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Dentistry That Is Twice as Nice

Written by Adam Zewe

To say that Jenny Owens Hawkins and Denise Owens Mullinix have a lot in common is an understatement. They both graduated from UMSOD in 2008, they both practice general dentistry in southern Maryland and they both are married and raising one young daughter.

They also happen to be identical twin sisters.

"We were so close growing up that we've always done everything together," says Dr. Hawkins.

As kids, the two were so inseparable that they even shared similar athletic abilities - they played softball together throughout their youth. When it came time for college, the sisters ended up attending the same school, Towson University, and living in dorm rooms only a few feet apart. They share a common love of interacting with people, which drove them toward health care professions. Ultimately, the twins chose dentistry because it enables them to enjoy family lives and rewarding careers. They also received a gentle nudge from their cousin, Michael Owens, DDS '01.

Applying to UMSOD was exciting and nerve-racking. "When we applied, we started thinking about what we would do if one of us got into the school and the other one didn't," Dr. Hawkins explains. They didn't have to worry about that. Throughout their four years of dental school, the twins enjoyed being able to help each other when class work became tough. The cutting-edge technology and dedicated faculty at UMSOD have enabled both sisters to excel in modern dentistry, remarks Dr. Mullinix.

After graduation, they decided to return home, to St. Mary's County, where each began a solo practice. However, their offices are located only about a mile apart. "We still go to each other a lot with questions and advice," remarks Dr. Mullinix.

Dr. Hawkins bought a practice in Lexington Park, which motivated her sister to own a practice, too. She was able to give her sister sound advice on making such a big investment. And Dr. Mullinix has returned the favor. She covered for Dr. Hawkins while she was recently on maternity leave. "A lot of my patients wouldn't have known the difference between us if we hadn't told them," Dr. Hawkins jokes.

The twins plan to someday combine their practices to give each other more flexibility as their families grow. For now, they're delighted to independently pursue their joint passion: serving the community where they were raised.

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