Our Practice

Our team of Durham dentists are thrilled to welcome you to Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates! We are here to provide you and your family with the exceptional dental care you need to reach healthy, beautiful smiles. We will make sure that your visit with us is welcoming, comfortable, and relaxed. We invite you to contact our dental office today to learn more about us and to schedule an appointment with our dentists in Durham, North Carolina.

Meet Our Dentists

Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA

 

Dr. Desiree T. Palmer is the owner of Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates and Bull City Dental that opened on historic Parrish Street, downtown Durham, in August of 2015. Dr. Desiree T. Palmer and her team of professionals are dedicated to maintaining a reputation of excellence in dental care. She has over 30 years of experience in the dental field and strives to provide patients with the best dental care available. She graduated with a degree in biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College and received her professional education from Tufts School of Dental Medicine. She holds professional memberships with the National Dental Association, the American Association of Women’s Dentists, the Academy of General Dentistry, Old North State Dental, and local study clubs.

 

In her spare time, Dr. Palmer lectures and volunteers with several local organizations in the Durham community. She especially enjoys mentoring young people who plan to enter the dental profession. She belongs to several community service organizations including, Alpha Kappa, Alpha Sorority, and the Links, Inc. Our dentist is active in her church, Holy Cross. Dr. Palmer is married to Michael J. Palmer, and they have three sons: Austen, Brandon, and Colton. Dr. Palmer is the proud grandmother of Brianna Lillie Palmer and Solyn Aya Palmer.

 

Emaildpalmer@anewreasontosmile.com

Janier Barton, DDS

 

Dr. Barton is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. She completed a degree in dental hygiene at Fayetteville Technical Community College in 1999. Dr. Barton enjoyed working in the dental field as a hygienist and later decided to enter dental school to obtain her doctorate in dental surgery. She is a 2008 UNC dental school graduate, who has been practicing in the Raleigh/Durham area since graduating. She is married to Samineo and they have two sons Vincent and Samineo II. Dr. Barton says “she is delighted to have the opportunity to work with our practice and to be part of providing oral healthcare to our community.”

 

Email: drbarton@anewreasontosmile.com

Brittanie J. Harris, DDS

 

Dr. Brittanie Harris is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. Maintaining her dream of becoming a dentist, she created lasting mentorships while working as a dental hygienist for five years. She returned to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to receive her Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 2018. After graduating from dental school, Dr. Harris has practiced throughout the Triangle area and has finally made Durham her home. She is excited to be a part of our team in providing excellent oral care to our community.

 

Dr. Harris holds a passion for dentistry and the positive impact it has on every patient. She believes that first impressions start with a smile and is eager to create a lasting first impression for all she meets. Dr. Harris loves volunteering in the community and advocating for healthy oral and systemic care. She holds professional memberships with Academy of General Dentistry, North Carolina Dental Society, American Dental Association, and National Dental Society.

 

Dr. Harris loves spending time with her family, traveling, sewing, dancing, and cheering on her daughter, Maniya DeVaé, in her many events and competitions. Together, they enjoy cheering for the Tarheels and spending time with their dog, Marley.

Davia N. Nickelson, DDS

 

Dr. Davia Nickelson‘s mission is to provide exceptional comprehensive dental care to her patients in a comfortable, safe and reassuring environment. Originally from Stoneville, North Carolina, Dr. Nickelson has recently made the Triangle her home.

After attending the Elizabeth City State University to complete her undergraduate education, Dr. Nickelson went on to earn her doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. Additionally, she spent a year refining her knowledge and skills in the General Practice Residency at UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Health Care. While in attendance, Dr. Nickelson received recognition and awards including an achievement award from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and the Halo Award for dedication to volunteerism. She currently holds an Adjunct Faculty position at the UNC Adam’s School of Dentistry and serves on various committees at UNC.

Dr. Nickelson possesses a deep passion for improving public health and ensuring people from all walks of life have access to quality dental care. She has volunteered hundreds of hours of her service both locally and abroad. She actively volunteers in Durham’s C.A.A.R.E Clinic, Missions of Mercy, and UNC’s SHAC Clinic. Dr. Nickelson has been blessed to travel to Haiti and Malawi to provide dental services to those in need in these countries. She hopes to combine her loves of travel and dentistry even more in the near future.

