40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

KELLY THOMAS

  • Leawood, Kansas
  • Leawood Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

Age:

33

Name of Practice:

Leawood Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

Specialty:

General and cosmetic dentistry

Education:

DDS, University of Missouri– Kansas City Dental School


Why She Was Nominated

Dr. Thomas prides herself on having built a modern, high-tech practice that caters to patients’ every need. In addition to running a thriving business, she also founded a charity, Second Chance Smiles, which restores the teeth of women who have been victims of violence and domestic abuse.

Inspiration

“I was genetically predetermined to become a dentist,” she says. “As a kid, I was missing several permanent teeth, so I spent a lot of time in the chair.” By sixth grade, she had made her decision: “The dentist who restored my teeth gave me a huge boost, and I wanted to give that back.”

Favorite Aspect of Dentistry

Cosmetic treatments. “I’d do veneers all day if I could,” Dr. Thomas says. “Your self-confidence goes along with your smile. When patients’ teeth are restored, I see their personalities change: They’re more outgoing and happy.”

Something People Don't Know

Dr. Thomas, an avid runner, carried the Olympic torch through her hometown of Emporia, Kansas, before the 1996 Olympics.