Reason to Smile
Patients discover how to “be their best” at Dr. Jennifer Duncan’s dentistry practice in North Wales
by Phil Gianficaro


If Gloria Katz should ever find herself stranded on a tropical island, one gets the distinct impression the Blue Bell resident would say she would absolutely require the following things to survive: food, water, fire, shelter and, of course, Jennifer Duncan, D.M.D.


“I’ve never met anyone quite like her,” Katz says of her dentist, whose practice Duncan Dental Group opened in North Wales earlier this year. “In addition to being an excellent dentist, she is the most caring, sincere person you’ll ever meet. I’m a nurse and run a medical practice, so I know how important sincerity is. When you meet Jennifer—and she introduces herself as Jennifer, not Dr. Duncan—you immediately sense that her No. 1 goal is to take care of you as a person, not just as a patient.”


That Katz’s testimonial sounds like it could be from Dr. Duncan’s sister or mother should come as no surprise. At Duncan Dental Group, every patient is treated like family.


“I want to make a connection with my patients; it’s not just about teeth,” says Dr. Duncan. “I want them to know that we’re partners in their care. Every new patient, whether it’s for a cleaning or a consultation, has their first encounter with me. I believe it’s important they speak with me so we can learn a little about how we can work together.”


Duncan Dental Group’s spacious 2,200-square-foot facility, replete with an array of windows and 10-foot-high ceilings in each of the five treatment suites, belies the coziness of the practice. The dental group offers all services available in most other practices. But what Dr. Duncan has listed as Priority One is caring for the patient as a whole, not simply as just another person walking through her doors.


“The philosophy of the practice is ‘Be Your Best,’” Dr. Duncan says. “That encompasses making sure our staff makes sure every patient is happy, healthy and feels good about who they are and how they’re being treated at our office. It’s not just a slogan; it’s a philosophy.”


What makes Duncan Dental Group so unique is its culture of motivated, empowered staff, each of whom with an entrepreneurial spirit. Dr. Duncan encourages, preaches and expects individuals to take initiative. The ultimate goal is for each patient to leave the office a satisfied customer. Patty Hanson, patient relations manager, ensures that each individual’s needs are being met, whether the contact is made on the phone, online or in person.


“Some people in our field forget about ‘The Golden Rule,’” says Hanson. “They forget about empathy, and they forget about the customer. Instead they worry about processes, billing and rules, and that’s a recipe for terrible service.”


While Dr. Duncan’s primary focus is on the well-being of each patient, she is also focused on offering them the most up-to-date technology to insure the absolute finest outcome. Among the products is a lightweight, handheld X-ray device called NOMAD Pro, the most advanced system on the market.


“This device is faster and emits lower levels of radiation than conventional X-ray machines,” Dr. Duncan says. “Everything I do, from making sure all my equipment is FDA approved and American made, is with the patient’s comfort and safety in mind.


“Many of my patients are business people who come in and don’t want to go back to work numb,” she continues. “So I use a reversal agent to take away the numbness. Other patients are bothered by the large halogen lights when they’re in the examining chair. So instead I use a small field light that creates a more calming environment for the patient. Our focus is all about what best helps the patient.”


Dr. Duncan does everything with her patients in mind. She calls hers a “person centric” practice. Need an early morning appointment? Need an evening appointment? Dr. Duncan will accommodate. In short, Duncan Dental Group delivers unsurpassed general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry for the entire family.


“We get a great deal of satisfaction knowing a patient is pleased with the work we’ve done and how they were treated in our office,” Dr. Duncan says. “It all goes back to our philosophy of ‘Be Your Best.’”


A New Road

Twelve years ago, Dr. Duncan was being her best in the business world. She worked for several large insurance companies, helping clients reduce their business risks. She traveled extensively. She was living a comfortable life.


But something, she came to realize, was missing.


“I thought, ‘Is this the road I want to continue going on?’” Dr. Duncan says. “I didn’t know if I needed to satisfy my entrepreneurial spirit—my dad’s whole family is in small business—or make a difference in people’s lives like my mom, who’s a nurse.


“What I did know was I’m a blend of both of them, and I wanted to make a difference and change a life.”


And so at age 32, Jennifer Duncan, an accomplished woman with an MBA and a shimmering résumé, traded in her business suit for a lab coat.


“I realized I could be an entrepreneur and help people have better lives in dentistry,” says Dr. Duncan, who is 43 years old. “I found I could blend my business experience with my caring for people and make lives better.”


Dr. Duncan was graduated from the Temple University School of Dentistry. She is an active member of the American Dental Association, Pennsylvania Dental Association, American Association of Women Dentists, Crown Council, Oral Cancer Foundation and Seattle Study Club.


There’s a glow that Dr. Duncan sees from her patients. People come to see her not knowing how they really are. They think they’re OK. Then when they see the transformation and are feeling their very best, they emit a glow of satisfaction that’s priceless.


“There was a gentleman who came to see me who looked like Bruce Willis,” says Dr. Duncan. “But after I performed cosmetic work with veneers, I could see he felt like Bruce Willis. It’s a very satisfying feeling to see and feel that. I didn’t become a dentist for the money or the status. I became a dentist because I wanted to help people.”


Duncan Dental Group

298 Wissahickon Avenue, Suite 3

North Wales, PA 19454

Office: 215-699-1009

Fax: 215-699-1022




Phil Gianficaro is an award-winning writer based in Doylestown.

Kim Billingsley is a freelance photographer based in Doylestown.