In July 2013, Dr. Meredith Hoek took a huge leap of faith and, without a single patient appointment on the books, opened her own dental practice in Virginia Beach. Soon, as word of mouth spread about her skills and gentle approach more and more families came to her for their dental care. Today, Dr. Hoek’s practice has flourished. From five years ago with just one dentist and one assistant, the practice now has two dentists, two hygienists, two assistants, and an office coordinator to care for their patients.
Dr. Meredith Hoek grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, on the gulf coast. She has spent her entire life immersed in dentistry. Her mom is a general dentist, her dad and grandfather are both oral surgeons, and her great grandfather was a general dentist. From the age of two weeks old, she went to the office with her mother every day. As a teenager, she did some assisting and lab work and was really drawn to the artistry and engineering of dentistry, as well as the social aspect of knowing her patients and hearing about their lives and their children’s lives.
Dr. Hoek earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida. Then, she migrated north for dental school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, where she received a Doctorate of Dental Surgery. She chose general dentistry because of the challenge of every day being different.
While living in Maryland, she greatly enjoyed the change of seasons and the lifestyle on the water. When she returned home after dental school, she really missed the four seasons and the different activities each one brings, like skiing. “I love Florida, but it only has two seasons there – one is hot and the other is even hotter,” she laughs. She moved to Virginia Beach eight years ago, still close enough to Florida to drive there.
After dental school, Dr. Hoek joined a large dental practice in Virginia Beach, where she got a solid foundation in practical experience. A few years later, she decided it was time to open her own practice. She saw how quickly the Red Mill neighborhood was growing. “My focus is treating families, and with the number of new families moving into the area, I really wanted to be there to care for them,” the dentist explains.
For her, service comes first, something she learned from watching her parents work over the years. “The patients’ needs and wants come before anything else,” Dr. Hoek insists. “I think trust is key, and my patients trust me to take good care of them.”
Dr. Hoek has received high praise, especially for her manner with children. “It’s just a simple tell-show-do explanation,” she says. “I talk about what is going to happen with the children, they see the tools that will be used and they get to feel the tools on their fingers – the tickle toothbrush for cleanings, Mr. Thirsty for rinsing their mouths and Mr. Bumpy for fillings.”
Every February, Dr. Hoek speaks to first grade classrooms in the neighboring elementary schools. She gives presentations about good oral health, and gives each child a toothbrush. She also goes to Sullivan House, a retirement community on General Booth Blvd. and provides dental care to the residents as well as giving them suggestions for good oral health.
“The patients’ needs and wants
come before anything else.
I think trust is key,
and my patients trust me
to take good care of them.”
– Dr. Meredith Hoek
Dr. Kristin Maddux joined the practice recently. The daughter of a Navy officer, she spent most of her childhood in northern Virginia. Her early love of art and science made her choose dentistry as her profession from a young age. Dr. Maddux graduated from Virginia Tech, and looks forward to returning for fall football games and to see the foliage change colors.
Hoek Esthetic Family Dentistry provides dental check-ups and cleanings, fillings, tooth replacement, cosmetic dentistry such as veneers, and teeth whitening. A new digital scanner is on site to make impressions for crowns. A state-of-the-art laser for treating periodontal disease and performing soft tissue re-contouring for gums is available, and ClearCorrect invisible aligners are also part of the repertoire.
From left: Cassie, Sam, Heather, Dr. Hoek, Dr. Maddux, Jackie, and Stacey <br>Photo by Leah Ariel Photography
From left: Cassie, Sam, Heather, Dr. Hoek, Dr. Maddux, Jackie, and Stacey
Photo by Leah Ariel Photography
Flexible hours are offered to accommodate busy families – Monday through Friday, with evening appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dr. Hoek participates with the vast majority of insurances, and emergency visits can be arranged.
After her first few years of private practice in Red Mill, Dr. Hoek wanted to give back to her patients by offering a free Smile Makeover contest, and nominations poured in. One man nominated his adult son, who had moved to Virginia Beach from Gillette, Wyoming, and was the caregiver for both his ailing parents. Chewing had become very difficult, and he never smiled anymore. He had also suffered from a stroke, but kept caring for his mother and father. Thomas Green was selected.
“Tom was just in a place where he really could use a hand,” Dr. Hoek says with compassion.
“Dr. Hoek is a wonderful, amazing person!” Tom declares. “We started about a year ago, and I’ve been wearing temporary dentures, but now I’m going for my final fitting. I can’t wait to be done! It’s been a long journey, but it was worth it.”
There were no salvageable teeth. “The oral surgeon, Dr. Frank Yeh, put me completely out and pulled 27 teeth over four hours. It actually wasn’t that bad – the pain was minimal,” Tom describes. Then implants were placed and time for healing was allowed.
“Dr. Hoek is a wonderful, amazing person!
We started about a year ago…
now I’m going for my final fitting.
I can’t wait to be done! It’s been a long journey,
but it was worth it.”
—Thomas Green, smile makeover patient
The makeover has had an enormous impact on Tom’s life. He’d been a professional line cook for years and now he’s thinking about taking it up again. “I’ve noticed so many restaurants in Virginia Beach; I’m really considering jumping back into my career,” he smiles.
Dr. Hoek’s husband, Michael, is also a dentist. They met while tailgating at a University of Florida football game. She was visiting family there in Florida, and Michael was there for dental school. They’ve been married about 2 ½ years. The couple has a 14 month old son, Zachary, and a golden retriever named Myers. Dr. Hoek enjoys spending time with her family and likes to read a wide range of fiction when she has time.
If she hadn’t gone into the health field, Dr. Hoek might have been an architect – her great-uncle worked with Frank Lloyd Wright. “He always had Wright’s drawings on the walls at his house. I thought that was the coolest thing ever!” Dr. Hoek exclaims.
Hoek Esthetic Family Dentistry
1169 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456