Dr. Chan retiring after 39 years in Cumberland

Dr. Chan retiring after 39 years in Cumberland

Dr. William Chan, left, and his son, Dr. Benjamin Chan, outside the pediatric dentistry practice that William founded on Mendon Road in Cumberland. After 39 years, William is retiring this summer and transitioning the practice to his son. (Breeze photo by Melanie Thibeault)
Chan's son will take over practice this summer

CUMBERLAND – After nearly 40 years of running his pediatric dentistry practice in Cumberland, Dr. William Chan will retire this summer and transition the practice to his son.

“It’s bittersweet to have to retire,” Chan, of Lincoln, who opened William Chan & Associates at 2359 Mendon Road in Cumberland, in 1982, told The Breeze. “I cannot thank the community (enough) for the support. … We’re lucky that we have a very thriving practice. It would not be as good a practice as it is now without the community support.”

Chan’s son, Dr. Benjamin Chan, who grew up in Lincoln and now lives in Boston, has worked at the practice for seven years as an orthodontist and will officially be taking over on July 1.

The name will change to Cumberland Dental Specialists Inc. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place July 12, and two new faces will also be joining the practice: Dr. Niloufar “Nilo” Moaziniya and Dr. Jennifer Stevens. “We’re really excited to have them come onto the team,” Benjamin said.

The practice offers pediatric dentistry and orthodontic services and is open Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

While Benjamin said he’s ready to take on the new responsibility, he’ll definitely miss working with his father. “He has such a big presence in the office,” he said. “He brings such energy and a lot of laughter.”

William, who grew up in Woonsocket and whose parents owned Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining (currently owned by his brother John), said after dentistry school he decided to come home and open his practice in Cumberland. “It’s been a very good area for me,” he said, noting that he’s seen multiple generations of families as patients. “That was a really rewarding experience,” he said, estimating he’s seen close to 5,000 patients over the course of his career.

He graduated from Woonsocket High School, the University of Rhode Island, and the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and received a pediatric dentistry certification from Tufts.

In April, William said he decided he’d like to transition the practice to Benjamin, noting that he’s been managing the practice for the past three or four years and has a done a good job. “It’s time for me to step back and let him take over,” he said.

He’ll miss the patients and staff who are like family, he said, noting that some staff have been at the practice for 25 years or more. There have been many rewarding experiences over the years, William said, including being able to help children in emergency situations.

When William opened the practice in the early 1980s, it was just him and a secretary, he said. A lot of pediatricians in the area recommended patients to him, and he appreciated those referrals.

Among the changes he’s seen in the field over the years, using lasers, 3D impressions, and 3D X-rays have been big improvements, he said.

While Cumberland is a very friendly community, William also noted he has patients from across R.I. and even from Connecticut. “We are the only pediatric dentists in the northern R.I. area,” he said. Though he’ll be retired, William said he’ll still go into the office a couple of days a week to say hi to patients. In his retirement, he said he plans to focus on his other interests including reading, traveling, gardening, and fishing.

About Benjamin, William said, “I hope that he will have as good of an experience as I’ve had.”

Benjamin said he’s looking forward to continuing to grow the practice and maintain having nice, personal connections with every patient. “That foundation was set by my father,” he said. He said he has many friends in Lincoln and Cumberland and since his family has been in the area for so long, “it always feels like home.”

“I’ve been ready for this new stage,” he added. “I am excited and eager to take over the role.”


We lived in this house when I was a kid. I went through my worst nightmare in that house .We moved in in 1966 or 1967.My parents had Laflamme Decorators. My dad passed away in 1970 when I was only 11 y.o. We loved this house, we called it "the big house".So many memories....