About Us

Meet Ramon Durán, DMD and Ivette Martínez, DMD

Dr. Ramón A. Durán

Dr. Ramon A. Durán has more than 25 years of experience providing top-quality cosmetic and restorative dental care. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine before going on to complete a general practice residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Over the years, Dr. Durán has built a reputation as a top dentist in San Juan by taking a unique and comprehensive approach to patient care.

For 20 years, Dr. Durán was a member of the faculty of the School of Dental Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico. Through the years, Dr. Durán has also been a recognized speaker in the field of cosmetic and restorative dentistry, sharing his knowledge and experience with many dentists in Puerto Rico and abroad.

Unlike most dentists, Dr. Ramón A. Durán practices the concept of complete dentistry, which emphasizes a comprehensive, individualized approach to a patient’s dental care, beginning with prevention and early intervention. Contrary to what you might think, this doesn’t mean drill and fill every tooth.

Rather, the complete dentistry that Dr. Durán practices requires an understanding of every structural part of your chewing system, including your jaw joints, facial and temporal muscles, and teeth. In the long run, this could save you from years of pain, suffering and extensive costs for multiple and repeated dental work.

Analyzing the 10 structural and functional factors in the chewing system is the basis for every new patient examination. This process allows Dr. Durán to properly diagnose and treat not only obvious problems, but also those that haven’t even appeared yet.

As a graduate of The Dawson Academy, Dr. Durán is among a select group of dentists (just 10 percent of dentists in the U.S.) who practice the concept of complete dentistry. He can identify the signs of problems before any symptoms or damage occurs, which means you can receive treatments in a more conservative and less costly manner.

Continued Education

Dentistry is a fast changing profession and the areas of cosmetic and implant dentistry have evolved dramatically over the last 20 years. Dr Duran has always been involved intensively in continuing education to stay current with the advances in his field. He constantly attends conferences, seminars and workshops and has accumulated over 3500 hours of continued education. These are some of the mayor conferences that he has attended in the past few years:

  • American Dental Association 151Th Annual Session, Oct 9-12, 2010
    Orlando, FL
  • Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Puerto Rico Annual Congress, Feb 16-19, 2011
    San Juan, PR
  • 146th Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, Feb 23-26, 2011
    Chicago,IL
  • Academy of Osseointegration 20th Annual Meeting, March 2-5, 2011
    Washington, DC
  • Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry 27th Annual Scientific Session, May 18-21, 2011
    Boston, MA
  • Academy of Esthetic Dentistry 36th Annual Meeting, Aug 2-5, 2011
    San Juan, PR
  • Dental Congress of the Caribbean 2012, Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Puerto Rico, Feb 15-18, 2012
    San Juan, PR
  • Academy of Osseointegration 27th Annual Meeting, March 1-3, 2012
    Phoenix, AZ
  • Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry 28th Annual Scientific Session, May 2-5, 2012
    Washington, DC
  • The Dawson Academy: Functional Occlusion, from TMJ to Smile Design, Oct 18-20, 2012
    St Petersburg, FL
  • Dental Congress of the Caribbean 2013 Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Puerto Rico, Feb 13-16, 2013
    San Juan, PR
  • Academy of Osseointegration 28th Annual Meeting, March 6-9, 2013
    Tampa, FL
  • Academy Of Cosmetic Dentistry 29th Annual Scientific Session, April 24-27 2013
    Seattle, WA
  • The Dawson Academy: Achieving Predictable Esthetic Results, May 16-18, 2013
    St Petersburg, FL
  • 11th International Symposium on Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry, June 6-9 2013
    Boston, MA
  • Academy of Esthetic Dentistry 38th Annual Meeting Aug 7-10, 2013
    Washington, DC
  • Dental Congress of the Caribbean 2014 Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Puerto Rico, Feb 12-15, 2014
    San Juan, PR
  • 149th Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, Feb 20-22, 2014
    Chicago, IL
  • The Dawson Academy: Advanced Problem Solving April 10-12, 2014
    Clearwater, FL
  • Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry 30th Annual Scientific Session, April 30-May 3, 2014
    Orlando, FL
  • Dental Congress of the Caribbean 2015 Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Puerto Rico, Feb 11-14, 2015
    San Juan, PR
  • 150th Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, Feb 26-28, 2015
    Chicago, IL
  • The Dawson Academy: Advanced Problem Solving April 23-25 , 2015
    Clearwater, FL
  • Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry 31st Annual Scientific Session, May 6-9, 2015
    San Francisco, CA
  • The Dawson Academy: Comprehensive Examination and Records, Oct 22-24, 2015
    St Petersburg, FL
  • 151st Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, Feb 25-27, 2016
    Chicago, IL
  • Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry 32nd Annual Scientific Session, April 27-30, 2016
    Toronto, CANADA
  • The Dawson Academy: Treatment Planning Workshop, May 19-21, 2016
    St Petersburg, FL

About The Dawson Academy

As with most professions, the field of dentistry comprises a range of skill levels; dentists differ by education, training, and philosophy of patient care. The Dawson Academy is an advanced dental education facility where dentists teach dentists to be better dentists.

