Business Spotlight: Bridgton Dental Associates

 Name: Bridgton Dental Associates Address: 138 Harrision Road, Bridgton Phone: 647-8052 E-mail: Website: Owner: Paul Cloutier When established:  November 2013 Number of Employees: Four

Name: Bridgton Dental Associates
Address: 138 Harrision Road, Bridgton
Phone: 647-8052
Owner: Paul Cloutier
When established: November 2013
Number of Employees: Four

What led you to start your own business?   
(Paul Cloutier). I am a general dentist, and over the past 10 years, I have built a successful dental practice in Westbrook. I think that we have been successful in Westbrook for a whole number of reasons, but really it comes down to just one thing — we take care of people. I have found that a simple and straightforward approach to dentistry works really well for most of the population. Furthermore I am confident that this approach can work anywhere in Maine and across the economic spectrum. So I have been looking for a community to open another general dentistry practice in. After a long search, I found Bridgton. Not only does it have the ideal population for a general dentist, but there exists a dental shortage. As recently as 10 years ago, there were 10 full time dentists practicing in Bridgton. When we opened a year ago, there was only one part time dentist left. In short, Bridgton just seemed to be the perfect place for helping people with their dental needs.
What services do you provide?
We provide essentially all services that one typically thinks of when they think of a traditional dentist — cleanings, periodontal treatments, fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, dentures, extractions, root canal treatments, whitenings. I enjoy spending most of my time on restorative dentistry, and I focus on helping people with broken, decayed, or missing teeth. For me, it’s all about getting patients to a point where they can effectively function symptom free and do so for many years.
Who are your patients?
I have treated patients as young as two and as old as 98. Students, workers, retirees. People from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Healthy patients, unhealthy patients. Patients with significant dental needs. Others in need of simple maintenance. Fearful and phobic patients. Some who even enjoy coming to the dentist. Basically, my patients are a snapshot of society. Regardless of their background or circumstances, each patient brings with them a set of life experiences. I have to understand and take into consideration their experiences in order to best help them with their dental care. It’s this approach, considering the patient who has dental needs, rather than just considering a tooth, that allows me to have a practice full of patients rather than procedures.
What is it about your practice that makes it stand out?  
Dentistry has evolved over the past 20 years. New products are constantly introduced, new techniques constantly developed, new theories about how we should diagnose and a new treatment plan. Even the range in services that some dentists provide has changed. It’s not uncommon to see dentists advertising sedation, crowns in an hour, Botox, eco-dentistry, laser dentistry, so-called cosmetic dentistry and the like. I pride myself in offering traditional dental services but utilizing modern products and techniques when they are true improvements. But traditional dental service doesn’t mean old-fashioned dentistry. It means relying on principles that have withstood the test of time. In other words, I have built my practice on needs-based dentistry, the kind of dentistry that serves the vast majority of the community.
What are some of the rewards of being in business in the Lake Region?
I grew up in Abbot, Maine. But I’ve lived in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Let’s just say that I much prefer the small town atmosphere of the Lake Region. It affords me the opportunity to get to really know the patients. I learn about them, their family, where they work, etc. This doesn’t happen in the big city. The more I know about a patient, the better dentist I become.
What do you do when you aren’t working? Tell us about yourself.
I have a beautiful wife and two young children. They keep me busy. We go camping every year in some remote area of Maine. It’s always an adventure. Last summer a bear woke us up. I’ve always tried to stay away from busy campgrounds. Recently, my wife informed me that there will be no more camping unless flush toilets and hot showers are part of the adventure. I also enjoy golf, canoeing and fly-fishing.

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