Our Practice | The Durham Dental Office Team

Our team of Durham dentists are thrilled to welcome you to Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates! We are here to provide you and your family with the exceptional dental care you need to reach healthy, beautiful smiles. We will make sure that your visit with us is welcoming, comfortable, and relaxed. We invite you to contact our Durham dental office today to learn more about us and to schedule an appointment with our dentists in Durham, North Carolina.

Meet Our Dentists

Desiree T. Palmer, DMD


Dr. Desiree T. Palmer is the owner of Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates since 1985 and Bull City Dental that opened on historic Parrish Street, downtown Durham, in August of 2015. Dr. Desiree T. Palmer and her team of professionals are dedicated to maintaining a reputation of excellence in dental care. She has over 40 years of experience in the dental field and strives to provide patients with the best dental care available. She graduated with a degree in biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College and received her professional education from Tufts School of Dental Medicine. She holds professional memberships with the National Dental Association, the American Association of Women’s Dentists, and the Spear Education Study Club.


In her spare time, Dr. Palmer lectures and volunteers with several local organizations in the Durham community. She especially enjoys mentoring young people who plan to enter the dental profession. She belongs to several community service organizations including, the Alpha Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the Links, Incorporated, Durham (NC) Chapter. She is active in her church, Holy Cross. In addition, Dr. Palmer serves on the Community Health Coalition Board, Durham Library Foundation and Local Start Dental. She is married to Michael J. Palmer, and they have three sons: Austen, Brandon, and Colton. Dr. Palmer is the proud grandmother of Brianna Lillie Palmer and Solyn Aya Palmer.



Brittanie J. Harris, DDS


Dr. Brittanie Harris is the co-owner of Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates. As a native of North Carolina, she takes pride in calling Durham her home. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. Maintaining her dream of becoming a dentist, Dr. Harris created lasting mentorships while working as a dental hygienist for five years. She returned to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to receive her Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 2018. After graduating from dental school, Dr. Harris gained additional training at the UNC Dental Hospital Clinic and several Piedmont Health Dental Clinics in order to gain a well-rounded approach to treating the dental needs of the community.
Dr. Harris holds a passion for dentistry and the positive impact it has on every patient. She believes that first impressions start with a smile and is eager to create a lasting first impression for all she meets. Dr. Harris loves volunteering in the community and advocating for healthy oral and total body care. She holds professional memberships with Academy of General Dentistry, North Carolina Dental Society, American Dental Association, National Dental Society, and Spear Education. Dr. Harris is committed to a lifetime of learning through continuing education in order to properly educate and advocate for her community.
In her spare time, Dr. Harris looks forwards to mentoring and teaching young students interested in the dental profession. She loves spending time with her family, traveling, painting, dancing, and cheering on her daughter, Maniya DeVaé, and son, Kayson Maurice, at their many sporting events. Dr. Harris shares a home with her fiancé, Terrance Johnson, their children, and their French Bulldog, MK.

Email: drharris@anewreasontosmile.com

Canai Calmore, DDS


Dr. Canai Calmore loves meeting new people and is passionate about providing quality dental care. She believes in preventative dentistry and believes that educating the patient creates a comfortable and beneficial experience.

Dr. Calmore moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina from Pasadena, California with her family when she was in middle school, but considers herself a North Carolina native. She graduated with a degree in Psychology from Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut. She later received her doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. Having previously practiced in Greenville and Raleigh, North Carolina, Dr. Calmore now proudly calls Durham her home. She is excited to be your dentist and thrilled to be a part of Dr. Palmer’s amazing team!

Dr. Calmore is a member of the American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Society, and a member of Spear education. She regularly takes continuing education courses to stay up to date with the latest technology and materials on the market.

When not in the office, Dr. Calmore enjoys being outside in nature, doing arts and crafts, cooking, spending time with her friends, family and fur baby Winston.

Meet Our Team

Our energetic, friendly dental team is committed to providing you with the best service possible. We strive to make your appointments with our dentists in Durham, North Carolina, as comfortable as possible. We invite you to contact Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates to learn more about our compassionate team and to schedule your next visit with Drs. Palmer and Barton.

Tonia Lewis Bennett – Practice Administrator


Tonia has been in the dental field since 1991 and joined our practice in 1997. Tonia takes pride in continuing education in practice management and dental technology to ensure that our practice is exceptional. She works closely with the doctors, staff, and patients to make certain that all systems and business aspects of the practice are functioning proficiently. In her spare time, Tonia enjoys reading, traveling, and sports.

Angela Scott – Office Manager



She joined Dr Palmer’s team in 2004, where she schedules appointments, registers new patients, and can answer questions regarding your insurance or billing. Angela and her husband Shannon are the proud parents of four adult children Keyante, Asia, Cydney and Shanna. In her spare time she enjoys event planning, traveling, DIY projects, and reading.

Jamie Fitzherbert – Registered Dental Hygienist


Jamie is a Registered Dental Hygienist with nearly 18 years of experience.
A Greek American from the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, Jamie moved to North Carolina in 1998 to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2002, she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in both Biology and Dental Hygiene.


Upon completion of her studies, Jamie joined the practice in 2002. Jamie believes that adopting Dr. Palmer’s “people first” approach has helped her build long lasting relationships with her patients and strives to make new patients feel at home. Her goal is to continue to provide exceptional dental hygiene care in a warm and caring environment, while continuing to learn about advancements in dentistry.


Jamie is married to her husband James and are proud parents to their sons, Landon and Kingston. In her spare time, Jamie enjoys traveling and visiting Greece, photography, cooking, party planning and spending time with her family.

