If you took a poll and asked how many people enjoyed going to the dentist, the majority would say no. The fear of needing dental work outside of a traditional cleaning and an exam can send some into a panic. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you have the right dentist, it won’t.
Like any healthcare provider, searching to find the right dentist can seem daunting, especially when there are so many options from which to choose. One of the most important criteria for anyone is experience. You don’t want just anyone making recommendations and digging around your mouth. Dr. Andy Engel of Living Dental Health has been transforming smiles for over 25 years. And that experience is just one of many things that help set him apart from other dentists in Bend.
But the experience of being a patient at Living Dental Health is different too. Take, for example, your first visit. While the paperwork and x-rays are pretty standard, that’s where the similarities end. You see, Dr. Engel isn’t just going to pop in, say hi, look in your mouth and leave. He’s going to spend time getting to know you—a lot of time. And the paperwork you filled out, that’s quite important to Dr. Engel. You see, he likes to build a storyline of his patient’s past and then piece it together with what’s going on presently. Your first visit may also not include a dental cleaning. Yes, we all like nice and clean teeth, and many of us love our hygienists but think of your first appointment as a consultation. It is an investment of time to ensure you and Dr. Engel understand each other.
At Living Dental Health, every diagnostic test is done digitally, including x-rays. They also have a CT scan for 3D imaging that is used as needed. Is it normal for a dentist to have a CT scan in their practice? No. But in some instances, such as dental implants or complicated wisdom teeth extractions, 3D imaging is mighty handy. It allows Dr. Engel to see 360 degrees around an area to inform how the treatment is performed.
Dentistry is more than a dental cleaning and occasionally filling a cavity. If you’ve had many cavities in your life, Dr. Engel will want to explore why this is happening so he can try to stop it from continuing in the future. He focuses on the epicenter or primary cause of a problem. If he can help address this cause, he can often make symptoms go away or become more manageable. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Once you become an established patient, everyone who works at the office knows you by name. Do you hear the Cheers theme song in your head? Yes, sometimes treatments are needed that aren’t all that fun, but the goal of Dr. Engel is to build a relationship based on trust with each of his patients. He isn’t trying to sell you on services or procedures you don’t need. He isn’t trying to get you to buy fancy toothpaste or have cosmetic procedures that you haven’t even considered. He won’t even suggest them unless you’ve mentioned it.
Dr. Engel doesn’t treat every condition, and he isn’t afraid to refer to a specialist when needed. But he is grateful for his surgical background as it helps him offer comprehensive services not often found in a traditional dental practice. Is he Superman? No. But he is a pretty nice guy who is pretty amazing at dentistry. What more could you ask for?