It’s estimated that over 75 percent of adults in the United States have a fear of going to the dentist. That’s more than 200 million people who shudder at the thought of the word cavity or filling. Yet, having a dentist who knows you well personally can help put you significantly at ease so your teeth and mouth can be healthy.
Dental Arts Group in Valparaiso is different from many other dental practices in the Region and is built around providing a more personalized relationship with their patients. It all stems from dentist and owner Dr. Michael Uzelac.
“Over the past 10 years in dentistry, the process for dentistry and public health has changed, and this can keep doctors from being directly involved with the patient,” Uzelac said. “In my office, I do most of the work.”
He doesn’t do everything, but he’s definitely involved. Assistants, hygienists, and receptionists - totaling a staff of about seven people in the office – are licensed professionals and adopt the Dental Arts Group philosophy of personalized care. Dr. Uzelac is tightly connected with staff and the day-to-day operations, creating an even more close-knit bond among staff and patients. The smaller staff ensures patients are greeted by someone they recognize and trust as soon as they walk in the door.
Uzelac works closely with the dental hygienists in his office who are skilled to accomplish many facets of patient care that don’t need to be accomplished by the doctor himself. But he’s also known to do a little more than the typical dentist to help that trusting relationship along. Personalized care starts with the first phone call and the first consultation.
“We have a patient-based practice here. We resist churning patients out the door. I know my patients’ names. It’s much more personable. It’s more work, but it’s worth it,” Uzelac said.
And, it’s working. Uzelac has been caring for patients for more than 30 years. A native of Northwest Indiana, he received his undergraduate degree from Valparaiso University before going to Indiana University to complete his dental degree. But, his love for helping others and promoting good dental health goes back even further.
“Actually, I hated going to the dentist when I was a kid. It’s pretty funny looking at it now,” Uzelac said. “But I always loved science in school, and I was really good with my hands. Dentistry seemed to be the perfect fit and when I actually started to practice more, I loved it. I got into dentistry to help people, bottom line.”
To the rest of the 200 million Americans who still might have some reservations on their way to the dentist, Uzelac offers this bit of advice:
“I’ve said this a million times, and I’ll say it again: if you clean every surface of every tooth, every single day - you’ll never have a dental problem, that’s the secret.”
If you’ve been putting off going to the dentist out of fear, or just simply need to find a good provider, visit Dental Arts Group online at https://www.dentalartsgroup.com/ or call 219-464-8532.