Get to Know the Doctors of MT Dental

We are so excited to introduce our newest dentists to Volume 8, Dr. Tromblay, Dr. Slate, Dr. Kling and Dr. Halpern of MT Dental Partners! With locations in both DC and Alexandria, we can’t wait to share more about their unique, concierge-style team that delivers industry leading care, without sacrificing your comfort.

Dr. Tromblay – I am from Wilbraham, MA and currently live in Alexandria, VA with my wife Rebecca, our two kids, 2 (Olivia-15 y/o, Alice- 11 y/0) and french bulldog “Bleu.”

How/why did you start your business? – To help people with their dental issues and work with my hands.

Tell us a little bit about your life/work balance. I take Fridays off to be with my wife and kids (in the summer) and also take time to run, workout, and race cars.

What is a typical day like for you? First patient is at 7:30 AM till 12:30 PM, lunch/review and afternoon patients are from 1:30-3:30 PM; making crowns, fixing structural issues with teeth

What motivates you to work hard? – It’s innate

What is your proudest accomplishment? -MBA (recently)

What did you want to do when you were little? – Pro basketball player

First job? – Pool boy

What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path? – It has allowed me the opportunity to meet so many people.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received. – “Do the harder right over the easier wrong.”

If you could choose to do anything for the day, what would it be? – Race my car with my friend on the track.

Favorite/most rewarding part of your business? – Providing people with a new smile and lease on life.

Who knows you best? – My wife, Becky

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? – More practices and associate/partner dentists “Expand the brand.”

What can we find you doing in your free time? How do you enjoy downtime? – Running, weight training, racing cars

List of favorites:

Music – Alternative

Meal cook or order in? – Cook

Drink – Whistle pig “Boss Hog”

Book – Ryan Holiday Books

Movie – Die Hard

Tv series – “Formula 1” on Netflix

Vacation spot – Maine, Hawaii, Caribbean

Item of clothing – Cool shoes

Life hero – Larry Bird

Season -Fall

Holiday – Thanksgiving

Sports team – Boston Bruins

Hobby – Racing cars

Pet cat or dog person? – Dog

Morning person or night owl? – Morning person

Dr. Slate – I was born in Massachusetts on Cape Cod, but spent most of my life in South Florida. I currently live in Bethesda with my wife Meagan, daughter Emory, and cat Ruca.

How/why did you start your business? When I became interested in dentistry in 2010, I reached out to my cousin Dr. Tromblay to see if I could shadow him to see what dentistry is like in the real world. I started shadowing here in 2012, started working here in 2016, and am still here today!

Tell us a little bit about your work/life balance. I spend most weekdays focused on dentistry and my patient’s wellbeing. On my off time, I am either attending study club meetings, spending time with my family, or meeting new friends in our community. I also have a seemingly infinite number of hobbies, so I tend to keep myself very busy!

What is a typical day like for you? Start my day with coffee, morning huddles, and begin my day treating patients. When the day is over, I usually spend some time with my wife and daughter before making dinner. We typically will watch an episode of one of our favorite shows and get ready for the next day.

What motivates you to work hard? I love seeing a plan come into action. We all have grand visions, but being able to create, implement, and execute a plan successfully is very rewarding. I try very hard to listen to my patients so the plan that we create will address all of their goals, as well as mine for long lasting treatment.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Becoming a father. I get to be a kid all over again, and teach my daughter everything that I have learned along the way.

What did you want to do when you were little? Probably be an astronaut or professional athlete. Don’t we all?

First job? I worked for a valet company that operated several restaurants throughout West Palm Beach.

What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path? I never knew what a great fit dentistry would be. When I was a kid, I loved figuring out how things worked. Dentistry constantly reminds me that you need to fundamentally understand the purpose of all the materials and instruments that we use. The more that you understand the fundamentals in dentistry, the better your treatment outcomes become. It is always a challenge to stick to the fundamentals as you are pushed and from all different directions within this profession, but we have a funny quote that we use quite a bit in the office here, “Dentistry is hard enough as it is, let’s not complicate it any more than it needs to be.”

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received? “Do the harder right, over the easier wrong.” In other words, do it right the first time, and you’ll be rewarded in the long run. Oftentimes I see people trying to cut corners, only to find out that the shortcut really was a dead end.

If you could choose to do anything for the day, what would it be? I would love to be on vacation somewhere on a beach, cooking on the grill for my closest friends and family, while celebrating the life we live. A nice breakfast, some water sports, beach volleyball, BBQ food, and live music at the end of the day sounds like a dream.

Favorite/most rewarding part about your business? I love when a patient can truly trust us. Dentistry is plagued with distrust, and I do everything that I can to gain the trust of my patients. When a patient believes me when I say that we will deliver exceptional care that lasts, that means so much to me.

Who knows you best? My wife, of course. We’ve been together since our senior year of high school. We’ve been together through thick and thin, and she knows me better than I know myself.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I see myself in the same location, but with a slightly larger family, and with 10 more years of fun/rewarding experiences. I have already enjoyed my personal and professional development so much over these past 7 years in practice, I’m excited to see what journey lies ahead.

