Business Profile: Refresh Me!
LaGRANGE – A local dentist who has been practicing in the area since 1983, Dr. Chuck Pitts has expanded his practice over the years to do more and more to cater to local children over the years.
Now as part of the Refresh Me! Center – which provides everything from hair appointments to esthetician services to cosmetology services – the growing dental office continues to expand it’s offered services.
“We have two different dental practices, so when we made the decision – my relatively small staff at the time – to take on kids through the Medicaid program that exists, it was because we were aware in the community that there was a tremendous need, and economically people had gotten very conservative with whatever they were going to do with dentistry that wasn’t an absolute necessity,” said Dr. Chuck Pitts. “So, when we took on kids it was like OK, here is something that we can do. … This is really good for our community, and it just exploded.”
Soon, the practice found itself creating two separate waiting rooms for two separate practices – one for children and one for adults – so that they could cater to the needs of the very different ages of patients entering the office. With the increased focus on the new age group came an increased focus on training for preventative care as well, and hygienists now make a point of making sure patients know how to care for their teeth the other 363 days of the year when they aren’t at the dentist.
“We teach (kids) and their parents the right way to brush their teeth, the right way to floss their teeth because if we get every speck of stain and plaque off two times a year, we’re really not helping any, but if we really put a little drop of disclosing solution on their tongue and stain up their mouth where all the plaque is and then we show them how to brush, and we put them in front of sink and a mirror and let the child literally brush their teeth while they are here, what we have found is that their ability to do that with some regularity goes way up.”
According to Pitts, about a third of any given child visit to the Kid’s Zone Dentistry side of the practice is spent teaching children proper dental care.
“The relationship side of dentistry is really number one,” said Dr. Joel Pritchett, who primarily works with children at the office. “The technical side – you’ve got to be able to do it – but the relationship side matters a whole lot more, so talking with the kids, but also the moms of the kids… (where) you have a very protective person who is concerned about their child, and so it is a whole different level of relationship building and skills.”
In Pritchett’s experience, children have a wide variety of reactions to dentists, and he has learned to expect anything from a child who excited to be out of school to a child who is scared of what is going on when he walks in, and that expectation has helped him adapt so that he can give kids a positive dental experience.
Pitts and Pritchett are currently looking for more dentists to join their practice.
Refresh Me! is located at 307 Church St. For more information check out their website at refreshmecenter.com. To make an appointment for dental or facial rejuvenation call 706-884-3263 or for the salon and medical spa call 706-298-0219.
Reach Alicia B. Hill at email@example.com or at 706-884-7311, Ext. 2154.