Aspen Dental has opened its 25th North Carolina office with a practice in Hendersonville at 59 Highlands Square Drive.
While the practice is new, it has a decades-old connection with Hendersonville in the person of Cody James LaBelle, DMD, a graduate of Nova Southeastern University’s College of Dental Medicine.
LaBelle and his team provide a full range of dental services and improve access to quality oral healthcare at one convenient location.
Independently owned and operated, Aspen Dental offers patient-friendly programs and services that make it easier for patients to get the dental care they need in a safe, clean environment backed by an on-site dental laboratory, offering quick turnaround for denture repairs, relines and adjustments.
To provide readers with a better understanding of what LaBelle’s practice brings to Hendersonville, the Biltmore Beacon recently interviewed him.
BB: What made Hendersonville attractive to the practice?
LaBelle: Our primary mission at Aspen Dental is to expand access to dental care in service to our communities, so we have a team that’s focused on market research to determine where the greatest needs are. Personally, what drew me to this market is that it’s where I grew up. My mom has worked for a dentist since I was 4 years old here in Hendersonville. Growing up, I was in and out of that office all the time, so I got to witness, first-hand, how important and rewarding the work was. When I thought about my career, I knew I wanted to help people – give them hope and confidence in some way – so a career in dentistry seemed like a natural fit.
BB: Can you discuss issues related to prioritizing oral care in the age of the Delta variant?
La Belle: Early on in the pandemic, we saw a lot of patients delay oral care because there was so much unknown about the Coronavirus and how to safely approach normal activities. However, at Aspen Dental we quickly pivoted, staying up to date on all state and federal guidance and implementing precautions to keep our staff and patients safe. Now it’s really a matter of helping people break the habit of not going to the dentist and understanding that oral care isn’t optional. Rather, it’s a critically important part of your overall health. Prioritizing annual checkups and staying proactive about oral health contributes to overall wellness.
BB: How does the office safeguard patients, staff, etc.?
LaBelle: We’re following the guidance from experts at the CDC and OSHA – continuing to maintain social distancing and cleaning protocols, utilizing PPE, and encouraging proactive communication from anyone who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19. As part of our appointment confirmation calls and sign-in process, all patients receive and respond to COVID screening questions. Additionally, all patients and staff are required to wear a mask and staff participates in daily temperature checks.
We use state-of-the-art equipment, adhere to cleaning protocols and conduct hygiene treatments in rotating rooms to allow time to clear the air.
BB: Coming out of the recent shutdown, what, specifically, have dentists seen with regard to patient issues? And how do you get them back on track?
LaBelle: Overall, there’s been a trend of people delaying dentist visits and annual checkups. Once you’ve pushed or delayed an appointment, it can be difficult to get back into those rhythms, but that’s when we start to see oral health concerns go unnoticed. Just like with your primary doctor, those regular appointments are key to preventative care to avoid larger issues down the road.
Because of our focus on expanding access to care and raising awareness around the importance of dental health, we tend to see a lot of patients who haven’t been to the dentist in years, COVID aside.
There’s a general lack of awareness around the importance of dental care, so it’s understandable. Our goal is to have a true presence in our community, meet people where they are, provide education on oral health, and make care more accessible.
One of the services we offer is a free new patient exam, where the patient gets X-rays and meets with the dentist and hygienist to assess where they’re at and provide customized care recommendations.
BB: Please share anything else pertinent to the new location that is vital for new patients to know.
LaBelle: Our standard office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays. We’re offering extended hours on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to help reach people who may not be able to get time off during the day.
Once we’re settled, we’re also hoping to offer weekend hours.
To make a dental appointment, patients can go to www.aspendental.com and click on Schedule a New Patient Appointment, or call 828-393-3103.