Meet Dr. Brynn Cooper
Orthodontics has been a part of Dr. Brynn Cooper´s life even before she had all her permanent teeth. Her grandfather was an orthodontist, and as a child, she spent many afternoons at his office learning about the profession and fascinated with the different tools and techniques. At just 5 years old, she had learned how to make retainers! Not only did she get first-hand experience at her grandfather’s office, she was also his patient.
“I had an expander when I was 7 years old and then I had my front braces, I got those off and then I had a break with the retainer”, she laughs as she recalls how she lost that retainer. “I was supposed to wear it all the time, but I lost it twice. My mom had to pay my grandfather for it”.
By the time Dr. Cooper arrived at college, she had already set her eyes on an entrepreneurial career. But after spending a few semesters pursuing her business degree, she realized she missed the science and problem-solving opportunities that dentistry afforded. Eventually, she came to the realization that orthodontics, the family business, allowed her to combine the best of her abilities: being an entrepreneur, and helping people by applying her love for science and problem-solving. “I don´t know of any other profession where you can immerse yourself in the clinical and business aspects of your work as you can with orthodontics”, she said.
“I was born in Tyler and grew up in Dallas. I graduated from Baylor and completed my dental degree at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. I went to Saint Louis University for Orthodontic School”, she recalls. Once in the mid-west, she had not made plans to come back to Texas but her husband´s job eventually brought them to Houston, where she opened her private practice close to downtown.
Running her business and serving patients is among one of her greatest satisfactions but has also presented her with challenges. “When I came to Texas and started practicing, even though I was a native Texan, I didn’t have a lot of orthodontic connections in the state”, she said. She immediately sought to join different professional organizations, such as the Texas Association of Orthodontists, and the Southwestern Society of Orthodontics that allowed her to build relationships and further her professional expertise.
She advises aspiring orthodontists to prepare for a lifetime of learning: “I thought that having some knowledge in business would give me more of a protective shell, and it really doesn’t; you have to know what you’re talking about on the business side in order to make it work,” said Dr. Cooper. “I read a lot of books on leadership, development, and management. I strive to learn more so I can be a trusted resource for future orthodontists.”
She understands that there are no failures, just problem-solving opportunities which lead to self-improvement. One of the most important elements for running an effective practice is to be careful when interviewing and selecting a team. “I learned how to build an excellent team by making mistakes, by hiring, firing, having people quit… and realize that when people quit, they are firing you as a boss”. Dr. Cooper has taken the best of those experiences and relishes the opportunity to train her staff to their full potentials. “That’s one of the most fun parts of being a business owner”.
Dr. Cooper continues to revisit and make new plans for the growth of her practice. In ten years, she hopes to expand her clinic and mentor other orthodontists. “I look forward to giving people a spring-board for their careers”.
Some things you may not know about Dr. Cooper:
I have two golden retrievers, a daughter, and a husband. I like going to yoga and running. I try to exercise in some aspect every day and then I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and working on my business. I was a devoted cross-country runner in high school, went to national races and was really into that. I also like fashion. I read Vogue every month from cover to cover.