By Janet Stoica
When she was a teenager Demi Athans already knew that one day she would be a dentist. She also enjoyed art and after she had the opportunity to observe a local dentist in her hometown of Sturbridge, she embraced dentistry as an art form.
“I knew at the age of 16 that dentistry would be the field for me,” said Dr. Athans. Today, she confirms her decision. “I really enjoy speaking with the patients, getting to know them, and having a good feeling at the end of the day knowing that I helped someone.”
She received several scholarships that paved her way into Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and after educational rotations on the clinical floors involving oral surgery, periodontology, as well as a stint in a hospital’s emergency room, she was ready for additional specialty training. She furthered her education with a six-week externship at St. Joseph Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and then a rotation at the Fernald Center in Natick, where she learned treatments for all types of patients.
Dr. Athans’ husband is an employee of the Federal Aviation Administration, based in Washington DC. Thus, the couple moved to the DC area and Dr. Athans joined a high-end dental practice where many of her patients were CEOs of large mid-Atlantic corporations. She became very patient- focused and honed her skills in cosmetic dentistry, including dental veneers which improve smile aesthetics.
Both Dr. Athans and her husband are from the local area and soon realized that they wanted to move back to central Massachusetts, as they missed their families. After 11 years of practicing with other dentists, Dr. Athans opened her own office, D. A. Dental, in Auburn in July. “I worked with many great dentists and I felt I was ready” she said.
She has a diplomate standing from her further education at the Misch International Implant Institute, a leader in dental implant training and education, where she was schooled in guided tooth implant procedures.
Under this system, a 3D scan of the patient’s tooth implant area is produced and then a guiding structure is fabricated for the tooth implant placement. The implantable tooth is guided in the most accurate manner to its final site. Dr. Athans practices general dentistry with concentrations in crowns, bridges, fillings, and pediatric care. Her practice also offers Invisalign, Six Month Smiles (adult invisible aligners and braces), cosmetic dentistry, and root canals. “I enjoy the personalized feel of my small practice,” said Dr. Athans, “we offer individual care that patients might be missing elsewhere.”
Dr. Athans related a success story about a patient who had teeth staining from the use of tetracycline medication as well as from large fillings that had made that patient’s teeth very brittle. “We made models of the teeth and discussed the results they were looking for. Our models determined what the proper end result would be and the patient was very pleased. It was so very rewarding to be part of this life-changing event.”
“I was afraid to smile as a child,” said Dr. Athans, “but once my teeth were fixed, I had more self-confidence.”
Dr. Athans’ also responds to emergencies for her patients and related a situation when a patient had a toothache after-hours on a Sunday, and it was also the day of her son’s fourth birthday party. “I met my patient at my office and extracted her tooth, which solved the emergency. All turned out well and the patient brought me flowers the next day. I certainly didn’t expect this, but it was such a nice gesture!”
Janet welcomes comments and suggestions [email protected]