Orange Grove Center Hires Dr. Nellie Gannon

Thursday, August 22, 2019
Orange Grove Center announces Dr. Nellie P. Gannon has joined their staff. Dr. Gannon will be working as a dentist in the clinic.

"The dental clinic here at Orange Grove Center is different than most," officials said.  "Thanks to a grant from the TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, we are able to run Project Open Wide. This means that we are willing to do whatever it takes to get our patients to open wide. From the flat-screen televisions mounted on the ceiling, to the jolly jukebox in the corner, any visit to our clinic is sure to be memorable." 

Working as a dentist with individuals who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities has seemed to unfold naturally for Dr.
Gannon. "I grew up around many people with different abilities. I am the older sibling of somebody on the autism spectrum," says Dr. Gannon. "In high school, I spent a lot of time volunteering at a facility for individuals with special needs, and when I got to college I took classes in disability studies."

People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities are the largest minority population in the United States who lack adequate dental care, according to a 2017 report in the academic journal Special Care in Dentistry. 

"I remember in one class, a woman with special needs and her mother came in. They told us that of all medical professions, it is hardest to find a dentist to work with people who have disabilities," says Dr. Gannon. "This has stuck with me, and it helped me realize that when I became a dentist, I wanted to be able to work with any individuals with unique needs." 

Dr. Gannon graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 2014, and University of Louisville School of Dentistry in 2018. She is a member of the American Association for Women Dentists, the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and the American Dental Association. She earned her Advanced Education in General Dentistry certification through the Lee Specialty Clinic in 2019.  

Completing her residency at the Lee Specialty Clinic reinforced special care dentistry as her passion. "While some days can be physically demanding and some appointments may take longer than many dentists are used to, I learn so much about myself and everybody around me when I see my patients. I believe they make me a better person," says Dr. Gannon.  "Seeing my patients makes me happy.  I look forward to working with them every day, getting to know them and making a positive change in their lives."

When Dr. Gannon is not in the clinic, you can find her running, reading or traveling.

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