Our team is comprised of experienced professionals led by Dr. Barton Walters and Dr. Andrew Kaplan. We each share their belief that your total care dental treatment should be comprehensive with outstanding customer service and warmth that sets our office apart from others. From your first email or phone call through to scheduling an appointment — our entire team is here to assist you.
You’re more than just a mouth to us and we hope we’re more than just a technician to you. We invite you to read more about your team:
“Dr. Bart”, as he is affectionately known by many of his patients, is pleased to admit that he gathers no moss.
The founding father of Metropolitan Dental has been on a roll since he graduated from the University of Saskatchewan as a Doctor of Medical Dentistry in 1992: the same year he took over a general practice that has grown into one of Ottawa’s thriving centres for cosmetic and rehabilitative dentistry.
Committed to continuous learning, Dr. Walters devoted three years of part-time study to completing the master program in neuromuscular dentistry at the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies—the only school of its kind in the world. He is an active member of the Ontario Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Academy of Computerized Dentistry of North America, and the Academy of Laser Dentistry.
The son of a dentist, Dr. Walters realized his calling when he was at university, studying to become an optometrist. “Dentistry is very artistic, very precise,” he says. “And you can literally change people’s lives through your work.”
Anyone familiar with his gentle, lighthearted manner also knows that Dr. Walters loves meeting people—which is why his other passions include travelling and lecturing on laser dentistry. “It’s rewarding to help other people find success in their practices,” he says. “I motivate them to reach beyond their comfort zone.”
Ask Dr. Kaplan what he looks forward to about going to work every morning and he’ll tell you two things: the people and the practice.
“Enhancing the oral health and well-being of my patients is certainly rewarding, but watching them leave the office with a more confident smile is personally satisfying”. It was the desire to use his expertise in a setting where he could, “not only interact with people on a daily basis, but also educate them,” that prompted the Toronto native to earn a Doctor of Medical Dentistry Degree at the University of British Colombia after completing a Ph.D. in bone physiology at the University of Western Ontario.
“I have to say that for all of my years of education, implant dentistry is my real passion,” he says with confidence. To further advance his knowledge and skills in this area, he has attended various international residency programs including a comprehensive Masters course in esthetic and implant dentistry in Berne, Switzerland. Dr. Kaplan also continues to stay current as a member of the advanced dental implant study club in Ottawa.
Joining the Practice as a full partner in 2006, he is tightly knit with his gang at Metropolitan Dental. He smiles when he and Dr. Walters are referred to as dental professionals who share the same goals of enhancing the client experience in his practice. “For me, I am fortunate to be surrounded by a team that has my same belief in dentistry: to provide patients with the best care possible. We strive to enhance the patient experience and vie for the ‘wow factor'”. “I truly believe as dentists we compliment and support one another, and that is such a gift,” he says. “It’s so nice to be part of a growing team of people who support us both and want to do right by our many patients.”
A full-time dentist and a more than full-time dad, Dr. Kaplan often shifts his personal pursuits from skiing, golf and tennis on to sleepless nights with diaper changes and supporting his lovely wife with a growing family of boys.
Like her two colleagues on Metropolitan Dental’s front desk, Grace was a dental assistant before becoming a receptionist. Her hands-on clinical experience not only means she can assist, if needed, but also gives her an inside edge when it comes to scheduling patients.
“Knowing what procedures involve and how long they’re going to take helps me arrange everyone’s day so it runs as smoothly as possible,” she says. “It also helps me with billing to know all the procedural codes.”
A front-line veteran, Grace joined the practice in 1995. She made her move from the back room to reception because she enjoys working independently and loves interacting with patients. An avid gardener, reader, and grandmother, her empathy and diplomatic skills suit her role perfectly.
“I’m a good listener, and seeing the same people year after year gives me the opportunity to develop real relationships with them,” she says. “I also know that some people are nervous when they visit the dentist—so I like to keep the atmosphere lighthearted.“
Move over Tony Robbins: when it comes to convincing patients to take care of their teeth and gums, Vanessa is a motivational speaker bar none.
“I enjoy the challenge of trying to influence people’s behaviour when I only see them for one hour every six months,” says the busy hygienist. “I try to explain that a healthy mouth is an integral part of your overall well-being.”
Inspired to pursue her career by a “kind, gentle, and informative” hygienist she met during a co-op work term in high school, Vanessa also welcomed the chance to be her own practitioner—something she had long admired about her mother and grandmother, both of whom were nurses.
Blessed with energy and enthusiasm to burn, Vanessa says she spends her leisure time “perpetually redecorating and redesigning” her home. Little wonder she thrives on the progressive, fast-paced environment at Metropolitan Dental—which has been her home-away-from home since 2000.
“It’s a really fun place to work and the people are wonderful,” she says. “We’re like magnets here: we’re all attracted to each other.”
