Practicing Gratitude: Dr. Hedi Kermani, Class of 1995
Bruin Optimist with an appreciation for giving back
Dr. Hedi Kermani’s drive, paired with her entrepreneurial spirit, are the characteristics that have helped her build a successful orthodontics and pediatric dentistry practice in Orange County. From acquiring the latest technology and equipment down to choosing the colors for the interior, hiring top associates and even designing the website, she has dedicated her career for the past two decades to perfecting a practice that her patients can rely on for quality care.
“There weren’t enough hours in the day when I was running my practice while raising my children,” she reflects. “They practically grew up in that office! It is no surprise that my daughter has chosen to follow in this same path and become a dentist herself. We were ecstatic that she was accepted to the UCLA School of Dentistry last fall and for her Bruin journey ahead.”
Dentistry fascinated Dr. Kermani ever since she was a child. She enjoyed going to her dentist and seeing all the equipment, the devices, and “cool buttons.” As she started thinking about a career, she considered that dentistry could offer the flexibility she would want as a future mother. In 1991, she completed her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at UCLA, and that, along with an impressive DAT score and volunteering at dental offices, primed her to be an attractive candidate for dental school.
While at the UCLA School of Dentistry, Dr. Kermani was involved in orthodontics research and student leadership. In 1995, she received her Advanced Education in General Dentistry certificate while also achieving her DDS degree.
In 2020, Dr. Kermani, who is a proud Apollonian Society member, marked her 25-year anniversary of graduating from the UCLA School of Dentistry and now she reflects on the significance of this milestone, “without a doubt, the training I received at UCLA was the best in the world. The combined opportunities for research, service, leadership, and the unparalleled didactic and clinical foundation are what sets the UCLA dental school program apart. I will be forever grateful.”
UCLA Dentistry impresses on its dental students a charge to strive for excellence, and Dr. Kermani took that mantra very seriously. The other mantra that took hold with her was the importance of being a life-long student. After completing her UCLA DDS degree, she went on to obtain her orthodontics specialty certificate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, where her master’s degree thesis led to publication in the prestigious American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics. Thereafter, she achieved the status of a fully board-certified orthodontist. She has also maintained affiliations with numerous dental and orthodontic societies. She continues to evolve as a healthcare provider and has become a mentor to undergraduates who show an interest in oral health and the dental profession.
“I want to lift up the next generation of dental healthcare providers. Not only do I feel it is my obligation, but I genuinely enjoy doing so, to impact and inspire the generation ahead!”
Over time, Dr. Kermani’s practice has flourished. Having a multi-specialty practice, combining pediatric dentistry with her orthodontic services, along with volunteer work, sponsoring school activities, and maintaining a strong reputation in the community, has positioned Newport Orthodontics and Children’s Dentistry as a permanent fixture for the oral health needs of families in Orange County.
Now, with both of her children on their own paths to become future Bruin alumni, she plans to focus and devote even more of her time to UCLA Dentistry. “I am so thankful for the training I received at UCLA,” Dr. Kermani said. “From when I was first starting my practice and to this day, patients travel out of their way to come see me because I am a UCLA dental professional and attended the UCLA School of Dentistry. I want to pay that pride forward and help the dental school to always attract the best and brightest candidates with a continued remarkably successful future!”
In the first year of my deanship, I found myself surrounded by faculty, students, staff, and fellow academic leaders wanting to introduce me to the beauty of this campus, this city, and this outstanding dental school – UCLA Dentistry. I have been warmly welcomed by the entire community to what has now become my home.
Making Saliva a Serious Business
“Most people are surprised when I tell them that saliva can reveal as much, if not more, than blood or urine can. We have made it our mission to make saliva testing a clinical reality to detect for serious diseases. And we’re getting very, very close.”
Decoding Oral Health: Diana Wang, Class of 2017
“I believe there’s a little bit of pathologist in all of us,” said Diana Wang, Class of 2017. “Patients always want to know why something happened to them, and pathology helps answer those difficult questions.”