Dentist-phobia keeps many away, Constant Lu works to change that
Space was getting tight at Constant Lu’s dental clinic in Hazel Dell, and he wanted to make some changes to his practice to provide his patients the elements that make a visit to the dentist more comfortable. So, he moved to a location a couple miles down the road and named his new practice Lighthouse Dental, in hopes of becoming a beacon of quality dental care.
Lu had conducted a survey of his patients and found that the three most important things in choosing a dentist are quality treatment by the staff, a high degree of pain control and advanced technology available in the office.
"This facility allows us to focus on these things," he said.
Lu moved his three-member staff into the current 2,300-square-foot location six months ago, and was able to create an atmosphere oriented around his patient’s needs.
Complementary beverages are available for waiting patients, and video games, videos, and a play room keep kids occupied. The office has three fully equipped patient rooms utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, including digital X-ray technology, laser diagnostic tools and a computer system that makes same-day porcelain crowns and fillings.
Lu recognizes that many people have major anxiety about going to the dentist. He said a quarter of the population won’t visit a dentist due to fear of pain.
"People are stressed and busy in their lives," said Lu. "We want them to feel secure and rested here."
Lu provides patients with oral sedative medications to relieve anxiety and reduce pain. Additionally, the clinic incorporates the use of massage pads, neck pillows, sunglasses and headphones to allow patients to relax.
Possibilities for expanding services include incorporating a massage therapist in an extra room in the office. Lu would also like to experiment with additional elements to create an inviting atmosphere, such as having a live violinist.
Lighthouse Dental’s new business model seems to be working, as Lu has seen revenue increase 25 percent this year, which is above projections. Lu sees between 12 and 16 patients each day, a number he expects could increase.
Lighthouse DentalConstant Lu, DDS, PC
3205 N.E. 78th St., Suite 11•Vancouver