MINT HILL, NC – If you’re like most people, visiting the dentist probably doesn’t make your list of “Oooh, can’t wait!” activities. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people of all ages to feel some hesitation as they head in for dental work. Dr. Ashley Dawson aims to shift that perception with her new dental practice. Dawson Modern Dentistry opened in July of this year in the Hoods Crossroads Shopping Center on Matthews-Mint Hill Road. The office is focused on creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere where patients can receive excellent care.
To make each appointment more peaceful, patients at Dawson Modern Dentistry can kick back and watch their favorite Netflix shows on noise-canceling headphones during their appointments, which provides the perfect distraction if you’re less-than-enthused about the polishing sounds going on around you. Cuddle up with the cozy blankets and pillows they also provide, and you might just think you’re at home on your couch.
Owning her own dental practice is a venture many years in the making for Dawson, who says she’s wanted to be a dentist since she shadowed a family friend during her freshman year of high school and instantly felt pulled to the profession.
“I love that I’m able to connect with my patients. You see them grow up in the practice. I love that I’m able to change someone’s confidence about their smile when they’re in my office. It’s so gratifying,” she says.
Beyond fostering an inviting environment, Dr. Dawson is also building her office with a philanthropic component in mind. For every new patient her practice receives, Dawson’s office donates $10 to Foundation For Girls, which aims to empower marginalized women and girls through knowledge and critical resources. The money goes to help offset the cost of the care packages the organization provides.
Dawson’s childhood experiences make the cause one that’s “near and dear” to her heart. Dawson and her mom endured significant financial struggles during her childhood in Duluth, Georgia. Though Dawson’s mom worked tirelessly, she still struggled to make ends meet, and the pair ultimately faced eviction several times. Now, Dawson is committed to offering a helping hand to others who may be experiencing similar challenges.
She knows firsthand how important these small acts of support can be to someone facing a tough time. Growing up, Dawson received a discounted gym membership, which allowed her to pursue her passion for competitive cheerleading without worrying about the costs associated with the sport. Dawson went on to become a highly decorated athlete, winning Team World Championships in 2007 with her All-Star competitive cheer team. She was a collegiate athlete, too, and won a National Championship in Acrobatics and Tumbling during her senior year at the University of Oregon.
Beyond mastering the physicality of these pursuits, Dawson says the life lessons she learned during her time as an athlete left a significant impression on her, too. In fact, she says she still relies on these lessons as she builds her dental practice. This includes how to ready yourself for a challenge that lies ahead.
“You don’t want to have any regrets about how you’ve prepared. You want to know that you’ve done your homework and you’re ready. Then, at the end of the day, all you can do is your best,” she says.
Speaking of homework, though Dawson graduated from Howard University’s College of Dentistry in 2016, she’s still committed to learning new techniques to benefit her patients. She’s currently pursuing a Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry, an intensive continuing education experience that only six percent of dentists in the U.S. and Canada achieve.
“I hope it shows my commitment to education and making sure that I’m bettering myself for my patients,” she says as she reflects on her decision to participate in the program.
If you’re looking to brighten up your smile (and maybe catch up on your favorite Netflix show as you do it) then drop by Dawson Modern Dentistry.