Meet the Doctors

   I knew from an early age I wanted to become a healthcare provider; however, I was not certain in what capacity I would find my calling.  A culmination of life experiences which began initially as a young child when I accompanied my dad, who needed to replace a missing front tooth to the dentist, to being surrounded by family in the dental field.  Five of my family members are currently in dentistry, which greatly influenced my decision. Finally, my childhood dentist, Dr. Jim Kessler, made a huge impact on my decision to head to dental school.

   I moved to Norman in 2001, after transferring from OSU to OU in 2001 to complete my degree in Zoology.  I began dental school in the summer of 2004, and I have never questioned my decision to become a dentist.  I cannot envision a better career.  The ability to impact lives through our work is incredibly rewarding--so much so that we readily welcome young adults who are considering dentistry as a career choice to gain experience and observation hours at our practice. 

What other career enables you to be an artist, doctor, educator, engineer, counselor, and cheerleader all in a day's work?

   Immediately after graduation and following the birth of my first child, Anna, I was fortunate to be able to join the practice of Dr. Susan Whiteneck.  She was the dentist of one of my classmates, and he had an inclination that we would be a good match. As they say, the rest is history! While Dr. Whiteneck was transitioning toward retirement, my very best friend from dental school, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, joined our practice to assist in the transition during my maternity leave. Dr. Jenkins is my practice partner today. We are so incredibly thankful to work together.  While we don't look alike, there's almost a foot’s difference between our heights, patients often confuse us, and we like to think it's the way we make them feel that's the same.  We share a heart for serving, passion for our profession, the same sense of humor, and the same values.

  I grew up in a large family; in fact, I am the youngest of eight children. I learned to work hard, do the right thing (even when no one is looking) and to love others. Having a large family filled with a variety of personalities enabled me to gain a unique understanding of human nature. A genuine love and acceptance of people help me care for my patients, as I would my family.  I believe treating our patients with compassion, sensitivity, skill and grace enables me to provide the best possible care for our patients.

Dr. Sara Spurlock

   I am passionate about learning, researching and studying everything from cosmetic dentistry to airway function and integrative oral medicine.  I regularly attend continuing education courses throughout the United States, learning from the best of the best in my field in order to stay current with new information and techniques to better serve our patients.  

   My passion for learning is not limited to dentistry--I love to read and learn.  I enjoy reading both fiction and nonfiction; often, in my spare time or driving to and from work you will either find me reading a book or listening to one.  I particularly enjoy historical fiction and love watching documentaries on Netflix.  I love talking to patients about books and have gathered some of my favorite reads upon recommendation from patients.

   I also enjoy cooking.  When times are stressful, or even when they are not, you will find me in the kitchen.  Discussing new recipes with our patients is one of our favorite topics. We are a team of foodies, and we always enjoy trying new recipes our patients share with us!

Leading a healthy, active life is important to me, and I make every effort to prioritize health and fitness. I enjoy running, exploring new trails, walking near campus, and trying out new workout classes with friends when possible.

   My husband Jay, who is my high school sweetheart and the biggest supporter and encourager of me, our practice and my endeavors have three children and two big dogs we adore.  In my time away from the office, you can most likely find us at one our three kiddos’ (Annie, William, and John Henry) activities. We have a swimmer, a basketball player and our youngest, the family comedian, plays soccer.  There are plenty of funny John Henry stories; he is always making us laugh! We are also involved at our church, McFarlin UMC, where the kids also sing in the youth choir.  Family is important to us, my mom lives with us and we have aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and a brother nearby.  We host family gatherings and Thanksgiving annually for 30-50 relatives and friends.  

   I passionately believe in a life of service, commitment to my community, team, patients and family. I desire to live by Ralph Waldo Emerson's words: "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."

   Giving back to our community that has given us so much is at the core of our mission at Dental Design Studio. We are fortunate to be able to donate a portion of our profits to our community, as well as our skills in donated dentistry. We participate in free dental clinics in Norman, OKC, and with the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy.  We are also community partners with Lincoln Elementary School and support numerous other area schools and local nonprofit organizations. 

