Dr. Molly Kopf knows the power of a bright smile.
While the crooked teeth she had as a child showed her how cruel other children could be, the orthodontist who eventually helped fix her smile left an impression that would shape her future.
“I was one of those that had goofy-looking teeth to begin with and got made fun of in school,” she said. “And when I got braces and watched that transformation ... I was thrilled with the results. I thought, ‘If I can make somebody feel the way my orthodontist made me feel after my treatment, I would love to do that.’ ”
Now, Kopf has set herself up to do that with the opening of her own practice, Kopf Orthodontics, in Norfolk. Her new practice operates out of the Starwood Dental building at the intersection of 13th Street and Verges Avenue. Starwood Dental is owned by her brother-in-law — a dentist, Dr. Zachary Kopf — but the practices are separate from one another, she said.
“My chairs are in the back side of the building,” she said. “We have no crossover between staff.”
Originally from Lexington, Kopf came to Northeast Nebraska to complete her undergraduate studies at Wayne State College. That’s when she realized how much she liked Norfolk and wanted to practice there.
Kopf completed her dentistry schooling at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry in 2017 and then received her certificate in orthodontics and master’s degree in dentistry from the University of Minnesota.
She and her husband, Dr. Blake Kopf, who practices dentistry in Vermillion, South Dakota, live in Yankton and commute to their respective offices daily, but Kopf said they eventually would like to live in Norfolk.
“Ideally, in the future, we want to be in Norfolk full time,” she said.
Kopf said her practice offers braces and Invisalign, as well as other treatment modalities. She added that the field of orthodontics is about more than aesthetics.
“There are functional reasons, too, that orthodontics benefits, particularly how people bite and how they chew,” she said. “We only have one mouth throughout our whole lifetime. We want to keep our teeth pristine and make sure they’re in good condition, and lining them so they bite adequately will help with that throughout a lifetime.”
The practice is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Kopf said she’s excited to have her practice open and looks forward to what the future will bring.
“The best part so far is really getting to know the patients, having patients coming into my chair,” she said. “It’s been enjoyable having those initial first consults and to see how excited they are to potentially get their braces on.”
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