From a young age, Abigail May knew she wanted to grow up and become a dentist, inspired by the experience of her grandfather. “My family is from Eastern Kentucky, where there’s a lot of underserved population, especially in terms of dentistry. My grandpa told me when he was younger that he didn’t see a dentist until he was 18 years old when a mobile unit came to his school. That was surprising,” May said.
Beyond her piqued interest from her grandfather’s experience, May has always been interested in science. “Dentistry is something I can do in that field and actually make a difference.”
After growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, and attending the University of Kentucky, May decided to experience something new when it was time for dental school and moved to New York to attend Columbia University. “It was good to be somewhere else for dental school and get new experiences. But I knew I would want to return to Kentucky one day.”
After graduation, May worked for a mobile dental clinic in Kentucky like the one that saw her grandfather for his first dental experience. Then she found Ruby Dental & Braces, a Benevis-supported practice. She works in the Lexington office four days a week and continues to provide dental care through the mobile unit one day a week primarily in eastern and northern Kentucky.
“I was attracted to Ruby Dental and Benevis because of its mission to work with the underserved, which is why I got into dentistry, to serve patients in need like my grandpa. Living in Kentucky, you see such a need for that mission, and it really resonated with me,” May said.
May began practicing at the Lexington office in March 2023. Already, she has had some fulfilling moments serving patients there.
“I love getting to work with kids because you don’t ever want to see a kid in pain. Getting to fix that is so beneficial,” May said. “The teenagers will start off a little tougher, with a hard exterior. As I talk to them, I may find out that the cavity they have on their front tooth is bothering them, not just physical pain, but the appearance of it. I’ve had a couple of teenagers tear up when they get it fixed because they’re surprised it looks so much better.”
Most recently, May and the team were able to help a patient in recovery from substance use. “Being part of a team to repair a patient’s severely damaged teeth just in time for her job interviews was one of my most rewarding experiences as a dentist. It was an emotional experience for everyone!”
She has also been able to see some patients over a span of time, building that relationship and seeing real progress in their care. “I like getting to work with the same patients over and over again. We see patients who are in foster care, and they may have a ton of dental issues. It takes a while to fix everything. But then, we’ll see them six months later and it’s like nothing’s wrong. It’s so rewarding that they don’t have to keep going through this while getting to educate them for prevention of future issues.”
Outside of work at Ruby Dental and the mobile unit, May is a Pilates instructor and enjoys hiking in Kentucky’s beautiful mountains with her partner and two dogs. “One dog is better at hiking than the other, but I won’t tell them that,” she joked.
For current or prospective patients interested in dental services with Dr. Abigail May, DDS, or her fellow providers in the Lexington, Kentucky area, reach out to the office Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, Saturday between 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET or visit https://rubydentalgroup.com/locations/lexington-ky/.
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