By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – The name on the sign out front is Bryan Dental Associates, but it could almost as well read Bryan Dental Family, both because the practice is a family business and its patients are treated like family.
Dr. Peter Bryan started the practice in 1978 after graduation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Temple University Dental School and two years in the Air Force. His wife of 45 years, Jan, has been a big part of the operation the whole time, serving as office manager.
Two of their five children are now also active in the business.
Dr. Eric Bryan joined his father in 1999, after also graduating from UMass Amherst and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He served with the U. S. Army for three years before coming home to Shrewsbury and to Bryan Dental.
Daughter Ellen Mulroy is the practice manager, among other things coordinating patient insurance coverage.
“People often ask if we all get along,” said Jan with a laugh. “We even socialize out of the office. We love what we do and are always talking about how to make our practice better for our patients.”
Jan noted that the family atmosphere extends to all the people who work at the office, the hygienists, dental assistants and office staff.? “Everybody gels. People step up to make the whole thing work. You look forward to going to work,” she said.
“And we love our patients. Some have been with us since we opened.”
Bryan Dental provides almost every aspect of contemporary dentistry, including restorative and cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, implants, crowns and bridges, as well as full routine dental care for both children and adults. “We do most procedures, but there are some things we don's do, and we have wonderful people we refer to,” Jan said.
“We have patients from age 3 to 99. We welcome children and offer the first cleaning and fluoride treatment at age 3,” she said.
The practice has switched to digital X-rays, which require less radiation exposure and are faster and more comfortable for the patient, allowing the office to share X-rays easily with other professionals such as orthodontists.
Bryan Dental is noticing increased interest in cosmetic and restorative procedures that make patients look and feel better, Jan noted. “The baby boomers are taking better care of themselves, and they want their teeth to look good. Perhaps they have been putting off cosmetic dentistry while they'se been working, putting the kids through school, and they decide to do something for themselves. They may also want to do this work while they have insurance, before they retire.”
These procedures can close gaps between teeth, even up crooked teeth, repair discolored or damaged teeth using crowns and generally make a person's smile more attractive.
Jan is a believer in the results; she had restoration work done just over a year ago.
“I's so happy I did it. I look back at family pictures and I's not smiling in any of them. Now I have a big smile. The work makes you more self-confident and willing to greet people with a smile.”
Many patients who have had a tooth removed are now choosing implants rather than a bridge for the replacement tooth, she said. The implant just replaces the missing tooth and does not require a connection to the two adjacent teeth as a bridge does.
Bryan Dental Associates is located at 48 Maple Ave. in Shrewsbury. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For additional information, see the website, www.bryandental.net, or call 508-842-0941.