Dr. Tontra Lowe, a dentist of Awesome Smiles Dental Center in Haymarket, has served as a volunteer with Fauquier Free Clinic for five years. Dr. Lowe is professionally affiliated with multiple associations, including the American Dental Association, and the Virginia Dental Association. Dr. Lowe lives in Fauquier County with her husband and two sons.
“Overall, the goal is to help people be better when they walk out the door than when they came in”
What is your title or role at the Fauquier Free Clinic? I’m a general dentist a volunteer trying to spread the good news about oral health and how to maintain it.
Past Education: My past education includes graduation from Howard University College of Dentistry, where I got my D.D.S. degree in 2005. It’s hard to believe its been a little over ten years. However, when you’re doing what you love and you’re helping people, time just flies.
What are some of your responsibilities within the Clinic? My responsibility is to treat the patients that come in here with the best ability that I have, and to make sure they receive the best oral health care possible.
How did you become involved with the Clinic? I was reading Warrenton Lifestyle magazine and I saw a write up about the Free Clinic seeking volunteers. I thought, that’s a great way to get involved, so I contacted Rob Marino to be part of it.
What is your favorite part about your job? As a whole, I love being able to help people smile with confidence. Not everyone is able to receive treatment in a private office setting and it’s so awesome that the Clinic gives people an opportunity to still be healthy and have some confidence with their teeth and smile.
What is something you wish more people knew about the Free Clinic? I wish they knew it was here. Volunteerism is key to our core value system in my office and I promote the Fauquier Free Clinic in hopes of having someone say, “maybe I can’t use this service, but I know someone who can”, and that will bring more people to the Clinic. But a lot of people don’t know that the clinic exists, so I feel great about being able to promote it.
How would you describe the atmosphere within the Clinic? The staff here is absolutely fantastic. It’s hard sometimes to get people who feel comfortable enough in what they are doing and actually feel the need, want, and desire to come and help others. The staff is very receptive here. They come because they are willing to help others and they want to provide the best healthcare to these patients. Overall, the goal is to help people be better when they walk out the door than when they came in.
Where do you hope to see the Clinic in 10 years? Rob Marino does such a fantastic job with growing the clinic and being able to secure funding for additional equipment and treatment. I’m confident that the clinic will expand even more than it has.
How can community members better support the Free Clinic? By volunteering their time and energy. I promote my volunteering in the hopes of making others feel that they can do it too. These patients are so grateful and happy when they are able to smile with confidence or be able to sleep at night because they are out of pain.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I love entertaining and I love looking at recipes on Facebook and trying them out.
What is your favorite food? I love it all.
What is your favorite thing about Fauquier County? I love the small town feel. I love being able to drive through Old Town and see the town thriving, the small shops, and the people who seem to love being in the County.
What’s your favorite season? Spring. New life, new growth, and I always think everyone can do a little spring cleaning. Why not include a clean smile?
If you could meet anyone, living or past, who would it be and why? The movie “Hidden Figures” out this year tells the story of three African American women who were instrumental in one of the first NASA launches of human beings into space. Little known historical facts like that intrigues me. It’s hard to move forward if you haven’t looked back to see what has happened and understand how it has helped shape the present, and how it will shape the future.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self? I would say, be a little more proactive in what you are seeking for your career path. I would also say, listen to your parents when they are trying to direct and lead you. They are only trying to do what is best for you and preventing you from making mistakes that will lead you down a path that could have been more direct.
Is there any mantra you live by? The tagline I use in my office, and what I always tell patients, is “when you change your smile, you change your life.” As soon as you give patients a smile that they can be happy about, or a smile they can share with others, they will do it all day long because they are happy and their confidence has increased. Their life has literally changed.
What should people know about you that they might not know? Most people know I am a veteran of the United States Army. However, what the army taught me is that being confident in what you do, knowing who you are, and knowing what role you play in the actions being taken mean a lot. In this life, its not what you do, its how you impact others. I’ve read, people will only remember six percent of what you tell them, but they will remember 100 percent of how you made them feel. I want my patients to know that they can come to me at any time for more than what just happens in their mouth.