St. Bernard’s Dental Clinic gives children their smile

Reprinted by permission of
By Ellen Garrison, StreetWise Editorial Intern

At St. Bernard’s Children’s Dental Clinic, Dr. Vipul Singhal takes pride in offering high-quality dental care at affordable prices.

Without the proper instruction early in life, children will not form the habits necessary to keep their teeth healthy. Dr. Singhal’s clinic aims to not only clean and maintain healthy teeth, but to teach the kids how to take care of their own teeth.

“If children have cavities and other problems, there are two things. First is their physical status,” said Dr. Singhal, “second is their psychological status. No matter what, if a child loses teeth, the child will be in pain and the child will not be confident.”

Singhal focuses not only on the first, the pain, but also the second. He believes that teeth are important for not just eating the right diet, which includes hard foods that require strong teeth, but also for maintaining self-confidence from a young age.

Singhal said he has seen children only 2 or 3 years old missing front teeth who feel uncomfortable. “So it is not only the adults who feel awkward, emotionally compromised. Even the children feel that way,” Singhal said. And then when they are surrounded by their peers, most notably in school, they feel awkward and out of place. And they have trouble learning.

Poor dental health not only leads to a soft food diet, but also to greater problems in the body. Plaque buildup in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and clog arteries and veins near the heart. “[Dental health] is very important for systemic problems,” said Singhal. “There is a link.”

Singhal and his staff of four general dentists and two part-time pediatric dentists have a 99.5 percent approval rating with their clientele, as per the surveys each patient fills out. Every patient treated by the clinic is also surveyed about how the service could be made better: by having different hours or being open different days. As it is, the clinic guarantees an appointment within seven days of the client’s call and promises to either warn of a wait or to seat patients immediately upon arrival. In the last year, the clinic had 6,000 patient visits. The article continues on