Meet your new Clinical Dentist – Dr. Erin Dougherty
My name is Dr. Erin Dougherty, my roots in dentistry actually started early in life, i am a 2nd generation dentist which means that the original Dr. Doherty is my dad who has served almost his entire career as an officer and in the US Air force. Because of my dad and my amazing mom, I was raised on strong principles of service respect and integrity. The words ‘I don’t care’ were not allowed in my house while I was growing up, and I didn’t know it then, but those invisible lessons rely have become the core of who I am today. Though my dad I learned that doing dentistry with a people first service before self-mentality whilst also making a living was actually possible – this sounded like the perfect career for me so when I graduated from dental school in Arizona I made it a point to start my career in a way that would allow me to put people first like my dad. I chose public health – so how did I end up in Florida? So after a country wide search from the perfect public health job, my husband Shelby and I chose Penniless country I mean what is not to love – you have beaches culture, city vibes and small town vibes all bundled into our tiny little peninsular. We didn’t ever think we would stay but we are now proud to call this place our forever home and the place where we will raise our son. I spent the past 9 years serving the underplayed people of our county and also aiding an expansion of providing better access to our dental care here all over the county. This led me to truly know and fall in love with the uniqueness and diversity within our community. Being in public health has also led me to understand the truth of what we call the oral system mechanism connection. How the condition of your mouth can affect your health and vice versa wanting to take that philosophy to the next level and prevent disease even before it occurs casing the irreversible damage to the mouth and body I have seen so much off over the years that led me to Lepore comprehensive dentistry. I have seen a lot so you can believe me when I say this place is truly unique with the way it blends dental health overall wellness and care for each individual I feel so blessed to have become integrated in this community over the years and have been more fortunate to have found a career home that speak to my roots and supports my philosophy of people first and overall health.
A Letter From Dr. Lepore
In our office, we offer much more than “just a cleaning” and it’s because of my son. Near the end of 2018, my son had been in and out of doctor’s offices for upper respiratory infections and received nebulizer treatments (similar to an inhaler) on a regular basis. After watching him continue to struggle, I got tired of hearing how “common” it was for a young kid to be sick so often. “Just treat the symptoms and he’ll grow out of it”, they said. What I quickly realized was just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s normal. And so started my journey into preventive care. I wanted to get to the root cause. Why was my son getting sick so frequently?
After a slew of doctors who couldn’t give me answers, I searched for individual specialists on my own and eventually gathered a group eager to treat the cause and not just the problem. After working with this interdisciplinary team, my son rarely gets sick and hasn’t used the nebulizer in months. I knew I had to take this approach back to my office to provide my patients this method of care.
In our practice, you can expect more personalized care that goes beyond x-rays and simple diagnosis. You will receive very personalized recommendations for treatment options that have a preventive proactive plan for your ultimate care.
We will treat any dental problems you may have, ask why they are happening and provide solutions to avoid continued occurrences. Our approach goes beyond standard or usual customary care. We consider how your oral health impacts your whole body and vice versa. We have studied and trained extensively to bring this quality of care to you– our patients.
Instead of waiting for things to break, hurt, or get infected, our approach is to help you find solutions before it’s more expensive, more involved, or more painful. We do that by taking the time to get to know you and ordering appropriate tests to focus on prevention rather than reaction.
We want to provide you with important tools to empower you to be your best, healthiest self and improve your overall quality of life. Our dental team is a group of well trained, caring professionals who will take care of you at the highest level. I look forward to working with you and helping you become a better you. I am honored to serve you and will strive to merit your trust.
In Good Health,
What Does Comprehensive Dentistry Mean to Me?
So what is comprehensive dentistry and what does it actually mean to you? When I was trained in Dentistry, we learned a basic skill set. We learned how to identify a problem and how to fix that problem for you and that is how medicine and dentistry has been for several years. What I realized when I started to go through more and more education courses is that, if we take a step back and we look at the big picture and not just maybe one isolated problem, maybe we can get to the root cause and find out why these things are happening. So for me, we modeled out entire practice on the idea of the less expensive, less involved and less potential pain you give to things before they actually become issues so what that tells us is that we need to be practicing a model of preventive care vs. reactive care. So let’s go over what that is – reactive care is when a tooth breaks. Now you call your dentist and you find out that – Oh I need a dental crown or I need a root canal. Maybe this is something that could have been preventive care years ago with a proactive approach. Maybe it is something as seeing you more frequently for your cleanings or making over the counter recommendations from one of our hygienists, or finding out why teeth have been breaking over the last several years and in some of our patients – maybe it is just a small fix or in some patients it might be a bigger fix which means we need to get more involved.
Years ago if we had just taken again a step back and said okay the tooth broke – why? Maybe it was just a bad bite – not just in one area, but overall. Maybe the teeth had worn to a point where now you are more susceptible to needing more care, maybe you have lost the tooth and you lost that tooth because of something that could have been taken care of not just yesterday or the day before that but many many years ago – if we had taken care of you gum disease in your 30s or 40s instead of waiting for your 60s or 70s. So we like to talk to our patients – whether you are 5 years old or 95 years old, about trying to keep your teeth for a life time. We also do this by working and being a part of the metal community now more than ever so I will talk with your physician your medical specialist. Not just my dental specialist as things we have identified in our office that might be a little different from what we are used to like taking your blood pressure at every visit. I have an example and his name is George, George came to us he had not seen a physician in several years but he had a tooth ache. He came to us and he had a dangerously high blood pressure to the point where we actually had to get him to the emergency room. He was this
close to having a cardiac event. That is why we practice the way we practice and screen for the things we screen for. I know people in my family that have been over weight that have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and believe it or not dentists now a day can help assist your medical specialist in that diagnosis. We look in your mouth more than any other provider in the world. SO now we have an opportunity to work with your medical professional to identify your risk for things like sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. So that is why we have comprehensive in the name of our practice because we are not just looking at
teeth anymore we are looking at the whole you.