   We value the relationships we build with our patients while creating and maintaining healthy, beautiful smiles.  We take our work seriously and seriously like to have some fun, but we never lose sight of the impact we can have on your day and possibly your life.  We are here to listen, understand, guide, encourage, support and serve.  We provide a positive, non-judgmental and nurturing environment so we can best meet your needs. We have a team of supportive, compassionate all-stars who all share the same values and vision and we recognize them for all they do to make the days run smoothly and our patients comfortable and cared for.

   We are grateful for the opportunity to care for our patients, families, and friends and welcome new patients to our patient family.

    I remember it well! The year was 1990, and I was in third grade in Edmond, Oklahoma. Playing make-believe doctor or teacher with my friends was one of my favorite pastimes. However, after my first orthodontist appointment with Dr. Mike Steffen, I started playing “dentist.” Dr. Steffen and his office staff were incredibly professional, and I was captivated by all things dentistry. His office seemed like such a welcoming place to work, and my first visit to the orthodontist sparked my interest in dentistry 
   As I grew older, I knew for sure that I wanted to work in healthcare, and dentistry was always at the top of the list. I graduated from Edmond North in 2000 and decided to pursue a career in dentistry. I enrolled at the University of Oklahoma and graduated in 2004 with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Zoology. In the summer of 2004, I started dental school at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. While attending dental school, one of my greatest blessings was meeting my classmate, Dr. Sara Spurlock. We both graduated in 2008 and headed out in different directions to practice dentistry. 
   My husband, Justin, and I married during my second year of dental school. We
lived in my hometown of Edmond for a few years after dental school, and I bought a dental practice in South Oklahoma City, practicing alone for seven years. Then, my life took a fortuitous turn after receiving a phone call from Dr. Susan Whiteneck asking me to meet her for lunch. During lunch, she asked me a question that I will never forget: “Would you be interested in joining Dr. Spurlock’s and my practice in Norman and assisting with my transition toward retirement?” There was no hesitation with my affirmative response: it was a dream come true. I would have the opportunity to practice with my best friend in a town that I love--Norman. I sold my practice in Oklahoma City and moved to Norman with my husband and our two sons, Jase and Jax. It was the best decision I could have ever made. 
    My partnership with Dr. Spurlock is symbiotic: we share so many of the same values and philosophies in life. We strive to make this world a better place and both love dentistry and people. Combining our shared philosophies and desiring to give our patients state-of-the art, compassionate care have been the

Dr. Jennifer Jenkins

cornerstone of our practice. Dental Design Studio (DDS) has provided a place for Dr. Spurlock and me to feel at home and share the goal of offering our patients the best possible care.  When I am not at DDS, you can find me with my family (which includes my extended family, the Spurlocks). My husband and boys love going to OU sporting events (especially football and gymnastics), riding bikes around campus, going out to eat, shopping and going to the movies. We will again enjoy most of these activities post Covid-19. Additionally, Dr. Spurlock and I enjoy continuing our education and traveling to seminars together. Most importantly, however, we like to create opportunities to spend time together building our relationships, our dental practice, and enjoying life. 

   I am so grateful that I have a career that allows me to blend all the parts of my life together. Dr. Spurlock and I are committed to using our knowledge and skills to serve our community. We are lead volunteers with the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy and serve on the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Advisors. We are both highly active in professional and community organizations, such as the Oklahoma Dental Association and the Oklahoma Association of Women Dentists.  Dr. Spurlock and I look forward to participating in continuing education throughout the country. Dentistry is an ever-changing field, and it is vital that we focus on growth and learning, keeping abreast of the latest technology and techniques. It is exciting to bring new knowledge home to our team and patients.
   “Doing what you love is freedom. Loving what you do is happiness,” typifies my decision to practice dentistry. I’m immensely thankful for all the love and support from our families, patients, and Dental Design Studio.