View our dentist spotlights below!

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Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates 

Durham, NC



Tell us a little about yourself and your practice:

Dr. Palmer is a practicing dentist and the owner of Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates since 1985. In August of 2015, she opened a second practice, Bull City Dental, on Historic Parrish Street, downtown Durham. A Washington, DC native, she graduated with a degree in biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College and received her professional education from Tufts School of Dental Medicine. After graduating, she practiced for four years in Boston, Massachusetts as a commissioned officer in the Public Health Service Corp.

Dr. Palmer, and her all-female team of 18 professionals, strive to provide their patients with state of the art dental care and exceptional service. As a team, they are committed to community service and have done projects such as: back to school back pack/supplies drive, coats/scarves and hats for kids, adopted families for Christmas and volunteered at both Urban Ministries and the Baptist Men’s Dental Bus.


Why did you decide to go into dentistry: 

I chose dentistry to be able to use my scientific and creative skills to promote and deliver high quality oral health. My dental practice has enabled me through the many relationships I have developed with my patients to further my love and commitment to the Durham community.


What are you doing to improve oral healthcare in your community:

Dr. Palmer serves on the boards of the Community Health Coalition, Local Start Dental, and the Durham County Library Foundation. She holds professional memberships with the American Association of Women Dentists, the Academy of General Dentistry, the National Dental Association, and the Spear Education Study Club. In her spare time, Dr. Palmer lectures on dental health and especially enjoys mentoring young women who plan to enter the dental profession.


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Dr. Rebecca Sykes

Wake County Health and Human Services Dental Clinic



Tell us a little about yourself and your practice:

Dr. Rebecca Sykes is the Director of the Wake County Health and Human Services Dental Clinic. Dr. Sykes is a graduate of NCSU and attended Dental School at UNC. The Dental Clinic provides services for children ages 0 to 20. The Clinic sees patients with Medicaid, Healthchoice and patients with no dental coverage. Dr. Sykes has compassion for children and stresses providing a high-quality dental care for children.


Why did you decide to go into dentistry: 

Dr. Sykes has been interested in dentistry from a young age. Having dental issues including needing orthodontics she found the importance in having healthy teeth and the confidence that braces gave her. In turn, she wanted to give other children that confidence. She believes having a smile you are proud of gives you confidence. Working in Public Health gives her an opportunity to break barriers and help all children have a healthy smile.


What are you doing to improve oral healthcare in your community:

In 2018, the Dental Clinic was awarded a grant for uninsured children thanks to Dr. Sykes! This grant provides an exam, x-rays, cleaning, and fluoride at no cost for the patient. Dr. Sykes realized there were many children not coming to the dentist because of the cost and they did not have Medicaid or dental insurance. Dr. Sykes has great empathy for children in need of dental treatment.

Part of the grant also allowed the Dental Clinic to take Dental Buses to three of the Regional Centers several times a year. Dr. Sykes coordinated a team of Dentists, Hygienists and Dental Assistants to provide dental treatment for no cost for children without dental coverage.

In February 2023, Dr. Sykes brought a mobile dental unit to the Northern Regional Center of Wake County. This service is also for uninsured children. Dr. Sykes plans on expanding this service to other Regional Centers.

Dr. Sykes has been on the Wake Tech Dental Assisting Advisory Board since 2021.