The Resource Center is pleased to announce that Dr. Courtney Oliver has joined the staff of TRC’s Jamestown dental office.

A native of the Seattle area, Dr. Oliver received his bachelor degree in chemistry from Xavier University in New Orleans and his masters in oral health sciences from Boston University.  He earned his doctorate in dental surgery from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and completed his residency at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in the nation’s capital.  Before joining The Resource Center, Dr. Oliver had been practicing in New Jersey.

He has managed and diagnosed cases ranging from pediatric to geriatric by providing treatment plans that are geared toward patients’ immediate and future needs.  He has experience in oral surgery, endodontic, operative, pediatric, periodontic, and prosthodontic procedures.

Dr. Oliver said he made the decision to become a dentist while in college.  He knew he wanted to enter the medical field but wasn’t sure what discipline to concentrate on.  A chemistry professor suggested he focus on the dental profession.  Having an older brother who was a dentist, Dr. Oliver decided to give it a try, and he hasn’t looked back.
“I’ve really enjoyed the experience,” he said.  “It’s a good career profession.”

Dr. Oliver came to Jamestown by chance.  He had been looking at job opportunities in the New York City area before learning of the opening at The Resource Center.  Having just heard about Jamestown because of the nation-wide attention that was brought to the so-called “Ugly Lucy” statue of Lucille Ball, Dr. Oliver decided to check out TRC and the community as a whole.
Upon first visiting The Resource Center last summer, Dr. Oliver was pleased that the Jamestown dental office was being renovated and expanded, with new exam rooms and state-of-the-art equipment.  Those renovations were completed in October.

“One of the nicest things about coming to a new facility is that you feel as though you’re the first person to use the equipment,” said Dr. Oliver.  “The facilities that we have are amazing.  They’re on par with any place I’ve worked before.”

He added that another nice feature of The Resource Center’s dental office is that it is located in the same building as TRC’s primary care clinic.  As a result, if Dr. Oliver has a question about a dental patient who also receives primary care services from The Resource Center, he can walk over to the clinic and talk to the patient’s physician.

“I had that same experience at another place where I worked.  In order to provide the best care, you need to have access to a patient’s complete health record.”

The Resource Center’s dental office serves a diverse patient base that includes people with disabilities and the community at large, and Dr. Oliver said he is well qualified to see anyone who comes to TRC for dental services.  “As a result of my training, I have been able to treat a wide patient base including children, adolescents and adults across the special needs spectrum,” he said.  “With my experience, in treating special needs populations, I have developed both the communication and clinical skills necessary to treat all patients.”

An important aspect of those communication skills is putting people at ease.  “Never treat a stranger” is a motto that Dr. Oliver makes a point to follow.  Upon meeting patients for the first time, Dr. Oliver tries to make them feel comfortable by asking questions, such as where a person is from.  He enjoys meeting people from other cultures and races, and having a personal give-and-take with patients makes the experience more positive for everyone.  So far, things have been going well.

“I enjoy it.  I really like the patient base I work with.  Patients are really glad to see you.”

TRC officials are glad to have Dr. Oliver as a member of the Jamestown dental staff.

“We are truly fortunate to have Dr. Oliver join our TRC family,” said Marcia Restivo, director of clinical services.  “His sunny disposition and friendly chair-side manner put patients instantly at ease.  Some people experience high anxiety about going to see a dentist, so you can imagine how important it is to have someone like Dr. Oliver, whose positive rapport helps to put patients at ease.”

Having moved to Jamestown in December, Dr. Oliver said the thing that has surprised him the most is how quickly the weather can change.  He had assumed that once cold temperatures arrived last fall, it would stay cold until spring.  But that was not been the case this year, with a cold and snowy March following on the heels of a relatively mild and snow-free February that saw record warm temperatures.

Now that spring has arrived, Dr. Oliver said he looks forward to doing some hiking.  He also is excited about attending some of the events at Chautauqua Institution this summer.  A sports fan, Dr. Oliver said he especially enjoys baseball, basketball and football.  And without tipping his hand as to which is his favorite football team, Dr. Oliver said with a smile that he has “already learned that you don’t root against the Bills.”

Something he has found pleasant since arriving in Jamestown is how well he has been treated by area residents.

“I think the people in the community have welcomed me with open arms,” Dr. Oliver said.  “From opening a bank account to starting a gym membership, people couldn’t have been nicer.”

Dr. Oliver’s long-term goals include increasing awareness about the importance of maintaining one’s oral health and educating people on the proper way to care for their teeth and gums.  He said getting children interested in these topics is important, because if children become excited about taking care of their teeth, their parents will buy into the concept as well.
“What we have to do as providers is lay the foundation,” Dr. Oliver said.  “Because guess what?  Parents want to do well for their kids.  Everybody wants their child to do better than what they did.”
He had a message for everyone at The Resource Center and the community at large: “It’s been a wonderful opportunity to be here.  I can’t say `thank you’ enough for welcoming me.”

Dr. Oliver is a member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the Student National Dental Association, and the Christian Dental Society.

The Resource Center’s Jamestown office is located within TRC’s Community Health Center at 890 East Second Street.  The practice has two other dentists: Dr. William Veazey (who also practices two days a week at TRC’s Dunkirk dental office) and Dr. Linda Bowman.  For more information, phone 661-1431 or visit www.resourcecenter.org.