Inform, Educate, Empower
At Plymouth Periodontics, Dr. Wendy Michele Croll Halpern gives patients all the tools needed to take control of their dental health
by Leigh Stuart

Considering her family history, it seems Wendy Michele Croll Halpern, D.M.D., was destined to practice dentistry.

“My dad, Burney Croll, D.D.S., is a prosthodontist and I have two uncles that are general dentists, and you can’t always fight the apple not falling far from the tree,” she says. “My father is well known internationally. I’ve always admired his passion for his vocation, and I’ve definitely inherited his passion.”

Born in Boston but raised in Chappaqua, N.Y., Dr. Halpern studied at the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. She went on to earn her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. Her impressive education also includes three years as a periodontology resident, a certificate in periodontology and fellowship training in dental implants from the University of Pennsylvania. She also earned Diplomate status from the American Board of Periodontology.

Dr. Halpern is an active member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Academy of Periodontology, the American Dental Association, the Pennsylvania Dental Association and the Delaware Valley Academy of Osseointegration. She is also currently serving her third year as chair of the research submission committee of the Academy of Osseointegration.

She also participates in the International Women’s Leadership Association and the National Association of Professional Women, the latter of which selected her as “Woman of the Year” for 2010-2011, as well as a supporter of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation.

The office for Dr. Halpern’s practice, Plymouth Periodontics, is as unique as she is. Founded in November 2007, the practice was designed with great care to ensure patients have a pleasant, relaxed environment to enjoy while receiving treatment for a range of issues, some of which are very serious. Dr. Halpern worked with a feng shui consultant and an interior designer to create a space that felt welcoming and nonthreatening.

“The flow of the office is very soothing and warm. I also have a lot of artwork that reflects me, and the photography in the office is mine,” she says, adding that photography is just one of her many artistic interests. “There is absolutely something to be said about being surrounded by beautiful things.”

Nestled in these pleasant surroundings is a host of state-of-the-art equipment. Features such as filtered water running through patients’ chairs and a paperless, digital environment set Dr. Halpern’s office apart.

Dr. Halpern offers a full scale of periodontal services to address gum recession and root coverage, cosmetic gum reduction and reshaping, dental implants and even bone grafting. For such procedures she also uses cutting-edge materials such as Emdogain, a biological product that comprises active proteins found in nascent tooth development. This unique chemical compound, which stops being present once a person’s dental development is complete, can be used successfully to help with tissue regeneration, patient comfort and healing time.

“It’s my job to educate and inform patients,” she says, “and empower them to take their dental health seriously.”

Even with a thriving practice and commitments to various professional organizations, Dr. Halpern owns another business, OIA Design ( OIA is an acronym for “organic, intuition, applied,” all of which are applied to the custom jewelry she designs.

Honesty and Integrity
Dr. Halpern’s staff, which includes master coordinator Gwendolyn Argue-Mooney, head surgical assistant Briana Turlington, head administrator Kelly Jones, and director of the office’s hygiene program Vanessa Plunkett, has been instrumental in her office’s prosperity.

“I’ve been very blessed that they have come to me through the channels of the universe,” Dr. Halpern says. “This is a team of people that are tangibly responsible for making me successful. They’re all outstanding in their own ways; it’s just a very refreshing situation.”

Argue-Mooney has “absolutely loved” working for Dr. Halpern. She says she feels the doctor and the staff abide by standards of transparency and ethics that are nothing less than admirable.

“Her integrity with the work that she does and with the treatments and with the patients is great,” Argue-Mooney says. “It all comes down to her being honest and her integrity as a person. … I can tell you from top to bottom, she ‘gets’ it.”

She also notes the aesthetic qualities of the office as contributing to the practice’s overall positive environment. “The office is very beautiful,” she says. “It’s a very relaxed, calming atmosphere. It’s beautiful for the patients and staff to come into and everything is new.”

Patients, too, give the practice rave reviews. When Kathy Phifer’s previous dentist announced upcoming retirement plans, she decided to receive treatment from Dr. Halpern, who came highly recommended. Today, more than three years later, she remains a more than satisfied patient of Dr. Halpern’s.

“It’s been a sweet, sweet experience ever since,” Phifer says. “I have referred her to others because it has just been an excellent experience. … The service, the patient care and the follow-up were outstanding.

“The other thing that is very important is she is on time,” she continues. “You don’t sit in that waiting room for hours and hours. If you get there for a 2 o’clock appointment, she sees you at 2 o’clock. And the staff is very professional and caring.”

Dr. Halpern’s caring side is highlighted even more at home. She lives with her husband, Andrew Halpern, M.D., who is a diagnostic radiologist, and her two children, 13-year-old Benjamin Isaac and 10-year-old Jill Rose, as well as two dogs, a 3-year-old English shepherd and a 1-year-old Havanese. In spite of her full roster of activities, which also includes interests in cars, yoga and Russian martial arts, Dr. Halpern always finds time to spend with her children.

“I’m very invested in their lives,” she says. “I couldn’t have done all this without them and my husband, Andrew. The people I’ve surrounded myself with, in my home and business, have just been a great village.”

Plymouth Periodontics
120 W. Germantown Pike, Suite 225
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Office:  610-825-4334

Photography by Rob Hall