When Dr. Maria F. Gonzalez set out to create a true family dental practice in Pinecrest, she had a clear idea of the type of office she wanted to bring to the community and the perfect place to reach for inspiration… her own childhood memories.
“Growing up in Colombia, I remember my parents taking me to our family dentist,” she says. “Everyone knew my entire family, they knew our names, our birthdays, and our personalities. I wanted to create the same environment. Nowadays, everything is so impersonal; we want our patients to feel that they are part of our family.”
The family atmosphere begins at first introduction, when patients are “greeted warmly” before filling out forms and receiving an office tour from one of the office dental assistants. Patients as young as two then visit either Dr. Gonzalez or one of the other two dentists in the practice: Dr. Dhunia Dopazo or Dr. Helen Carmenate, both of whom have previously worked at the South Dixie Dental location making them “very familiar with our patients and the community,” according to Dr. Gonzalez.
The business owner also puts thought into the little (and not-so-little) details of a family-based practice. For those concerned with cost, South Dixie Dental offers an annual plan, which includes two cleanings, evaluations with X-rays, and a 20 percent discount on any dental treatment they may need. “Thousands of people don’t have medical insurance even, less dental insurance,” she says. “Our goal is to offer our patients a plan that will allow them to maintain their oral health while feeling comfortable with the cost.”
Dr. Gonzalez also takes to heart concern with procedures and treatments, utilizing a state-of-the-art portable handheld intraoral X-Ray system called NOMAD, which ensures patients and staff minimal exposure to radiation. “We also offer a non-invasive fast and painless test for early detection of oral cancer, Vizalite. This latest product based in fluorescent light technology provides a fast approach to detect oral cancer even in its early stages,” she says.
For the everyday visit, SDD allows patients to choose their own movie or TV show during cleaning and treatments and offers pillows for relaxation and comfort. Patients who qualify can also receive a free take-home teeth-whitening kit. “This is to incentivize patients not only to have a brighter smile but most importantly to maintain good oral health,” says Dr. Gonzalez.
And when emergencies strike, SDD steps in, finding ways to see patients as soon as possible and even offering evening appointments for those who cannot get to the office during the day. “Having a toothache is one of the most uncomfortable feelings,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “We do our best to accommodate our patients and see them as soon as they can come in. Offering solutions is part of our family-driven culture at SDD.”
The creation of SDD brings to life what Dr. Gonzalez calls “a dream come true.” “When I was looking to buy a dental practice, I wanted a place that would offer a sense of tranquility. I found that when I bought this practice,” she says. “As a mother, I always want the best for my children, so I wanted to offer that to my patients in my own way.”
You can visit South Dixie Dental at 12531 South Dixie Highway, Pinecrest, FL33156. For more information, please call 786-842-3132, or visit southdixiedental.com.