Dr. Brandice Allen travels great lengths to serve others.
Each day, she drives to Franklin Dental offices in cities throughout Georgia–such as Dalton, Augusta, Columbus, and Macon–to treat children with serious dental needs who require anesthesia.
Each year, and sometimes multiple times a year, Dr. Allen also travels on mission trips to provide much-needed dental care in underdeveloped countries throughout the world. Working with Hope Missions 360, she recently led a mission trip to Panama and soon will serve as dental director for a trip to Tanzania.
“I believe in taking care of marginalized populations,” Dr. Allen said. “It’s just ingrained in my DNA. I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to have the best care. That is what I live for, that is my mission in life.”
While the mission trips can be difficult and often require working in intense heat under grueling conditions, Dr. Allen said it is well worth it. She is able to help people with critical needs who don’t otherwise have access to quality dental care.
“It’s extremely rewarding,” Dr. Allen said. “It’s such a privilege to be in a position to help so many. The patients are so gracious. I just feel like I’m doing God’s work. This is what God put me here for.”
Dentistry was her second career, but Dr. Allen said her lifepath began leading her there at a young age. She lost her father to leukemia when she was only 7, and grew up helping her mother, who was heavily involved in the community and regularly volunteered at women’s shelters and other charities. Those lessons instilled in her a passion for helping others and a lifelong interest in medicine.
As a young adult, Dr. Allen was a pre-med Biology major at Howard University and spent three months conducting undergraduate research in Ethiopia. The experience inspired her to pursue a Master of Public Health at Saint Louis University. After graduate school, Dr. Allen returned to her hometown of Atlanta and worked as vice president of operations for a local hospice agency. She helped the company grow from three to 13 locations, but knew it wasn’t the right fit for her long-term.
Driven by her interest in medicine, Dr. Allen sought advice and counsel from numerous practicing physicians and dentists. She ultimately decided to go to dental school, graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in Memphis, Tenn., and returned to Atlanta to work for another Dental Service Organization (DSO).
Dr. Allen said she left the company after its leaders failed to fulfill a promise to begin accepting Medicaid patients. It was vitally important to her to work for a practice that gave her the opportunity to treat patients in underserved communities. She initially worked for Benevis part-time during her time with the other DSO, and in the years after when she worked at various private practices.
“I came to realize that my best fit was with Benevis because of the autonomy it offers,” Dr. Allen said of her decision to transition to Benevis full-time. “It allows me to reach a large portion of the underserved populations here in Atlanta and in surrounding areas. Going into dentistry was the best decision I ever made. I love what I do.”
Benevis also gives her good work-life balance and the flexibility to pursue other interests. When she’s not traveling the state or the world to serve patients, Dr. Allen is an active volunteer in her community, a mentor to many young people, and a highly engaged aunt to her nieces and nephews. She lives every day following her mother’s example of living a giving life.
“Volunteering and mentorship are in my heart and soul,” Dr. Allen said. “I’ve lost track of how many mentees I have had who have moved on to dental school and other professions.
“I believe in the Ghanaian principle of Sankofa: Never forget where you came from, and don’t move forward without pulling others forward. It’s important to push younger generations who come behind us to do what they are passionate about, and to give them the confidence that, yes, they can. It is possible to achieve your dreams.”