Happy New Year to all of our patients, friends, family, and neighbors! We want to wish you much positive health and happiness (and only negative COVID tests) for 2022. We would also like to make an official introduction (and give a warm, Drews Dental welcome) to the newest addition to our team; Dr. Hena Patel, D.M.D.
So without further ado, meet Dr. Hena!
Though she grew up in Palatka, Florida, lucky for us she has officially put down roots in Maine. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree before going on to attend the University of New England’s School of Dental Medicine where she obtained her Doctorate of Dental Medicine. While in dental school, Dr. Hena was part of a scholarship program that focused on rural healthcare in Maine- something she has continued to be committed to post-graduation.
Unlike a lot of people, Dr. Hena has never been afraid of going to the dentist, although she does admit to being scared of heights. This might be because she was 14 years old when she first went to the dentist (which was due to finances). She was fortunate to have a friend whose father happened to be an orthodontist and he generously offered to do her ortho for free. This was an eye-opening experience for young Dr. Hena because she realized just how generous people could be. What she thought was an unobtainable luxury was made possible through the generosity of a caring oral health care professional, which is part of what motivated her to become a dentist- so that she could pay it forward to others. It's also why she started in public health, because accessibility hits very close to home for her.
For Dr. Hena, dentistry allows her to immediately help people by relieving pain, building confidence, and promoting hygiene all in one visit. Her favorite patients are teenagers with dental anxiety (because she gets to see visible progression in their home care and overcoming anxiety) as well as children (because of their cute little tiny teeth!).
Dr. Hena also enjoys the challenge of working with the “grumpy old men”. She sees it as an honor to earn their trust because it means that they really value her abilities as a provider. Her favorite procedures are making over the front “smile teeth” because it can really motivate patients to work on their home care.
Before moving to Maine, Dr. Hena had never played in the snow, carved pumpkins, or picked apples - but try not to hold that against her, those are now some of her favorite things to do. She actually loves all four seasons, even though she sometimes gets anxiety driving in the snow with her tiny sedan car.
Since moving to Maine, she has also taken up skiing, fishing, ice fishing, ice skating, hiking, archery, and tent camping. She likes staying active and loves the outdoors. Don't believe us? Here she is keeping it reel . . .
And here she is using those "transferrable (dental) skills"- who knew that performing root canals would be great practice for taking up archery?
Truth is, while many people are trying to leave Maine and live in places like Florida, Dr. Hena felt a different and more welcoming atmosphere from the first moment she arrived. She's found Mainers to be very kind and friendly, where random people will smile at her, or let her merge on the highway (though maybe they're just wanting to give that tiny sedan plenty of room during a snowstorm!).
We are thrilled to have Dr. Hena as part of our team and she's excited to be part of an office and group of clinical professionals that is always on the cutting edge of technology, procedures, and continuing education (she also appreciates a work environment that fosters a sophomoric sense of humor).
She is very happy to be practicing dentistry where she lives and has no problem bumping into her patients whether she is running errands to Hannaford or grabbing dinner at Sonder & Dram (she is a self-confessed foodie and loves trying to replicate recipes at home).
Dr. Hena is a member of the Maine Dental Association, the Young Dentists Study Club and also serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Merrymeeting Bay Dental Society. Because public health is a large part of what makes Dr. Hena passionate about dentistry, she also volunteers as a dental provider at the Oasis Free Dental Clinics in Brunswick whenever possible.
As you can see, Dr. Hena met all of our criteria in terms of education, training, and experience as well as having that extra "fun factor"- which is also kind of an unofficial 'requirement' for our office. She is settling in here at Drews Dental and is working on a blog post busting some dental myths, so stay tuned.
And if getting to the dentist (or back to the dentist) is on your list of resolutions for 2022 (especially after the last couple of years), give us a call to schedule an appointment and get to know Dr. Hena in person!