When fresh out of high school or college, some people know which career paths to follow. After settling in, some discover a calling to positively impact people in the community that pulls them off course.
That describes the path of Dr. Nicholas A. Lavoie, who shifted careers to become a board-certified pediatric dentist. Today he offers oral health care at his new practice, Lavoie Pediatric Dentistry, in Swansea, Massachusetts.
He started his health care journey in the nursing profession.
My experiences as a nurse opened my eyes to the extent to which early childhood caries, the most common chronic disease in children, exists, and how severely it can impact overall health and emotional well-being. My heart was broken for these kids and I wanted to be able to address oral disease more directly, but my influence as a nurse was limited to referrals and preventive education. I decided to go back to school to become a dentist.Dr. Nicholas A. Lavoie describes his career transition from nurse to pediatric dentist.
Helping children overcome and prevent cavities, a disease that affects 1 out of 5 children aged 5 to 11 years old, is a calling that the Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honoree has dedicated his life to achieving. And so, he left nursing to help children who may not know about the consequences of dental neglect.
He believes in his mission so much that he built a new office that opened in August to better help and educate about the importance of oral health. Dr. Lavoie and his team are committed to providing an experience beyond the typical dental experience.
Our office culture places a significant emphasis on the fact that every patient is a VIP and an extended member of our dental family. We enjoy connecting on a personal level with each child who walks through the door, as well as their siblings, parents, or whoever else may accompany them. While most offices do make efforts in these areas, we attempt to reach the ‘212th degree.’Dr. Nicholas A. Lavoie explains his team’s work ethic and the extent to which they provide individualized, high-quality care.
The new office features five operatories with room to expand to 10 as his dentistry grows. It’s designed to enhance patient comfort using the latest technology and old fashion hospitality.
Dr. Lavoie uses electronic record-keeping, an environmentally sustainable alternative to paper, as well as the latest digital radiology equipment. While patients wait in the lounge, he provides them with tablets, HDTVs and coffee. It’s a welcoming atmosphere, especially for his patients’ parents.
During the construction process, especially as the opening deadline approached, he experienced sleepless nights, but also the euphoria of building a new practice and helping children.
Every child he meets is a meaningful encounter, Dr. Lavoie said, and a way for him “…to guide them through a difficult experience and to be able to get them smiling before they leave, or possibly even excited to come back, is an incredibly good feeling,” .
Like all professions, aspects challenge the ability to work efficiently, and dentistry is no exception.
Navigating the mess of dental insurance is, in my opinion, the largest difficulty. There are so many dental insurance companies that exist, each with their own set of rules in regard to range and frequency of treatments. It makes it incredibly confusing for both patients and dental staff, and phone calls to resolve any confusion can easily run upward of 30 minutes, which impacts the time and resources that can be focused on quality patient care.Dr. Nicholas A. Lavoie
Outside the Dental Practice
Outside the office, Dr. Lavoie classifies spending time with family as the most important aspect of his life. He’s an animal lover and foodie, who rarely frequents the same restaurants.
He enjoys discovering new, culturally authentic cuisine, especially ones that induce sweat and ignite his taste buds. He enjoys watching football and, of course, as a New Englander, his favorite team is the New England Patriots, a team that has won six Super Bowls since 2002.
Dr. Lavoie, his dental team and new office are ready to help children form healthy dental habits through regular visits and self-care for years to come.
We strive every day to re-define the negative stigma that generally follows dentistry and create a generation of self-empowered individuals when it comes to oral health.Dr. Nicholas A. Lavoie.