A native of North Georgia, Dr. Brandon L. Esco attended Emmanuel College before transferring to the University of Georgia where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2006. Upon acceptance into the School of Dentistry at the Medical College of Georgia, he sought to enhance his education through extra-curricular study clubs in esthetic and cosmetic dentistry. He was named the 2009 Pierre Fauchard Scholar. Dr. Esco completed the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program and graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta in 2010. Dr. Esco later returned to MCG for training in Implant Dentistry. He is currently an active member with the American Dental Association (ADA), Georgia Dental Association (GDA), the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), the International Congress of Oral Implantology (ICOI), the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), and The Hinman Dental Society.
Dr. Esco believes in treatment through a personalized approach using modern technology. He is a believer in a lifelong pursuit for education and strives to implement that knowledge into the practice, fusing advanced techniques and compassion with hopes that every patient will experience genuine care and comfort throughout their treatment.
Dr. Esco and his wife DJ, a Veterinarian in Auburn, Georgia like to spend their free time with family and friends, preferably outdoors. He participates in medical missions and has served in the United States, Costa Rica and Peru giving his time to share Christ’s story through dentistry.
Frank Manfre, BS joined the Board in 2016. He is a Senior Clinical Development Manager for Dentsply Sirona working with dental practices in Georgia on enhancing procedural efficiency, procedural expansion, and providing CE and training. He has worked in the dental field since 2002 and has served as an executive in both for-profit and non-profit corporations. He has also worked as a business coach and consultant focused on building high performance teams, leadership development, strategic planning, and business development. He is a regular contributor to the Journal of Dental Technology on these topics.
Past President & Advisory Council Member
Dr. Susan G. Rifkin, is a native of Syracuse, New York. A graduate of the SUNY at Buffalo in 1978 with a BS in Economics, she continued her dental education at SUNY at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, and
received her DDS in 1982. While an undergraduate in Buffalo, Dr. Rifkin participated in research at the dental school, and was published in JADA in 1978 on the Effects of electromyography on the TMJ. Upon graduation, Dr. Rifkin relocated to Richmond, Virginia to begin her career as an associate professor at the Medical College of Virginia teaching dental anatomy to first year dental students and practicing general dentistry in several private practices. Shortly after, she was offered an opportunity to associate with Dr. Alan M. Kuehn in Atlanta, Ga., who she practiced with for 18 years prior to his retirement.
Dr. Rifkin has been practicing for 35 years, treating families in restorative, cosmetic and implant dentistry. She is actively involved in continuing education. After completing the Maxi Course in Implant Dentistry in 2012, she continues to be an active member of ADIS (Advanced Dental Implant Studies) right here in Atlanta.
Her affiliations include; the ADA, GDA, Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, Academy of Osseointegration, Hinman Dental Association, and a board member of the local chapter and International Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity.
Dr. Susan has been married to her husband David for 30 years. He is a 7th grade language arts teacher at Davis Academy. They have two children, Zachary, 28, is also a graduate of SUNY School of Dental Medicine and is currently completing a GPR residency in Manhattan at Bellevue hospital. He will soon join his Mom in practice. Dani, 26, is a sales associate at ADP in Alpharetta.
At Large Board Member
Board Member Marketing Chair
For more than 13 years, he has been helping our patients achieve the healthy, beautiful smiles of their dreams, and he brings many years of training and expertise to our practice. Dr. Morton graduated from Augusta State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Dr. Morton attended the Medical College of Georgia, where he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 2003. In 2008 he earned an MBA through the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University.
“I think it’s very gratifying to be able to help people directly and help them in a way that allows them to stay healthy, allow them to achieve their goals so that they have confidence, and allow them to have a higher quality of life. Whether it’s smiling, chewing, just getting healthy.”
Dr. Morton takes pride in continually seeking education in his field. To ensure patients have access to the most current and effective treatments available, he takes more than 200 hours of continuing education each year. This far exceeds the level of ongoing training required for dentists in the state of Georgia (40 hours every two years). Investing in this level of continuing education and traveling to the country’s best training institutes requires a high level of commitment. Through this dedication to education and passing an extensive examination process covering all areas of dentistry, Dr. Morton was awarded as a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. He is also an accredited candidate with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and a sustaining member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry after passing extensive examinations.
Dr. Morton’s past research involvement gives him a unique understanding of the biocompatibility of dental materials. It was this experience that led Dr. Morton to pursue dentistry as a profession. This knowledge plays a role in his everyday practice as he offers patients the safest and most durable materials for their smile restorations.
“I think when you are able to change someone’s life, there’s nothing like that feeling. Whether it’s someone who now has the confidence to be able to smile and they love their smile that’s very rewarding. If it’s someone who has been embarrassed. They haven’t been to a dentist in 10 or 12 years and they can come in, see us, and we can help them achieve whatever goal that may be. Whether it’s just to be able to chew because they’re missing teeth with implants. Whether they can gain some self-esteem or self-confidence because they’re embarrassed about a smile and they have been for a very long time. When you can do something to help them, that thank you that’s so genuine is amazing.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Morton has been privileged to practice alongside and receive ongoing education from some of the leading dental authorities in the world. These mentors have played an irreplaceable role in his advancement and training in fields such as dental implants and cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Morton’s success as a widely recognized and highly skilled dentist is a tribute to the dedication and generosity of these private practice clinicians. As an adjunct clinical professor at the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Morton enjoys sharing his knowledge with the next generation of dentists.
