Naples dentist George Mantikas enjoys the best of Northern and Southern living, traveling regularly between his practices in Connecticut and Naples. Although he purchased a condo in Naples 17 years ago with the intention of relaxing, he was lured into opening a Naples office when another dentist approached him about buying his business. “At first I said no,” Mantikas explains. “But then I thought about it and decided to do it.”
Mantikas not only expanded his dental practice to Naples but his philanthropy, as well. His long career in dentistry has always included a healthy dose of community involvement and giving back. Both in Naples and up north, he sponsors local sports teams and donates to veterans’ groups. In Connecticut, he volunteers with Mission of Mercy, which provides dental care to the needy. Every year, the nationwide charity sets up a makeshift clinic in a large venue, such as a civic center, for a three-day weekend. Portable dental chairs and equipment are brought in and the volunteer dentists go to work. “The last one I was involved in, we saw probably a total of 2,000 patients during the weekend,” Mantikas says.
Here in Naples, he contributes pro bono dental work to and volunteers with Donated Dental Services, a nationwide organization that provides comprehensive dental care for seniors and the permanently disabled who couldn’t otherwise afford it. “We see patients who are battered women or who are homeless and need help getting back on their feet,” he says, adding that he treats 25 patients a year through the program. One of them was a battered wife with four front teeth knocked out; Mantikas and his team did four root canals and four crowns for the woman. Unlike one-time clinic visits, Donated Dental Services patients return regularly for check-ups and treatment. “We keep them as patients. We don’t just kick them out on the street.”
With both Donated Dental Services and Mission of Mercy, Mantikas believes the rewards go both ways. For patients, he says, “We are getting them out of pain or giving them back their self-esteem.” For himself, the benefits are just as great. “I’m very fortunate in where I live and where I am in my career. I feel so blessed that I am able to get involved in the community and give back.” —J.M.