Kaci Cerka Vela, DDS, MS

dr kaci cerka velaDr. Kaci C. Vela was raised in Amarillo, Texas where she earned her BS with a double major in Biology and Chemistry from West Texas A&M University magna cum laude. Following graduation, Dr. Kaci was awarded her DDS from the University of Texas at San Antonio Dental School graduating summa cum laude as salutatorian of her class. During her training she received the Memorial Award of Excellence and the Service Achievement Award from the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society as well as the Vernetti Award for Excellence in Operative Dentistry, the Orofacial Pain Excellence Award, the Excellence in Prosthodontics Award, the Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Radiology Awards and numerous leadership awards from both the International and American College of Dentists and the Women’s Faculty Association. Dr. Kaci practiced general dentistry in Waterloo, taught at the UI College of Dentistry and also received a T-32 research grant from the NIH prior to completing her MS degree and Certificate in Orthodontics from the University of Iowa.  Her extensive research has been published in 3 peer-reviewed scientific journals:  “Trigeminal Nociceptors Express Prostaglandin Receptors” in the Journal of Dental Research, “Patient Preferences Regarding 1-Visit versus 2-Visit Root Canal Therapy” in the Journal of Endodontics as well as “Phenotypic Characterization of Class III Malocclusion” in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dental Orthopedics.  Dr. Vela is board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, a voluntary commitment to orthodontic excellence, achieved by only 1 in 3 orthodontists.  She currently practices orthodontics at Dental Specialists of Iowa in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

Dr. Kaci is married to Dr. Joe Vela, who is a root canal specialist at Endodontic Associates of Iowa. Together, Kaci and Joe had a vision of opening a multi-specialty dental practice that could serve all of southeastern Iowa.  In the fall of 2015, this dream became a reality as Orthodontic Associates of Iowa and Endodontic Associates of Iowa joined together to create DENTAL SPECIALISTS OF IOWA, located in Mt. Pleasant.  This state-of-the-art facility houses all of the dental specialists: Oral Surgery, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Endodontics, Pediatrics and of course Orthodontics.  For the first time, southeastern Iowa will have access to the latest technological advances in modern dentistry under one roof including:  digital x-rays with low radiation exposure, three-dimensional CBCT imaging with an i-Cat for impacted teeth, orthognathic surgery and implant planning, microscopes for microsurgical root canals as well as two digital intra-oral scanners (3Shape Trios & iTero Invisalign Scanner) to eliminate the need for gooey impressions for Invisalign records and retainers!   We are excited that we found the perfect location for our practice and are looking forward to taking great care of all of our patients locally and those who travel to receive the very best specialty dental care in the Midwest!