TAPD Officer Spotlight—Alexandra “Alex” Otto
Name: Alexandra “Alex” Otto, DDS
Number of years in practice: 10
Where you went to dental school and completed residency: Virginia Commonwealth University (DDS), Denver Health Medical Center (GPR), NYU Langone-Alaska (Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry)
Number of years as a TAPD member: 3
What made you decide to get involved as a TAPD officer: Opening my own practice (Kids Tooth Team) and non-profit outreach program (Kids Tooth Team Outreach) has opened my eyes to a new set of issues and advocacy efforts that I was not necessarily as aware of before practice ownership. Having a voice in the legislative process that protects my patients and my ability to own and operate my private practices and non-profit is very important to me.
What is your goal for the year: Getting us all back together! I moved back to Texas in 2020, so I have been missing the ability to connect and network with my pediatric colleagues over the last couple years. TAPD has some great events and CE on the books for this year, so I am looking forward to finally having the opportunity to connect with everyone.
What have you learned in your time as a TAPD member: Membership is key. Having a strong voice to advocate with starts with a strong member base. I strongly encourage every dentist to be a member of the ADA to represent dentistry first and foremost, but it is equally as important to join your specialty association as well. We would love for everyone to be actively involved, but simply joining the TAPD as a member is so important so that we have the voice to represent the interests of our specialty to the profession at large and to the public.
What surprised you the most about the legislative process: Maybe not so surprising, but like everything we do as pediatric dentists- it is all about relationship building. The last couple years have certainly presented challenges in maintaining the same relationships with our friends at the capital and in the legislative arena during COVID. As we return to normalcy, it’s so important that we come out in full force to represent dentistry and advocate for our patients and profession.
What are you most proud of about TAPD: As much as we are here to advocate for our profession and specialty, I am proud to see that conversations I have been a part of with TAPD focus first and foremost around what is best and safest for Texas children. From legislation that we promote, elected officials we support, and the CE we choose to provide, the TAPD has our little patient’s best interest up front and center in everything we do.