By Rolando Garcia
Natural Sciences and Mathematics Communications
The University of Houston alums who have entered dentistry are doing more than filling cavities or removing wisdom teeth – they are leaving their mark and excelling in their profession.
By heading a 1,600 member dentist association, running a thriving practice and helping the next generation of dentists – Greg Oelfke is among the College of Natural Science and Mathematics alums making a difference for their patients and for Houston dentistry.
Oelfke bleeds Cougar red and credit the excellent undergraduate education they received at UH with putting him on the path to success.
Oelfke, who opened his Houston practice 32 years ago, is now seeing second generation of his loyal clientele – the children of the children he treated as a young dentist.
“We have a small, personalized practice and we really establish relationships with our patients,” Oelfke.
He recently served as the president of the Greater Houston Dental Society, which boasts 1,600 Houston-area dentists, and is a member of the American College of Dentists, an invitation-only group that honors the country’s most accomplished dentists.
Although he left UH in 1973 short of graduation to enroll at the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, Oelfke’s loyalties remain with UH. As a student he enjoyed campus life as a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity and for more than three decades he and his wife Claudia – also a UH alum – have been season ticket-holders for Cougar football.
The couple has perfected their pre-game tailgating ritual – finding the perfect spot, firing up the gas grill and having a good time with old Sigma Pi friends.
Oelfke also helps aspiring Cougar dentists through UH’s pre-dental society.
“We have a responsibility as dentists to protect and promote the profession, so we’re active with developing relationships with and helping those students,” Oelfke said.