Getting to Know You: Dr. Michelle Aguilos Thompson

What kind of dentistry/specialty do you practice?
I am a general dentist with two years of GPR training.

Where do you practice?
One year ago, I transitioned from private practice to academia. I am a full-time assistant professor and director of digital dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Dentistry at Houston. It has been an amazing opportunity and I have enjoyed working with students, residents, and faculty. I have found my calling.

Why dentistry?
My grandmother was a retired dentist so I never grew up learning much about dentistry. When I was an undergraduate student at the University of Houston, my brother Marcos invited me to join the pre-dental chapter of the American Student Dental Association at the University of Houston. From interacting with local Houston dentists of the Greater Houston Dental Society and from my experiences volunteering at Texas Mission of Mercy and Give Kids a Smile Day events, I developed a passion for dentistry. Since then, I never looked back and continue to stay involved in organized dentistry.

Why are you an ADA member?
I always tell people to join the ADA because their voice matters. During the pandemic, the ADA has been such a strong voice for all of us. From talking to our legislators, helping us acquire PPE and working with the CDC, they have done it all. I believe it’s important for me to be actively involved and be part of change. The ADA represents all of us and having a Diversity and Inclusion Committee for instance exemplifies this.

What was your first job?
I remember graduating from high school and wanting to get my first job at the mall but could not find a position. My brother helped me get a job as a receptionist in a dental office and I started by journey in dentistry.

Photo of Dr. Thompson choir
Ensemble: Dr. Thompson with the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music Concert Chorale. 
What has been the best time of your career so far?
I would say right now because I have found my calling. I walk into work each day feeling accomplished and I’m enjoying every moment. I always thought I would transition to academia much later in my career, but it has been a true blessing and I look forward to the future.

When I’m not practicing, I’m: a mom of a 3-year-old boy, Jason Jr., and the wife of Dr. Jason Thompson (endodontist). We are now expecting a baby girl in January so we are excited to expand our family. It has been a blessing to be able to spend so much time with my son and enjoy watching him grow up. This is my best job.

One fun fact about me:
When I was an undergraduate, I considered becoming a choir director. I enjoy singing and was part of several ensembles through college. I even had an opportunity to sing in an opera.