We’re proud to announce we’ve added a new dentist to our Maumelle location – Dr. Simona Ivan DDS. Dr. Ivan is joining the Austin Family Dentistry group with years of experience in Arkansas and California.  She’s made it a personal goal to invest in the oral health of each client she sees.  

A hallmark of Dr. Ivan’s practice is thorough exams and screenings for potential problems. She believes that a pro-active approach to oral health transcends into all areas of wellness. 

As a mother, Dr. Ivan is keenly aware that making the dental experience as stress free as possible is important to easing children into caring for their teeth.  For our adult patients, Austin Family Dentistry offers a sedation dentistry options for those with dental anxiety.    

Dr. Simona Ivan was born in Romania but grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  She lives in Little Rock now with her husband and their children.  They enjoy being active in outdoor sports.  


  • Bachelor of Science, Biology – Henderson State University – graduated with honors
  • Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in California – graduated with honors
  • Received the Academy of General Dentistry award
  • Top of class for clinical experience
  • Participates in dental missions to under served areas in the U.S. and around the world

We asked Dr. Ivan a few questions about herself to get to know her better. Here’s what she had to say.

1. What is your favorite place in Little Rock for family fun? We like to climb pinnacle together or go biking down by the river.

2.  As a dentist, you probably shy away from sweets, but what’s your favorite food and how do you keep your teeth healthy after eating it? My favorite thing to eat is chocolate. I eat sweets after I have my main meal to keep my teeth healthy, rather than as a snack, and I brush my teeth after each meal.

3.  Coffee, tea, red wine?  All guilty pleasures. 

4. Do you have advice to share about keeping your teeth healthy and white even when you indulge in these treats? I try to stick with water, but if you do love these drinks than there are ways to keep your teeth white. You’ll be able to keep your teeth white for a long time if you regularly schedule appointments to bleach your teeth. 

5.  We’re so excited you stayed in Arkansas!  What do you love about the Natural State? I really love how friendly the people are. I lived a couple of years in California and when I came back to Arkansas I saw a real difference. I also like the outdoors, good clean water and all of the natural parks.

6.  Tell us why you are passionate about your job. I love helping people discover their beautiful smile and getting them out of pain. I love what I do and I really care about my patients. I’ve taken a lot of courses to keep up to date with the changing technology so I can offer the best treatment possible for my patients. I feel like I am a part of a big family – I call it my dental family!

7.  What are you excited about moving to the Austin team? I am really excited to meet all the patients and work with a great team. Dr. Austin is a great dentist with a wonderful reputation.

8.  What inspired you to become a dentist? I always knew I wanted to be in the medical field, but it wasn’t until I shadowed a dentist that I got to see the hands-on part of dentistry and the close relationships you get to develop with your patients. As dentists, we get to see our patients at least twice a year which most of the time is more than a physician.

9.  As a mom, what are your tips for helping parents and children navigate the possible fear of a dental visit? Having two boys myself I understand what the parents are feeling and what the kids are going through when they have to see the dentist. The best way to prepare the child ahead of time is by talking and explaining what takes place in the visit. When they come in, I try my best to show and tell them everything I am about to do. The nice thing is we have different ways we can help the child feel comfortable for their appointment, like laughing gas, cartoons, listening to music. Every year kids mature, so if they were upset one year and did not want to have a cleaning done, then the next year they are usually fine.

10.  Explain to us why it’s important to get an annual cleaning and check up. A yearly check up is so important. We can not only detect cavities before they get too big (because you can end up loosing those teeth) but we also check for any pathologies that can occur in the head and neck region. We look at the development of your teeth to make sure that braces are not needed. If you start with braces at a young age, we can reduce the amount of years you may need to wear braces when you are a teenager. We also look to see if the permanent teeth are developing normal and if any are missing so that we can plan for future complications. Also, as the first molars come in, we make sure we seal them so no cavities start forming.

11.  Are there any misconceptions about dentistry you would like to clear up? From what my patients tell me, the reason they are so scared of the dentist is because they were not numbed all the way and (most of the time) the dentist would proceed with treatment. In today’s dentistry, I don’t even start if I know the patient is not numb. We have come a long way and there are so many ways in making the patient feel comfortable, like headphones to block the drill noise, which so many patients don’t like. We also use comfortable pillows and blankets, watching TV, oral sedation with laughing gas and so much more. I always do my best to be gentle and allow my patients to take breaks if they need one and I talk to them throughout the procedure to make sure they are still doing okay. Before I start treatment, I go over the procedure to make sure the patient understands what we are doing and what the steps of the procedure are, which puts the patient at ease.

We’re excited to have such a qualified, well rounded person join our Austin Family Dentistry team in Maumelle. Welcome, Dr. Ivan!