Our Staff

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Dr. Melissa Aylworth

The first thing I would like you to know about me is that I am so thankful to be here in Traverse City serving the community of Old Mission Peninsula.  It is a privilege to get to know you and your family.
I grew up outside of Grand Rapids in Hudsonville MI.  I met my husband Craig at a high school dance and convinced him to marry me 12 years later.  I received my first degree from Michigan State University.   If you are not a Spartan I will still see you at my practice, I will feel sad for you, but I will still see you.  I practiced as a Registered Nurse for 13 years before going back to school for Dentistry.  In 2008 I graduated from Indiana University and we packed up our new baby and moved to Bellaire MI where I practiced as an associate dentist.  I took the plunge and went out on my own buying Old Mission Dentistry in October of 2012.  I am happy to say it is one of the best professional decisions I have made.  We live here on the peninsula and our 2 boys, Mason-8 and Max-5, attend Old Mission Peninsula School.  I love to travel and camp.  I try really hard to be outdoorsy in the Winter, but I don’t usually last too long.  In the summer I am happiest on the water without a cloud in the sky.  Welcome to our practice we are glad you are here!  

Maggie Dawson, Receptionist

Maggie is our Front Desk Coordinator.  Maggie Lives with her husband Darrin and their 3 children in Central Lake.  Her children are all very athletic and she enjoys attending their sporting events, travel, cooking and reading.   Maggie started out as my chair side assistant in Bellaire and she is now really our jack of all trades.  You will find her mainly at the front desk but she also assists me when needed and coordinates our patients on Drummond Island as well.  Maggie has a huge heart and is always willing to do whatever it takes to satisfy our patients needs.

Diane Thompson, Dental Assistant

Diane is a Chair side Assistant with over 25 years of experience.  Diane spent the majority of her career working in Traverse City.  The first thing I think you will notice about Diane is what a caring person she is.  She knows that coming to the dentist is not easy for many people and she will do whatever it takes to make your appointment comfortable and pleasant. Diane grew up in the Cheboygan area and now lives in Elk Rapids with her husband.  She enjoys relaxing at the campfire, boating on Torch Lake and spending time with her friends and family.

Jerri Gabriel, Dental Hygienist

Jerri is a Registered Dental Hygienist with over 25 years of experience.  Originally from East Jordan, Jerri started her training at Northwestern Michigan College and completed her Dental Hygiene degree in Battle Creek.
We always say that Jerri knows everyone.  If she has not met you I guarantee  at the very least she knows someone who knows you!  Jerri is married and has 3 children.  She is very active with Saint Francis’s Schools and enjoys helping out with their Ski program at Crystal Mountain.  She also enjoys a good garage sale and spending time with her family at their cottage. I feel truly fortunate to work with such a consistently thorough, dependable and conscience hygienist.

Craig Aylworth, Office Manager

Craig is our Office Manager.  He is such a lucky guy, he gets to work with his wife. Craig handles all the behind the scenes details that keep a small business running efficiently.  After receiving his BS in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University he went on to get his Professional Engineer License and worked for 15 years in Indianapolis residential development.  Craig pretty much loves anything with a motor and enjoys restoring cars and brewing beer, neither of which he has had time for lately, but he remains hopeful.