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 received a bachelor 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 my 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. I have completed numerous continuing education classes and am a student of The Dawson Academy. I am a member of the American Dental Association, Wisconsin Dental Association, Greater Milwaukee Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society and the Academy of General Dentistry.
I am a North Shore native. I love spending time with my husband Jason and our son Joshua. I enjoy cooking, traveling and hiking.
Staci- Guest Services Coordinator
Bio Coming Soon!
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 relxaxed 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!
Hannah - Dental Hygienist
Fortunately for me, I haven’t had any negative dental experiences, even during my childhood. I grew up in Chicago before moving to the Milwaukee area almost 15 years ago. There, my pediatric dentist, “Dr. V”, cultivated a welcoming and fun environment that reinforced the positive aspects of maintaining oral health. My younger brother and I always left with bags full of goodies and smiles on our faces, even if we just had a cavity filled or were told to improve our brushing habits at home. We were never embarassed about anything. I still appreciate that to this day.
My next most memorable dental experience occurred during my first year of high school, when I had braces placed to correct a few different issues I had with tooth misalignment. Born with a wide gap between my two front teeth and a protruding overbite from a childhood thumb-sucking habit, I felt extremely self-conscious about my smile. Not only were theses problems cosmetic, but I even had trouble eating foods like sandwiches or corn on the cob. My teeth wouldn’t fit together, and it made me very self-conscious.
I turned 14 and was finally fitted for braces – something for which I had been wishing and praying and asking my parents for years. As anyone who has been through an orthodontic treatment knows, the day-to day life with braces definitely wasn’t painless or pretty, but I was extremely thankful for them. About 3 years later, they were removed, and it was definitely the best! It was like I had taken a giant leap on the scale of self-confidence.
Towards the end of high school, I approached my senior year without a decided career path. I had a desire to help others see themselves the way God does, with pride and confidence. I knew my time with braces was definitely a turning point in my life, and I wondered if there was a way I could do the same for someone else. After some research, I decided dental hygiene would be an appropriate choice. I figured I could “get my feet wet” in the world of dentistry and still be in a position to make a positive change in someone’s life.
In the years since I’ve been involved in dentistry, I have personally been involved in guiding patients towards the pinnacle of oral health. I often see dental patients at their first appointment, and work with them as they make progress towards their goals at each appointment. It is so rewarding to have the privilege to get to know these individuals and help them achieve or maintain health. As a parallel to my own personal experiences, I strive to maintain a positive and enriching environment for patients. I’m thankful to work with the Smile Institute, because we encourage our patients each step of the way – regardless of any kind of past dental experiences, bad or good.
“A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face.” Proverbs 15:13
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 recieved 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!
Shavon - Clinical Assistant
My name is Shavon and I began working at the Smile Institute of Family Dentistry in 2016. I work as a guest service coordinator, a clinical assistant, and a personal assistant to Dr. Mims. Some would describe me as the jack of all trades. Choosing to work here has not only been life changing but career changing as well. What began as a temporary job, evolved into more than I could ever wish for. When I first began working at the Smile Institute of Family Dentistry, I was in my junior year at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee as a pre-med student. Starting off, I was working 3rd shift in the emergency room at three hospitals miserable and dreading each day. Going to work at the dental office was a stress relief and the office became my happy place. After only three months of working at the office I knew that dentistry had chosen me and I crossed over from medicine to dentistry. What drew me to dentistry was that I could still have all the things I loved about medicine but in a work environment that fit me better. The patient interaction is not rushed, chairside manner is much more intimate, and I will be able to maintain a wonderful work life balance. Dentistry was a better fit for me because as a dentist you are more than a doctor. You are an artist and an engineer!
My passion for the field grew so much that I even volunteered at Elizabeth St. Ann Seton Dental Clinic up until I graduated with my degree in biology. This was a great way for me to connect with the community and, due to my exposure to pediatric patients, gain insight on the importance of establishing dental health at an early age. My most memorable dental procedure was getting all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. Getting to share my experience with patients is rewarding because I can help answer any questions and overcome any uncertainty and fears that they often encounter. Dental assisting was a huge learning curve for me and I am proud to say that I have worked extremely hard to be a dental assistant that can make my patients relaxed and confident regarding the outcome of their appointment. To be able to do this, I spent many days coming early and staying late to be prepared for my patients and their procedures. I am most grateful for the opportunity given to me every day to work with my 2nd family as we make a difference in our community. What I am looking forward to most is beginning dental school soon!
Beatrice - Clinical Assistant
Hi! My name is Beatrice. I'm a clinical assistant working alongside a wonderful woman of God here at the Smile Institute of Family Dentistry. I've been a dental assistant for about 5 years and I really enjoy getting to know my patients. I love creating an experience of comfort and joy. I enjoy spending time with Jesus praying and reading the Bible, singing, and spending time with family. I have a teenage daughter who loves to read and draw. She is really good at both. I am learning to read better with the help of a tutor. Unfortunately I was one of the young African American's that slipped through the cracks and wasn't properly taught how to read well. So, now at the age 33 years old, by God's grace and my determination, am taking the steps to overcome. I will no longer walk in shame but VICTORY. I am always encouraging others to do the same, to overcome life’s obstacles. For some people, the fear of the dentist is insurmountable but my goal is to encourage my patients to help them overcome their dental fears and commit to their treatment plans to become healthier. I really love getting to know my patients and look forward to serving and encouraging you at your next visit and along your journey.