Nathalie Courington’s Journey From Venezuela to Gardendale

You were born in Venezuela. Tell us about your journey to America?

My journey started in Venezuela where I was born.  I attended University Santa Maria where I earned my Doctorate in Dental Surgery in 2013.  In 2015 I was accepted into the UAB School of Dentistry through the international program and in 2018 I earned my Doctorate in dental medicine.

You recently announced starting your own practice. How exciting was that decision for you and what types of services will you be offering patients in your new practice?

After around 5 years of working as an associate in both private and corporate practice, God laid it on my heart to open my own private practice.  It has been a very exciting process.  It has been amazing seeing His hand in everything.  Getting to put your ideas, plans, and personal touch in every aspect has been very rewarding.  As far as what type of services we will offer, we will offer general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, as well as treatment for dental emergencies.  Our goal is to be able to treat everyone in our office while only referring out the most complicated cases.  Examples of services include fillings, root canals, crowns, extractions, dentures, bridges, etc.  We will also be offering Botox for both TMJ and cosmetic reasons plus lip fillers.

What made you choose to open your practice in Gardendale?

While completing my doctorate at UAB I began attending GFBC (Gardendale First Baptist Church).  I met my husband there and we built our house in Gardendale.  I love the idea of treating patients in the town we both live and worship in. We not only want to serve our patients but the community!

You are bilingual. How has that helped shape your time as a dentist?

Speaking both English and Spanish is a huge advantage in my career.  There is a very large Spanish speaking population in our area.  There are a few other offices that have a Spanish speaking employee but it’s usually someone at the front desk, not the doctor.  Not saying that isn’t a good thing but patients feel more comfortable being able to discuss their dental questions and concerns directly with the doctor.

Your faith is very important to you. How will your faith help shape your practice?  

My faith is extremely important to me.  It was the main deciding point for me opening my own office.  I wanted to use the gifts the Lord gave me to serve my patients.  1 Peter 4:10 says “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”  My vision for Magnolia Dental is to be a “Patient focused, Christ-centered” dental office.  We are not there to preach to you or judge you, we are there to serve you and love you like Christ commanded.  We hope to honor God by how we operate Magnolia Dental, and we have faith that He will bless the practice and the community.

Not only will your practice be in Gardendale, but you are also a resident of Gardendale. Do you feel that living in the community helps show your commitment to the area and patients?

Without a doubt. We love Gardendale and we are proud to live, worship, and now work here.  We are invested in the community, and we have plans to serve Gardendale in many ways outside of the dental world.  Gardendale is growing and has many wonderful small businesses; we are blessed to be one of them.

Do you have any plans to bring in additional dentists and grow your practice over time.   

That’s a good question and I guess we’ll have to see what God has planned.  We do not have any plans to grow into a large operation but way down the road we might like to add a second dentist.  That would allow us to expand our hours to better serve our patients. For now, we are just excited about opening our doors and building this practice into something the city can be proud of.