Norman Vincent Peale, author of “The Power of Positive Thinking,” suggested it is “important to learn from successes.” Richard DeForno, D.M.D., M.A.G.D., F.I.O.C.I., L.S.S.R., of Ludwig’s Village Dental and his business partner, Stephanie Sands, have already learned a lot about caring for patients and are now seeking to repeat their success. After building one thriving practice in Chester County over the course of 37 years, Dr. DeForno purchased the Glenmoore-based Ludwig’s Village office from a retiring dentist along with Sands, his existing office’s clinical administrator, in order to better serve the region with their comprehensive and customer-oriented approach to dentistry.
“Ludwig’s Village Dental offers a similar philosophy: excellence in all aspects of dentistry and customer service,” says Sands. “Our goals are to manage patients’ time and help them to feel comfortable by doing dentistry in a less intrusive and more ‘comfortable way.”
This office is located in Ludwig’s Village, a beautiful retail center that is also home to a market, pastry shop, cigar shop, state store, hardware store, salon and ophthalmologist office, among other things. “It is nice to be a part of,” says Dr. DeForno. “It is exciting to be with a nice group of warm, friendly business owners.” These neighboring businesses also make it convenient for customers to include an appointment with Ludwig’s Village Dental Arts into their busy schedules. Its location on the corner of Routes 401 and 100, five miles from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, means it is ideally situated for residents of Downingtown, Eagle, Exton, Kimberton, Pottstown, Phoenixville and West Chester—all only 10 to 15 minutes away.
Among these conveniences, patients of Ludwig’s Village Dental enjoy a beverage area serving juice and coffee in the waiting room as well as aromatherapy. The building itself is only five years old and offers all new equipment. During examinations and procedures patients are given access to headsets so that they can watch television or listen to music, and are also provided with heated massage chairs, neck-rolls and blankets. “We want to make it a comfortable experience,” says Dr. DeForno. “A relaxed patient is easier to treat,” he says.
Anxious patients can also choose nitrous oxide or oral and IV sedation dentistry. “Anxiety is a huge concern,” Dr. DeForno says. “As many as 50 percent of dental patients have anxiety about visits, and a lot of efforts were started [in my practice] 30 years ago to improve that.” He learned many of these techniques at the L.D. Pankey Institute.
Forty years ago, Dr. Lindsey D. Pankey Sr. had a national and international reputation in dentistry as a world-class restorative pioneer and educator. He was a passionate advocate of comprehensive, patient-centered dentistry. The L.D. Pankey Institute was created so he and several colleagues could offer postgraduate education in “complete dentistry” to their peers. The concept of complete dentistry addresses “not just teeth and gums” but also positive behavioral influence, occlusion, functional aesthetic dentistry, complex diagnosis and treatment planning, explains Dr. DeForno, who was mentored by one of the institute’s founders. “He began this at a time when many were not open to sharing their knowledge.”
Dr. DeForno has continued to pursue advanced education opportunities throughout his career. “The Pennsylvania Dental Board requires only 25 hours every couple of years and that is all most [dentists] do,” he says. “I found that the more I learned, the more exciting it became to do. Your skills get better.” He dedicates approximately 150 hours each year to continuing his education, much of it through the Pennsylvania Academy of General Dentistry’s PEAK Program. Dr. DeForno and Sands also support their staff to continue their education. Staff members are required to accrue 40 hours of continuing education per year, with some averaging as many as 70 hours per year.
Doctors attending the L.D. Pankey Institute and the PEAK events present cases to one another, listen to speakers from around the country and share with their peers. “Some of the best times I have spent, as far as learning a skill or about a new piece of equipment, have been at the institute and PEAK,” Dr. DeForno says. “The time spent after lectures when we get to sit and talk with our cohorts, hear about their struggles and get their feedback is a tremendous experience.”
His understanding of comprehensive care is what enables Ludwig’s Village Dental to offer such a broad range of services, including basic care, all levels of restorative, cosmetic and implant dentistry and treatment of disorders including sleep apnea. Dr. DeForno also learned to perform in specialties including pediodontics and endodontics in order to better serve his patients. Having access to a dentist who can comprehensively diagnose, treat and prevent a variety of concerns in every member of the family is convenient and comforting to most patients, but he assures those with more advanced concerns that, “We do work a lot with local specialists, including great oral surgeons, orthodontists, periodontists and endodontists.”
Dr. DeForno says the field is changing, with technology that enables general dentists to accomplish much more, and patients are benefiting as a result. Ludwig’s Village Dental offers Zoom in-office teeth whitening, Invisalign clear plastic aligners and digital impressions, as well as cone-beam technology, which allows Dr. DeForno to evaluate a patient for dental implants and crowns. These restorations can then be made in his laboratory using CAD/CAM technology and placed with relative ease. “Our focus is on keeping teeth and preserving their function,” Dr. DeForno says. “All of these things help us communicate with our patients and provide them the best treatment.”
The doctor and his staff explains such procedures using educational videos and images that help to take fear away by showing patients precisely what they can expect. The verbiage used is also clear and honest but avoids words that cause anxiety. Dr. DeForno says children relate especially well to this and do better because they do not get alarmed.
Cost is a source of anxiety for many patients, but one of Sand’s roles is to help patients achieve the smile they want, with a complete understanding of their financial needs and busy schedules, a task at which Dr. DeForno says she is “awesome.” Ludwig’s Village Dental offers a health savings plan to any patient who does not have a dental plan. For a cost of $295, patients receive two cleanings per year, X-rays, a VELscope exam for discovering oral abnormalities, along with a 10 percent discount on any restorative work.
“We live in this community,” Sands says, “and we want this practice to be a part of the community.” By offering the same high level of service, comfort and convenience that are the foundations of their existing practice, Ludwig’s Village Dental is certain to be a repeat success.
Ludwig’s Village Dental
2946 Conestoga Road
Glenmoore, PA 19343
610-458-7067 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photograph by Jody Robinson