If dental anxiety has been your little secret, here’s good news: The doctors at Dental Professionals of Rockwall get it. They understand that many patients have had past experiences in the dental chair that cause them anxiety—even fear—at the very mention of a dental visit. It’s their goal to relieve that anxiety, and they say it all begins with simply listening.
“I think, as women, we bring a special quality to dentistry,” said founding dentist Brigette Koetter. “We’re in a position to really impact our patients’ lives—whether it’s relieving a toothache, recreating a smile, or just taking the time to listen and connect with a patient who’s feeling anxious. With advancements in dental technology and technique, there’s no reason a visit to our office should be anything but pleasant. We find it often helps to let an anxious patient talk about their fears, and what may be causing them, before we do anything else.”
“Patients often tell us after their visit, ‘That wasn’t as bad as I thought’,” said Dr. Lindsey Merchant. “It starts with letting them know it’s okay to be afraid. We understand. Then we explain each thing we’re going to do, before we do it. I don’t like surprises myself and certainly wouldn’t want them in the dentist’s chair. It also helps us to consider each patient as our parent, our sibling, or child and to treat them the way we’d want a member of our own family to be treated.”
Toward that end, Drs. Koetter and Merchant have invested time and resources in amassing the very latest in dental technology and training, for state-of-the-art general dentistry as well as world-class cosmetic dentistry and even orthodontics for adults and kids. That includes the latest advancements in root canal therapy, cosmetic fillings, all-porcelain crowns, flexible partial dentures, conscious sedation, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and other comfort techniques. They utilize the latest in low-radiation digital X-ray technology, which uses a smaller, more comfortable sensor. And extras like massaging dental chairs and TVs in every room assure patient comfort and relaxation.
Dental Professionals of Rockwall also offers patients continuity of care by providing orthodontic services under the same roof. “Early intervention orthodontics (beginning as young as age five) allows us to build the smile on a good foundation for the bite,” Dr. Koetter said. “In many cases, these kids don’t need orthodontics when they’re older or they need braces for a much shorter time.” They also offer both traditional and clear braces to their adult patients (see sidebar).
Meet Dr. Koetter
Brigette Koetter gained valuable experience in orthodontics, working for a hometown orthodontist from age 15 through 22. “My work there allowed me to enter dental school with practical application for the things I was learning.” That experience— aided by a lot of hard work and determination—landed her an award of excellence in orthodontics, an honor bestowed on only two of every 100 dental students. Dr. Koetter earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma where she was a member of Golden Key Honor Society, Gamma Beta Phi Society, and Delta Delta Delta, and was honored as an OU Scholar. She earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry where she was chosen as a teaching assistant for the undergraduate orthodontic department, one of three students recognized as a senior departmental advanced studies program participant in orthodontics.
She was further honored with the John C. and Ruberta Weaver Award for Excellence in Periodontics and Prosthodontics. Dr. Koetter is a member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Married to a local physical therapist, she is mother to two wonderful kids and spends most of her free time with her family. The Koetters are active members of First United Methodist Church in Rockwall.
Meet Dr. Merchant
Lindsey Merchant knew what she wanted to do for a living as early as junior high. “My aunt is a dentist and invited me to come work for her, the summer after eighth grade,” she said. “She showed me how much diversity there is in dentistry; how no two days are the same. I saw her passion for helping people and that her career offered her a great work/life balance.” Lindsey worked at her aunt’s dental practice throughout high school, college, and dental school.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University, where she was a member of Alpha Chi National Society, Tri Beta Biological Honor Society, and Operation Achievement Mentor. She was also honored as president of the Pre-dental Society and dean’s list all semesters. She went on to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Baylor College of Dentistry where she was one of five students chosen for early advancement. Dr. Merchant was honored to be a part of a summer research program and Omicron Kappa Epsilon Honor Society, and she made dean’s list all semesters. After dental school, she furthered her education by completing an advanced education in general dentistry residency with the United States Air Force.
A Mount Pleasant native, Dr. Merchant is mother to one daughter with another on the way. She and her husband are active members of Lake Pointe Church. She volunteers her time at Rockwall Heath Early Childhood Group and Helping Hands. As an U.S. Air Force veteran, she provides pre-deployment dental exams to service men and women and has a real passion for making medical mission trips to impoverished countries.
You’re never too old for braces.
Although orthodontics improves personal appearance and self-esteem at any age, Dr. Koetter says braces are about much more than aesthetics, “Since crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, wear on teeth and overall health, and since tooth decay has been connected to heart health, proper tooth alignment is a health issue as well as a cosmetic one.”
Dental Professionals of Rockwall offers traditional braces and Invisalign, a clear retainer alternative to braces, so no one has to know you’re wearing braces. “Advanced appliances and techniques greatly reduce patient discomfort and abbreviate treatment time,” Dr. Koetter said. “So you’re never too old to straighten your teeth.”
In addition to general preventive and restorative dentistry, Dental Professionals of Rockwall are happy to offer:
- Crowns and Bridges
- Root Canals
- Lumineers Porcelain Veneers
- Same-Day Orthodontics[/one_half]
- Nonsurgical Gum Treatments
- Nightguards and Mouthguards
- Invisalign Clear Tooth Aligners
- Low-Radiation Digital X-rays and Imaging
- Sleep Apnea Appliances[/one_half_last]
Brigette N. Koetter, DDS, and Lindsey B. Merchant, DDS
1375 Ridge Road
Rockwall, Texas 75087
Text: Meredith Knight