Not many things survive the years between childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Houses, maybe. Pets, if you’re lucky. But most other matter gets replaced in old age, left behind, or upgraded concurrent with needs and tastes.
Rightly so. I wouldn’t want to be sleeping in the same bed, or listening to the same music. Or seeing my middle school teachers in adult life. One facet of my 25-year existence that hasn’t changed, to my delight, is the dentist.
I started visiting Dr. McIlwain when his 1984 building was nearly new…all cream walls, primary colors, child-height sinks, and a friendly vibe. No kid likes the dentist at first, but I never had one traumatic experience in my times there, so to this day making an appointment for a cleaning yields no butterflies.
Today, I’m next door to the original suite, on ‘the adult side,’ though little has changed. The building still has a pharmacy on the bottom floor, still has an ancient (original?) elevator. The same dentists (or in McIlwain’s case, his daughter and son are also now DMDs) examine my teeth, and the same on-point administrative staff and hygienists round out the visit.
From start to finish, the routine cleaning experience is attentive and thoughtful. Unlike many medical offices, the waiting room was brightly lit and empty when I arrived, although I know they have other patients from looking at the sign-in sheet.Â The office manager had my paperwork ready and waiting when I walked in. The bathroom was spotless, with complimentary mouthwash. It also has early 90s fish and fishing lure wallpaper inspired by Guy Harvey. I can forgive that. In fact it’s charming.
The exam chairs each have a flat-screen TV attached to their overhead structure, to make the experience less tedious. The hygienist quickly cleared tartar and plaque, scraped clean, applied fluoride to, and flossed my pearly whites; we discussed the brilliance of InvisAlign, and the horror of bulimia/stomach acid on tooth enamel.
Within 3 minutes of finishing the cleaning, Dr. McIlwain Jr. swooped in, checked for cavities, asked me about my summer, and assured me I was taking good care of my oral health.
Leaving, I paid nothing. The office billed my insurance company, and had an appointment slot ready for me two weeks later to get a small cavity filled. All this took less than an hour, from crossing the threshold to crossing the threshold.
You can’t ask for a better dentist office, and you can’t imagine a more pleasant, efficient dental experience. Once I dabbled with another Insurance plan and a different dentist. I came back to McIlwain Family Dentistry for its obvious strengths. History and legacy just make it that much more rewarding.