Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Love My Dentist Story Contest Winners

I have really enjoyed reading people's stories about why they love their dentists, so it was really hard to choose three winners -- because all of the stories were so good! However, after much consideration, Im please to announce the winners:

First place: Cindy Ludwig / Dr. Reid Clark -- "Patient Loses Fear of Visiting the Dentist"

Second place: Robin MacDonald / Dr. Eric Vanek -- "Dentist Helps Patient Out of 'Dark Cave' of Oral Health"

Third place: Tanya Kormeili, MD / Dr. Poneh Ghasri -- "California Dermatologist Explains Why She Loves her Dentist"

After reading the stories again, I understood the reasons why people love their dentists (and it has nothing to do with filling cavities):

1. Exceptional dentists eliminate all fear -- As a few of the contestants wrote, they were afraid to visit the dentist due to dental trauma from childhood. I understand this fear because many patients write to me telling me how they haven't visited the dentist in years because of fear.

Great dentists eliminate this fear through various methods: communicating with patients and using techniques and technologies to reduce pain. Dental procedures don't have to hurt -- and dentists should not be causing people trauma.

2. Exceptional dentists provide advanced procedures -- When it comes to dentistry, everything matters, from the office setting to the dentist's chairside manner. But most important, however, great dentists practice modern dentistry, whether it's one-visit crowns, dental implants or full mouth reconstruction. Dentists can no longer simply fill cavities.

3. Exceptional dentists provide exceptional care -- As many people pointed out in their stories, they loved their dentists because they had a personal one-on-one relationship with them. This relationship is what makes the difference between a good dentist and an exceptional dentist.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex! Mentioned in Boston Globe Article

The Boston Globe ran an article about social media in its Sunday, April 26 edition. In his article, "Increasingly, marketing isn't just one-way street," reporter Scott Kirsner talks about how advertising -- and reaching consumers -- is changing.

He uses examples from local area companies, including Dunkin' Donuts, BzzAgent, HubSpot -- and yes, my e-book, "Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex!" Woot!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Eight Year Old Boy Loves His Dentist

Today is the last "I Love My Dentist" story. I saved this one for last because it's written by Aidan Thomas Hornaday, age eight. According to Aidan's mother, Aidan talked about his dentist at a media event and even handed out some of his cards -- which he keeps in an harmonica case!

Writes Aidan:

"My dentist, Dr. Ashish Patel, is the happiest dentist on the earth. His office is full of happy people and I love to go there. I feel good about my teeth there. And I feel good about myself there.

"I get my teeth cleaned and then I see Dr. Patel smiling and so happy to be looking in my mouth. He is the best dentist and has cool things in his office like headsets to listen to my favorite DVDs.

"I can tell he cares about me and my family. Even with hard stuff, like my mom's new crowns he was sweet and his machines are awesome. So if someone got a mouth full of cavities, I would say to go to Dr. Patel because he cares and he loves his patients.
"Even in the waiting room I watch amazing nature shows on his big screen. So it's not bad going there, it's great. They have done everything great that you can think of. It's all there. I am his happy patient."

Aidan, I'm glad you've found a wonderful dentist who knows how to give you exceptional care -- and that you won't grow up fearing the dentist. Dr. Patel should be proud that he has a patient like you.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Public Speaker Loves Both Dentists

When you need more extensive dental work, such full mouth reconstruction, you may have to see a cosmetic dentist who specializes in more advanced procedures. Celia Milton is one such person.

A New Jersey Wedding Ceremony Officiant and Minister, Celia writes that she was in need of extensive implants and reconstruction. Her regular dentist referred her to Dr. Robert Jaffin, DMD, a periodontist in Hackensack, NJ and Dr. Jorge Barrios, DDS, a prosthodontist in HoHoKus, NJ. Celia writes:

"When my regular dentist referred me to these dentists, I was terrified, and very depressed about the whole process. I am a public speaker; my appearance and my ability to speak (of course) is of primary importance to me.

"Every step of the way, Dr. Jaffin and Dr. Barrios made me feel comfortable, confident, and hopeful about my result. They worked together seamlessly, and the result is just amazing; my smile is beautiful and natural.

"They also went out of their way to involve everyone in their office in my journey. I can't say enough about their artistry, their professional expertise and their warm and concerned treatment of someone who was very obviously freaking out. I love them both."

Celia, thank you for your story! Your smile is beautiful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Comedian Nancy Lombardo Loves Her Dentist

I'm often asked by patients if getting their teeth fixed is "vain" -- even when their teeth present serious health issues and/or it's uncomfortable for them to eat.

Having your teeth whitened or straightened, replacing missing teeth with dental implants or bridges, and restoring health to teeth and the oral cavity is not "vain."

