ASHLAND From the beginning, Allison Stump was different.
“Since my first dental visit at age 4, I have loved going to the dentist,” the Ashland native said. “I remember asking for ‘Dentist Barbie’ because I knew I would be a dentist one day.”
Now Stump is a dentist with the practice of Deborah Vincent, DMD, PSC, at 2741 Winchester Ave., offering cleanings, exams, fillings, extractions and a range of other services, including such cosmetic services as whitening and veneers.
Becoming a dentist is a long road of education, which Stump started with her graduation from St. Joseph High School in Ironton in 2011; she said she attended Holy Family School through eighth grade.
She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati in 2015.
“If your career goals are to become a dentist, you can major in anything, you just have to have the pre-requisites for the dental school,” she said. “Most people major in a science like biology, chemistry or health sciences.”
Stump graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry this year to practice general dentistry.
“In dentistry, you do not have to do a residency like after graduating from medical school. If you want to specialize then you enter a residency program,” she said, noting orthodontics, pediatrics, periodontics and some other areas require residencies, but she is qualified to treat those conditions.
Stump said she understands many did not take to dental visits the way she did, so she tries to make patients more comfortable by explaining their procedures in everyday language.
“If a patient is very nervous, I like to show-tell-do. This helps the patient feel more relaxed. I use this technique a lot with children, especially if it is their first dental visit,” she said. “I do not want to scare them and want their visit to be a great experience. In the office, we do offer nitrous sedation. This is most commonly known as laughing gas. The nitrous helps relax the patient for the procedure.”
Prevention is key when it comes to dental issues, Stump said.
“I would much rather help someone prevent dental issues and dental pain by encouraging them to come to the dentist every six months for cleanings, exams and X-rays (once a year),” she said. “This way, if you have a dental problem we can catch it early, before it goes too far and the patient is in pain. During exams, I do not only check for decay, but also oral pathology such as cancer.”
Oral health is important psychologically, too, Stump said.
“I want to make someone’s life better, dentistry does that,” she said. “Having a healthy, pretty smile can give someone confidence to go after their dreams and contribute to their overall well-being.”
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