All professionals at Smile Institute of Family Dentistry maintain the highest levels of accreditation and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends in the medical field. Read on to learn more about our Dental Professionals' experience and training.
Dr. Airiga Tucker Mims
My goal is for my patients to receive individual attention and care. My desire is to remove the tarnish of past unpleasant dental experiences by creating an experience that is individualized and encompasses patient appreciation and value.
I am a dental patient also. I will never forget visiting the dentist as an adolescent and needing to have dental anesthesia. I was so scared of going to the dentist. One particular visit I recall as if it were yesterday. I was numbed on the roof of my mouth. I gasped for air and held my breath. The needle was excruciatingly painful. I gripped the arm rests of the dental chair and felt my heart beating hard and fast in my chest. I remember as the tears streamed down my face, the dentist and his assistant did nothing to comfort me. I felt like I wasn't a person. I felt like I had no value. This particular experience heightened by dental fear to an even greater level. However, as I studied at Marquette University School of Dentistry, I didn't realize how impactful my past dental experiences would shape my practice philosophy.
I never want any of my patients to feel how I felt going to the dentist. Not only am I committed to delivering the highest quality of care, I am gentle and want my patients to feel comfortable when receiving care. My patient's care begins not just in the dental chair but well before that. Their experience on the phone, how they are greeted at the reception desk and engaged by our team of dental professionals is important and helps shape my patients care and experience. It is very important that all of my patients feel that they are our special guests and that all of our attention is on them.
We offer a comfort menu that includes minimal sedation, complimentary soft comfort blankets and massage chairs, just to name a few.
I have been practicing dentistry since 2003. I absolutely love meeting the oral health care needs of my patients. I received a baccalaureate degree in Biological Sciences from the prestigious Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. I attended the well-respected and top-ranking Marquette University School of Dentistry where I earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. After completing my dental school education, I held a teaching position at Columbus Technical College in Columbus, Georgia, teaching oral pathology and biochemistry. My practice philosophy surrounds continuing my dental education with the focus on clinical expertise, implementing tools for practice management and ongoing team training. I am a member of Spear Academy, the American Dental Association, Wisconsin Dental Association, Greater Milwaukee Dental Association and Chicago Dental Society.
I am a North Shore native. I enjoy family time, cooking and traveling.
Paul - Dental Hygienist
It wasn't until I received my training in The Air Force that my understanding and value of dentistry changed. It was my responsibility to keep fellow Airmen and their families "mission-ready." After that experience, I knew dentistry was the career I wanted to follow. My pride comes from working to ensure patients leave our office with wonderful smiles!
I graduated from the dental hygiene program at Waukesha County Technical College in 2016. There, I truly sharpened my skills and developed the level of professionalism that would better help our community.
I've often heard patients mention that my best assets are my calm bedside manner and confidence. I can't wait to hear you say the same thing! Knowing that my patients are relaxed during their visits makes me proud to be part of the Smile Institute of Family Dentistry.
During my time in school, I remember treating a close friend of mine. It had been a while since his last dental visit, and he was pretty nervous the first time I saw him in the clinic. After each visit, he left knowing more about his oral health and felt even better about his smile. He started opening up, smiling more, and bragging about his teeth. We worked together, discussing different treatment options and moving forward as a team. I'm so grateful to represent the Smile Institute, because that is exactly what we do here. It's a partnership!
Remember, time is linear! It moves in one direction, but should never fade, just like your smile. I often hear patients express their regret - wishing they hadn't waited so long, or hadn't let their fears keep them from visiting us. It takes time to heal from unpleasant dental experiences, and that's something we understand, but our ultimate goal is to keep you healthy! Don't let those regrets affect you.
I'm so grateful and excited to work with you and show the world the light of your smile!
Jenn - Practice Coordinator/Clinical Assistant
I've been a part of the team at the Smile Institute of Family Dentistry since 2014. I'm so blessed to play this role and influence our patients' lives for the better! Time after time, I've seen a patient walk in the door with fear written on his face, and leave laughing with a smile back where it should be.
My personal dental story is a long one, and it's what made me interested in the dental field. Unfortunately, I was born missing a tooth (and a front one, no less)! As I grew older, my teeth shifted and created a massive gap between my teeth. That's when I got braces. From 4th grade to freshman year, I lived my life dealing with brackets and wires and floss threaders. When that treatment finished, I was fitted with a temporary solution - a false tooth. At the right time, I became eligible for an implant! It seemed easy enough, but I needed additional bone support to hold an implant. It was a rough process, but after two bone graft surgeries and months of healing, I ended up with a strong, healthy implant at the age of 21!
It was a long, hard, and expensive journey, but my smile and oral health was worth it. I received so much encouragement from my referring doctors and their teams - it was almost like a snapshot of my future in the dental field. They made the biggest impact, and they're the reason why I'm working with you at the Smile Institute!
In fact, I remember seeing a young patient scheduled for a restorative appointment. He had never seen us for anything other than a cleaning, and I could tell he was terrified! I walked him through each step of the procedure, and showed him all of our cool instruments before getting started. It didn't take long before his fears disappeared, and he finished his appointment sitting back watching his favorite cartoon. Now, he comes in ready for his dental visits, loving every moment. That's exactly what I wish to see for all my patients - I want them to know that we're not scary! We love seeing you grow.
Thank you for choosing the Smile Institute. I can't wait to see you in our chair!