Dentist and a Mentor: Alumna Shares a Lifetime of Wisdom

by Dr. Kajuana Farrey Sutton

Did life slow down for you during the pandemic? Things sped up for my staff and me. In addition to running my dental practices, I founded a company, Georgia Dental Educational Institute LLC , that trains dental assistants. I have trained dozens of people through this 10-week program, located in Riverdale and Moultrie, Georgia, and am very proud of the role the institute has played in helping individuals obtain jobs during the pandemic.

One of our graduates, Abbey Mincey, was accepted into the DCG, where she ranked among the top of her sophomore class, and another, Dennerick Simpson, has been accepted into the Harvard School of Dental Medicine Joseph L. Henry Oral Health Fellowship Program.

I love returning the favor of helping launch young people’s career aspirations. I was an eighth-grader when I participated in the DCG’s Impressions Program, founded by Dr. Kimberly Beal (’00). The program exposed me to dentistry, and I built on this foundation by shadowing my family dentists, Drs. Edward J. Green (’83) and Charles King Sr. (’82). I also spent summers completing dental research with Dr. Stephen Hsu, professor in the DCG Department of Oral Biology and Diagnostic Sciences.

Upon graduation, I co-founded the West Albany Dental and Medical Center in Albany, Georgia, treating approximately 4,000 patients, then opened my own private practices, Farrey Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry LLC in the Georgia cities of Moultrie and Riverdale.

My commitment to oral health education and treatment includes my participation in numerous civic, volunteer and professional organizations, including serving as president of the Georgia Dental Association’s Southwestern District Dental Society. During the pandemic, I coordinated virtual meetings for district members and created a website offering online continuing-education courses for GDA members.

I urge young people to follow my lead, seeking out opportunities to serve others and make a real difference.

Your community will applaud your commitment. For instance, I recently received a Clinical Expert Award from the Lucy Hobbs Project in Dentistry, an initiative of Benco Dental that honors six women annually who follow in the footsteps of Lucy Hobbs, the nation’s the first licensed female dentist. I was cited for my service as “a skillful practitioner who embraces advancements and integrates them into patient care.”

I was also included in a 2021 list of “Women Who Inspire” by Incisal Edge Magazine, a dental trade magazine, and in 2019 received a 40 under 40 Award of America’s Top Youngest Dentists from Benco Dental. This January, I was inducted into the prestigious Pierre Fauchard Dental Academy as a Fellow.

Of course, I am particularly thrilled by my most recent accolade, the 2022 DCG Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. I attribute all my professional recognition to my DCG training and the foundation it provided for implant, cosmetic and comprehensive oral health care. It was the mentorship of others at DCG that inspired me in my ministry of dentistry, and if I can provide that to others, I know I am fulfilling God’s will.

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