Mendelson Family Dentistry officially opened our doors on January 2, 1971. Do the math…yes that is 50 years. Some days and weeks go by slowly but the years go by very quickly. I am seeing second and sometimes third generations of families coming to the office. Herbie has been practicing with me for twenty seven years. Some of you have known him since he was a little boy who came in with me after hours to assist me with emergencies. He has become an excellent clinician and his expertise in implant dentistry is recognized on a national level. He is the director of the Continuing Education program in Implant Dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and taught for twenty years at the New York University School of Dentistry’s implant program.
It was a very tough beginning for me. In those days, dentists were not allowed to advertise. I could only send out postcard announcements to the local community. I worked part time in four different offices while I was starting my own office. It was so hectic that one morning I showed up in the Towson office and I was supposed to be in Brooklyn Park. The office phone rang at home and my wife, Ellen, answered the phone and made appointments, often with two crying kids in the background. She was so excited when the first patient called that she did not take the patient’s phone number or address. Luckily for us, she showed up for her appointment. Ellen also did the books and sometimes assisted. I was very lucky to have a wonderful woman named Betty Campbell who assisted in the Towson office who came with me to my new office. She not only was a great assistant and front desk person but she recruited her friends and neighbors as patients. Slowly the practice built up and in 1977 I was able to hire a hygienist. That was Shelley Becker Zipper who just retired at the end of 2020. She was moved to tears by the wonderful notes she got from her patients when they found out that she was going to retire. Over the years I have been very lucky to have many wonderful people work at the office. We have been and are a family who enjoy taking care of your family. I enjoy just listening to the pleasant conversations that are going on between staff members with each other and with staff members and patients.
I am excited to be able to write a blog. It gives me the opportunity to communicate with our patients on topics of interest to me and to them. I have never written a blog and I would appreciate constructive criticism and suggestions of topics from my readers. Some of the topics that I want to cover are: Why we prefer implants over fixed bridges, Oral hygiene from a dentist’s perspective, Dental Insurance from the dentist, patient, and insurance providers perspectives, Covid 19 impact on dentistry, dental health and systemic health are interdependent, and how dentistry has changed.
I want to thank my patients for their loyalty over these many years and their sense of humor for putting up with my bad jokes.