No matter your age, going to the orthodontist can be a stressful time. The straightening of teeth is a journey that takes time and commitment on behalf of the patient and the orthodontist. Dr. Sarah Shoaf of Salem Smiles Orthodontics continues to advance her practice from the waiting area to the exam rooms to make sure patients have the best experience possible.
Welcoming and Comfortable
If you think about it, patients come to a dental practice as guests, and where would guests rather be…in a sterile, uncomfortable waiting area or one more like a home, welcoming with aspects that put patients at ease? Many times, orthodontic patients drive themselves, but the younger patients often come with parents and younger siblings. Dr. Shoaf recognizes that her practice needs to be “family friendly” and be a place where everyone in the family, including the patient, is comfortable. “We have recently enlarged our waiting area, adding a children’s play corner for the younger siblings who come with our patients as well as a family bathroom with a diaper changing table. As many families travel together to appointments, this should give additional room for those family members as they wait,” said Dr. Shoaf. The expansion of Salem Smiles Orthodontics was made possible by Dr. Shoaf annexing the space next to her practice that was once a yoga studio. “We also really needed two more offices for our financial services to assist with financial discussions. This should also give some additional private space for those meetings,” said Dr. Shoaf. Continued attention to the patient’s needs and treatments have come in the form of a second oral scanner and a second 3-D printer.
Efficient and Patient-Focused Care
“The scanners and printers were added to be able to increase the number of people who can get their braces off on any particular day,” said Dr. Shoaf. “We felt we were running behind in being able to schedule patients to get their braces off and wanted to ‘up our game’ to allow braces removal faster and get their retainers the same day to avoid any relapse. We use the 3-D printers to make durable plastic, not fragile plaster, models of the teeth when the braces are removed and make the initial set of retainers over those models. If the patient loses or breaks a retainer and brings the plastic models back to us, we are able to make a new retainer at a discount for the family. We don’t believe in penalizing a whole family financially when a teenager may not be as responsible as we’d like them to be with their retainer.” While the overall feel of Dr. Shoaf’s practice and the innovative patient treatment may draw patients to Salem Smiles Orthodontics, Dr. Shoaf’s experience in her field is very unique.
Skilled, Knowledgeable and Caring
“I am the only American Board of Orthodontics Diplomate in Winston-Salem and have extensive experience with medically compromised patients and patients with congenital anomalies like cleft lip and palate,” said Dr. Shoaf. “I was a physician assistant before I became a dentist, so the extra medical background is very helpful for special needs patients. I was also trained in the very first Invisalign training course on the east coast in 1999, meaning I have used the appliance system for almost 20 years, almost since its inception. I have extensive experience with dental appliances for sleep apnea, helping those who are intolerant of using the CPAP machine.”
For Dr. Shoaf, her passion for patients and their treatment is evident from all she and her staff do to make the patient’s experience the best it can be. With the new additions from the waiting area to the exam rooms, patients continue to be the focus for Salem Smiles Orthodontics. Salem Smiles Orthodontics is located at 1063 West Northwest Boulevard in Winston-Salem. For more information, including how to schedule a free consultation, visit www.salemsmilesortho.com, or call 336.725.5757.