Photos by Kent L. Ervin
Pulling into the parking lot of Dr. David Templeton’s dental practice, one is struck by the assortment of colorful flowers and plants which grace the entrance, giving you a sense of calm. With a smile and a friendly welcome from a member of the staff, you are invited into one of the patient areas in the back. On the way, a large, modern piece of art catches your eye: “People may forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
This is not merely a dental office, but a comfortable, home-like setting in which to receive excellent dental services. The term “patient-centered care” is not just a catch phrase: the office, staff and follow-up all serve to enhance the care patients receive.
Originally from Gate City, Dr. David Templeton and his wife, Annette, a hygienist, have been in practice for 28 years. Dr. Templeton’s family goes back several hundred years in the Commonwealth. They have lived in Gate City, raised a family here, and hosting quiet family dinners is their favorite way of entertaining.
Dr. Templeton also teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, the only dental school in the state. He enjoys teaching and interacting with students and patients there, including his daughter, Hayley, who is a second-year dental student.
He eagerly embraces new techniques and cutting edge technology in the dental field.
“We work hard to bring the most advanced and sophisticated dental services to our patients,” said Dr. Templeton. “Teaching at the dental school allows me to constantly be exposed to new technology and procedures, and this is reflected in my treatment. We use state-of the-art digital, low-radiation x-rays, because they’re safer for our patients. We can do one-day crowns, which eliminate extra office visits and temporary crowns. We also offer light sedation for our anxious patients.”
But sophisticated technology is only part of the formula for this successful practice. Dr. Templeton strives to address any and all patient concerns.
“Scientific research has proven there is a strong relationship between oral diseases and other medical conditions. Sometimes oral diseases give no warning signals, but your dentist can recognize and treat these diseases to prevent loss of teeth and jawbone and possibly prevent other medical problems,” he explained.
“The patient is our top priority,” Dr. Templeton stressed. “We always try to run on schedule, because we respect the patient’s time. We are also very accessible to our patients: we give them our cell numbers, in case they need to get in touch with us after hours or over the weekend.”
Early and after-hours appointments are available for those who work and cannot take time off, or who may have to wait until a spouse gets home to stay with a child.
“And we are always very conscious of costs,” emphasizes Dr. Templeton. “We treat patients of all ages and provide a wide variety of services for both the insured and the un-insured.”
He thoroughly enjoys working with patients who need dentures and extensive dental treatment to improve their quality of life. That compassionate concern extends outside the office: Dr. Templeton has worked several of the local RAM (Remote Area Medical) and MOM (Missions of Mercy) clinics over the years and the staff is currently working on several topics of patient education and community outreach.
Annette’s favorite part of the job is the often-times life-changing results their work can provide for patients.
“It is very disturbing when someone comes in with low self-esteem because of their teeth - not wanting to smile,” she said. “But when the treatments are completed, there is nothing like the feeling you get when that persons smiles at you for the first time. We feel like we’ve given them back something precious.”
Dr. David Templeton’s office is located in the gray building at 633 East Jackson Street, next to New People’s Bank, and they welcome new and former patients. They can be reached at 276-386-2808.