Nathanson Dental - February/March 2018

Feb/Mar 2018

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OVERCOMING THE “ANTI-DENTITES” How I Strive To Transform People’s Fear of Dentistry

From day one in dental school, I knew that this isn’t the way it has to be, that there are ways to cut through the noise and reach the patients who really need our help. Now, every aspect of my practice is geared to putting patients at ease. From my enthusiastic and consistently warm-hearted staff to the cookies we’re constantly baking in the reception room oven, we work to make our office one that patients would want to visit. A lot of this comes down to the fact that we actually allow ourselves to take time with the people we see — you’d be amazed how much better you can treat people when you aren’t forced to hurry and can really spend the time to listen to them. I think that, overall, we’ve been highly successful in our endeavor to improve people’s opinion of dentistry. At the end of each visit, I like to ask my patients how they (and we) did with the appointment. Overwhelmingly, we get responses like “Great!”, “Awesome!” and my personal favorite, “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be!” When I hear our patients saying things like that, I know we’re that much closer to our goal of helping people view dentistry in a more positive way. I’d like to urge anyone who may be hesitant about visiting a dentist to come on in to see us at Nathanson Dental. I’m confident that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find here. -Dr. Joel Nathanson 443.275.9643 • 1

There’s an endless list of things I love about being a dentist: the wonderful patients I have the pleasure of interacting with every day, my incredible team that makes me look forward to coming into the office each morning, the ability to make a tangible difference in the lives of those that entrust us with this vital component of their medical care; I could go on and on. But as with anything, there are also a few challenges that come along with the work I do. One, in particular, looms above the rest, so much so that I’ve dedicated my entire career in the dental field to overcoming it. So many people, before they even come in to receive treatment, have their minds made up as to what dentistry really is. For them, the dental experience is something to be feared. Many dentists just accept this fact and simply do their best to minimize discomfort and maximize the quality of their treatment. But for me, that’s not quite enough. At Nathanson Dental, we strive to completely transform our visitors’ ideas about dentistry from the very first step they take into our office. Of course, it’s a process. No matter how much I do within my own practice to overcome people’s misconceptions and make maintaining their oral health a legitimately positive experience, I’m fighting against years of bad PR in TV and movies. Almost always, a visit to a dentist in a story is played for the dark humor angle, and it’s almost never a wholly enjoyable event. In fact, the only time I’ve ever heard a character from anything advocating for

“From my enthusiastic and consistently

dentists is Kramer in an episode of Seinfeld, calling Jerry out as an “anti-dentite.” (And I’m not so sure Kramer is the best advocate to have on your side in any case.) Though I know it may be an uphill battle, it’s a challenge I take on with pride. In fact, one of the main reasons I got into dentistry in the first place was to help change the way this incredibly important part of human health is viewed and approached. There are thousands of people who are so afraid of the dentist that they avoid treatment completely, knowing full well that neglecting their oral health will negatively impact every other aspect of their health, in some cases even shaving years off their lives. warm-hearted staff to the cookies we’re constantly baking in the reception room oven, we work to make our office one that patients would want to visit.”

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