Remember the old saying; I’d rather go to the dentist than…?
The equation of a dental check-up being the alternative to something horrible is a stereotype that adults have chuckled about for years. That reluctance and fear has unknowingly transferred to our children. Historically, dental check-ups for kids have been unpleasant and scary. Well, not anymore.
Main Street Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics is a network of practices specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents that is changing that stereotype. They are based in Miami and have more than a dozen locations in Broward County, Palm Beach and on the Florida West Coast. The company began nearly a decade ago with a vision of modern practices where kids get excellent clinical care while feeling totally comfortable and calm. In fact, most Main Street patients look forward to their check-ups and ask to go frequently.
Part of that is due to the doctors and staff at Main Street who are specially trained to deal with young patients. Many wear funny scrubs, bunny ears, make shadow puppets and tell jokes. They know that when the patient is happy, their treatment will go smooth. Pediatric Dentists attend an additional two years of schooling and can work with the very young and special needs children, who often go without proper dental care. A 2010 study published in USA Today shows that only one in five kids will see the dentist this year.
“We are trying to change those statistics by creating practices that make going to the dentist easy for Mom and child,” said Sandra Jorge, regional manager for Main Street. “By combining great doctors with modern and fun offices, it’s our hope that more families maintain a routine schedule of checkups and proper oral care.”
“Everyone at Main Street is so helpful,” said Yvonne Vega-Garcia, whose son Marcos has been a patient with Main Street since 2008. “When my son had an emergency, they made sure that he was seen despite the fact that they were booked with patients. The front desk was so accommodating and Dr. Menendez was wonderful. Our overall experience has been excellent.”
Another reason kids love Main Street is because the offices are designed with them in mind. They have smaller dental chairs with televisions playing their favorite cartoons. There are bright colored waiting rooms, fully stocked with toys and video games. Parents are encouraged to accompany their child into the treatment areas, so the open and spacious layouts can accommodate that.
“My son wanted me to come back with him the first time, but at his next appointment he wanted to go alone,” said one parent.
Main Street is committed to keeping up with advances in technology too. Most offices are completely digital and the company plans to be entirely paperless by 2013. Appointment reminders can be done by phone, email or text message, which caters to the busy families of today. Main Street accepts most insurance plans and offers interest-free financing for braces. One of the company’s objectives when opening was to ensure that good dental care was also affordable. By keeping prices low, working with parents on treatment plans and offering financing options, the company sees an upward trend in their growth.
They expect to open two to four new practices in 2011 throughout Florida, and hope to expand outside the state in the coming years.
“We see the great results with happy parents, happy patients and happy employees,” said Jorge. “So it just seems logical that we continue to spread the good news about going to the dentist.”