Dentistry is a family matter for the Owings

*Thank you to writer Mitzi Oxford and publisher Neil Gordon with Augusta Business Daily for sharing this story.

The Owings family has a history in dentistry spanning 46 years. What started with Dr. David Owings’ North Augusta practice in 1976 has resulted in three generations of dentists.

“My dad had a special way with people and his patients, who are now our patients, tell us they wouldn’t be coming to a dentist if it weren’t for him,” explained his son, Dr. Alan Owings.

Quite a testimonial for a man who didn’t start cleaning and filling teeth. His early career path found him working for Squibb Pharmaceuticals, which later became a global company, Bristol Myers Squibb. Perhaps his clients saw something he didn’t because they encouraged David to attend dental school. He took that advice, moved his family to North Augusta, and the rest of that part of the story is history.

His son Alan never dreamed of following in his dad’s footsteps.

“I didn’t want to become a dentist because my dad wasn’t home that much,” he said. “I started college for an electrical engineer degree but in my second year it was like a calling to go into dentistry.”

When he graduated, his first job was at McCormick Correctional Institute. It was a great experience and “helped shape who I am.”

Like her brother, Rebecca Owings Sam didn’t initially choose the dental career path, even though she and Alan both worked in their dad’s office when they were growing up.

Alan and Rebecca with their dad Dr. David Owings in 1992

“When I was ready to pursue a college degree, I discussed my intention with my father about studying dentistry. He suggested being a hygienist instead,” she said.

But she took a different route, becoming a nurse and working in neonatal care. Once again, though, the family genes ran strong and she ended up in the dental profession. She and Alan entered the Medical College of Georgia and graduated with Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees at the same time. It was the right move for both.

“There have been so many developments in dental technology in the past 30 years, it’s very stimulating and I love learning,” Rebecca explained.

Something else they share is the “family atmosphere” because not only do they work together under the Owings and Sam Dentistry banner, but they also see generations of patients who have become like family.

Alan and Rebecca both joined their dad’s practice in 1998. Since then, the Owings legacy has continued even though their father passed away in 2016. Alan’s daughter, Kacie Adams, has come on board as a dental hygienist, and upon graduating from The Dental College of Georgia with a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree this year, his other daughter, Allison Owings Bass, has joined the family practice.

She shares the same love of dentistry and helping generations of patients.

Dr. Alan Owings and his wife, Laura, congratulate their daughter, Allison, upon receiving her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree.

“A patient asked me recently if it was hard being part of a family business,” Allison said. “I said, no, it’s not and it’s really an honor being a part of three generations of any career.”

It’s possible that soon another family member will join the team. Allison’s husband Jacob is pursuing his DMD degree. There seems to always be room for one more in the Owings and Sam Dentistry family.

“Our dad loved to talk about making a silk purse from a sow’s ear,” Rebecca said. “He loved to create beautiful smiles and so do his children and grandchildren.”