Meet Dr. Rafael M. Palaganas, DDS, PA

I am in a unique profession where I can truly help people and change their lives in a positive way. I find immense satisfaction in helping my patients achieve their smile goals and love getting to know them on a personal basis.


In order to become a dentist, I obtained the following:

  • Bachelor of Science – Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX
  • Doctorate of Dental Surgery – University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Dentistry, in San Antonio
  • Advanced education general dentistry residency – University of Florida College of Dentistry

Continuing Education

Each year I complete numerous continuing dental education courses — well above the minimum required for licensure. These courses ensure I am able to provide the best possible care to my patients by staying up to date on current procedures and advancements. I have completed a range of courses through the Dawson Academy, the Ross Nash Esthetic Continuum, the Seattle Study Club, and the Scottsdale Center for Computerized Dentistry.

As part of my commitment to furthering my knowledge, I’m an active member of the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Florida Dental Association
  • West Coast District Dental Association
  • Pinellas County Dental Association, past president

I currently serve as an examiner for the American Board of Dental Examiners(ADEX) and have been a Florida State Board Examiner sine 2002.

In the Practice

I’ve been making a positive, lasting difference in people’s lives and building strong relationships for almost 25 years. I truly love what I do.

I often have the opportunity to change a person’s perception of dentistry. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with someone who’s fearful and uneducated about dentistry and help people become active and enthusiastic participants in their care.

I cherish the fact that my patients feel like members of my extended family. I genuinely care about each person who comes to me for treatment and appreciate the diverse needs and goals of my patients.

My Team

We like to smile and have as many laughs as possible in our office. We are truly a team, with a warmth, camaraderie, and respect for each other that translates into a caring environment for patients. Every member of the team is focused on giving each of our patients 100% of their attention, and making each visit a positive one.

In the Community

I feel it is important to be active and give back to our community.  I have helped provide dental services for many years for PARC, an organization that provides dental treatment for developmentally challenged children and adults. I have also fully endowed a scholarship in honor of my mother, which pays full tuition at her alma mater, Mary Johnson College of Nursing, in Manila, the Philippines.  I also volunteer on a regular basis at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic and other places that offer Dental Services to the less fortunate.

Family Life

I was born in Manilla, the Philippines, and moved to the U.S. when I was a year old. I’ve lived in Treasure Island for more than 20 years and am blessed to be raising my family here. My wife,  Michelle was born and raised in St. Petersburg. We have three children: Lauren, Jacqueline, and Marco.

I’m an avid sports fan and love following our local teams: Go Rays, Bucs, and Lightning! I’m also a dedicated golfer and have managed to get my handicap down into the single digits!

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