbury and Verendia hails from central New Jersey.
They both went to the College of New Jersey and Lepelletier worked as a chemist for four years while getting his masters at Fairleigh Dickinson University before switching to dental work.
Verendia received her DMD degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and did her residency at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
Lepelletier was chief resident there and then went on to complete a 3-year training course at New York University in implants.
Verendia said she was inspired to become a dentist by her own dentist, who discussed with her opportunities in the career for mission trips to third-world countries. She served on a mission trip to Guatemala.
Verendia also spent some time at a pediatric dental office, where she became skilled at allaying fears.
“One thing I really enjoy here in this office, working with patients who are a little fearful and get them to be comfortable,” she said.
They’ve been married for four years and have owned Lafayette Dental for three.
“It’s just a nice practice,” Lepelletier said. “It’s a good area with good people. We really liked that it was a family practice. We see all ages, from kids to parents, great grandparents. We like that we see families.”
“The whole idea is that it’s after education after dental school,. As a dentist, you’re only required to do 20 hours per 2 years. We’ve taken courses where we’ve taken 200 per year. All that adds up.”