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678-280-6630 West Gwinnett clinic
770-806-0162 East Gwinnett clinic

Dr. Christiane Francisco Drake

Inspiring Women in Dentistry: Dr. Christiane Francisco-Drake

Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett stands as one of the largest nonprofit dental practices in Gwinnett County, providing vital care to thousands of patients from the metro Atlanta area each year. This Women’s History Month, we are honored to spotlight Dr. Christiane Francisco-Drake, one of Good Samaritan Gwinnett’s dentists who is shaping dentistry and communities alike. In this interview, Dr. Francisco-Drake offers insights into her journey at Good Samaritan Gwinnett, the transformative power of access to dental care for women in underserved communities, and more. Let’s explore her inspiring insights and contributions to healthcare. 

What inspired you to pursue a career in dentistry?  

Dr. Francisco-Drake: I love working in healthcare and having the opportunity to educate our patients on the importance of oral health and how it relates to the entire body. I also thoroughly enjoy the artistry of dentistry so to be able to do this every day is a huge blessing. The field of dentistry is forever changing, so working in a field that will continue to challenge me to grow and not be stagnant was appealing. 

What initially drew you to work at Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett, and how do you believe your presence contributes to the narrative of women’s achievements in healthcare, particularly during Women’s History Month? 

Dr. Francisco-Drake: Working for the Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett ties together many of my passions. I love that I can combine my love for dentistry with my love of Christ. Spreading the gospel and praying for patients is not only welcome, but it’s encouraged, which is awesome. As a woman of color, I understand the importance of representation, so I’m happy to be able to represent both in this workspace. 

Women’s oral health is influenced by unique hormonal changes they experience throughout different stages of their lives. For example, hormonal fluctuations throughout puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can impact gum health, leading to conditions like pregnancy gingivitis. How does Good Samaritan Gwinnett address women’s oral health concerns and empower women to prioritize their dental well-being?   

Dr. Francisco-Drake: One of the things our dental clinic prides itself on is patient education and holistic care. The basis of empowerment starts with education. Since the inception of Good Samaritan Gwinnett, our goal has been to provide comprehensive care that incorporates a team-centered approach. Starting with our front desk, to our assistants, and lastly, our providers, we reinforce the message of good oral home care to offset any hormonal changes the patient may be experiencing. We also take every opportunity we can to refer to our medical counterparts to make sure all the patient’s medical needs are met.  

Good Samaritan Gwinnett offers low-cost dental care to serve people who do not have dental insurance and cannot afford routine dental care in traditional settings. How does this access, coupled with oral health education, particularly empower women in underserved or marginalized community? 

Dr. Francisco-Drake: One of Good Samaritan’s missions is to minimize health disparities among underserved and marginalized communities. Lack of oral health access can affect a patient’s confidence and everyday function. Providing women with access to quality dental care at a fraction of the cost empowers them by giving them hope that improved oral health and improved quality of life are within reach. 

Can you share an experience or patient interaction that exemplifies the impact and fulfillment you find in your role at the clinic?   

Dr. Francisco-Drake: Many of our first-time patients report that they have never been to the dentist or state that it’s been 10-plus years since their last visit. As a result, they often have extensive needs and lack education. To be able to witness these patients transform into long-term hygiene recall patients with minimal needs has been very gratifying over the years.  

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, what message would you like to share with young girls and women considering a career in dentistry or healthcare?  

Dr. Francisco-Drake: Working in healthcare is very fulfilling because every day you’ll be able to do meaningful work. It’s not always easy, but it is impactful. Our health is all we have, so having the opportunity to help others improve their quality of life day after day is truly remarkable.

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