Chairside Chats: A Word With…Dr. Tracy Dawes

Dr. Tracy Dawes

Riverside Dental Centre, Red Deer, Alberta

How would you define or summarize your practice philosophy?

My practice has always been relationship based. Taking time with my patients has always been very important to me, even if it might put me a little behind at times. I think patients appreciate that they know you have time for them, and it allows you to really get to know your patients.

What is one thing you know now that you wish you had known at the start of your career?

So many things, but probably the main thing would be how diverse this field is. There are so many directions you can take your practice. I think it’s one of the few professions that can have so many branches from your one professional degree. The dentistry I started doing early in my career to what now fills my schedule is truly night and day.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give to a new practitioner?

Treatment plan for your patients as if they were your favourite family member. If you truly care about your patients, everything else will fall into place. There is so much pressure to pay off debt or be competitive, but in the end the traits that will make you a successful dentist start with the ability to offer genuine patient care.

What would you consider your greatest achievement?

Professionally, I am very proud of the practice that I built, mostly because of the team that it has attracted. It truly is like a big family. Being able to enjoy going to work is a necessity, as we spend so much of our lives at the office.

What do you do to make sure you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

It’s the greatest challenge. But as I get older, I recognize that if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. Sometimes being honest with yourself about what you need to be the best “you” is hard, but it’s the key. Physical health as well as mental health is imperative in this profession.

Who was the greatest influence in your life (personal or professional) and why?

I have so many influential people in my life, personally and professionally, but with respect to my dental career, the person who had the most influence over me would be the dentist I purchased my practice from, Dr Gordon Huff. He led by example on how to treat others and how to keep all aspects of life in perspective.

Dr. Tracy Dawes grew up in Grand Centre, Alberta. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta dental school class of 1997. Dr. Dawes is married to her husband, Brian, of 25 years and has two children, Connor and Julia, who are both attending university. She has practiced in Red Deer, Alberta, for her entire 25 years of practice and is a proud and active community member. Dr. Dawes is co-owner of Riverside Dental Centre in Red Deer, Alberta, and a proud 123Dentist partner.

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