As I state in both my e-books, "Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex!" and "Keep Your Body Healthy . . . Brush Your Teeth!" your mouth is an important part of your body. Just as you need to exercise to keep your heart healthy, relieve stress, and maintain optimal weight, you need to care for your mouth through regular checkups and having dental work done when necessary.

Maintaining a healthy smile also pays dividends. You feel free to smile more, which makes the people around you feel good, and you don't hide your teeth behind "closed mouth smiles" (or close your eyes when you smile, the way one of my patients did).

This is why I loved reading Nancy Lombardo's story. A comedian, Nancy understands how image is an important part of her job -- and part of that image is flashing a beautiful smile.

Nancy writes:

"I love my dentist Dr. Reginald Moncrieff in New York. It's not often you meet professionals who take pride in their work and skills and concern in their patients. I am an actress and stand-up comedian, and Dr. Reginald understands the importance of my teeth in order to earn income.

"He has never performed unnecessary work and actually discourages it. On more than one occasion, he has come to my aid on his own time. One time he fixed a broken tooth so that I could perform.

"I have sent many of my friends to him and they all agree: he is the best. He is one dentist that goes the extra mile for a smile."

Thank you, Nancy, for your story!

West Roxbury Transcript Features I Love My Dentist Story Contest

As many patients have explained through their stories this month, going to the dentist is a postive act because you're taking care of your health.

And that is exactly the idea reporter Alexa Gural picked up on in this terrific West Roxbury Transcript article, "Contest Puts a Big Smile on Better Image for Parkway Dentists," going to the dentist is "disease arresting."

Thank you, Alexa, and the Transcript, for a wonderful write up!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today's Love My Dentist Story: Short and Sweet!

Kama Linden, vocalist in New York City, writes, "Dr. Maitreya Padukone is the best dentist. If you don't need a procedure he won't do it. He is fun, he is interesting to talk with, he doesn't hurt, and he gives great advice! He is at 272 West 72nd street in NYC."

Unfortunately, Dr. Padukone doesn't have a Website. However, a number of patients have given him positive reviews on Yelp, so if you're in Manhattan, be sure to check him out.

Kama, thank you!

Monday, April 20, 2009

California Dermatologist Explains Why She Loves Her Dentist

Dentists form relationships with many other medical professionals and because one is in the "trade," you carefully choose those professionals to whom you send clients.

I love the following story because it shows how two medical professionals are providing superior care to patients -- and how this care is transforming people's lives.

Tanya Kormeili, MD, a Board Certified Dermatologist, met her current dentist, Dr. Poneh Ghasri, at UCLA when she was a busy dental student and Tanya an over-worked medical student. Of course, as “nerdness” would have it, they met at the Biomedical library!

Tanya writes, "Despite her busy schedule, Dr. Ghasri took such a sincere interest in me as a patient even as a dental student. You see, after a long complicated experience with braces as a child, I used to have nightmares about 'my teeth falling out.'

"I was, and still am, obsessed with my teeth -– their health and appearance. But, I was paranoid to have anyone else working in my mouth. I had lost all trust and faith in dentists by the time my braces were taken off.

"After hours of careful cleaning, x-rays, examination and careful treatment planning, I realized that Dr. Ghasri was no ordinary dentist. Her calming, gentle feminine demeanor, combined with her knowledge and dedication to perfection, made her my extraordinary dentist.

"I not only have perfect, cavity-free teeth, but I began to feel comfortable to do Invisilign to clean up the mess from my previous dental disaster. I began to send her my family members and friends, and unanimously they all agreed: she is fantastic!"

Tanya goes on to say that she and Dr. Ghasri began to refer patients to each other. The patients who had beautiful skin and rejuvenated lips due to cosmetic surgery wanted a better healthier smile. Conversely, Dr. Ghasri's patients who had full mouth reconstruction, gummy-smiles or cosmetic concerns regarding their aging face, began to visit Tanya as their dermatologist.

Reports Tanya, "A whole new level of respect and admiration developed as I began to work with Dr. Ghasri as a colleague. Her patients all loved her; their results were all gorgeous, and above all, they all agreed she was 'so sweet.' Indeed, my patients began to thank me for this referral to see her as well. They felt so comfortable with her; the combination of her expertise and high ethics and kindness, makes her not just a wonderful colleague, but my fabulous family dentist.

"Thank you Dr. Ghasri!"

Dr. Ghasri is located at 6200 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1508, Los Angeles, California.

Tanya, thank you for your story. Dr. Ghasri sounds fabulous. I'm glad you were able to form a such a rewarding relationship with her.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thank You for the Wonderful Dental Love Stories!

I have had a few people ask me, "Why are you posting stories about other dentists on your blog? Why do you want to give press to your competitors?"

