I was inspired to become a dentist by my orthodontist, Michigan’s first African-American orthodontist, Dr. John P. Egan. The happiness I gained from having my teeth corrected has contributed to my goal of improving the smiles of others. — Dr. Atherton
A practicing dentist of over 30 years, Dr. Atherton has extensive experience in dentistry and in owning her own successful private dental practice. While in dental school, she participated in a dental internship at the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, took dental education courses in Provo, Utah, and was awarded membership in the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) as well as the Wolverine Dental Society in Detroit.
While a senior in dental school, she was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Following dental school graduation, she attained the rank of captain and was stationed at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, where she served in the dental corps for three years. While at Patrick Air Force Base, she served as a readiness officer and produced programs on dental health for children of service members.
Following her service time in the Air Force, Dr. Atherton developed her clinical abilities in dental practices in eastern Florida, Michigan — she returned following her marriage — and Virginia. Dr. Atherton opened her own successful private practice in Blacksburg, Virginia, which she operated for 12 years. Yearning for a return to urban life, Dr. Atherton sold her Virginia practice in 2019 and moved with her husband to Roswell, Georgia.
- University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts in psychology — Ann Arbor, MI
- University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry, Doctor of Dental Surgery — Ann Arbor, MI
In the Community
While in Virginia, Dr. Atherton participated in many community-based dental screening programs, working with Dental Aid Partners of the New River Valley and the Colgate Bright Futures, Bright Smiles Dental Van, which partnered with the Roanoke Chapter of The Links, Inc.
Life & Hobbies
Dr. Atherton was born and educated in Detroit, Michigan. She and her husband have two college-aged children and three parakeets. She is an active member of The Links, Inc. community service organization. Dr. Atherton’s interests include playing piano, attending concerts, traveling, and beautifying her home, a never-ending process.