Dr. Heather Keeling didn’t always want to be a dentist. After high school, she entered a 6-year PharmD program to be a pharmacist. It didn’t take long, however, before Heather realized that rather than working behind a counter as a pharmacist, she wanted to treat patients, to give hands-on, compassionate care that improved patients’ health and quality of life. After considering her options and job shadowing a number of dentists, Heather switched paths. She applied, was accepted, and enrolled in dental school. Besides marrying her husband, Matt, Heather says it’s the best decision she ever made.
At Dalhousie University Dental School in Nova Scotia, Canada, Heather was as involved as she could be. She was president of the Dalhousie Dentistry Students Society and Eastern Regional Councilor of the Federation of Canadian Dentistry Student Association.
She also co-organized the first group of students from Dalhousie University to travel and volunteer at a free dental clinic in an impoverished Guatemalan village. Besides organizing the group and helping patients, Heather contacted dental suppliers to collect crucial supplies that would allow them to properly treat the patients. Heather’s group made three trips to Guatemala during school breaks.
“We’d see patients who were in so much pain. One woman had an abscess that was so bad the entire right side of her face was swollen, but she was smiling, so appreciative that we would help her.”
– Dr. Heather Keeling talking about a dental mission trip to Guatemala.
To say Heather is passionate about helping people is an understatement. Since graduating from dental school and returning home to Maine, she has continued volunteer work at the Root Cellar on Munjoy Hill, a non-profit dental clinic for hill
residents, and spends time advocating for patients in need.
“I just love it. Patients come from Maine and all over the world. I hear their stories. People are so appreciative.”
– Dr. Heather Keeling talking about her volunteer work at The Root Cellar, a non-profit dental clinic for Munjoy Hill residents.
In January 2017, Dr. Heather Keeling was thrilled to take over Dr. Leonard Brennan’s dental practice, which she renamed The Dental Loft. Dr. Keeling’s full-service, patient-centered dental practice is located at 1250 Congress Street in Portland, Maine.
She and her husband Matt live in Falmouth with their two beloved King Charles Cavaliers, Charlie and Lilly.