As I said in my original post that announced the I Love My Dentist Contest, you can find lots of "dental horror" stories online. People Tweet about how they dislike visiting the dentist and how uncomfortable it makes them.

But many wonderful dentists do exist -- and they work day in and day out to change their patients' lives for the better, often with little recognition.

The I Love My Dentist contest is my way of spreading good will within the dental community and to introduce you to dentists who do provide exceptional care.

If you're currently seeing a dentist who makes you feel uncomfortable, causes pain, or has failed to keep up with technological advances in dental care, then find a new one. I've featured seven of them already -- and have lots more for next week!

I'll be wrapping up the campaign Friday, April 24, so if you haven't already, send in your story!

(The photo is of me and my patient, Frank, whose story you can read on my Website.)

Patient Loses Fear of Visiting the Dentist

Millions of people across the U.S. are terrified to visit the dentist -- I know, because I often receive email from prospective patients telling me about their trauma.

So it's nice to hear Cindy Ludwig's story about her dentist, Dr. Reid Clark in Greensboro, North Carolina. Dr. Clark gave her a beautiful smile and made her feel much more comfortable visiting the dentist. Here is Cindy's story:

"I knew my teeth were making me look old and it made me feel self-conscious, but due to a traumatic experience I had as a child, I was afraid to visit the dentist. Over the years I've had to force myself to go to other dentists.

"From the minute I walked into Dr. Clark’s, however, everything felt different. He
really changed my life. Now I get compliments all the time on my smile. It gives me a lot of confidence and I love seeing people smile back at me.

"Dr. Clark’s entire staff is so kind and thoughtful as well as being very professional. They tell me what’s going on every step of the way. At first I was the biggest baby but they helped me feel comfortable.

"The staff seems to be having such a good time doing their work. One time I asked, 'Do you guys really like your job so much?' and they said 'Yeah, we do!' You can tell Dr. Clark is very selective about his staff because they show the same sincerity and dedication he does. The team goes with him to advanced courses and the office has the latest technology.

"I feel like a new woman, a happier person. The quality of work and the experience was beyond my expectations. I think Dr. Clark is an artist and a genius -- and a total sweetheart!"

Like all of the dentists featured this week, Dr. Clark is a modern dentist. In addition to family dentistry, he also offers advanced cosmetic procedures. Go check out his fresh and welcoming Website -- very well done!

Thanks for sharing your story, Cindy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Canada Has Wonderful Dentists, Too

Wilf Seymour, Executive Chef for Canada's Wonderland, lives in Toronto, Canada, and writes to say that you "won't find a better dentist in the world," than Dr. Jay McKenzie, of Whistler Dental.

Says Wilf, "I use to live in Whistler BC Canada and when I first moved to Whistler I was afraid of going to the dentist. It took me two years before I would walk into Jay's office and now that I live in Toronto (across the country), any chance I have to visit Whistler, I also visit Jay.

"His office is located in Whistler Village and overlooks the beautiful Rainbow Mountain; that means almost any day is a beautiful day to go into the office for a check up or even a root canal!"

Wilf also explains why Dr. McKenzie is a thoroughly modern dentist: "The first time I got a cap (crown) on a tooth it took 2 weeks to get everything done. The next time I needed one, Dr. McKenzie and his team were able to do everything in the office and I could watch the (Cerac) machine making my new tooth -- very cool!

"I imagine a lot of people know great dentists, but not many of them are like Jay. I did try to find a new dentist in Toronto, but have not had much luck. Plus, it's well worth the trip across country to see a guy like Jay. I know he would be hard for any other dentist to beat."

Dr. McKenzie has a great Website -- including video of him skiing! In addition to general dentistry, Dr. McKenzie provides cosmetic dentistry including Cerac crowns, veneers, and implants.

He also has a great sense of humor, as seen by his winning "window dressing" entry for the Whistler Chamber of Commerce. If you're in the Whistler area, check him out. Thank you for sharing your story, Wilf. (Photos (c) Dr. Jay McKenzie.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Patient Receives Spa Treatments at the Dentist Office

You can find lots of articles about dental practices that also offer day-spa type treatments such as massage or aromatherapy. (My Boston-based practice is dental spa, for example.)

Dental patient Ali Hammer, of Borakas Public Relations, loves her dentists, Dr. Brandon and Dr. Aaron Cooley, of Cooley Smiles in Bellevue, Washington for this very reason. Not only does she receive great dental care, but she also gets paraffin hand dips!

Ali writes, "Before finding Cooley Smiles, I had the same dentist since childhood, but when I moved away for college and work, I started going to Cooley Smiles and was amazed by their service.

