Dr. Acey Nixon is one of San Carlos Apache Healthcare’s dental providers. He graduated with a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from Midwestern University in 2016 and after working a short time in Glendale has been with SCAHC for three years.
“I’ve been in a lot of rural clinics, this is the nicest, the newest,” said Dr. Nixon. “Anything that we need gets ordered and I am able to do all that I was trained to do. We have the right equipment and latest technology.”
In other rural clinics, Dr. Nixon said that there are limitations in the type of services provided but at SCAHC they are able to do almost any type of treatment for patients.
As a general dentist, he performs dental restoration like fillings and crowns, fitting dentures or bridges. He also focuses on oral surgery and placing of implants. Working with complex cases has pushed him to become a better dentist and he welcomes the challenge.
For the complex cases, there are multiple treatments needed to save patient’s teeth. In the past, teeth were deemed hopeless and were extracted. Now, the dentists are able to treat them so that the patients can keep their teeth.
“In this clinic, we have several highly-trained dentists that are able to provide all the services that you get in private practice,” said Dr. Nixon. “We are constantly pushing this clinic to be as good as or better than you can get anywhere else. It pushes us to provide better treatment, especially when you have a community used to getting the bear minimum for so many years.”
He said that the patients are kind and grateful for the work that he does. He enjoys working in a small, tight-knit community where everybody is someone’s cousin because it allows him to get to know his patients.
As a National Health Services Scholar, Dr. Nixon was obligated to work in a rural area for two years. He liked the clinic and patients that he stayed despite fulfilling his obligation.
Dr. Nixon always knew he wanted to do something in the medical field. At first he became an EMT and was working towards becoming a firefighter. Once his wife became a dental hygienist, he decided to change paths and become a dentist.
He started his undergraduate studies at Arizona State University studying small business and biology. He became one of the two percent of dental students who apply and are accepted to dental school without getting an undergraduate degree.
In his free time, he spends most of his time with his wife and three children but enjoys waking up early to mountain bike with his older brother. While growing up he spent a lot of time outdoors and was a Colorado River guide for eight years.