Anna Casadonte, Registered Dental Hygienist


Born and raised in Raleigh, NC, Anna graduated from the UNC Chapel Hill’s Adam’s school of dentistry dental hygiene program in 2022. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, cozying up with a good book, cooking and eating good food, playing with her yorkie poodle “Rigsby”, or sharing good times with friends and family!

Marilyn F. Williams – Registered Dental Hygienist


Marilyn is a graduate of Wayne Community College, NC with an Associate Degree in Applied Science; Dental Hygiene.  She has a long history in the dental profession and worked as a dental assistant prior to returning to dental hygiene school. Marilyn joined Dr. Palmer’s dental team initially as “Girl Friday” in 1998, Life happened, and she could not get in sync, but God presented the opportunity and in September 2018 returned as full -time contract hire hygienist. She takes great pride in educating patient on dental hygiene.  Marilyn likes to sing to patients as calming factor. It works! Patients become relaxed. She enjoys all ages, but is devoted to the elderly, high anxiety and special needs patients. Marilyn is also an Ordained Minister, she believes in” Saving Teeth and Saving Souls “. A mother of 2; daughter and son, grandmother of 4, and has 3 four-legged granddogs.  Marilyn serves her General Church Denomination as the International President of Disciples Women’s Ministries in United States and Canada, and does Retreats throughout the United States. She loves traveling, singing, dancing, reading, preaching the” Gospel “and spending time with her family.

Sherry Burwell – Hygiene Assistant DAII


Sherry has been in the Dental field since 1992 and has worked with Dr. Palmer since 1993. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill for the Dental Assisting Program. She is the proud mother of four and grandmother of ten. When Sherry is not working she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, she also enjoys reading, sewing and cooking.

Tonia Alston – Dental Assistant II


Tonia was born at UNC Chapel Hill and raised in Burlington, NC. She has two beautiful intelligent young women as daughters and three lovable grandchildren. She attended Alamance Community College where she received her certification in Cosmetology. While at ACC, she was on the Deans list! Tonia moved to Raleigh to pursue her career in dentistry. Here she is 17 years later loving dentistry, particularly the immediate fulfillment of helping others and working closely with patients. Her hobbies include shopping, traveling and reading. She loves to have fun and live life to the fullest!

Shannon Hock – Dental Assistant II


Shannon initially came to our practice as a college intern. She is a graduate of Miller-Motte College, where she earned a degree in Dental Assisting. Shannon especially enjoys the sense of “family” with our patients and members of our team.


Shannon is married to the “love of her life,” Cory. She enjoys going to the movies and spending time with family and friends. Shannon is now a mom of Kori & Kennedy.

Lizzie Aleman Hernandez – Dental Assistant II


Rosemary Hunt – Patient Care Coordinator

The first smiling face you see….

Rosemary attended NC Dental U for the Dental Assisting Program, joined Dr. Palmer’s team in May 2014 as a Hygiene Assistant and now works as our Patient Care Coordinator. She is married to her high school sweetheart, David, and is a proud mother of two children, Justin and Geneva, a devoted Bita to Lilly and Wayden. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys reading, watching Spanish soaps, and spending time with her family and friends.

Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Pereen Bubala


We will cherish our wonderful memories of Dr. B and the impact her life left on our practice family. She courageously battled lung cancer with dignity. We will miss her but always remember the compassion and joy she brought to her patients, family and friends.

Our Mission

Our purpose is to provide comprehensive dental care, above and beyond expectations, in a warm and caring environment, while bringing our patients to optimal oral health. We are committed to continuing education, state of the art technology, and exceptional service. We strive to serve the greater Durham, North Carolina, community while building long lasting relationships with our patients.

Core Values

As employees of the Practice, we commit that our professional conduct will be governed by values. Our daily work efforts will reflect our commitment to these values and we encourage constructive feedback from our patients regarding how well we adhere to our work beliefs.


  • We believe that dentistry is a noble profession. It provides each of us with a daily, unique opportunity to improve the lives of our patients. Our commitment to this purpose and duty is essential to our success. Individually and collectively, we will demonstrate good stewardship of all the resources entrusted to us, take responsibility for our actions, and continuously pledge to meet the performance expectations we have for each other and for our patients. We believe it is important to be loyal, reliable, responsive, and supportive.


  • We believe that our patients deserve superior yet cost effective products and services.
  • We believe that each of us is personally accountable for meeting agreed on work requirements and performing our jobs well, and we take responsibility for our actions and our work.


  • We believe Teamwork is integral to our success, working towards one goal and contributing where needed. We each have our own talents and abilities which together allow for us to provide excellent service to our patients. We are committed to embracing our diversity, being open to new ideas, and showing understanding, mutual respect and trust with each other and the patients we serve.


  • We show by our actions the high regard we have for self and for others. We maintain self-control and treat people the way we want to be treated. We strive to show consideration and appreciation for our patients and each other and use polite expressions when responding to concerns or differences.


  • We adhere to the highest standard of dental care for our patients. We   are committed to making continuous improvements to our processes and services while fostering a working environment that supports team members’ efforts to respond to customers’ needs using their creativity and best problem-solving skills.
  • We adhere to our values and believe in honoring our commitments. We act honestly and ethically and we treat everyone with dignity, tolerance, and understanding.  

Community Service

We are committed to giving back to our community. Some of our ongoing projects have included: back to school backpack drive, book collections for elementary aged children, volunteering on the Baptist Men’s dental bus, health fairs, career days, adopting a family, coat and hat drive for kids at at a local elementary school,  providing adult care packages at the Ronald McDonald house, and volunteering at the soup kitchen.

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