Meet the Doctor
Dr. Derek Tom
Aloha and thank you for taking the time to read this narrative about me as I feel it’s important that parents should know a little bit about their child's pediatric dentist!
I've wanted to be a dentist ever since I was a sophomore in high school and after achieving this dream, I can truly say that this profession has evolved into one of the greatest blessings of my life. Dentistry has given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful, talented, resilient children over the years and watching them grow up into teenagers (and see their children) has made my job so rewarding.
My goal as a pediatric dentist is to give kids a chance to have a healthy smile and to get them to a general dentist in great oral health. It’s also very important for me to teach children and teenagers to cope with the anxiety that dentistry brings upon us all. Teeth play such an important role in our lives, and it takes a lot of work and parental help to meet our children's oral health goals.
I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and I graduated from Punahou High School. I kept myself busy by playing 3 sports (football, basketball, and track). In search of a small college atmosphere where I could still play football and concentrate on academics, I ended up at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon and received my Bachelors of Science degree in biology.
I was extremely fortunate to achieve 1st team All-State honors in football as a defensive back at Punahou, as well as All-American and Academic All-American honors as a cornerback at Lewis and Clark college. I will always be thankful for the experiences that I have received through athletics as the qualities have really helped me become a better dentist and employer.
Following college, I was accepted into the University of Missouri Kansas City Dental School where I discovered that working with children was my passion, and this led me to specialize in pediatric dentistry. I completed my 2 year pediatric dental residency program at Louisiana State University in New Orleans which quickly became one of my favorite places! The culture, jazz, and food (especially the crawfish) were beyond amazing! I returned to Honolulu where I spent the first 3 years of my career as an associate and in 2005, I opened Aiea Pediatric Dental Center, and I was determined to give the children of Hawaii the best dental care possible.
I couldn’t feel more blessed to have such a wonderful wife who I consider my soulmate. She is so understanding of the time requirements/demands of my profession and we continue to learn from each other each day to become a better couple and parents. We also have two amazing children, with 2 totally different personalities who we consider our pride and joy. They have definitely shown us what the ceiling of love is. I am also very blessed to have siblings who have taught me many lifelong lessons, and of course, I can’t end this without acknowledging and thanking my wonderful mother and father for all their love, guidance and support throughout the years.