By Cary Shuman
Dr. Fatima Maarouf is approaching the second anniversary of her growing dental practice, Harborside Dental, 313 Main St.
Two years ago Dr. Maarouf made a major decision in her career to acquire the practice of longtime Winthrop dentist, Dr. Richard Schwartz, who had served the community for four decades.
“Dr. Schwartz retired and I took over the practice,” said Dr. Maarouf proudly.
One of the first orders of business was selecting a name for her new practice. As a homage to the town’s status as a seaside treasure, Dr. Maarouf chose, “Harborside.”
“I think Winthrop is like a beach town and I love the beach and being around Winthrop, so we decided Harborside is a good, calming name,” she revealed.
Dr. Maarouf has made an investment in the town and its future. She and her husband, Hugo Solis, who works for the BPDA, moved from East Boston to Winthrop a year ago. Harborside Dental is member of the Chamber of Commerce and she and her husband are members of the Cottage Park Yacht Club.
Harborside’s dental assistant, Mirjeta Gjinovici, and treatment coordinator, Lindsey Robinson, also call Winthrop their home.
There have been some noticeable changes made in the dental office in the past two years. Dr. Maarouf renovated the entire office, installing new dental chairs, computers, and other state-of-the-art equipment.
Dr. Maarouf, 33, grew up in Lebanon where she attended American University and received her degree in Biology in 2007. She graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry in Richmond in 2011. She moved to Boston in 2012 and completed her residency program at Tufts University, performing adult special-needs dental care and hospital-based dental care.
“I ended up loving Boston and staying in the area,” said Dr. Maarouf.
She became an associate dentist at offices in the Boston area, but had dreamed of having her own practice.
“I realized that eventually I wanted to be a business owner,” said Dr. Maarouf. “When this practice came up, it was a really cute town and excellent location, so I felt it was a great opportunity. My husband and I really love it here. My staff also lives here, so it makes it that we’re all invested in the town.”
Dr. Maarouf performs dentistry for patients of all ages, as early as age 1 to those in their senior years.
“We do a variety of simple fillings, fluoride treatments (for children), cleanings, extensive bridgework, crowns, implants, extractions, and teeth whitening,” said Dr. Maarouf. “We also work closely with specialists for certain procedures such as extensive root canals.”
Dr. Maarouf recommends preventative care for all patients and suggests regular checkups every six months.
She has begun a series of educational visits to local pre-schools where she talks about the importance of dental care. “Prevention is really important, especially when kids are young,” she said. “I try to teach them that it’s fun to be at the dentist.”
Dr. Maarouf tries to accommodate her many patients’ work and activity schedules with expanded office hours (8 a.m.- 7 p.m. on some days).
And she is also expanding her knowledge, keeping abreast of the latest technological advances in the dentistry. “I do a lot of continuing education courses and attend workshops and seminars throughout the country.”
Dr. Maarouf said the decision to open her own practice was a tough one, but she is pleased with the reception in Winthrop and excited about her future here.
“There are challenges that you don’t anticipate and you’re responsible for everything, good and bad, so there’s a lot of responsibility that goes on you – but when you’re trying to create something that you love, it makes it worth it at the end of the day,” Dr. Maarouf concluded.