Meet Dr. M. Kathlyn Nelson

M. Kathlyn Nelson, DMD

As a dentist, I have the true pleasure of seeing my patients grow. I’ve been seeing some of my patients since they were toddlers, and now they’re off to college with perfect dental health. I’ve also seen adult patients grow. A patient who has not seen a dentist in ten or more years becomes comfortable with us, gradually completes treatment, and continues with regular maintenance to his or her own beautiful healthy mouth.

I feel it is a true privilege to meet so many different people and be a small part of their lives. We have patients from all over the world and it has been an honor to meet each one of them. I find that getting to know people, no matter where they are from or what their culture, they have the same basic needs. They just want someone to listen, to understand, and perhaps to help in a small way. 

My team is a large part of what makes our office so special. I love and respect each one of them, not just for their knowledge and skills, but because each member of my team is a really good person, in and out of the office. Each one would make the extra effort to really make a difference for our patients and for their communities.

Education and Continuing Education

I graduated from Middletown High School after moving here from California in the middle of eighth grade. I then attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts where I graduated cum laude with my Bachelor of Science degree Psychology. While employed by Emerson College in Boston, I took the science and math courses needed for dental school at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. I obtained my Doctorate of Dental Medicine from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1987. I’ve been working in the same office right here in Middletown ever since.

My goal in choosing continuing education courses is to improve my skills and knowledge so that our patients receive the best and most up-to-date care possible. Although most patients do not realize it, the materials and technologies in dentistry are constantly evolving. I feel that it is my responsibility to keep pace with the newest materials, techniques, and technologies, so that my team and I can deliver truly Milestone Dental Care.

In addition, as an office, we have taken many courses on patient communication. I consider this training very important as we believe in collaborating with each patient to develop his or her own optimal level of oral health. Without true communication and understanding of each patient’s wants and needs, this would not be possible. 

Professional Affiliations

  • American Dental Association
  • Rhode Island Dental Association
  • Newport County Dental Association

Outside the Office

My father was in the Navy, so I grew up in several different areas of the country. I was born in Orlando, Florida while my father was out to sea. Our family maintained our southern roots even though we moved around the country, finally settling in Middletown in 1969. My childhood home was a perfect example of southern hospitality, and I like to think that I have retained that air of hospitality in my office’s environment.

I have been married to my husband, Paul, for 30 years. Our first son, Brett, was born between my third and fourth year of dental school. I never would have made it through dental school without Paul’s help that last year. Our second son, Conor, was born two years after I started working as a dentist.

Brett has been in the Marine Corps for the last eight years, with two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. He is currently stationed in Quantico, Virginia as a Physical Training Instructor for the Marine Officer Candidates there. Conor just graduated from Norwich University in Vermont with his major in Political Science. He is contemplating graduate school and will be attending OCS for the Marine Corps in the fall of 2013.

If I am not in my office, I can probably be found in my garden if the weather is good. Paul and I grow vegetables and I grow flowers. I have several flower beds around my house and have expanded to the office. I have planted along the walk to the entrance as well as the bed along the back of the parking lot. They do not look like much in the fall and winter, but I can’t wait for spring!

If the weather is not suitable for gardening, I take the opportunity to redecorate the house or sometimes the office. I like to paint, paper, and refinish. I love to work with different colors and create new environments. My head is full of ideas that I have not yet had the time to create.

In the Community

This past summer I donated my skills to the first Rhode Island Mission of Mercy, a two-day free dental clinic for the state. The event was sponsored by the Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation which is already planning for the next event, at which I will be donating my time this coming summer. 

Our office frequently makes donations for local causes, including Child and Family Services, the Potter League (our local animal rescue shelter), and the Middletown Youth Soccer Club. We even have our own team!