Old-fashioned values, progressive treatment: Appell Dental Group
BY WENDY ALTSCHULER For Sun-Times Media
Dr. Lester Appell didn’t always have big dreams of becoming a dentist, following in the storied steps of his father who was a dentist for over 50 years. Unlike his brothers, Dr. Stuart Appell and Dr. Joel Appell, whom were both on board at the outset, Lester needed a bit more convincing.
“I was the black sheep of the family,” said Lester. “It was never planned this way but what the three of us found, and we all had experience in his office, was that my father loved being a dentist. He was happy with what he did and we had a positive role model.”
So it began. The brothers went into business together, later joined by Joel’s son, Dr. Aaron Appell, keeping alive the family dentistry tradition.
“From a professional standpoint we have incredible respect for each other and from a business standpoint we work together incredibly well,” said Lester. “We are each other’s peer review and we practice a comprehensive form of dentistry, which means that we’re very fortunate to all have different interests to focus on.”
Each dentist at Appell Dental Group has taken additional certification classes, based on personal strengths and interests, which gives them a collaborative approach and a competitive edge. They are all dedicated to staying ahead of the curve by attending dental lectures, conventions and by being members of various professional dental associations.
“When patients come into this office, we will get together to discuss cases and decide what is the best treatment,” said Lester. “We’ll all get involved, if necessary, and utilize our different areas of expertise to provide the best patient care.”
Extensive research is done on all progressive technology that is implemented in the office and the dentists at Appell Dental Group do it all in a one stop shop-dental cleanings, laser cavity detection, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, dental x-rays, pediatric dentistry, the use of oral cameras and much more.
“We’re very careful,” said Lester. “Technology is there for us to take advantage of and use but proper communication is important; we make use of modern technology to give thorough explanations to our patients.”
Patient education is a vital part of the dentistry’s ethos. Not only will each dentist walk patients through the visit, explaining the ins and outs of what’s happening in their mouth, but also they will provide educational resources so they may learn on their own. For example, patients can visit www.appelldental.com, view one of the many online videos and learn more about dental treatments and procedures. Lester also speaks sign language, ensuring that deaf patients understand everything.
“It’s our feeling that it’s imperative to take the time to find out about past experiences so we can give our patients the best experience possible,” said Lester. “In my office, any pain, real or not, is considered valid and we have to make sure that they are treated properly. When dealing with anxiety, for example, you must be able to talk to them with a friendly, non-confrontational approach.”
Taking the time to get to know the patients is simply the modus operandi at this practice. New patients will discover right way how genuine and affable each dentist is. Lester, and his familial colleagues, all take an active interest in each patient.
“One of the things that we take our greatest pride in, even though we’re as current as we possibly can be to give our patients the best treatment, we like the old-fashioned way of treating our patients,” said Lester. “When patients come in they feel like they are part of our family.”