A friendly, caring, and welcoming atmosphere aimed at making patients feel relaxed is what Hebron Family Dentistry is all about. In fact, the staff goes out of their way to make their patients’ smiles their top priority.
Owned by Dr. William Jennings for more than 10 years, his primary on-site practitioner for the past two years has been Dr. Andrea Canales. The native of Mexico grew up in Laredo, Texas, and earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in San Antonio while also working at a practice down there.
“We want our patients to feel comfortable,” said Dr. Canales. “We listen to the patients to find out their stories and we create a good, individualized treatment plan that will work for them.”
Like other dentists, Dr. Canales and the Hebron Family Dentistry staff focus on general dentistry such as regular dental hygiene appointments, checkups, and preventative programs. But they also perform restorative services like fillings, crowns, root canals, and implants plus cosmetic work including Invisalign, veneers and smile makeovers with teeth whitening treatments. And they handle periodontal gum disease treatments and numerous emergencies.
“We’re always ready for emergencies,” Dr. Canales said. “We try to get them out of pain the second they walk in the door.”
To alleviate pain and anxiety, Hebron Family Dentistry features sedation dentistry including nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas – plus oral sedation. Most patients opt for nitrous oxide since it means they can drive themselves home after their procedures.
Though most of the practice’s patients are adults, it does assist children as well.
“We see patients of all ages,” Dr. Canales said. “Being a family practice, we see families ranging from teens to the elderly.”
Canales estimates she sees about 15 patients daily. Since she’s been there, the practice has grown to about 70 new patients each month.
“Since it’s family dentistry, they will refer their friends and other family to come in,” Dr. Canales said. “We’re also really big on marketing. We post our cases on Instagram so people can know who we are and what we do and our quality of work as well.”
After taking some courses in the past year, Canales has been performing more cosmetic and implant/restorative procedures than in the past. She said crowns are the procedure she does the most followed by restorative dentistry including extractions and dentures.
With the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, practices like Hebron Family Dentistry are back to business as usual.
“People have been good about coming in here and scheduling their treatments and just getting educated in general about the importance of oral treatment,” Dr. Canales said. “We explain all the risks of infection and not treating it on time.”
Hygienist Melissa uses a dental model to show patients how to brush and floss properly. Then Dr. Canales employs new software that highlights any cavities or other issues. Visuals taken by cameras and X-rays also play a key role in helping educate patients on oral preventative care.
Hebron Family Dentistry also employs new technologies including scanners for crowns and night guards eliminating the need for the traditional impressions with the gooey molds of the past.
“A lot of patients do like that better because they might gag with the material,” Dr. Canales said.
An implant system where staff take a three-dimensional X-ray also has been around less than a year.
Cosmetics including Invisalign to straighten teeth are a growing part of the practice. Patients happy with their results – about 90 percent of them – can stop there. For more expanded smile makeovers, Hebron Family Dentistry offers veneers and whiteners.
“We’ve been educating patients on Invisalign in general that it’s not only to give patients straight teeth but also functionality to prevent treatment down the road,” Dr. Canales said.
What does Dr. Canales believe is the most satisfying part of her job?
“I think it’s being able to give patients their confidence back with smiling especially if they are missing a front tooth or they get a chip,” she said. “Giving them that confidence to smile is the most rewarding thing.”