OSWEGO, NY – As a teenager, Ashley Mears would spend time at her father’s dental practice doing everything from office work to preparing operatory rooms and assisting with dental procedures.
Now, following nine years of study at Binghamton University and University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, where she graduated cum laude, and a residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the time has come for Dr. Ashley Mears DDS to join the dental practice of her father, Dr. Ernest Mears DDS.
It was the moments she experienced at her father’s practice and her involvement with the local New Visions program that sparked her interest in dentistry.
“I enjoyed watching the work my father did and the way it benefitted his patients. It made me think about the health field and inspired me to participate in the New Visions program,” said Dr. Mears.
A partnership of Oswego High School and the Oswego County Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the New Visions program offers a health field track and a government track.
Through a combination of classroom instruction and in field learning New Visions helps prepare local high school students for the college world.
Dr. Mears’ choice of the health field track provided her the opportunity to spend time each week at Oswego Hospital and medical offices throughout Oswego County observing procedures and learning from health professionals.
While in dental school, Dr. Mears had the opportunity to hone her dentistry skills by participating in the University of Buffalo’s Community Outreach Assistance Program.
Joining doctors and fellow students on trips to the Dominican Republic and Tennessee, Dr. Mears provided a variety of free dental services ranging from cleanings to fillings and extractions.
“They were very rewarding experiences,” said Dr. Mears. “We provided services to people that did not have access to dental care. Many had never seen a dentist. I was happy to care for them and alleviate the pain they had that was due to dental issues.”
With her dental career under way, Dr. Mears is excited to be working with her father.
She is enjoying her work as a dentist and the challenges she faces on a daily basis.
“I like that general dentistry has such a variety to it and that I solve problems every day. Every patient has unique needs. I know that no matter what issue the patient comes in with, we are able to take care of it either here, or through a referral to a dental practice that specializes in the procedure they require. I appreciate that when it comes to dental care we are in many ways the first line of defense,” explained Dr. Mears.
With the addition of Dr. Ashley Mears the practice will also be able to expand the services it offers for patients that have complex medical needs.
“During her residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital Ashley spent six weeks at Memorial Sloan Kittering Cancer Center working in its Dental Oncology Unit providing dental care for patients with cancer. It allowed Ashley to acquire a special skill set that will greatly benefit patients with those needs,” said Dr. Earnest Mears.
As the newest member of her father’s practice Dr. Mears joins a growing practice that has evolved and expanded over the years to better service its growing patient base that prides itself on being on the leading edge of dentistry.
A graduate of Saint Lawrence University and the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Ernest Mears completed his dental residency at Erie County Medical Center and later established his practice in 1980.
As the practice began to grow, Dr. Mears relocated his practice to its current location at 369 W. Third St.
Dr. Mears has been involved in organized dentistry for more than 35 years and is presently a delegate for both the New York State Dental Association and the American Dental Association.
He has participated in several volunteer events, both locally and state wide to help treat underserved populations.
With the growth of his practice requiring an additional dentist, Dr. Mears is pleased to be able to turn to his daughter to fill that need.
“It’s a good feeling to know that my daughter will be working with me,” said Dr. Mears. “She is a very skilled dentist and I’m looking forward to introducing her to my patients.”
Dr. Ernest Mears’ General Dentistry Practice is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 315-342-0442.