Dr. Morton is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and a sustaining member of the American Academy of General Dentistry, he is also a member of the following organizations:
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
- American Academy of Facial Esthetics
- American Academy of Implant Dentistry
- International Congress of Oral Implantology
- American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
- American Academy of Oral Systemic Health
- Georgia Association Of Cosmetic Dentistry
Board Member Education Chair
Dr. Hugh Flax is internationally known for his leadership in cosmetic dentistry. An Accredited member and Past President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, he has lectured and authored in Europe, Japan, Canada, and the United States on lasers, smile design, and advanced restorative techniques to enhance the skills of dental teams in making their care world class for their patients. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry and has also been the Chairperson of many AACD meetings , as well as, founding the Georgia Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Outside of the AACD, Dr. Flax is a ten year member of Catapult Education Speakers Group, a certified Fellow with World Clinical Laser Institute. In addition, he is a Master with the ICOI, an Associate Fellow of the AAID, a Diplomate of the ABAD, a Kois Center graduate, a member of the AAED, and in the CEREC Docs Continuum. Lastly, he is visiting faculty at the Dental School of Georgia and is a preceptor for the AACD Cosmetic Dentistry Residency program.
Recently, Dr. Flax published a consumer book called “A Smile is Always in Style” to help those looking for a better smile and dental wellness to be more educated and savvier with their choices for their best results. Proceeds from the book go to educational scholarships like “How My Teacher Makes Me Smile.”
At Large Board Member
Dr. Bahar Nia, a second-generation cosmetic dentist, has grown up in her father’s dental practice watching over his shoulder for years and not new to the field of dentistry. Her Academic advanced dental career has taken her to several great American cities such as Philadelphia, Houston and finally the beautiful City of Atlanta that she has called home since 2008. A graduate of the prestigious Ivy League School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania decided to further her dental education by attending a post-doctoral residency program in Houston that gave her the opportunity of collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center to become more well-rounded in the diagnosis of oral and head and neck oncology that many times goes undetected. Her philosophy of patient care is a wholesome approach in diagnosis and treatment providing esthetically beautiful smile makeovers while combining the beauty and health and not sparing any details left unnoticed. Throughout her dental career, she has been recognized in honor societies and has been awarded for her clinical and non-clinical excellence for her skills and leadership in dentistry.
She has received the prestigious Atlanta Top Doctor and Top Dentist recognition for several consecutive years. Dr. Nia has been interviewed by several media channels such as NBC 11 alive and Atlanta & Company about new trends in cosmetic dentistry and dental technologies. She has been featured in many publications and has received several recognitions from them. Modern Luxury Magazine, The Atlantan, The Atlanta Magazine, Best Self Magazine, and Atlanta Parent Magazine are among many publications that she has been written about.
She truly believes in the core meaning of giving back and has done so by contributing to several community programs and charitable foundations and societies that she is actively a part of and gives back continuously. She is married to her husband another fellow dentist and classmate from college.
Board Member Membership Chair
Originally from Marietta, Dr. Alex has lived in Athens since 1988. He is married to Arlene and is the proud father of three grown children: Ashley Ann, Harrison, and Grace. Dr. Alex and Arlene volunteer monthly at Mercy Health Center providing dental care. He is a member of Athens Church and serves on Athens Technical College Board of Directors.
Dr. Alex has a passion for health and fitness which has lead him to become a two-time Ironman and Boston Marathon finisher.
At Large Board Member
As a specially invited visiting faculty member at Spear Education in Scottsdale, AZ, Dr. Baier is one of 200 dentists worldwide invited to work with thousands of students. At the campus, he learns and shares with fellow professionals who volunteer extensive time and energy to pursue excellence through continuing education. He takes courses and commits his time and resources to facilitate the learning of others through his service as a mentor and course leader. He and his fellow faculty members share their journeys and experiences by completing and submitting a complete case report each year, adding to the educational resources available to everyone who participates in Spear Education programs.
Technology and Training: Dr. Baier invests in current technology and training to ensure he and his staff provide you with the best possible dental and overall wellness care. The sole criterion for technology in the office is that it has a proven record of success in providing and enhancing the high levels of patient care that Dr. Baier strives to deliver. Dr. Baier and his technology suppliers provide extensive training for the office staff to ensure patients fully benefit from the office’s resources. Going beyond technology, Dr. Baier regularly participates in online and on-site training programs, where he and colleagues exchange best-practices information. He holds frequent training sessions in the office to keep his staff up to date with the latest techniques, technology and health-and-safety practice standards set by the industry.
Board Member Sponsor Chair
Dr. Lee is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry now known as The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University where she is a clinical adjunct faculty member. She did her post graduate General Practice Residency training at MCG School of Dentistry. She served as a Commissioned Officer in the Indian Health Service of the Public Health Service. She has also volunteered and worked with non-profit dental organizations such as, Good Samaritan of Atlanta and Good News in Gainesville, Ga. She has 17+ years in dental private practice. Dr. Lee is a member of many dental organizations and study groups. With extensive training and expertise, she is committed to providing our patients and community with the best care possible. In order to stay up-to-date on the latest dental technologies and techniques, she participates in over a 100 hours of continuing education courses each year. When not treating her patients, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, watching movies, reading, and traveling. Dr. Lee has traveled extensively to North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
Dr. Lee’s memberships, qualifications, and certifications include:
- General Practice Residency at The Dental College of Georgia of Augusta University
- Pinhole Surgical Technique Certification
- International Dental Implant Association Fellow
- American Academy of Facial Esthetics
- Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
- Georgia Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
- Academy of General Dentistry
- Hinman Dental Society
- American Dental Association
- Georgia Dental Association
- Northern District Dental Society
- American Association of Women Dentists
At Large Board Member
Past GACD Presidents
Dr. George Childress
Dr. Jim Forester
Dr. Jill Golsen
Dr. Chris Sholota
Brian Lindke, CDT
Dr. Joe Chafin
Dr. Jim Merriman
Pinhas Adar, MDT, CDT
Dr. Louisa Berman
Dr. Rich Creasman
Dr. Hugh Flax