Dentist Celebrates 27 Years Of ‘Building Smiles’
Cosmetic and family dentist says keeping current with things like bacteria-displaying TVs and an emphasis on family-oriented care have kept his job exciting
Walking into Family Dental Care of Mahwah on Franklin Turnpike for the first time, patients will see a lot of things they might not expect – coffee and tea in the lobby, a container of candies at the front desk, flat-screen televisions in every exam room, and even a play room for kids.
“You have to keep up with technology, and with the needs of your patients,” Dr. Jeffrey Wechsler said. Each unique aspect of his practice, he said, has a purpose.
The coffee and tea are part of a community atmosphere. “I want people to come in and be comfortable. Traditionally, that’s not what you feel at a dentists’s office, so we try to make this as welcoming and family and community-oriented as possible,” Wechsler said.
That’s where the jar of candy comes in. Each month, patients are asked to submit guesses of how many pieces of candy are in the jar. The closest wins a prize – last month it was a gift certificate to the Garden State Plaza.
Wechsler said he also uses the jar as one of his many ways to raise funds for community organizations. Around the holidays, he charges $1 per guess, and all of the money is donated to Toys for Tots.
Mahwah Family Dental also makes a donation in the name of every new patient to the Arthritis Foundation, and has made charitable donations to many other national and community-based groups. “We’re very philanthropic because I feel that it’s important for businesses in the community to give back,” Wechsler said. “We are always looking for ways to do that.”
The kids play room, he said, is a reaction to his patients. “I would have moms and dads canceling appointments because they didn’t have sitters for their kids,” Wechsler said. “So, we built a room for the kids. It lets their parents bring them, and helps get the kids more acclimated to the dentist’s office. They actually look forward to coming.”
The TV’s aren’t just for entertainment. Wechsler said they are one of the best ways he has found to “engage with people about their teeth.” At every visit, Wechsler uses new microscope technology to take photos of the bacteria in patients’ mouths. Then, he posts the photos on the TVs and goes over them with patients.
“You’d be surprised what an impact actually looking at the bacteria in your own mouth can have,” he said.
All of these different aspects of his practice, Wechsler said, are part of what makes him still enjoy going to work everyday after 27 years in Mahwah.
Wechsler was trained as a general and cosmetic dentist, and in his career has placed over 20,000 sets of porcelain veneers. He said cosmetic dentistry makes up about a third of his business.
“When I first started studying dentistry, I was amazed by this, because I saw the impact it could have,” he said. I still love building smiles because a person’s smile so affects their interactions in the world. It really can change people’s lives.”
Aside from the technology, family-atmosphere and emphasis on the relationship between dental care and self-confidence, Wechsler said one of the keys to the success of his practice has been the community.
“Mahwah is a great place to be,” he said. “I liked it so much that I moved here eight years ago. It’s really a special thing to live, work and give back in your community.”
Find out more about Family Dental Care of Mahwah here.