Meet the Doctor: Vanessa Morenzi, DMD
Vanessa A. Morenzi, DMD, an orthodontist, was recently named Chair of the The Maxwell S. Fogel Department of Dental Medicine at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. She sees patients in the Division of Orthodontics offices on Old York Road in Philadelphia.
Dr. Morenzi is also maintaining her position as the Program Director of the Orthodontic Residency program. She is board certified by the American Board of Orthodontists and is a board examiner for this accrediting organization. Dr. Morenzi is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists.
On a national level, Dr. Morenzi has recently been appointed as a Site Examiner by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.
We recently spoke with Dr. Morenzi about her career, her interests, and new updates and developments in Orthodontics and in the Department of Dental Medicine at Einstein.
Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
A: I wanted to help people and to work with my hands while doing so.
Q: Tell us about your education background.
A: I was fortunate that my parents highly valued education. My mother was the first member of her family to finish high school. My father was the first in his family to go to college. He was able to do this through the GI Bill. They encouraged me to attend a private college of my choosing.
I chose Bucknell University as a chemistry major and then attended the University of Pennsylvania for dental school and my general practice residency. After several years of private practice as a general dentist, I was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania for my orthodontic residency.
Q: Why did you choose your specialty?
A: In orthodontics, I am privileged to treat the aesthetic and functional needs of children, adolescents and adults.
Q: What are your clinical interests?
A: My interests as Program Director include enhancing the educational experiences of the orthodontic residents. This leads to exceptional experiences and outcomes for our patients. In my new administrative role, these interests will continue across the entirety of the Dental Department.
Q: What drew you to Einstein?
A: I was drawn to the mission of the Dental Department for excellence in resident education, superlative patient care and meeting our mission to treat the members of our surrounding communities.
Q: Why should people choose Einstein for their dental care?
A: People should choose Einstein for their dental needs because of the excellent care that they will receive. Employees and staff also can enjoy the convenience of receiving their care in our state-of-the-art dental practice, the easy availability of dental care with our 20 residents and three hygienists, and the lower cost for this excellent care compared to outside dental practices.
Our resident dentists are licensed to practice dentistry anywhere, but they have chosen to spend time specializing or learning more in-depth facets of general dentistry here at Einstein. Our attending faculty have been recognized as experts in their respective fields.
Q: What’s new in dental medicine at Einstein?
A: New updates and initiatives in orthodontics include treatment with clear aligners, which can provide improved aesthetics for those contemplating orthodontic treatment. We also provide digital dental care through intraoral scanners, so there are no more goopy impressions for diagnostics and treatment.
Our early orthodontic treatment, for children 6 to 10 years old, uses a projection of a child’s jaw growth to correct any discrepancies in size and alignment between the upper and lower jaws before the permanent teeth come in. We do orthodontic treatment for some patients during the teen years, but for others early treatment provides better aesthetic and functional outcomes than what would be possible later.
Additionally, our general practice and endodontic residency programs provide a full range of dental services, and we use dental lasers, 3-D imaging and printing to provide the latest technological advances to our patients.
Q: What are your interests outside of work?
A: I enjoy doing whatever my family’s current interests are. These include traveling, reading, socializing with friends and family, and community activities.
Q: Who was an early role model for you?
A: My parents were very important early role models. They emphasized education, a strong work ethic, honesty, integrity, loyalty, helping those less fortunate, empathy and music.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I read four to five books at any given time. I favor biographies, mysteries and historically based reads. However, I can’t resist one or two good “beach books” when on vacation.
Q: What is your favorite sports team?
A: I am a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan and also a vocal supporter of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Q: Is there a person you’d particularly like to meet?
A: Our first female U.S. Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, recently passed away. She was someone that I admired and wished that I could have met. So now former First Lady Michelle Obama has moved up to the top of my list as a smart, strong, loyal, role model who I would be delighted to chat with over a cup of tea.
Q: What is something that most people don’t know about you?
A: I had a solo, private orthodontic practice in my hometown of Haddonfield, NJ, for over 20 years before I entered full-time academics. I still see former patients, former parents and the children of former patients all the time around town. I enjoy catching up with every one of them.
Q: What is an interesting fact about you?
A: I collect pins and brooches.