Born and raised in Sarnia, Dr. Gabriel Ponce was encouraged by his parents to follow in their footsteps and study to become an engineer. “Engineering didn’t line up with what I enjoyed. I’ve always been artistic and loved design so I thought about plastic surgery, but after shadowing a few local dentists, I fell in love with dentistry,” explains Ponce. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, Ponce attended the University of Detroit Mercy and completed his Doctorate in Dental Surgery. “After I graduated in 2015, I returned home to establish my practice because everyone I care about is here and it’s home.”

Ponce worked in local dental clinics for three years before establishing his own practice, Clearwater Family Dental, at 1000 Finch Drive. “A dental office is not a relaxing place, so we try to create a gentle environment for our patients. There is no weird dental smell here, and we provide noise-cancelling headphones, eye masks, and ceiling-mounted televisions to make our patients as comfortable as possible.” Clearwater Family Dental also offers different levels of sedation for stress-free dentistry. “We have a lot of high anxiety and special needs patients who prefer to sleep through their procedures, and sedation is covered by many insurance plans.”

Clearwater Family Dental provides a wide range of dental services, including family, laser, and sleep dentistry, straightening, veneers, and dental implants. “I am a family dentist who is passionate about cosmetic dentistry. I’m also an advocate for increased access to affordable dental care because oral healthcare is important and dental treatments should be accessible to everyone.” Ponce invested in technology that makes many services like crowns, bridges, and veneers same-day procedures. “More complicated dentistry work often requires multiple visits, but we use a 3D printer and scanner, as well as laser equipment, in our clinic to make a lot of treatments same day.”

Ponce believes that a healthy smile is not just for aesthetics, but for overall well-being. “There’s a special place in my heart for cosmetic dentistry. I work with digital technology, dental ceramists, and new dental techniques and materials to build beautiful, healthy smiles.” Ponce has seen many patients’ confidence and self-esteem improve as a result of cosmetic dentistry. “Patients come to us for a variety of reasons, including misaligned teeth, previous dental work that has failed or simply wanting a more youthful smile. It’s exciting to see a patient smile with confidence again.”

The biggest challenge for Ponce has been getting his name out there. “There are a lot of great dentists in Sarnia, and I’ve only had my clinic for two years, so people don’t know who I am yet.” Ponce encourages people to find a dentist who is a fit for them. “I’m passionate about what I do. I invest in ongoing training so I can provide my clients with the very best care. To give my clients the results they want, excellent care, and a beautiful smile is why I do what I do.”