"The brothers, Dr. Brandon and Dr. Aaron, are very skilled dentists. I've gone to them for three years and they have filled a few cavities for me. I was nervous as I had never had a filling or for that matter, a cavity, but they put me at ease and provided a nearly painless procedure.

"I like their mix of cosmetic and general family dentistry because I feel like the doctors are very knowledgeable in both the scientific and artistry sides of the profession. And, there's nothing like a paraffin hand dip while having your teeth cleaned!

"I love these guys and rave about them to all my friends and coworkers!"

Regularly voted Seattle's best dentists, Cooley Smiles offers Invisalign, full mouth reconstruction, and dental implants. Ali, thank you for your story!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dentist in Indiana is "Better than Dentists in NY"!

Sheryl Matthys, Founder of Leashes and Lovers (an online networking/friendship/dating site for dog lovers!) "loves, loves, loves" her dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Mader in South Bend Indiana -- even though Sheryl lives in New York!

"Dr. Mader is more than 700 miles away but whenever I visit my parents, it usually includes getting my teeth cleaned. I live in NYC and believe me -- the dentists here do not compare -- I've tried them and went back to Dr. Mader.

"Why? Because he is THE BEST. He has all the tools in his office so there is no waiting or coming back to get a porcelain overlay, he has goggles that play videos so while you get your teeth cleaned, you're watching a movie. He's always up to date on the latest technology and knows how to implement it. And, he numbs your gums so you never feel any pain . . . in short, he always makes me smile."

Sheryl, thank you for sharing your story. For those of you in South Bend, Indiana, be sure to check out Dr. Mader's Website. A modern dentist, Dr. Mader offers Cerac one-visit crowns, digital X-rays, implants, and general dentistry.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Patient Drives 200 Miles to See His Dentist

Finding good service providers, such as doctors, plumbers, and even auto technicians, can take some work. When you find a good person, you want to hang on to them -- forever.

One woman I know used to drive 50+ miles every four weeks just to get her hair cut -- that is how much she loved her hair stylist.

Easan Katir, an investment advisor who also runs a news Website, is no different in that he loves his dentist -- and is willing to drive 200 miles to see him.

Easan writes, "My dentist, Dr. Paramjit Singh Everest, does very competent work, has a great chairside manner, explains all the options for a problem, then explains them over again when I need the information. He doesn't pressure me for high-priced treatments.

"He's also very skillful with pain management. Example: a few years ago I wanted a tooth extracted. I was sitting in the chair, and he was bustling about, preparing for the procedure. I asked him, 'So when are you going to pull the tooth?' and he replied, 'I did it already.' Now that's a good dentist."

Dr. Everest practices in Yuba City, California. His family was voted Family of the Year in 2005 -- in part for the free medical care Everest provides to those in need at the Sikh Temple in Yuba City.

Thank you, Easan, for your wonderful story!

Do you have a story about why you love your dentist? Send it to me, Dr. Helaine Smith, at

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dentist Helps Patient Out of "Dark Cave" of Oral Health

Randi, front office coordinator for Dr. Eric Vanek, sent in this patient testimonial from Robin MacDonald in Santa Ana, California:

"Dr. Vanek helped me emerge from a dark cave into the sunlight of oral health. No one is more frightened of "the dentist" than I, and now after a remarkable transformation, I actually look forward to my dental appointments...Words can never adequately express my gratitude to all!"

Robin was so thrilled with her treatment, she sent Dr. Vanek a handwritten testimonial!

Dr. Vanek is a true modern dentist or mouth physician who believes in educating his patients as well as providing optimal care. On his Website you'll find free reports about various dental procedures and a newsletter plus podcasts and a YouTube video.

If you're in Orange County, be sure to give him a call.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tell Me Why You Love Your Dentist -- And Get Featured on This Blog!

I noticed awhile ago that many people post on Twitter that they're either afraid to visit the dentist . . . or even worse, that they hate their dentists. (You can read my earlier post, "Why Do Consumers Consider Dentists Satan . . . or Worse?")

All this got me to thinking . . . why not celebrate those dentists who do provide optimal care to their patients -- and the patients who love them?

For the month of April, I'm running a contest: send me your story about why you love your dentist. You can write about your dentist on your blog, record a brief video (in either case, send me the link!) or simply send me your story via email.

Even better, send me a picture of yourself with your dentist plus a link to his or her Website.

I'll be featuring your stories through the month of April. At the end of April, I'll post the top three winning stories -- with photos of patients and their dentists -- as well as a report on the top reasons why people love visiting and remain loyal to their dentists.

In addition to being featured on the blog, you'll also receive an "I Love My Dentist" badge which you can add to your Facebook page or blog.

It's time dentists received some recognition for the great work they do -- and the fact that many patients do indeed love their dentists. Please send me your stories to

Be sure to connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter -- I'll be publishing updates all month.