Friday, April 16th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


Creating beautiful smiles with a personal touch

by Cristi Sanchez

Drs. Caleb Conrad, Joshua Curling, and Jerel Gutierrez

Drs. Caleb Conrad, Joshua Curling, and Jerel Gutierrez

Going to the dentist can cause dread to even the most relaxed person. Anxiety over procedures, high bills and feeling as if they are just "a number" causes many to put off even routine cleanings. Why can't a trip to the dentist be as relaxed as dropping in to visit old friends? For many patients, a visit to Hickory-based Edinburgh Family Dentistry is just that- thanks to the practice's three-dentist team of Drs. Josh Curling, Jerel Gutierrez, and Caleb Conrad.

"The dental office is not everyone's favorite place to go," Dr. Gutierrez concedes with a warm, relaxed smile, "so we want all of our patients to be as comfortable as possible. Our goal is to provide quality work with a gentle touch."

"We go out of our way to hire nice people who will treat our patients well, greet them with a smile, and make them feel comfortable," Dr. Curling adds.

From the friendly, easy-going personalities of the dentists and staff, all the way down to office décor, Edinburgh Family Dentistry strives to put patients at ease as soon as they walk through the door. The casual coastal-rustic décor sets a relaxing tone, and the smiling greeting from the front desk helps soothe frazzled nerves.

"We get along really well because
all of our personalities are similar
and our practice philosophies
are similar."

 - Dr. Caleb Conrad

Edinburgh's laid-back atmosphere may stem from the fact that the practice's founders, Drs. Curling and Gutierrez, have been friends since their youth.

 "Josh and I grew up in the area," Dr. Gutierrez explains. "We were friends at Great Bridge High School, and we went to dental school together in Richmond. This area is home for us, and we're like a family here." Both doctors desire to serve the community and make their practice a place where people genuinely feel cared for, heard, and welcomed.

When Dr. Conrad joined the practice three years ago, it was as if a long-lost family member had been found. "When Caleb came on board, he fit right in, and the patients love him," Dr. Gutierrez says.

"Yeah," Dr. Conrad interjects. "We get along really well because all of our personalities are similar and our practice philosophies are similar. It's been effortless for all of us to work together."

The three men have much in common. Each is a devoted husband and father. All three are remarkably athletic, with a shared love of surfing and Spartan races. They even share a common preference in pets: each of them is the owner of two dogs.

But the family vibe extends beyond the three men. "Not only do we feel like family, but we treat our staff and our patients like family, too," Dr. Gutierrez notes.

In maintaining that comfortable, friendly, family atmosphere, all three dentists work to be accessible to patients needing same-day emergency care. "Many dental offices are so busy that patients with dental emergencies may have to wait a long time to be seen," Dr. Gutierrez points out. "We know our patients' time is just as valuable to them as our time is to us, so we do everything we can do to accommodate them and get them in as quickly as possible."

In valuing their patients' time, the Edinburgh Family Dentistry team has added the convenience of new technology that reduces the amount of time spent at the dentist office for crowns.

"We're now able to fabricate crowns right here in the office with special equipment," Dr. Gutierrez explains. "In the past, patients would have to come for multiple visits to have a crown delivered. We used to have to take an impression, send it out to a lab, put on a temporary crown, and have the patients come back in two to three weeks to deliver the permanent crown. Now we can prep the tooth and fabricate and deliver the crown all in one two-hour visit and in only two visits for a root canal with a crown delivery."

"It's a huge advantage," Dr. Conrad adds with a grin. "Patients love it if we can limit the number of times they have to come to the dentist."

"I think that is why we've been successful so far because we always
 try to put the patient first and treat them well."

 - Dr. Josh Curling

While convenience plays a significant role in patient satisfaction at Edinburgh Family Dentistry, patient care is the main focus of the practice and the key to its success. With corporate dentistry taking over the dental field, some primary values at Edinburgh are to make each patient feel as though they are family, and provide them with exceptional dentistry and excellent customer service. "We're patient-driven not profit-driven," Dr. Curling says emphatically. "Our number one focus is patient care, not the bottom line. I think that is why we've been successful so far because we always try to put the patients first and treat them well."

Dr. Conrad agrees. "We also do a good job of promoting patient autonomy. At many places, patients are often given only one option for treatment. We try to provide multiple treatment options to all of our patients. Doing that allows them to have a more important role in choosing the treatment plan that works best with their budget."

"Right," Dr. Gutierrez adds. "We don't let dollars or production be the determining factor for treatment; we let the patients' needs dictate the treatment,"

Dr. Curling is quick to jump in. "We can't tell someone that they need $40,000 worth of implants if they can't afford it. We've got to work with the patient. Our goal is to give them the best treatment we can in a way that suits their budget."

To that end, the front desk staff works tirelessly to go over each patient's insurance coverage with a fine-toothed comb to ensure that its benefits are maximized and the patient cost is minimized. "Our front desk staff is phenomenal," Dr. Curling praises. "They work hard to make patients' insurance work for them. Patients never leave here without being given an estimate for their treatment plan that is as accurate as possible."

From routine cleanings to in-depth procedures, to cost of treatment, patients find comfort in going to a dental office that puts them first, treats them well and provides relaxed, friendly, individualized care in a family atmosphere. At Edinburgh Family Dentistry, Drs. Curling, Gutierrez, and Conrad have made their practice successful by providing patient-focused care with kind, quality personalized treatment. Their business slogan says it all: "Creating beautiful smiles with a personal touch.' That is precisely what they do.

Edinburgh Family Dentistry

200 Carmichael Way
Chesapeake, VA 23322