Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


With a friendship as its foundation, this popular practice is dedicated to serving the community

by Rob Lauer

"I'll admit that the dentist's office is not everyone's favorite place to go," Dr. Jerel Gutierrez concedes with a warm, relaxed smile. "So here at Edinburg Family Dentistry, we want all of our patients to be as comfortable as possible. Our goal is to provide quality work with a gentle touch."

"We've always strived to have an office that doesn't scare people but puts them at ease," Dr. Josh Curling adds earnestly.

The laid-back atmosphere at Edinburg Family Dentistry may stem from the fact that the practice's founders, Drs. Curling and Gutierrez, have been friends since the age of 13. Both grew up with a passion for surfing and usually could be found at Sandbridge or the Outer Banks pursuing the perfect wave.

"We were friends at Great Bridge High School," Dr. Gutierrez explains, "and grew up dreaming of becoming dentists. After we graduated in 1998, we both went to dental school together at VCU in Richmond."

"Dental school was a lot of hard work," Dr. Curling laughs, "and having a friend experience it with you was definitely helpful at times. Jerel and I are as close to being brothers as you can get. We're very similar in personality as well as in our philosophy concerning dental treatment."

When it came time to find a place to set up a practice, these life-long friends wanted to serve the local community and make their practice a place where people genuinely felt cared for, heard, and welcomed.

"I think we had 10 patients when we opened," Dr. Curling recalls. "I admit that I was a bit nervous during our first week, but I knew in my heart that our practice had something unique to offer people. I felt that if we could get people in the door with our atmosphere and our team, they would come back. Now, I think we have proven to the community that we provide quality comprehensive dental care in a state-of-the-art location."

Edinburgh Family Dentistry offers a comprehensive array of general dentistry services and preventive care, including cosmetic, periodontal, and restorative dental treatments including tooth-colored fillings, porcelain crowns and fixed bridges,  porcelain veneers, endodontic treatment, dental implant restoration, dentures, removable partial dentures, and teeth whitening. In addition to routine cleanings and exams, they offer digital x-rays and imaging that produce less radiation, sealants and fluoride treatments, custom athletic mouth and snore guards, oral cancer screenings, and emergency dental care.

"We keep up with emergent technology because we want our patients to have access to everything that can help them," Dr. Gutierrez notes. "It's never about pressuring someone to pay for a tool they don't need. We are here to give each person the absolute best solution within their means and comfort level."

The community's response to the doctors' philosophy all but guaranteed that the practice would grow quickly.

"After just a few years, we needed to expand," Dr. Curling recalls. "We had so many new patients that our schedules were filling fast. Yet, we were committed to offering emergency and urgent care appointments because they are so important. We refused to let pressure change our practice.

"A period of expansion is a very delicate time for any practice, where every decision that's made counts," Dr. Curling continues. "It's very easy for a practice to lose its edge because of unaffordable overhead or disjointed staff. Whenever adding new staff members, we have always gone out of our way to hire nice people who will treat our patients well, greet them with a smile, and make them feel comfortable. We want this community to know that we are safeguarding what they love about us."

Knowing that they needed another dentist to join their practice, Drs. Curling and Gutierrez wanted someone who shared their values and their commitment to serving the community.

When Dr. Conrad joined the practice four 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.
"We get along really well because all of our personalities and our practice philosophies are similar," Dr. Conrad says. "It's been effortless for all of us to work together. And it's nice to find a dental practice that excels in all the important areas: technology, training, efficient staff, sincere care, and financial flexibility for patients. Edinburgh Family Dentistry is dedicated to all of these."

These three doctors 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 doctors. "Not only do we feel like family, but we treat our staff and our patients like family, too," Dr. Gutierrez notes.

This summer, the Edinburgh Family Dentistry welcomed a new member to the family - Dr. Marvin Sagun, who, coincidentally, went to dental school with Drs. Curling and Gutierrez, graduating just a few years after them.  Most importantly, Dr. Sagun shares their philosophy regarding patient care.
"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."

"My motto is we treat people, not teeth,'" Dr. Curling concludes. "We are totally integrated into this community. Dentistry is just our way of serving it."

Edinburgh Family Dentistry

200 Carmichael Way
Chesapeake, VA 23322