By Amber Mabe
Do you look forward to going to the dentist? If we are being honest with ourselves, few of us do. However, having access to proper dental care is something we should not take for granted. Dr. Laura Phelps did not originally set out to be a dentist, but after seeing firsthand the suffering of people groups who were forced to live with poor dental health, the course of her life was changed forever. Dr. Phelps served on several dental mission trips to the Amazon, where she learned to pull teeth and had her eyes opened to extreme dental need, which led her to establish a non-profit organization that provides dental care to underprivileged patients locally and abroad. One of the countries Dr. Phelps has a particular burden for, and has served in, is Haiti. Haiti has the lowest dentist-to-population ratio in the Western Hemisphere, with only about 300 dentists serving over 10 million people. Dr. Phelps has helped lead several trips to Haiti in the past and is looking forward to opportunities to go back in the future. Access to dental care is something we frequently take for granted, and Dr. Phelps always strives to help wherever she can.
This heart for serving others led Dr. Phelps to make dentistry her career and became her way of reaching out to her local community. This eventually brought her back to her hometown of Kernersville, where she and her team of dental health professionals work to bring healthy smiles to clients young and old. She says what sets her practice apart from others is the way her staff cares for people beyond their teeth. “We go above and beyond to make sure our patients are taken care of,” says Dr. Phelps. “We catch up with family and check-in. We have sat and cried with patients during dark times and celebrated great joys. Our team is known to check in on patients if we notice we haven’t seen them just to make sure they are doing ok.”
Savanna Miller, a dental assistant at the practice, says she was attracted to the small-town atmosphere of Dr. Phelps’ practice, and knew right away that Dr. Phelps was someone she wanted to work with. Having previously worked in a corporate setting, the change of pace was a welcome one. For her, the best part of the job is the ability to connect with patients and their families. “It’s not always about their teeth,” Savanna says, “when Dr. Phelps enters the patient’s room, she truly makes the patient her priority. She is very gentle and detailed about her work, which comforts the patient and lets them know they’re in good hands.”
Having a small-town feel does not take away from the professionalism or quality of care that patients receive under Dr. Phelps’ care, however. She and her staff work hard to stay up to date with current dental research and participate in continuing education courses in order to provide the latest services and technologies for their patients. This allows them to provide exceptional oral care to patients that requires less time in the dental chair, and results in increased comfort for her patients. “I don’t take it lightly that patients trust me with their oral care,” Dr. Phelps says. “I work with patients to tailor each treatment plan to the patient’s needs, goals, and desires.” From pediatric care to dentures, full mouth rehabilitation to whitening technologies, patients can be confident that each procedure is performed to the same standard of excellence and with their overall health in mind. Dr. Phelps and her staff look at each patient’s comprehensive health picture to anticipate needs, prevent future problems, and provide personalized dental care.
Lauren Hedgecock, the Lead Dental Assistant at the practice says she is glad Dr. Phelps came to own the business after her previous employer decided to sell four years ago. “We are a small private practice and very family oriented,” she says. “We love our patients like family and develop lasting relationships with them.”
Despite the challenges presented by the recent global health concerns, Dr. Phelps and her staff have worked hard to keep patients safe and give them peace of mind. Still, the pandemic took a toll on many patients’ dental health due to stress and lapse in care. Now is the time to make dental health a priority, and Dr. Phelps and her staff are ready to help. The practice is currently accepting new patients, but don’t wait – appointments are filling up fast. “We have lots of loyal patients and Dr. Phelps books out, but if you are willing to wait on your new patient appointment, we have no doubt you would love being a part of our dental family,” says Lauren.
“There are plenty of good dentists around, and great ones in this town, and I’m glad to do my part,” Dr. Phelps says. “I’m so thankful to do what I love and practice dentistry on some of the best patients I could ask for.”
To schedule an appointment or learn more about the services Dr. Phelps and her staff can provide, call 336-993-3751 or visit their website at www.LauraPhelpsDDS.com.