Russia-born Dr. Anya Pukhovitskaya takes care of patients in her adopted hometown—and well beyond.
BORN IN 1986 in St. Petersburg, Russia—then called Leningrad—Anya Pukhovitskaya recognized from an early age that many of her countrymen were petrified of dentistry. Upon emigrating to Massachusetts with her family at age 12, she already knew she wanted to help.
After graduating from Boston University’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine in 2014, she began implementing top technology at her practice, South Boston Family Dental. (She has since added offices in East Boston and the northern suburb Swampscott.) “Dentistry has come a long way,” she says. “It allows me to help people via life-changing cosmetic improvements.”
Longtime appreciation for the value of community has led her to support a number of worthwhile initiatives: Special Olympics Dental Screening, Countdown to Kindergarten Screening and Team Smile, a national advocacy group that partners oral-health professionals with pro-sports organizations to provide dental care to needy children. She and her staff also sponsor the East Boston YMCA’s annual Halloween 5K Road Race, which helps send children to summer camps. Starting in March, too, she and her team at South Boston Dental will begin dedicating a day every so often to complimentary oral care for veterans.
Further afield, in 2012 Dr. Pukhovitskaya traveled to rural areas around San Marcos, Honduras, to provide dental work including exams, sealants and restorative procedures—a trip she calls “incredibly rewarding.
“Seeing the struggles of another side of the world changed my perception quite a bit,” she adds. “I was proud to provide treatment and educate a community that doesn’t have access to good oral-health care otherwise.”
Being a self-starter helps her divide her time between her 9-to-5 and her philanthropy. “As the owner of my practice, I’m able to prioritize humanitarian work,” she says. “I’m comfortable closing the office for a day for a charity event. I’ve also established a budget for donations and sponsorships throughout the year.”
Dr. Pukhovitskaya urges every dentist to give back. Start nearby if doing so seems daunting: “There are multiple organizations through local gyms and libraries, such as the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA. Once you reach out, you see so many opportunities. All you need is to find a cause you believe in.” •
For more information about Dr. Anya Pukhovitskaya’s philanthropic efforts, follow her on Instagram @sbfamilydental and at facebook.com/sbfamdental.
CHRISTIAN COACHMAN, the influential founder of Digital Smile Design, now has a podcast, Coffee Break With Coachman, in which he sits down with noted dental figures. He recently spoke with Dr. Maurice Salama, an Atlanta periodontist and orthodontist who helped launch the Orthodontic Online Fellowship training program in concert with Align Technology and DentalXP. Among the highlights:
Coachman: I recently gave the first live lecture to the Orthodontic Online Fellowship. About 7,000 people watched online. The Fellowship is this new project that you’re heading. Explain what it is.
Salama: It’s very exciting—the whole world, obviously, is getting more involved in orthodontics and esthetics. We had an opportunity to create this online program that will integrate some of the technology advances, from preteen to early-treatment orthodontics all the way to pre-prosthetic and adult orthodontics.
Coachman: It’s an in-depth program: 10 sessions, and then you go do Invisalign training as well. It’s very comprehensive.
Salama: Yes—and one thing digital [technology] allows us to do is that people can take the didactic portion [of the course] at their own pace.