When I was about 16, that was my first real experience with life-changing dentistry. So I was always self-conscious of my smile. My teeth were crowded and I just didn't like how they look. So when I was 16 is when I got braces. I had braces for about four years, and after I finally got them off, my confidence just shot through the roof and I just came out of my shell. And going through that experience made me want to help people with their dental journey as well.
The most rewarding part, like I said, is being able to change someone's life, change their perspective of this view, because most people don't like to see us anyway, so to be able to build connections with people, make them comfortable, help them get over their anxiety and their fear. Just being a positive influence for young people and being able to inspire them and maybe help them see this as a career for them has been rewarding for me as well.
For much of her life, Dr. De’Shondra Leonard grew up traveling the world with her family while her father served in the U.S. Army. However, she spent most of her adolescent years in New Orleans, where she went on to graduate from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry.
After graduation, Dr. Leonard set her eyes on pursuing a career in dentistry at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. She graduated with her Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2012. The following year, in 2013, she completed an advanced education in general dentistry (AEGD) residency program at Wichita State University in Wichita, KS. For seven years, she was an associate doctor at practices in Houston, TX. Throughout her time in Houston, she treated babies as young as 6 months old and adults as old as 99.
Dr. Leonard’s passion for dentistry started around age 16 when she went to the orthodontist and got braces. The transformation in her self-esteem and confidence from that experience impacted her in a way that made her want to create that same lasting effect for others. Some of her best career experiences have been mission work in the Dominican Republic and Houston, where she was able to provide dental care in communities that did not have easy access to health care.
Although she enjoys all aspects of dentistry, endodontics (root canal therapy) is Dr. Leonard’s greatest passion. Helping her patients retain their natural teeth for many years, while also eradicating pain and infection, brings her joy that she cannot explain. It is her hope that when she meets you, you will leave feeling like a member of her family.
In her spare time, Dr. Leonard enjoys hanging out with her sorority sisters (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.), staying active, traveling to find the best beaches in the world, and rooting for her hometown football team, the New Orleans Saints.