Left of Center by Joshua Maloni
Graci Marra Bax probably would've made a wonderful veterinarian.
But she was born to be a dentist.
She just didn't know it at first.
Though Graci's grandfather, the late Peter J. Marra, was a renowned dentist in Niagara County, "Honestly, it was something I never considered growing up. I always wanted to be a vet," she said. "And then one day, my mom suggested, 'Why don't you try dentistry?' Because my grandfather was a dentist. But my initial instinct was no; I don't want to put my fingers in peoples' mouths."
Of course, she realized there's more to dentistry than its mechanics.
"I shadowed Dr. Whiteman in Niagara Falls, Dr. Mastroianni in Niagara Falls, and then I also spent time with my grandfather," Graci said. "After doing that, I realized that it's not just about being in someone's mouth. It's about interactions with people. And every patient is different and has a different story. That just made the day exciting."
"The dentistry part, of course, followed," she said. "It's kind of a combination of science, which I love; art, which I loved; and then also just being with people."
The Lewiston-Porter High School graduate's business motto is "The most important thing to wear is a smile," and Graci states on her website, "I hope to make a difference in people's lives and give back to the community where I was born and raised."
For her, it's all about the patient.
"We are a hometown office," she said. "We're not a large operation; we're not going to have 10 people waiting in our waiting room. It's a personal relationship, and we'll take the time to make them all comfortable and, basically, follow their treatment goals - not our treatment goals.
"I have a vision for every patient, but if they come in and say, 'I just want this done, or this done,' you know, obviously we're going to follow what their goals are."
Graci, the daughter of Dr. A.J. Bax, is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo and the SUNY Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. Find out more about her at www.gracifamilydental.com.
The dental practice is located at 5320 Military Road, Suite 101, Lewiston (adjacent to Mount St. Mary's Hospital). To schedule an appointment, call 716-29-TEETH (716-298-3384).