Dr. Paul Sproul, an orthodontist at Alabama Pediatric Dental Associates, has a master’s and a doctorate degree, but never actually graduated from an undergraduate program.

""“Back when I applied to the School of Dentistry at UAB, they accepted students who had only completed three years of undergraduate schooling,” explained Dr. Sproul. “So I went straight into dental school and technically don’t have an undergraduate degree!”

Growing up in Jasper, Ala. in the early 1980s, Paul made up his mind about two very important decisions from an early age: that he wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, and that, unlike most other friends and family in his small town, his college football fan loyalty would be to the University of Georgia. “I was eight years old, and Herschel Walker was playing at Georgia,” said Paul. “It was that year that I made the decision to be a UGA fan and it stuck!”

As for his career, his heart was set on helping others in a healthcare setting. “Sometimes, figuring out what you don’t want to do is just as important as knowing what you do want to do,” said Paul. “I interned with a local hospital after high school and quickly realized I preferred a smaller office atmosphere. And the autonomy of practicing dentistry was also very appealing.”

Dr. Sproul entered the School in 1994, and specifically remembers the late nights and long hours of studying that comprised most of his time during those first two years. “I met my wife, Jenni, between my sophomore and junior years of dental school. I like to tell her she met me after the hardest years were over! She only got to see the easier ones!” joked Dr. Sproul.

In 1998, immediately after graduation, Paul moved to Houston, Texas and entered the orthodontic residency program at The University of Texas. “I pursued orthodontics because of the patient age group. Most kids get braces when they’re in middle or high school, which is a very impressionable time. I always wanted to be a part of playing a positive role in building confidence in kids at that age.

As for Texas, though? “It was hot and flat.” Paul bluntly stated. “And there are hardly any trees in Houston. I never appreciated the hills and trees in Alabama until we lived outside of it!”

When the position for an orthodontist came open at Alabama Pediatric Dental Associates in the summer of 2000, the timing was perfect for the Sproul family to head back to Alabama and settle down in Madison. At the time, he was the only orthodontist at the practice and joined a team of four other pediatric dentists. Today, with two orthodontists, six pediatric dentists, and four office locations in Huntsville, Decatur, Madison, and Hampton Cove, Dr. Sproul enjoys the group practice setting.

“I rotate between three of the four offices. It’s nice to have a change of scenery and work with different staff. Partnerships in dentistry are really nice because you have colleagues to talk to, work with, and bounce ideas off of.”

Even though neither Paul nor his wife are originally from North Alabama, it quickly became their home and where they raised their two children, Zach (21) and Valerie (15). They still love the beauty of the area, but more than anything, Dr. Sproul loves the community and his patients. “Sometimes, I get to do consults with people that ARE actually rocket scientists! There are a lot of engineers living up here as well. I get to interact with many bright people.”

Dr. Sproul is active in local, state, and regional orthodontics. He’s previously served in all offices of the Huntsville/Madison County Dental Society, all offices of the Alabama Association of Orthodontists, and is currently a Councilor for the Southern Region of the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontists. “I always try to do something but not too much,” explained Dr. Sproul. “A little bit of everything but not too much of anything, because my family comes first.”

As higher education tuition continues to rise, Dr. Sproul feels sympathetic to the financial struggles many students are facing today. “The amount of loans that dental students have to take out is outrageous, and the student debt crisis is putting young people in a rough situation,” Dr. Sproul said. “I don’t know what the right answer is, but I do know that alumni can be a part of that answer. I would encourage my classmates and alumni of the School to give back to the place that gave us a great opportunity in life.”

If you would like to nominate a UAB School of Dentistry alumnus to be featured in an upcoming Alumni Spotlight, please email Elizabeth Carlson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..