“I strive to make a positive impact in my community through compassionate service and to share a wealth of accumulated knowledge with all.”

 

Professional Affiliations:

  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society
  • Old North State Dental Society
  • American Dental Society
  • Christian Medical and Dental Association

Meet Our Team

Our energetic, friendly dental team is committed to providing you with the best service possible. We strive to make your appointments with our dentists in Durham, North Carolina, as comfortable as possible. We invite you to contact Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates to learn more about our compassionate team and to schedule your next visit with Drs. Palmer and Barton.

Tonia Lewis Bennett – Practice Administrator

 

Tonia has been in the dental field since 1991 and joined our practice in 1997. Tonia takes pride in continuing education in practice management and dental technology to ensure that our practice is exceptional. She works closely with the doctors, staff, and patients to make certain that all systems and business aspects of the practice are functioning proficiently. In her spare time, Tonia enjoys reading, traveling, and sports.

Angela Scott – Office Manager

 

The first smiling face that greets you at our practice is Angela. 

 

She joined Dr Palmer’s team in 2004, where she schedules all appointments, registers new patients, and can answer questions regarding your appointment, insurance or billing. Angela and her husband Shannon are the proud parents of four adult children Keyante, Asia, Cydney and Shanna. In her spare time she enjoys coaching girl’s volleyball, traveling, DIY projects, and reading.

Jamie Fitzherbert – Registered Dental Hygienist

 

Jamie is a Registered Dental Hygienist with nearly 18 years of experience.
A Greek American from the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, Jamie moved to North Carolina in 1998 to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2002, she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in both Biology and Dental Hygiene.

 

Upon completion of her studies, Jamie joined the practice in 2002. Jamie believes that adopting Dr. Palmer’s “people first” approach has helped her build long lasting relationships with her patients and strives to make new patients feel at home. Her goal is to continue to provide exceptional dental hygiene care in a warm and caring environment, while continuing to learn about advancements in dentistry.

 

Jamie is married to her husband James and are proud parents to their sons, Landon and Kingston. In her spare time, Jamie enjoys traveling and visiting Greece, photography, cooking, party planning and spending time with her family.

Marilyn F. Williams – Registered Dental Hygienist

 

Marilyn is a graduate of Wayne Community College, NC with an Associate Degree in Applied Science; Dental Hygiene.  She has a long history in the dental profession and worked as a dental assistant prior to returning to dental hygiene school. Marilyn joined Dr. Palmer’s dental team initially as “Girl Friday” in 1998, Life happened, and she could not get in sync, but God presented the opportunity and in September 2018 returned as full -time contract hire hygienist. She takes great pride in educating patient on dental hygiene.  Marilyn likes to sing to patients as calming factor. It works! Patients become relaxed. She enjoys all ages, but is devoted to the elderly, high anxiety and special needs patients. Marilyn is also an Ordained Minister, she believes in” Saving Teeth and Saving Souls “. A mother of 2; daughter and son, grandmother of 4, and has 3 four-legged granddogs.  Marilyn serves her General Church Denomination as the International President of Disciples Women’s Ministries in United States and Canada, and does Retreats throughout the United States. She loves traveling, singing, dancing, reading, preaching the” Gospel “and spending time with her family.

Sherry Burwell – Hygiene Assistant DAII

 

Sherry has been in the Dental field since 1992 and has worked with Dr. Palmer since 1993. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill for the Dental Assisting Program. She is the proud mother of four and grandmother of ten. When Sherry is not working she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, she also enjoys reading, sewing and cooking.

Marcia Haith – Dental Assistant II

 

Marcia has been Dr. Palmer’s dental assistant since January 2001 and has been in the dental field since 1995. Marcia is a fun-loving individual who brings lots of laughter to the office and can make anyone smile. Marcia is the mother of two wonderful kids: Jasmin and Jaden.

Liza Parker – Insurance/Financial Coordinator

 

Liza initially began working in Dr. Palmer’s office in 2000 as a high school student intern. She is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health education. Liza has been with the practice since 2010. She works with the patients to ensure all financial concerns are addressed. Liza is married to her best friend, Leon. She enjoys volunteering at her local church and spending time with her cat, Moses.