What can we find you doing in your free time? How do you enjoy downtime? On vacation with family or friends, exploring all the DC has to offer, hiking, fishing, hunting, swimming, surfing, camping, and cooking. Most of all, I love cooking and enjoying a relaxing evening with my daughter and wife at home.

List of favorites

Music – Rock, Reggae, Country and House music. It really depends!

Mealcook or order in? – Cook! I love my big green egg grill.

Drink – Nothing beats my morning french pressed coffee

Book – Can’t hurt me by David Goggins

Movie – Interstellar

Tv series – The Office

Vacation spot – Sayulita, Mexico

Item of clothing – Sandals

Season – Fall

Holiday – Christmas

Sports team – New England Patriots

Hobby – Surfing

Pet – cat or dog person? Both! I wish our family was home enough to care for a dog though.

Morning person or night owl? Night owl

Dr. Kling I was born in Cleveland, OH and currently live in Alexandria, VA. I am married with 3 children and Daisy, our Portuguese water dog – great niece of our previous porty (Shadow)

How/why did you start your business?

Started in 1986

Graduated dental school in 1984 and then did a General Practice Residency in Buffalo, NY (Buffalo General Hospital)

What motivates you to work hard? To be the very best that I can possibly be and to help my patients to the best of my abilities

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Personally: Marrying my wife and raising 3 wonderful children

Professionally: Accreditation in the American academy of Cosmetic Dentistry & Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry

What did you want to do when you were little? Sportswriter

First job? Construction job in the Summer while I was in school

What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path? The vast number of mentors and colleagues who have helped me strive to reach my potential

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Do your very best and rejoice in that

List of Favorites

Music – James Taylor

Meal – Anything that our professional chef (graduate of the Culinary Institute of America) prepares for us

Book – To Kill a Mockingbird

Movie – Godfather

TV Series – Band of Brothers

Vacation Spot – Northern Ontario

Season – Fall

Holiday – Thanksgiving

Sports Team – Wake Forest

Hobby – Golf & Reading

Pet – cat or dog person? Dog

Morning person or night owl? Morning

Dr. Halpern – I am from Marietta, GA and currently live in Old Town Alexandria with my husband, Andy, who I married in 2019 after 9 years together. We have a black cat named Mookie, who likes to sit in our window in Old Town and watch all of the passersby and say hello. We have no kids but became aunt and uncle a year ago to Henry, my sister and brother-in-law live in Old Town too and convinced us to move to the DC area many years ago.

How/why dentistry? At my core, I am a problem solver. When they ask you “what keeps you up at night” it is solving problems, both the big kind and the minuscule, that make me tick. I’ve always enjoyed solving puzzles and finding answers; dentistry is that on a grander scale. I love what I do because it constantly challenges me to both think and feel. To best serve my patients, I feel that it’s imperative for me to get to know them first and understand their experiences and goals. Partnering the relationships we build along with critical thinking, science, and art, I work with my patients to find the best solutions to meet their goals and guide them in their oral health journey.

My dad is a periodontist and I’m certainly very much like him, but I didn’t gravitate towards dentistry initially. In fact, growing up, I looked at just about every other occupation in healthcare outside of dentistry– I just thought I was supposed to do something different. However, I knew I wanted to hone a skill that I could use to help people. When I was in college, I actually studied anthropology and archaeology. While on an archaeological excavation off of the coast of Spain, something clicked. We were uncovering 3rd century BC Roman artifacts and at one point, I was in charge of a burial area. I started to notice that the teeth of these people from centuries ago told us so much about the lives and lifestyles of these individuals– and I also realized how much information I had actually retained while working in my dad’s office growing up. Although I decided on dentistry pretty late into my college career, I knew it was the profession I wanted to pursue for my career. And chiefly, I knew it was something that would challenge my inquisitive nature for decades to come.

Tell us a little bit about your work/life balance.

I really do love what I do, and that often makes my job not feel like work. Because of this, I’m not always the best at separating dentistry from the rest of my life, but I do have other hobbies that entertain me. A lot of that centers on time with friends and family. My husband really helps to keep me balanced in terms of enjoying things outside of the operatory, and having my sister, brother-in-law and nephew nearby always gives me something to do. I love exploring a new restaurant or area and really taking things in. There is never a dull moment it seems, and that’s how I like it to be to feel energized and like I’m making the most out of each day.

What is a typical day like for you? In terms of a work day, I wake up around 6:15am, feed Mookie, and try not to wake up my husband on the way out to work. Most days, I’m lucky enough to walk or bike to work, and that gives me an opportunity to acclimate to the day and feel ready to take on the challenges ahead. I’ll take a break for lunch and sometimes run home to feed the cat or take a breather. This usually means a midday walk too which is great, or I’ll run to lunch with a colleague to debrief on cases. I finish off the afternoon with patients, then complete my chart notes and any remaining correspondences on my list. I’ll head home and, depending on what’s on the agenda, I sometimes have a quiet night with a homemade meal, head to hang out with my nephew, or get ready for continuing education with other dentists in the area. I usually finish the night by watching a show with my husband and call it a day by around 10pm. Rinse and repeat!

