Dr. Charlene R. Brown is the owner of Brookhaven Dental Group, a boutique dental practice north of Atlanta, that specializes in comprehensive dental care.
Please describe how you made the decision to work in the health field as a career choice?
The earlier years of my professional career are marked by extensive business management and consulting positions at some of the country’s top Fortune 500 companies. Despite successful years in corporate America, in 2011, I made the decision to leave behind my consulting career to pursue dentistry. This decision was not an easy one. Not only did I embark on a complete career change, but I entered an arena that most of my peers entered fresh out of undergrad. The transition to student took me back to my hometown of New Orleans, where I attended Louisiana State University’s School of Dentistry. In 2015, I received a doctorate in dental surgery. Shortly after my return to Atlanta, Brookhaven Dental Group was created.
What are some of the dangers to dental health?
One of the biggest issues I see is when patients get veneers or other dental work done by individuals who are not licensed, dental professionals. This is dangerous for a few reasons. One, the person doing the work is likely under or untrained in the services they are providing. Two, if there are any oral health issues — decay, gum disease, and/or pathology — they will not go away [if] left untreated, which can result in severe consequences. Three, in the event of an issue or damage, the correction will be expensive.
What behavior changes do you suggest to most of your patients?
A few low-cost things that will positively impact your dental health are drinking more water, cutting down on acidic and sugary drinks and candy, flossing daily, investing in an electronic toothbrush, and most importantly, getting an annual dental exam and cleaning twice a year.
How do regular checkups impact dental health?
Yearly thorough dental visits mitigate the long-term consequences of neglect, and neglect is expensive. Early detection of things like cavities and gum disease can prevent tooth loss and costly procedures to replace missing teeth such as implants and dentures.
What is a great day at work for you?
A great day for me at work results in a patient being amazed at their results — whether that’s a patient no longer feeling pain or a smile upgrade. Often patients have learned to deal with their issues, and it becomes normal. I love when my patients get to a new normal that they never thought possible.