Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
After graduating from Indiana University’s School of Dentistry in 2007, Dayton Dawson began practicing dentistry.In 2010 Dawson, DDS, purchased his childhood dental practice in Danville from Dr. Ted Huppert. In 2017, Holly Bradford, DMD, joined the team. Both Dr. Dawson and Dr. Bradford were longtime patients of Dr. Huppert. It felt good to buy a practice that had such a cohesive hometown feel. One of the hygienists has been there since 1978!
“She’s spent 40 years at this same practice, which is pretty special,” says Dawson, noting that most of the staff also worked for Dr. Huppert. That’s why it feels like family, and why family is so important to everyone at Dawson Family Dentistry.
“We have a family that has 13 children and we dedicate an entire afternoon to them so that the mom can avoid having to make multiple trips,” Dawson says.
Over time, the practice has transitioned to provide more technologically advanced treatment options.
“Even though we’re a general practice, we offer a wide variety of oral health care services,” Dawson says.
Such services include veneers, dentures, extractions, teeth whitening, oral cancer exams, 3D x-rays, biopsies, bonding/white filling, dental implants, root canals, periodontal treatment, and Invisalign (an alternative to wire braces that uses transparent, incremental aligners to adjust teeth). Their state-of-the-art equipment enables them to create same-day crowns and bridges. In many practices, such procedures require two appointments, spaced several weeks apart. The practice also makes snoring and sleep apnea appliances for patients.
“We’ve had patients diagnosed with sleep apnea who didn’t want to use a CPAP machine or didn’t want to travel with the bulky device so they opted to use the practice’s sleep apnea appliance instead,” Dawson adds.
Perhaps most unique, however, is the complete head and neck exam both dentists perform on their patients.
“We run up and down the neck, feeling lymph nodes and checking the thyroid,” Dawson says. “We’ve actually found a decent number of thyroid issues by performing this exam.”
Where most dental practices focus on teeth and gums, Dawson Family Dentistry looks at everything the mouth is attached to. And thank goodness they do. A few years ago, Dawson found a few lumps in the thyroid of two separate teenage girls. Their parents took them to the doctor where cancerous cells were detected.
“A cavity is a cavity, but cancer can kill you,” says Dawson, noting the importance of looking for pathologies intra and extra orally during an exam.
Typically, patients don’t go to their general physicians as often as they go to the dentist so this screening is especially important.
The practice accepts most insurance, which is one reason Dawson Family Dentistry was ranked Best in Hendricks County two years in a row by the “Hendricks County Flyer.” Another reason is that they are involved in the community, sponsoring the Kiwanis Club, sponsoring little league and working closely with Hope Healthcare Services.
The office is open Monday-Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be made by visiting daytondawsondds.com. For more information, call 317-745-5173.