In the short five-minute wait inside a Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics of Chattanooga lobby, you quickly learn why this family practice is among the 12th Annual Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of the Best Award winners. “There are a lot of choices out there — I’m so glad we ended up here,” says Julie Gribben, the mother of teenage sons, Sam and Jack. “I’ve never had to wait, and in the appointments when I have more questions than usual, they always take the time to answer them, from the doctors to the technicians, everyone.” It’s no exaggeration to say that instead of reading a coffee table magazine while waiting, parents like Julie are often heard talking to each other about how well PDOC works for their family. They’re such PDOC fans they almost sound like they’re touting the latest exercise craze. “I did a lot of research beforehand on where to go and by the end of the first visit, I was hooked,” says Domanik White, whose stepson 14-year-old Santana got braces over Fall Break. “In no time, you feel like ‘they already know who I am’ because they’re so hands on. That kind of reassurance is amazing.”

Domanik appreciated such reassurance when Santana recently underwent a series of complex procedures. The teenager’s visit with pediatric dentist Dr. Chad Eslinger revealed his case required treatment from Dr. Eslinger before orthodontist Dr. KC Dyer could fit him with braces. The complicated dental and orthodontic work was originally planned to take place during separate visits right before his birthday, but because Dr. Dyer was determined to make it easy on both patient and parent, he coordinated time to work with Dr. Eslinger for the next Monday. Santana could enjoy his birthday AND get new braces in one day during fall break – which not only meant fewer appointments and less pain, but also zero time away from school.

And while not everything went according to plan, Domanik says Drs. Eslinger and Dyer worked together for hours problem solving Santana’s situation. “We were the last ones there,” she recalls, “and no matter what was planned or what hiccups came our way they were always making us feel comfortable, updating me every step of the way until it was done.” Julie says that ability to put patients at ease is a big reason she chose PDOC. “This practice came highly recommended to me, but I was going to let my son Sam decide which doctor he was happy with. We went for a consult and he immediately developed a rapport with everyone,” she remembers.

As a working mom, Julie appreciates the convenience PDOC offers just as much as the excellent care they provide. Flexibility, and what she dubs “working parent-friendly” appointment times and the option to see their primary dentist or orthodontist at different locations, are meaningful perks. “As a working mom or dad, it’s very helpful to have different times and locations, especially with two kids as patients. They always seem to be able to fit us in at whatever office we need to get to,” she says. There’s also efficiency, like automated appointment reminders, quick return phone calls and a point person that not only walks parents through the process of insurance, payment and treatment plans but also helps puts younger patients at ease. “There are probably three other practices we drive past on our way to PDOC, but we would rather go here.” Domanik couldn’t agree more. “We live in Dayton, so we drive an hour to get here. But it’s worth it.”

What’s more, these families and so many other patients who have worked with both PDOC dentists and orthodontists, were glad to see the practices merge into one family this past year. “When you have one practice where dentists and orthodontists work together, it’s almost like getting a second opinion – the patient outcome is always going to be better,” says Julie. So much better, it’s no wonder PDOC was honored as the Best of the Best in 2019 by Chattanooga’s Official People’s Choice Awards. For the staff at Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics of Chattanooga, there really is no higher honor.