For Dr. Kate Gross, her father’s influence and mentorship guided her career choice. “Growing up in a ‘dental family’ I watched the relationships that my dad built with his patients and his patients’ families. I liked how he made a difference in their lives and their confidence levels.” Dr. Kate loves the challenge of general dentistry and the gratification of beautifying patients’ smiles. “There’s never a dull day in the dental office. Each patient and each tooth is different, and I love how dentistry pushes me to use my brain in unique ways to problem solve each day.”
One of the best parts of being a dentist is winning over kids and scared patients. She takes the task of being an advocate and trusted healthcare provider very seriously. “Going to the dentist should be an enjoyable, if not FUN, experience. I take it very seriously to make all of our patients’ first (and subsequent) appointments go smoothly, and the development of our relationship is a high priority to me. Being a trusted advocate for a patient through each part of the experience is one of the most rewarding parts of my days.”
Dr. Kate was motivated to go down the health care path, and at first thought that the best fit for her would be medical school. She seriously considered being a medical doctor, but decided she’d rather be a dentist like her own father. “My priorities shifted – I didn’t want to be in school for eight additional years after college, and I didn’t want the pressure of life or death decisions.
“When I was young, I viewed dental care as going to see my dad! However, I hear each day from my patients that the dental office is a very intimidating place for many. I want to change all of that. It fuels my passion to get someone’s mouth healthy, all the while making them comfortable and changing their perception of dentistry.” I saw all the benefits that my dad had from being a dentist, I liked his lifestyle, and the way he could touch his patients’ lives and be a very hands-on parent during my own childhood. Today dentistry allows me to have a nice balance between professional and personal life, while satisfying my ambition to be in a health care related field.”
Dr. Gross earned her Bachelor of the Arts in Human Biology from the University of Kansas in 1998, and her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2002. She has continued to learn more about dentistry and patient care through continuing education in orthodontics and oral sedation. In fact, Dr. Kate has logged over 300 hours in orthodontic continuing education alone, gaining her Achievement status in the credentialing process through the American Orthodontic Society.
The dental group she has built with her husband, Dr. Guy Gross, is a source of pride and achievement. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather work than side-by-side with my husband, my father (2002-2013 when he retired), and my brother (2013 to present). “It is truly a family practice – one that was built on my family working together – and one that takes care of families at every stage of life experience. I like the variety, the fast pace, and the patients that I see grow and change throughout the years. The best part of my job is the deeply caring, highly skilled, and truly awesome professionals that I work side-by-side with. Aside from my family, these are the people that I spend the most time with, and I greatly value them and enjoy their company!”
When she’s not helping creating lasting beautiful smiles, Dr. Kate serves as a board member of DVACK, an organization that helps women and children get back on their feet after the devastation of violence and abuse in their home lives, and supports AMBUCs. She enjoys being outdoors; whether it is running, gardening, swimming, skiing, watching her kids’ play sports, or chilling on the patio—the great outdoors is her happy place. She loves spending time with her husband and their 3 children, and is blessed to have her parents, in-laws, and many extended family members living here in Salina to cultivate strong family ties. Given a year off to do anything, Dr. Gross says she would take the kids out of school and take an epic around-the-world vacation, living in and experiencing new cultures, foods, people, and places.