I decided a long time ago to become a dentist. I even have a poem from my aunt gave me when I was 11 years old. I was playing in a rock band at the time, but during the poem, she said, “Whatever the future brings, a rockstar or a dentist, you know, we’ll be happy with whatever you do.” I chose a dentist over a rockstar. That kind of faded out by the time high school came around.
But I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to help people. I had a bad experience when I was young with my teeth, probably my fault, but I just felt like, you know, maybe I could get in there and do that better. I don’t know, I just had a bad experience, and I wanted to help people, and didn’t want a job that I have to work in the middle of the night. I didn’t do very well during the night, so I stuck with dentistry probably since I’m 10 years old.
It took a while because in the beginning you just wanna do it right. You wanna learn how to do the dentistry right. And, you know, you forget that there’s people on the other end of it in the beginning, and you realize when that first patient starts to cry because they’re so happy with what you’ve done for them, or the patient that you take out of pain. And, you know, if you’ve ever been in pain yourself, whether part of your body, or whether it’s your dental pain, when you can take someone out of pain, that’s when you see how rewarding it is just to help the patient.
Meet Dr. Rafael, a Longtime Dentist With Vast Experience
Dr. James Rafael served the Burlington area in his own dental practice for over 28 years, helping his patients feel confident and enjoy having healthy smiles. Now, Dr. Rafael brings his expansive knowledge of general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry to the Relax Dental team.
Dr. Rafael is a native of New York who relocated to North Carolina to attend dental school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. After graduation, he completed a residency in the United States Air Force at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.
Away from the office, Dr. Rafael enjoys golfing, rooting for the NY Mets baseball team, and spending time with his family. He currently lives in Burlington with his fiancee and two daughters, Courtney and Kristen.