A gentle touch

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Pediatric dentist wants to change the way kids view dentist visits

By Kirsten Laskey

For those who think dentistry is a mundane career that is rutted in routine, take a look at Dr. Daniel Borrero for a fresh perspective.

Being a dentist has taken Borrero to many different locations — his home country of Puerto Rico, Santa Fe, Native American reservations in Arizona and now, Los Alamos.

Borrero will work Fridays at the Los Alamos Orthodontics office as a pediatric dentist. The office is located at 3250 Trinity Drive, Site A.

Borrero brings a wide range of experience to the dentist chair. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee with a degree in general dentistry in 1991. He then traveled back to Puerto Rico to set up a private practice, which he had for eight years.

In 2001, he sold the practice to work with the Indian Health Service in Arizona. Borrero’s education continued when he received pediatric dental training from the University of Minnesota in 2007.

In 2008, he left Arizona to once again establish a private practice. He began working at a practice in Santa Fe before leaving to strike out on his own.

Working with children has been a perfect fit. “I fell in love with pediatric dentistry,” he said, “I think it’s the most rewarding area of dentistry. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

Borrero has given the old-fashioned model of children’s dentistry — in which the parents wait outside — the boot. He prefers to have the parents involved.

His goal, he said, is to have children tolerate dentist appointments and maybe even like them.

“Playing a part in that change, it’s priceless,” Borrero said.

Borrero really strives to make going to the dentist a pleasant experience. If the appointment becomes dismal, for example, if he makes a child cry, Borrero said he will issue a referral to another dentist.

Borrero’s empathy toward his job was nurtured through his work with the Indian Health Service.

“The kids … I was treating had a great need,” he said. “I hope to treat a lot of kids … they seem to be affected disproportionately from carrier diseases and oral health problems. It makes you feel useful. You’re really putting into practice what you went to school for.”

“There’s a great need,” Borrero added. “It was very satisfactory. The other thing was the culture — getting immersed in a different culture; I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”

He added he has been happy to absorb the local culture in Los Alamos.

Borrero admitted he is a little nerdy and loves to read about various science topics. As a result, he and his patients “share a lot of interest.”

In addition, Borerro is an avid outdoorsman. He said he loves to hike and kayak. He mentioned that he has just started river kayaking but he has kayaked in the ocean. In fact, he was a sea kayak instructor in Puerto Rico.

Although he is new to the rivers, Borrero said, “I love it. I love the access to rivers, the rapids.”

Borrero added, “I love science and I love art. I found in dentistry a way of blending the two. At the same time, you’re directly working with people and that’s rewarding.”

Dr. David Hobson of Los Alamos Orthodontics said they are happy to have Borrero.

“Dentists in town have wanted a children’s dentist here for quite some time,” he said.

Having Borerro, who is fully credentialed as a children’s dentist, fulfills this need, Hobson said.

Plus, he added, “He is very well thought of in the places he has worked.”

To schedule an appointment with Borerro, call 662-4555.