Dr. Gautam Herle explains how to keep your smile for life
Principal dentist at Geelong’s Myers Street Dental practice, Dr. Gautam Herle was recently featured as a guest on the eHealth Radio Network’s podcast series, which offers current health information, news and advice from some of the world’s leading health care innovators.
Speaking to host Eric Michaels, Dr. Herle spoke about understanding his patients, and what he’s doing to make the common fear and hatred of dentists and dental practices a thing of the past.
Dr. Herle comes from a family of carers; his grandparents ran an old age home in Bangalore, India. The family also ran a shelter for abandoned cows, and his father was a plastic surgeon, who charitably donated his time to helping those in need of surgery. Dr. Herle and his wife are proud parents of two boys; he is head of a family which also consists of two Golden Retrievers.
Eric asked how Dr. Herle found himself in Geelong.
“I had long wanted to be in the health profession as I come from a family of carers, and after studying and working elsewhere, in 2004 I was offered a position at the Myers Street Dental Clinic, and have remained there to become Principal Dentist.”
Dr. Herle told Eric Michaels that he and his team pride themselves on their patient relationship practices. “Professional relationships should be built on trust, transparency, and understanding,” he said.
“It is the foundation across our practice that we offer a great dental care experience.
“It’s common for people to hate and fear dental practices, but we want to build a positive patient experience, so they don’t leave; they come back, and stay with us for their dental care.”
When asked how his team does that, Dr. Herle stressed that it was by building trust and offering transparency. “We don’t recommend or tell our patients what they should do, we offer information and options, so we can discuss choices and consequences, and then let our patients make the choice that’s right for them.”
“Times are changing,” Dr. Herle said, “and patients want to be treated like a person, an individual, not one in a production line.”
When asked how someone might choose a dentist, Dr. Herle’s response was in line with the times.
“Ask your friends and colleagues who they see, and what they think; then check out Google reviews of those practitioners and see what everyone else is saying too. There needs to be a consistent message, a good message.”
Dr. Herle reflected on the common misconceptions of dentists, and how that causes the abundance of fear and bad feelings about the profession. “Often, most people go to the dentist when there’s something wrong, when it gets to the point where it’s expensive and painful to treat. Of course, it hurts.
Prevention is better than cure; going to the dentist regularly means a problem is treated sooner, rather than trying to fix a major problem,” he said.
Dr. Herle reflected on the common misconceptions of dentists, and how that causes the abundance of fear and bad feelings about the profession.
Dr. Herle and the team at Myers Street Dental encourage people to start young. “I have patients that are one and two years old. We count and check their teeth when their parents come in for their appointment. That way they are used to us, and the process, and care for their teeth from a young age.”
When Eric asked Dr. Herle for any final words, Gautam was emphatic.
“Like anything in life, it’s better to be proactive, not reactive,” he said.
“Prevention is always better than cure! Don’t put it off, see a dentist so you can retain or improve your smile and keep eating the foods that you love. If you leave it – it may be too late! Do something now and you can keep your smile for life.”
You can listen to the full interview here.