Shannon Hock – Dental Assistant II

 

Shannon initially came to our practice as a college intern. She is a graduate of Miller-Motte College, where she earned a degree in Dental Assisting. Shannon especially enjoys the sense of “family” with our patients and members of our team.

 

Shannon is married to the “love of her life,” Cory. She enjoys going to the movies and spending time with family and friends. Shannon is now a mom of Kori & Kennedy.

Jailsa Scott – Dental Assistant II

 

Jalisa Scott has been assisting since 2017. She is a graduate of Miller-Motte College, where she earned a degree in Dental Assisting. Her areas of expertise include periodontics, orthodontics, and oral surgery.

 

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her daughter Emory. She also enjoys painting, reading, and writing spoken word.

Keishauna Gentry – Dental Assistant II

 

Keishauna is a Durham native who initially joined our Practice as an intern. She graduated from Miller-Motte College in 2017, with a degree in dental assisting. After temping full time and working at various offices around the Triangle, to gain more experience, she returned to join our team in January 2020. When she is not providing care and assisting in enhancing patient’s smiles, she is somewhere enjoying quality time with her daughter, friends and family. 

Rosemary Hunt – Insurance Coordinator

 

Rosemary attended NC Dental U for the Dental Assisting Program, joined Dr. Palmer’s team in May 2014 as a Hygiene Assistant and now works as our Insurance Coordinator. She is married to here high school sweetheart, David, a proud mother of two children, Justin and Geneva, a devoted Abuelita to Lilly and Wayden, and loves her doggie Grams. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys reading, watching Spanish soaps, and spending time with her family and friends.

Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Pereen Bubala

 

We will cherish our wonderful memories of Dr. B and the impact her life left on our practice family. She courageously battled lung cancer with dignity. We will miss her but always remember the compassion and joy she brought to her patients, family and friends.

Our Mission

Our purpose is to provide comprehensive dental care, above and beyond expectations, in a warm and caring environment, while bringing our patients to optimal oral health. We are committed to continuing education, state of the art technology, and exceptional service. We strive to serve the greater Durham, North Carolina, community while building long lasting relationships with our patients.

Core Values

As employees of the Practice, we commit that our professional conduct will be governed by values. Our daily work efforts will reflect our commitment to these values and we encourage constructive feedback from our patients regarding how well we adhere to our work beliefs.

Dependable

  • We believe that dentistry is a noble profession. It provides each of us with a daily, unique opportunity to improve the lives of our patients. Our commitment to this purpose and duty is essential to our success. Individually and collectively, we will demonstrate good stewardship of all the resources entrusted to us, take responsibility for our actions, and continuously pledge to meet the performance expectations we have for each other and for our patients. We believe it is important to be loyal, reliable, responsive, and supportive.

Accountability

  • We believe that our patients deserve superior yet cost effective products and services.
  • We believe that each of us is personally accountable for meeting agreed on work requirements and performing our jobs well, and we take responsibility for our actions and our work.

Teamwork

  • We believe Teamwork is integral to our success, working towards one goal and contributing where needed. We each have our own talents and abilities which together allow for us to provide excellent service to our patients. We are committed to embracing our diversity, being open to new ideas, and showing understanding, mutual respect and trust with each other and the patients we serve.

Respect

  • We show by our actions the high regard we have for self and for others. We maintain self-control and treat people the way we want to be treated. We strive to show consideration and appreciation for our patients and each other and use polite expressions when responding to concerns or differences.

Integrity

  • We adhere to the highest standard of dental care for our patients. We   are committed to making continuous improvements to our processes and services while fostering a working environment that supports team members’ efforts to respond to customers’ needs using their creativity and best problem-solving skills.
  • We adhere to our values and believe in honoring our commitments. We act honestly and ethically and we treat everyone with dignity, tolerance, and understanding.  

Community Service

We are committed to giving back to our community. Some of our ongoing projects have included: back to school backpack drive, book collections for elementary aged children, volunteering on the Baptist Men’s dental bus, health fairs, career days, adopting a family, coat and hat drive for kids at at a local elementary school,  providing adult care packages at the Ronald McDonald house, and volunteering at the soup kitchen.

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