Taking the Fear Out of Dental Visits
by Michelle Bense and Alyssa CapelDr. Beth Skovron of Heritage Dental, in Montgomeryville, opened her practice in 2005 with a clear focus: taking the dread out of dental visits. Having worked alongside other dentists for 10 years prior to starting her own business, she saw a need for a place where patients felt comfortable. “My whole idea was to create a relaxing environment to take the edge off of going to the dentist,” she says.
“Why do people have to have a smelly, awful sounding dental office with terrible music and just get through it, holding onto the chair?” queries Skovron. “I am all about relaxation. When I was ready to start my own practice, every step of what I did here was just for that purpose.”
This anxiety-free environment is achieved by additions to the waiting room such as massage chairs, relaxing music and a waterfall fountain on one wall. Heritage Dental also offers paraffin wax hand treatments, neck warmers, blankets and pillows for comfort during dental procedures and flat-screen TVs attached to the dental chair.
“When patients come here, they will not feel any discomfort,” assures Skovron. Every step of each visit is designed to do the best job possible so that patients feel no anxiety or pain. For those who still have dental fear despite all of these measures, Heritage Dental offers conscious sedation—medications absorbed under the tongue, to take the edge off for several hours. This method is inexpensive, requires no tubes or needles and has an amnesiac effect—patients rarely remember the procedure the next day.
Skovron speaks excitedly of her slogan of “progressive dentistry in a relaxed environment.” In addition to its unique comforts, the office sports state-of-the-art dental technology. “We just acquired a cone beam scanner—a 3-D device that scans the patient’s head and neck with much less radiation than a traditional full-mouth X-ray,” Skovron explains. The process produces a digital, 3-D model that can be viewed on a computer, making planning for procedures like implants simple even when the patient isn’t present. “This is the future in my field,” she insists. “Every dentist will have these one day.”
Despite all of the new technology and extras that create such a relaxing spa atmosphere, Skovron is an in-network provider. “Everyone once in a while, people walk in here and say ‘I probably can’t afford this,’” she says. Skovron assures that she goes by in-network fees and there are no extra charges at her office compared to a standard dental office.
The ideal client for Skovron is “someone who appreciates the atmosphere we’ve created here and takes a real interest in their health. I get so excited when my patients participate in things like looking at their 3-D scan and playing an active role in planning for their health.” Skovron’s office treats patients of all ages and offers a variety of procedures, including some more often seen at an orthodontist or oral surgeon’s practice.
For her, dental health is whole-body health. “What people should know about dental health is that when there is an infection in the mouth or in the gums, it’s able to enter the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body,” says Skovron. “Taking care of oral health is liable to make the whole body healthier.”
Whether it’s for oral surgery, implants, 3-D X-rays or a regular cleaning, a visit to Skovron’s office erases the worries of dental discomfort. “I don’t know that I can make everybody want to come here over a day at the beach, but I can make it a less stressful event, and that was my goal,” she smiles.
For more information about Dr. Beth Skovron and Heritage Dental, call 215-822-3860 or visit HeritageDentalDDS.com.
Michelle Bense is managing editor of Natural Awakenings BuxMont. Connect with her at [email protected]. Alyssa Capel is a contributing writer and editor for Natural Awakenings BuxMont. October 2014.