Lyane doesn’t take it personally when some of her clients almost drift off to sleep while they’re in her chair. The soft-spoken hygienist knows it’s a comment on her soothing voice and gentle touch—and not her conversational ability!
One of the reasons Lyane chose her profession was to help make visits to the dentist a positive experience. “I had a lot of problems with my teeth when I was little, and I know what it’s like to be afraid,” she says. ”That’s why it’s my daily mission to make my clients as relaxed and comfortable as possible.”
The busy mother of two says the best part of her job is the social interaction she enjoys with her patients—whom she considers “friends and family”.
Fluently bilingual and trained to assist with routine restorative procedures, Lyane has been with Metropolitan Dental since 1996. Although the commute from Barrhaven seems long at times, she doesn’t mind: “With all the new technologies we have, I’m challenged every day,” she says. “If I worked anywhere else I’d be bored!”
An apprentice do-it-yourselfer with a strange sense of humour, Jennifer would be the first to admit that her job as a dental assistant is manifesting itself after hours as a growing fondness for power tools.
Jennifer half-jokingly describes her “sole hobby” as renovating and rebuilding her house with the help of her husband Robin, who is a heritage-carpenter by trade. It’s not surprising that she finds her greatest on-the-job satisfaction in the end results of Metropolitan Dental’s cosmetic and orthodontic work.
“It’s really rewarding being there from start to finish,” she says, “and seeing people pain-free and happy.”
An Ottawa native with plaid roots, Jennifer says it was a love of people that spurred her to leave a career in hospitality to become a dental assistant. That was more than 20 years ago, and although she’s worked in a variety of offices since, she says her new home is hard to top.
“It’s a fun atmosphere,” she says, “and with all the efforts we make to keep up with the latest technologies, there’s never a dull moment.”
If you ask Hetty why she’s been a dental assistant at the same office for more than 30 years, she’ll tell you she either loves it or doesn’t know any better. It doesn’t take long to figure out it’s the former.
“I get along super well with the people I work with, and with 11 women in the office, that’s amazing,” she laughs. “The nice thing is that we all have different jobs, but everyone treats each other as equals. We work together as a team.”
A former homecare and childcare worker, Hetty’s way with people and uncanny ability to colour-match porcelain by sight make her an invaluable member of Metropolitan Dental. Her favourite part of the job? “Changing the way people feel about themselves,” she says. “It’s incredible to see someone go from smiling with their hand in front of their face to showing off a big, bright smile.”
An empty nester now that her two kids have left home, Hetty enjoys walking her dogs, snowmobiling, gardening, and hiking on her 20-acre property near Osgoode when she isn’t camping or teaching singing at Sunday school.
The same boundless energy and enthusiasm she puts into her love of travelling, gardening, working out, and (most recently) motorbiking makes Ghiselle an exceptionally caring and motivating hygienist.
The job is a perfect fit for the mother of two grown children, who spent most of her more than 30 years in the dental profession as an assistant before she went back to school to begin her new career.
“I can’t imagine sitting at a computer all day,” she says. “What I love about dentistry is that the work is so varied and it’s constantly changing. You can’t get stale in our office, because we’re always learning and exploring new things.”
Although she misses her family and the balmy weather in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Ghiselle says interacting with her patients and colleagues keeps her from feeling homesick. “I’m a people person—and that’s what’s kept me in this business for so long,” she says. “Working with such a social bunch makes it fun to come to work.”
A thirst for knowledge and a degree in psychology give Sherry the strong analytical and interpersonal skills it takes to help run an office with two dentists, four hygienists, three assistants, and over 5000 patients.
“It’s kind of like solving a puzzle: taking all of these pieces of information and fitting them into a day,” she says. “I love watching the office flow and making sure everything is running the way our clinical folks want it to.”
Although Sherry worked briefly as an assistant, she has wanted to be a dental receptionist ever since she was a kid. “I had braces for four years, so I was at the dentist all the time,” she says. “I thought the women at the front desk were just great, and I knew that was something I wanted to do some day.”
Not surprising for someone who finds her greatest satisfaction in providing good customer service (in particular, solving insurance problems for patients), Sherry constantly upgrades her skills through continuing education courses. In her spare time, she offsets a zest for walking and cycling with a fondness for baking and cake-decorating.
Originally from Quebec City, this bilingual powerhouse hygienist has made Ottawa home since 1984 and Metropolitan Dental her second home since 2012. “I originally filled in on a temporary basis for one of my other team members,” she says, “but I didn’t want to leave and I’m so fortunate to be a full-time member of this really technically progressive and growing office.”
A seasoned professional, Brigitte began as a dental assistant, splitting her time between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon’s office and an orthodontist before becoming a dental hygienist in 1996. “I really love that I’ve had such exposure to so many specialties in dentistry,” she says, “but it’s truly wonderful to build my own practice within the practice and to get an opportunity to build a rapport with our many patients. It was also a great surprise when I began here to see that Lyane had worked here for many years because we graduated from the same hygiene class way back when.”
