A love of dentistry ignited when Dr. Brandon Alegre ’97 accompanied his sisters to a dental visit while he was a senior at Pine Crest. Seeing the University of Florida Gators logo on the orthodontist's tie launched a conversation and Brandon’s career. He opened his dental practice in 2007 after completing his residency at the Bay Pines Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Once the global COVID-19 pandemic began, Brandon’s dental practice, like many others around the country, implemented additional safety procedures for his staff and patients.
"A set of screening questions is asked of patients over the phone at the time of scheduling and confirming appointments,” said Brandon. “Those same questions are reinforced upon arrival to the office, as patients are required to sign forms attesting to their answers and their temperatures are taken."
As offices and businesses are beginning to reopen, those who would like to see their dentist should begin by having a telemedicine call, advises Brandon.
“We screen all of our patients over the telephone to handle any issues and concerns in order to minimize unnecessary person-to-person contact," said Brandon. "Just as maintaining routine checkups with a physician, having regular hygiene visits with a dentist can help make sure small issues do not turn into larger or more expensive problems."
Brandon stresses that changing routines will make a difference in protecting against COVID-19.
"If people continue to wash their hands and wear masks, everything should somewhat go back to normal,” said Brandon. “It is important to keep your immune system strong by eating well and living a healthy lifestyle."
Brandon credits Pine Crest for teaching him the fundamentals of good study habits, the importance of quality education, self-motivation, and drive.
“Early in my Upper School tenure, having a teacher like Mr. Jaswinski was a learning experience on a number of levels,” said Brandon. “He was a teacher who demanded a great deal of his students and expected only the best from them. I am grateful for being challenged, and know without a doubt how influential my time at Pine Crest has been on the rest of my life.
As for current Pine Crest students, Brandon offers the following advice:
"Appreciate the incredible education you are receiving. You’re surrounded by extremely intelligent classmates and teachers who set a very high bar. Take hold of opportunities in and out of the classroom. Enjoy and pursue your passions, and be the best you can be."