What motivates you to work hard? There are two areas where I derive my motivation for success. The first relates to the patients I directly serve. Seeing a patient’s eyes light up out of appreciation for successful treatment is everything– it is why we do what we do in this profession. Knowing that I have helped someone to the best of my abilities and that he/she can see I have taken care of them in any way possible gives me the happiest feeling. The second area relates to those outside of my direct patient care. I have been incredibly blessed and I know so much of this has to do with the upbringing I have had, the opportunities I have been afforded, and the people that I have been surrounded and supported by. I feel that to work hard and do my best with what I have been given is to honor those that have helped me along the way.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

As a dentist: I’m proudest of my Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry. In order to achieve this goal, I had to complete over 500 hours in various areas of dentistry and take a rigorous written exam. This was a career goal I set while in the later parts of dental school, but I never did I think I would achieve this so early in my career. More than an accolade, I’m proud of this accomplishment because it’s a reflection of who I want to be as a dentist: diligent, dedicated, inquisitive, and always doing what is best for my patients with the given circumstances and challenges.

As a person: This is kind of a weird answer, but I’m proudest of my happiness. It seems like it’s so hard to find in the world these days. I am incredibly lucky to be living in a place that makes me happy, with a husband that makes me happy, nearby to my sister, doing a job that brings me joy and where I feel that I can often bring joy to others. Sure, there are always things I can do better and others I’d love to be near, but I really feel that happiness is a rare thing to have these days and I’m thankful to have this season with it.

First job? My first job was probably babysitting followed by working every so often in my dad’s dental practice. My first job as an adult occurred while I was living in the area for grad school at Georgetown and prior to dental school. I worked for the American Dental Association’s DC office, where they focus on advocacy for our patients and the profession. This was integral to my career because it showed me how important aspects outside of the office can affect our direct care in the operatory. From this experience, I continue to want to be involved in advocating for our patient’s and organized dentistry in general.

What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path? Growing up, I was obviously surrounded by dentistry because of my dad, but what I didn’t realize is how vast the landscape is in terms of differences between offices and different dentists. I thought all dentists were similar, including personalities, gregariousness, and chair-side manner. I’ve learned there’s not just one way to do something, and it’s been interesting to learn how different types of dentists thrive in different procedures, dialogues, etc.

If you could choose to do anything for the day, what would it be? My ideal day would be a warm one that would start off with a long run somewhere along the waterfront. I’d finish by walking around the Old Town farmers market and pick up some necessary items for later in the day. I’d indulge in a well-earned lunch and get the house ready for some friends to come over. We’d probably watch some college football and have some food, beverages, and merriment galore. We’d finish the day with chats outside by a fire and a bit of dessert of course– I’m thinking smores!

Who knows you best? I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by people that really encourage me to be myself. Thus, I feel that anyone that knows me, knows the true Abby. Of course, those that I spend the most time with get the most potent doses of that, namely my sister, husband, brother-in-law, and parents. My friends know me deeply, but because of all of the educational stages in my life, I have different “buckets” of friends that know a little bit more of one side of Abby than another.

What can we find you doing in your free time? How do you enjoy downtime? I love trying new foods and experiencing places through both travel and food. In my downtime, I always look forward to endlessly long walks with friends, giving us an opportunity to explore, catch up, and get our bodies moving. I love hanging out with friends and family, and this oftentimes revolves around sporting events, both in-person and on tv.

List of favorites –

Music –Taylor Swift and Coldplay (and lesser known talents like Skout and Oh Wonder)

Meal – cook or order in? Both. Love to chef it up when I have the energy and I enjoy the act of “creating” something for others to enjoy. But there’s nothing quite like a meal that is both delicious and something that you don’t have to clean up afterwards.

Book – The Nightingale

Movie – Inception is still one of my favorites. It’s trippy, makes you think, some really solid acting, and the music is really lovely as well. My other would be Crazy Stupid Love–it’s quirky, genuine, and gives you lots of positive feelings by the end of things.

Vacation spot – Figure 8 in Wilmington, NC. It’s one of my “happy places”. Love being there because it instantly relaxes me and it also brings back a lot of great memories.

Item of clothing – socks and tennis shoes– I’m always cold…and always on the go.

Life hero – My dad- I always looked up to him as a kid, and now in adulthood, I have an even deeper respect for him and all that he means to those around him both as a human being and as a dentist. It’s pretty cool to share a chosen career with someone you revere so much.

Season – Spring or Summer

Holiday – Thanksgiving– a reason to be with family and indulge a bit– what’s not to love!

Sports team – UNC (Go Heels!)

Hobby – building things. I honestly love building furniture. While some people get the shivers thinking about putting together a piece from Ikea, I feel like it’s playing with adult Legos.

Petcat or dog person? Both but currently have a cat named Mookie. He’s very entertaining and sometimes acts more like a dog than a cat.

Morning person or night owl? Used to be a full-fledged night owl, but now I’m a morning person– especially if it’s the Spring/Summer and the sun is already out in the early morning hours.