Lehighton Dentist Treats Patients Like Family
Oct 30, 2018 12:33AM
● By Sheila Julson
Dr. Jignesh Patel, DMD
Dr. Jignesh Patel, DMD and founder of Lehighton Family Dentistry, takes a different approach to dentistry and doesn’t believe in running his practice like a business. Instead, he and his staff strive to create a warm, welcoming family ambiance, with calming music and televisions, to help instill a sense of calm for those that might have a fear of going to the dentist. He also believes in taking his time with patients and educating them about proactive dental care, which can help prevent unnecessary procedures.
Lehighton Family Dentistry offers basic and advanced dentistry, while focusing on minimally invasive, evidence based practices. They specialize in implants, which are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root, anchored to the jawbone or a metal anchor on the bone. They also offer cosmetic dentistry, veneers, sealants, tooth whitening, root canals, and nitrous oxide for those with anxiety over dental procedures. While Patel uses fillings, he avoids silver, or amalgam filings, because of the mercury content. “I don’t want those in my own mouth, so I can’t recommend them to my patients,” he says.
While living in India, Patel earned his Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the Government Dental College and Hospital at Saurashtra University. He was also a member of the Indian Dental Association. In the U.S., Patel graduated with honors from Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University. While practicing in India, he learned to be proactive rather than reactive in helping patients with oral health issues.
“If a small cavity shows up on an x-ray, about 35 out of 50 times, depending on the patient’s age, the smaller cavities will go away after a year’s time,” he explains. “I don’t drill-and-fill right away. Fillings can cause discoloration and change in structure to the permanent tooth. I monitor the cavity every three to six months, and if you educate the patient on how to floss, rinse and brush properly, along with a good diet that’s low in sugar or carbohydrates, often the small cavities go away.”
Lehighton Family Dentistry offers flexible scheduling to accommodate any special needs for patients. Patel also likes to take his time during appointments to educate patients about preventative oral hygiene care, for natural teeth as well as for implants. “No matter how much money you spend on dental work, if you don’t take care of implants and treat them as natural teeth—even though implants don’t get cavities—there will still be problems,” he emphasizes. There’s also a patient education library on their website that covers various dental topics.
Patel believes in giving back to the community by offering discounts to low-income people and those with no dental insurance. Lehighton Family Dentistry also offers an in-house plan that covers cleaning, exams and x-rays for a flat fee. Patel participates in mission trips that provide free dental services for people in underserved areas.
Patel enjoys his work and interacting with his patients. “I think every patient should be treated like a family member,” he remarks, “and like the Hippocratic Oath states, ‘do no harm.’”
Lehighton Family Dentistry is located at 233 S. Third St., Lehighton. For more information, call 610-377-5948 or visit LehightonDentistry.com.
Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.