Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Joel Vela

JoelJoel J. Vela, DDS, a native Houstonian, received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. After completing his dental degree at The University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston Dental Branch in 1993, he practiced general dentistry in Houston and served on the faculty at the Dental Branch prior to receiving his specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the Dental Branch and Hermann Children’s Hospital. Since earning his dental degree, he has been a member of and has served in leadership positions of the Greater Houston Dental Society, the Texas Dental Association and the American Dental Association. Dr. Vela also maintains active membership in the Houston Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and holds fellow status in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Active in the community, Dr. Vela has offered numerous pediatric oral healthcare presentations to community groups, professional organizations and various healthcare professionals around the country with a special emphasis on pediatric dental trauma and pediatric abuse. In addition to expanding his knowledge of the art and science of dentistry by attending numerous continuing education courses, Dr. Vela maintains certifications in Basic Life Support (BLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and holds a parenteral sedation permit from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. A staff member of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Dr. Vela is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

An avid Vespa rider, Dr. Vela also enjoys photography, scuba diving and both acoustic and electric guitar. He and his wife, Meredith, along with their three children, Gabrielle, Max and Gianna, reside with the family golden retriever, Ava.

Dr. Claudia Stephanos

StephanosDr. Claudia Stephanos brings more than 20 years of experience in pediatric dentistry and interceptive orthodontics to Bellaire Pediatric Dentistry. In 1991, she received her DDS from the University of Texas Dental Branch Houston and subsequently completed a three-year residency in pediatric dentistry at the University of Connecticut Health Science Center. Following her residency, Dr. Stephanos received certificates for her training in interceptive orthodontics and craniofacial orthopedics.

Dr. Stephanos obtained licensure and board certification to practice dentistry in the Boston area. During this time, Dr. Stephanos served on the Executive Board for the Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in several positions, including President-Elect. She also served for many years as a member of the Craniofacial Team of the National Birth Defects Center for Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Stephanos and her husband relocated to Houston in 2000, where their two children were born and raised. While in Texas, Dr. Stephanos continued her dental career in private practice and enjoyed being an active member of her community, participating in many service projects. In 2014, she moved her family to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, accepting a position to help set up a pediatric dental practice and serve their patients. Although her family experienced a fascinating cultural adventure, they were happy to return to Houston.

Having grown up in Meyerland, Dr. Stephanos is now very excited to be back “in the neighborhood”. The main professional focus for Dr. Stephanos will continue to be patient-centered dental care to ensure that each patient shall be treated with the highest standards of excellence, with an emphasis on individual attention. Dr. Stephanos says that one of her favorite things about dentistry is “getting to know my patients and their families.” She looks forward to meeting you and serving your children’s dental needs.

Bellaire Pediatric Dentistry

  • Bellaire Pediatric Dentistry - 6750 West Loop South, Suite 795, Bellaire, TX 77401 Phone: (713) 661-1100

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