Few professional people begin their careers at 16, but Misty W. Griffin, DMD, owner and dentist at Forest Springs Family Dental, did exactly that. While growing up in Owensboro, she worked as a chair-side dental assistant to a pair of dentists.
â€œI always knew that I wanted to work in health care,â€ she said. â€œSix months after starting to help in that Owensboro practice, I fell in love with this field. Iâ€™ve now been in dentistry for going on 21 years.â€
After graduating from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in 2002, she moved to Lexington and spent several years in a dental practice residency through the University of Kentucky. She is married to Louisville native Hubert Priest â€œBertâ€ Griffin III; they have a three-year-old son, Priest.
â€œWhile I was in school, I had talked a lot with a classmate about becoming partners in a practice,â€ she said. â€œBut after graduation, I wasnâ€™t ready to become an owner, so I associated and did various things. She opened a practice; and by the time I was ready to own, she was relocating to Denver, so I bought it from her.â€
Misty hung out her shingle at Forest Springs Family Dental (12466 LaGrange Road) in November 2009. Its location, in The Shops of Forest Springs, near the Gene Snyder Freeway, has proven to be convenient for her patients as well as her staff: office manager Terri Bradley; dental hygienist Lynn Ball; and expanded-duty dental assistant Tina Bryan. Although small, the community service-oriented practice enjoys sponsoring events such as the Salvation Armyâ€™s upcoming â€œChristmas in July.â€
â€œWe treat everybody like family. I try to focus on what I would do if you were my mother, or if your mouth were mine â€“ what would I want done?â€ she said. â€œI donâ€™t just say, â€˜You need a filling, come back and see me.â€™ I try to educate the patient about the disease process and why it needs to be treated.â€
To achieve that goal, Forest Springs Family Dental uses the latest technology, including digital X-rays, which use low levels of radiation; and practice-management software that keeps patient charts instantly accessible. Local and â€œhappy gasâ€ anesthesia are offered; so are rewards for patients who bring in new referrals.
â€œI do full general-practice dentistry, which includes children, families â€“ everybody. My oldest patient is 100,â€ she said. â€œMy niche is treating adults who have a great fear of dentistry. There are a lot of people who had bad experiences as kids, or have other reasons. I ask them about their past experiences. It helps to know exactly what theyâ€™re afraid of, so we can work around those fears, walk them through it, and get their dental treatment done.â€
Forest Springs Family Dental, 12466 LaGrange Road, opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. For more information, visit www.forestspringsdental.com or call 502.241.3838; call for evening availability.