As the dentist, owner, and visionary for Santavicca Dental Professionals, I’ve channeled my passion for helping people through my profession of dentistry for over 20 years. What I love most about dentistry and owning a business here in the Upper Valley is connecting with others and making a positive difference in their lives. As dental health professionals, we are in a unique position to help people on so many levels: creating a great smile, helping maintain overall health and wellness, building self-esteem and confidence are a few that come to mind.
I am excited about the opportunities available to promote oral health understanding and guide our patients to the level of health they desire. Over the years, I have learned that the mouth truly is a window to the body. There is so much information about a person’s health available when one understands their oral health. By nature, I am curious and love to figure out puzzles. I am drawn to people and take a special interest in knowing them as individuals and where they are in this journey of life. I love my profession, thoroughly enjoy working with patients and truly believe my staff and I can make a difference in the lives of others.
My dental training began at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. As a dental student, I also conducted dental research and was a tutor for anatomy and biochemistry students. In 1994, I graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree and then went on to Salt Lake City, Utah to earn an Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Certificate from the University of Utah Hospital (UUH). At UUH, I trained in all the dental specialties, and also in plastic surgery, lasers, dental sleep medicine, and treating patients with complex medical and dental situations. Perhaps most significantly, I began to learn about occlusion (how the bite, teeth and jaws work as a whole system). Now, understanding my patients’ occlusion is the foundation upon which I create the function and esthetics they desire. As a colleague recently pointed out to me, my training at UUH continues to shape my practice and career.
As a life-long learner, I invest a great deal of time in post-doctoral education, so I can better serve my patients, team, business, profession, and the community. I enjoy study clubs (local and national) and hands-on workshops. See my list of Continuing Education courses here.
My favorite part of caring for patients is comprehensive care. I believe in order to truly care for someone and advise them, you need their active participation. Each individual is an expert about themselves. As a dentist, I am coach, teacher, role model, technician, listener, and confidant. I believe dental health can be predictable and long lasting. I work with patients to create a system of health and balance where the teeth, bite, muscles and jaws work in harmony. When the system works smoothly and the individual understands what contributes to health (or lack of it) they can play an active, effective role to maintain their dental and overall health.
As much as I love my work, I love not working! I enjoy the outdoors in all seasons. Hiking, kayaking, skiing, and biking are some of my favorite activities. Since relocating to the Upper Valley, I have a close group of friends that are my extended family. My parents, who are now retired, spend their time between my hometown Waterford, Michigan and Naples, Florida. I have a younger brother and two nieces who also live in Michigan. Although we need to travel to be together, we remain close and are always there to love and support each other. Currently, I live in the Upper Valley with my cat Cava. I continue to create a dental practice where patients feel comfortable and well cared for. We hope you will join our family of patients and enjoy a confident, healthy, beautiful smile.