Founded by Dr. Peter Dawson, The Dawson Academy teaches the concept of complete dentistry. Although more time consuming for dental practices, complete dentistry results in more consistent, predictable and healthy outcomes for your oral health.

Dr. Dawson is one of the most respected and honored dentists in the history of dentistry. With a passion for teaching dentists to do it “right,” he developed the concept of complete dentistry to provide patients with healthy, beautiful smiles that would function properly and serve them comfortably for the rest of their lives. With two best-selling books on the concept of complete dentistry, Dr. Dawson has influenced tens of thousands of dentists to pursue a better outcome for their patients.

Meet our staff

Ivette M. Martinez Gaona, D.M.D., graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras in 1984. She obtained her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree (DMD) from the University of Puerto Rico in 1988. Dr. Martinez then completed a general dentistry residency at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, in 1989. From 1989 to 1990, she directed the dental clinic at the Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. Since 1989, Dr. Martinez has practiced general and cosmetic dentistry with her husband, Dr. Ramón Duran. Currently, Dr. Martinez assists in the management of the practice. She is also a mother of five children and is completely dedicated to her family.


Margarita Merediz, D.M.D, earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Dentistry in 1983. From 1983 to 1990, she worked in the Diagnostic and Treatment Centers of Puerto Rico’s Public Health System. Dr. Merediz worked in her private practice in Caguas from 1986 to 2005 before joining our team in 2005. She is a member of the Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Puerto Rico.

 


Dr. Frances Escalera-Maldonado, D.M.D., received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She later graduated Cum Laude with a Master’s degree in Public Health specializaed in Epidemiology from the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Escalera obtained her DMD in Dental Medicine in 2012 from the School of Dental Medicine, University of Puerto Rico. She completed a two years post graduate residence in Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) at Lutheran Medical Center, NYU, where she received education in oral rehabilitation and implants (both surgical and restorative) and cosmetic dentistry. In addition, she is certified as an Invisalign orthodontic treatment provider. Since 2015 she is a part-time Assistant Professor in the School of Dental Medicine.


Sheilla Santos Narvaez is our treatment coordinator. She became part of our team in 1987 when she started as a dental assistant. Sheilla graduated from the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico as an expanded-duties dental assistant. Having worked with Dr. Duran as a chair-side dental assistant for more than 15 years, Sheilla fully understands the dental treatments offered by our practice. Her profound knowledge combined with a kind, caring character allows her to guide our patients perfectly through their entire treatment process.


Janice Del Valle graduated from the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico as an expanded-duties dental assistant in 1984. She also obtained her Dental Hygienist certificate from the same institution in 1986. Janice became a registered dental hygienist (RDH) in 1986. She joined our practice in 1991. Janice has excellent skills and knowledge. She is highly devoted to helping her patients improve their oral health. She has a unique, soft touch that our patients adore, is very thorough in her procedures, is extremely caring, and is deeply committed to providing high-quality dental care.


Lesvia Pizarro Iglesias graduated from Ramirez College in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1989 as an expanded-duties dental assistant. After gaining experience in other dental offices, she joined our team in 1995. Lesvia is highly skilled in the handling and placement of dental materials. In addition, she always makes sure that our patients are comfortable and well attended to while in our office.

 


Lilliam Rapale Santiago graduated from Ramirez College, San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1990 as an expanded-duties dental assistant. She joined our team in 2002. Lilliam is highly experienced in different areas of dental assisting, has excellent clinical skills and is extremely knowledgeable in the field of implant restoration. She works closely with Dr. Duran in complex cases and also functions as our laboratory coordinator.

 


Arelis Cartagena Hernandez graduated from National College in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, in 2005 as an expanded-duties dental assistant, and joined our team immediately thereafter. She has extensive knowledge of oral health and preventive dentistry, and is an excellent chair-side assistant. She knows our patients well and always tries to please them.


Rayzavelle Jimenez Concepcion is our front desk and business assistant. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sales in 2004 and a master’s degree in marketing in 2008, both from the Metropolitan University in San Juan, Puerto Rico (UMET). Rayza joined our team in 2012, and is devoted to patient care and satisfaction. She always greets our patients with a smile.