Ever since he was a young boy, Dr. Craig R. Rainer said there was never any doubt about what career he would pursue as an adult. For as long as he can remember, he was determined to be a dentist.
Throughout grade school, whenever anyone asked him and his friends what they wanted to be when they grew up, his friends’ answers would change from year to year — but he never wavered.
“Some kids would say firefighter, some would say army officer, some would say lawyer, but mine was always dentist,” recalled Dr. Rainer, who practices with Pine Dentistry & Braces in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
As a young adult, he attended Hampton University for his undergraduate degree before going on to fulfill his long-time goal at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. Dr. Rainer chose Meharry because of the positive experiences he had at Hampton, one of the nation’s preeminent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He said he valued the consistency of attending another HBCU for dental school. It just felt right for him.
After graduation, Dr. Rainer began his career as an active service dentist in the Army treating only adults, ages 18 and up. When he joined Benevis more than five years ago, he wasn’t sure what to expect with the transition to pediatric practice, but has learned he enjoys caring for all ages. He has patients as young as 6 months old and on up, and they always keep him on his toes.
Over the years, Dr. Rainer said he has had so many funny and endearing encounters with his patients that it is difficult to pick a favorite. He has been with the practice long enough to see many of his patients grow from being young children to middle school age or higher. He chuckled as he recalled one patient come back for his first dental visit after more than a year of social distancing due to the pandemic. When so many other things in the boy’s world had changed, the 9-year-old was astonished to see he still had the same dentist who had been treating him since he was little.
“He said, ‘It’s 2021 and you’re still working here?’” Dr. Rainer said. “He didn’t understand why I hadn’t changed my workplace.”
In addition to his patients, Dr. Rainer said he also enjoys working for Benevis because it is a Dental Services Organization (DSO) that provides the business services to support his practice. Rather than having to manage payroll, bills, or other issues associated with back-office management, it enables him to be 100% focused on providing excellent dental care. At Benevis, Dr. Rainer continues each day to live his lifelong dream of being a dentist.
“I can focus more on dentistry instead of being distracted by the business side of running a dental practice,” he said. “This is what I have always wanted. I have never wanted to do anything else.”
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