With a smile, she says “I am happy that the dental hygiene profession has evolved and that we are no longer considered cleaning ladies, but rather an integral member of health care providers. I love the interaction with people, and I endeavour to make every visit at our office a pleasant one.”
Hygienist by day and Mom and wife by night, this busy gal volunteers regularly at her son’s school and trains upwards of four hours per week to participate in the gruelling Spartan race in Ottawa. She’s also been known to enjoy her second home in Florida with her family during the winter months.
“I am a country girl at heart, no question about it,” says Kelly with a chuckle as we talk about her roots in the Ottawa Valley. “I grew up on a farm south of Ottawa, just north of Vernon, but I love that Ottawa still has that small town feeling and I am always seeing patients that have some family roots out my way. I had some pretty big shoes to fill as my predecessor in this office had been here thirty-plus years, so when she retired I was a bit nervous, but I’m truly blessed to have been welcomed so openly by this team and our patients alike.”
This kind soul warms you with her smile and gentle way. “Before entering the dental world in 1990 I was a practical nurse in geriatrics. Shift work and raising children didn’t work so well, so I changed careers. I figured that so long as I was able to take care of people I would be happy – and indeed – I’m happy! I had heard this office was the place to work, so when I heard they were looking for someone with my qualifications I jumped at the chance. Metropolitan has a family and friendly atmosphere, in spite of being such a busy place, and I know we do right by the people we care for and that brings me great pride”.
Certainly the technology in the practice excites Kelly as we speak about the offerings of the office. “I think some dental offices don’t keep ahead of the trends and offer patients the latest. I’m thankful to be working with two great dentists and such a professional team where we can delve into the latest technology and offer a warm environment at the same time.” An avid reader, gardener and cook, this mom of three sons, one cat and a dog has her work cut out for her. “I have always said I am most complete when I am with my boys, but I realize I have to send them along to their lady friends now that they are all grown up. Thankfully I love their choices”, she says proudly. It’s safe to say, Metropolitan Dental is proud to have her, too!
Admitting that Ottawa has been a great place to raise a family, this Toronto native moved to the area following a transfer of her husband’s job many years ago. “I studied sociology and fine arts at York university, and though I have been in the dental field more years than I might want to admit, my education has really been integral to my time in this field,” she says.
Originally a dental assistant, Judy confides that her clinical knowledge really helps her to explain the procedural side of dentistry to patients when they have questions. “As part of the front desk team, we are often asked about many details on how long a procedure will take, how much it may cost, or even to get a second opinion on whether the work is needed. I always smile when that happens, because I know our patients are in such great care and it’s nice to provide reassurance because I know a trip to the dental office isn’t always on the top of our list of happy times! To be part of a team that truly strives to make our patients satisfied is really terrific, and it makes coming to work each day a pleasure,” she says.
When we talk about the challenges of her job, Judy admits “there are always the Grumpy Gus patients that can really spoil a day when we don’t keep things in perspective. We have many long-term patients who are fantastic and know we do our best to accommodate them on all levels — but that one grump can really take its toll. Thankfully as a team we really support one another and I think a smile and sense of humour can get us through the most stressful of situations.” She admits her colleagues will tell you her humour keeps them laughing when the going gets tough.
A busy mom of three ladies, Judy is often off at synchronized swimming competitions and is coveted as an amazing cook amongst the team at Metropolitan. Her colleagues figure that she will either have her own cooking show on TV or will find her way to being Ottawa’s next favourite caterer.
Ask anyone at Metropolitan Dental to describe Steve in a single word and they’ll probably use the same one he does when he talks about the docs at the helm of the practice: Dynamo.
A geographer by trade, Steve puts his extensive experience in human-resource management and information technology to good use as the manager of the growing office. “I’ve travelled a lot, managing a large multinational team,” he says. “It’s a nice change to be part of a small family, where I’m like a brother and a boss at the same time.”
Steve’s first achievement on joining the half-century-old practice in 2001 was to relocate it to newer, more modern quarters. Since then, the visionary manager has transformed it into a model for other offices by integrating the most leading-edge technologies.
“We use our office as a petrie dish to rejuvenate dentistry,” he says. “It’s awesome to see how everyone has embraced these changes—and how proud they are of being at the forefront of their profession.”
Although free time is a rarity for Steve, who also runs his own consulting business, he admits to a penchant for gardening, dogs, and music—and an aversion to cold weather.
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Metropolitan Dental 1366 Clyde Avenue, Suite 1 Ottawa ON K2C 3Z4 Phone: 613-224-7930 Fax: 613-224-8786 E-mail: email@example.com