Dr. Cristi Cheek has had a passion for dentistry since second grade. “I loved visiting my dentist in our hometown in Northeast Georgia. I always saw myself being the same kind of dentist – one who has great relationships with patients and makes visits enjoyable.” After graduating first in her class from the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Cheek associated with a practice for two years before starting Cheek Dental in East Cobb, a practice she has owned for 21 years. During her early years of practice ownership, Dr. Cheek married her husband, Ron, and together they have three children, now all teenagers, along with three rescue dogs.
“I love how being a dentist in my own practice has afforded me the ability to have a career I thoroughly enjoy while raising my children. When my kids were young, I was able to set my schedule so that I could be the mystery reader at school and attend Muffins for Moms events while still caring for the members of my community at the dental office.”
Being a dentist is so much more than what she imagined as a child, Dr. Cheek relates, stating that her own journey to healing after being diagnosed with sleep apnea several years ago helped her see how interrelated the medical disciplines are. “I have the opportunity to care for the WHOLE person, as oral health is related to many other medical conditions.” She also comments on how much the dental profession has changed over the last decade. “I am designing and fabricating crowns on a CAD/CAM machine and viewing x-ray images in 3D on our CBCT unit. Patients appreciate that we can use a computerized scanner to make virtual impressions instead of those messy, gag-inducing traditional impressions in a tray.” Dr. Cheek says she loves investing in technology that gives the best diagnostic information, patient experience, and treatment outcomes. “A patient can come into our office with a broken tooth and walk out in less than two hours with a beautiful, natural looking custom stained and color matched crown. And the ability to view a CBCT image that shows structures in three dimensions greatly improves my ability to find and prevent problems that can sometimes be difficult to see with traditional X-rays.”
Dr. Cheek truly enjoys what she does…not only the artistry of dentistry but the relationships she forms with her team and patients. “We have a great reputation in the East Cobb community, and I owe a lot of that to my amazing team. We have the most kind, intelligent, dedicated, and genuinely caring people here at Cheek Dental. Working with a group of ladies where every single team member does her best, has genuine empathy for others, and goes above and beyond to help the patients and each other, makes working here a joy and fosters trust which is so important in relationships.” And Dr. Cheek says she loves that she is able to serve the dental needs of entire families as well as individuals who come just for expert cosmetic treatments like veneers, Botox, and fillers. “A smile instantly connects one person to another, and I am proud that I get to be a part of the connections people make throughout their lifetime.”
Dr. Cheek says she never stops growing as a dentist and finds that the more she learns, the more she realizes there is to learn. “The body is complex, and so many parts are interrelated. For example, we now know that people who grind their teeth may have airway problems, so I need to look beyond just the condition of each tooth and assess the entire mouth as a system and its relation to any health conditions.”
As her practice grew, Dr. Cheek began searching for a like-minded dentist to join the Cheek Dental team and feels so fortunate to have met Dr. Kristina Chandler 7 years ago. “After the team interviewed Dr. Chandler, they knew she was the one we had been searching for. Dr. Chandler has that same servant’s heart, genuine concern for others, and meticulous attention to detail and embodies the six core values held by the Cheek Dental team.”
Cheek Dental is located on Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb in the Providence Place office park, and along with basic dental services, also offers implant restorations, Invisalign, teeth whitening, full mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic veneers and crowns, and facial esthetic treatments. You can visit their website at www.cheekdental.com to learn more.