Allison O’Brien always knew she wanted to do something in the healthcare industry.
With a nurse practitioner for a mother and a doctor for a brother, it was only natural that Dr. O’Brien would want to follow a similar path. But it wasn’t until after a then 19-year-old O’Brien watched her aunt pass away in her arms that she gravitated away from general medicine and instead focused her attention on dentistry.
“What happened with my aunt was very humbling and really life changing for me,” O’Brien said. “At that point I realized I didn’t want to have to deal with (loss) on a daily basis.”
Now, O’Brien is brightening the smiles of residents across the East County through her new dental practice O’Brien Smiles. The Lakewood Ranch resident bought the practiced Dec. 31, 2009 and officially opened for business on Jan. 4.
“Living and working in the same community is great,” O’Brien said. “We’re a community-based practice. We know our patients as our neighbors and vice versa.
“We really try to take a more personal approach with the families of our patients,” she added. “Our patients are not a number. We take the time to have a more one-on-one doctor-patient relationship.”
The Lakewood Ranch based practice offers a variety of dental services, including teeth cleanings, root canals, crowns, dentures, implants and partials, among other services. Additionally, O’Brien works with special needs patients, particularly those who have autism. O’Brien has created a relationship with a couple of the schools in the area to try and help acclimate the students to the importance of dental hygiene.
O’Brien graduated in 2008 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a doctorate in dental surgery. Upon graduation, O’Brien completed a hospital dentistry residency in Cincinnati, Ohio, allowing her to work with medically compromised patients. Prior to opening her practice in Lakewood Ranch, O’Brien worked in offices in Tampa and Sarasota.
“I enjoy the different things (that happen) on different days,” O’Brien said. “I get to talk to patients, move around and still work with my hands. It’s a social job.”
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].
Address: 5561 Broadcast Court, Sarasota
Employees: Four, including Dr. Allison O’Brien
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday and Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., one Saturday a month
What makes the business unique: O’Brien Smiles tries to take a more personal approach to dentistry through its community-based practice. The practice also works with special needs patients.