April 25, 2016 | Staff Stories
Born and raised in the small town of Quincy, FL., Angela Relf knew for a very long time that she wanted to help people and work in the medical field. When she was in college she ran into a dental recruiter who told her that there weren’t many female dentists in the profession. One day she shadowed a dentist who was her father’s friend. From that moment on she knew that she found her passion, one that would later become her profession.
“I love the daily challenge dentists face,” she told us. “Believe it or not, I even love doing crowns. I love seeing people smile and watching their smiles change. I don’t think people realize that your mouth is the window to the rest of you. When you see someone transform in just a few months, that’s rewarding, and I love it.”
Some challenges are harder than others to overcome, like access to dentistry and how big of an issue it is in the United States. Dr. Relf hopes to see everyone have access to proper dental care someday. She believes that people should pursue dentistry because “it’s worth every minute.” The dull moments are few and far between and every day is different from the next.
“Students interested in dentistry should know that everyone is an individual and no one is a cookie cutter patient. In order to be a good dentist, it’s important to treat patients with sincerity and truly care about people.”
Dr. Relf has been changing our patients’ lives since 2010, one smile at a time. She loves working here because Mountain Park exemplifies what she believes in: helping uninsured patients.
“We offer these patients nominal fees. We go to schools. We don’t leave anyone behind,” she told us. “To me, that’s what healthcare should be about, and Mountain Park does that so well. They put effort into their patients and they make sure patients receive the best quality care with the resources we have.”
Many people don’t even realize Mountain Park has a dental department.
“I want our patients to know that we have appointments available every week and that we care about our patients and want to give them the best service possible,” she added. “Mountain Park is so dedicated, caring and compassionate. I feel lucky to be a part of this team.”
Dr. Relf has a passion for dentistry, and you can see her face light up when she talks about her work. As the chair of the dental department she works tirelessly to help earn grant funding for dental services. The most recent grant that Dr. Relf accepted came from the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation. The nearly $50,000 grant will allow Mountain Park to provide dental screenings and cleanings for our pregnant patients. Check out the brief video of Dr. Relf talking about the recently awarded grant.
“When we receive these grants—that our patients rely on—that allows us to treat patients and care for them and see what else they may need,” she said. “When we started screening our pregnant women, we noticed that there was a need for emergency care. Grants like this help us provide even more services that in the long run help our community.”
Mountain Park is just a part of her life. Dr. Relf has been married to her husband Jeff for 18 years. Together they have four kids, two boys and two girls.
“I’m so proud of my children and my marriage,” Dr. Relf said. “Marriage is a lot of work, especially with a career. I have to remind myself on a daily basis to check in with my kids and to have time set aside for just my husband and me. That’s what makes a relationship strong.”
Dr. Relf is also very involved in her church. She takes part in worship, outreach ministry and sings in the church choir. “My faith is very important to me,” she told us.
Dr. Relf’s mother is one of the most important people in her life. “My mother never gave up on me or my four siblings,” Dr. Relf said. “I saw what she could do with the very little she had and it encouraged me to do more. We all finished college and two of us have doctorates.”
When she’s not spending time at work or church, Dr. Relf loves traveling, watching movies and reading. But most importantly, she loves spending time with her family. One day her dream is to go on a cruise around the world, or as close to around the world as possible.
If you’re lucky enough to be Dr. Relf’s patient, her care and sincerity will make you feel at ease, and you may actually learn to love the dentist.