40 Under 40: Dr. ArNelle Wright

ArNelle Wright headshot

You might know her as ‘The Daily Dentist’ on Instagram, but we know her as ArNelle Wright, D.M.D., DMD Class of 2017, and Gator Dentist mentor and leader.

Dr. Wright is one of this year’s University of Florida Alumni Association 40 Gators Under 40, and we’re so proud to call her a Gator Dentist. She’s a triple Gator graduate from both UFCD and UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, a wife, dentist, mom of two and a renowned leader within organized dentistry at the state level with the Florida Dental Association, and national level with the American Dental Association – and so much more.

Perhaps, more importantly, her leadership and mentorship for underrepresented students in dentistry, as well as women in the profession, has shined above the rest. You can consistently find Dr. Wright giving back to the University of Florida community that provided her the foundation to blossom into the servant leader she is today.

Whether it’s serving on various committees, being a panelist at admissions events to share her knowledge and experience, showing up to play a key role in recruitment events and more, UFCD is grateful. You can’t miss her effervescent presence that captivates an audience and makes her so great at what she does.

Her lived experience has helped her pay-it-forward for so many aspiring dental students; it’s her self-proclaimed passion and motivation. And that’s not even tapping into her social-media star presence or being a caring, meticulous dentist at Affordable Dentures & Implants in Orlando. You can also find her on the ADA’s Dental Sound Bites podcast for ‘real talk for dentists, hosted by dentist who’ve been there.’

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Dental Society of Greater Orlando, where she recently completed her term as editor of the quarterly journal and is now serving as President-Elect. She is also the 17th District Alternate Delegate to the American Dental Association, the 17th District Representative to the ADA New Dentist Committee and is the New Dentist Member to the Council on Dental Practice, also at the ADA.

40 Under 40 logo

In 2020 during the global pandemic, Dr. Wright began a mentorship program: Doctors for future Doctors, or DFFD, where she enrolled successive cohorts of pre-dental students from either low socioeconomic status or underrepresented backgrounds, and helped them not only with the common steps required for admissions into dental school, but also life skills such as budgeting, time management, emotional intelligence and verbal/nonverbal communication.

Through each module of the DFFD program, students would utilize the lessons to apply to their upcoming application cycle, and eventually transfer said skills into the rigors of their dental school curriculum. Dr. Wright’s approach to dentistry and mentorship inspires students alike to value their role as leaders, while also providing their patients with optimal dental care.

We’re incredibly proud of how Dr. Wright represents the University of Florida College of Dentistry and the dentistry profession locally, nationally and internationally. Congratulations on a tremendous honor!

In 2022, Dr. Wright was honored by her undergraduate program at UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences with their Alumni and Friends Horizon Award, where they detailed her educational path and success in a video feature.

UF CALS Alumni & Friends Horizon Award

Dr. Wright and this year’s 40 Under 40 honorees will be celebrated over a two-day span March 28-29 on the UF campus, including a welcome reception and mixer at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, a campus connection breakfast, an immersive service experience and networking lunch, all culminating with the 40 Gators Under 40 Awards Reception and Dinner at Emerson Alumni Hall on the evening of March 29.