Tanesha Francis, DMD
Park Slope Kids Dental Care
Dentistry is more than a career to Tanesha Francis D.M.D. — it’s a long held passion. She became interested in the profession as a preteen, while watching an episode of “Oprah” that featured bachelor doctors. Initially attracted to the dentists’ lifestyle, she researched the field and became obsessed with the idea of fixing teeth. “I was making braces and retainers with paper clips and cleaning friends’ teeth with any type of utensil I could find,” says the only child of Panamanian and Jamaican parents.
Francis earned a bachelor’s degree at Howard University and enrolled at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. During a general practice residency at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, she was encouraged by her director to specialize in pediatric dentistry, an area Francis finds truly rewarding. She recently opened Park Slope Kids Dental Care, a pediatric dental practice in Brooklyn, N.Y. “You can see the result of your work immediately. It’s also nice to see a parent smile when they see their child’s mouth and everything is cleaned up and they know that they’re getting a second start,” she says.
To be certain that she provides quality care, Francis became board certified, a designation held by fewer than 5,000 pediatric dentists, less than 1 percent of whom are African-American. She considers her work a community service and strives to educate both children and parents about the importance of oral health, speaking at local schools, health fairs, and overseas in annual trips to India and China.
Pediatric dentist Sidney Whitman, owner of Hamilton Dental Associates where Francis worked for nine years, had a significant impact on her career. She asserts, “He showed me how to operate an efficient pediatric practice, how to take care of your staff, and gave me a vision of how to impact the community.”