Meredith G. Davis said she became a dentist because, unlike traditional medicine, dentistry allows for quick transformations that improve a patient's wellbeing.

“A lot of the things I do help [patients] that day,” Davis said. “I also help people have their smiles back, and that is a really great side benefit.”

Davis, an East Texas native, moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 2010 for dental school, she said. Upon graduation, she took a job as an associate dentist at different offices in the metroplex. In 2017, she took over an existing practice in Richardson.

Davis said she chose to take over the practice based on its good reputation as well as shared values between herself and the former owner, Neill Clayton.

“If I'm diagnosing something, it's because it needs to be done, not because I'm trying to pad my schedule,” Davis said. “Dr. Clayton had the same view and was very conservative with his patients. It was a good fit.”

Building relationships with her patients is a priority for Davis. Proper treatment requires a patient's trust in their provider, she said.

“You really have to spend time and talk with that person to find out what's important to them,” Davis said. “If you're shuffling through [patients] as fast as possible, you miss out on actually getting to have that conversation and really getting to know that person and what their motivations are and their goals and what makes them comfortable.”

Davis offers different payment plans and financing options because she does not want money to be a barrier to treatment, she said.

“I do not like that money really dictates what care people will choose,” Davis said. “I just want them to be able to afford the care that they need without being held back by a slower financial time.”

Davis’ practice uses the latest technology to give patients the best possible care. Scans are done through a Cone Beam CT machine, which allows Davis to see a 3D version of the x-ray. She also uses a digital radiography machine, which fast tracks the process of viewing an x-ray, she said.

“We keep up with as much as we can to offer the latest and the greatest to our patients so that they can have the right care, not just something that's been done for the last 50 years,” Davis said.

Due to the coronavirus, Davis was unable to see patients for seven weeks except in the case of emergency dental work. Since reopening in mid-May, she said she has been fully booked.

The dental industry was in a unique position to address the crisis because it was already cognizant of infection control and ensuring offices and equipment are sanitary, Davis said.

Since returning to the office, Davis said she and her staff have become even more meticulous about cleanliness. Employees are wearing more personal protective equipment than before the pandemic, she added.

“I spend a lot of time helping my staff feel safe and my patients feel safe,” she said.