For Dr. Myrna Collado, DDS, choosing dentistry as a profession simply made sense: she has always been good with her hands, and her “do no harm” philosophy motivates her to make compassion her first priority in every facet of her life.
“I couldn’t have done anything better than go into a profession that allowed me to care for people — and I still get to be handy!” Dr. Collado said. “I love my patients, and my patients love me. It’s really wonderful.”
However, Dr. Collado noted that her years of experience have shown that her most difficult tasks can’t always be solved with nimble fingers and a smile.
“In reality, there’s no such a thing as one toughest case,” she said. “For me, there are many challenges that I face every day with patients who are afraid of dentistry. Sometimes, they come with a lot of baggage from negative experiences in their pasts. Some of them have even neglected their mouths because of this terrible dental phobia.”
Dr. Collado said the best way to overcome such fear is to help the patient understand every part of the process by demonstrating, communicating and teaching. Luckily for her, this comes naturally.
“You have to be kind and gentle and have patience with everyone,” she said. “And mostly, you have to teach them. I love to teach. I know things that are practical and that can help people, and I have to show them that I’m not there to hurt them, but to help them.”
Whether explaining how a dental procedure will be done or showing someone how to properly brush their tongue (rinse your mouth and toothbrush and say “Ahhh”), Dr. Collado is able to slowly gain a patient’s trust. In time, she said that preliminary fear can completely disappear, to the point where they even fall asleep in her chair.
“The patients that make me proudest are the ones who start with a lifetime of neglect, but when they have the opportunity to learn about taking care of their mouths, they take full advantage and finish with a healthy, beautiful smile,” Dr. Collado said.
“Some of them come to me with fear and finish sleeping like a baby. They snore, and I love it! It’s the best compliment they can give me. And I’m lucky to have such a great team that helps them trust in our abilities.”
Dr. Myrna L. Collado, DDS
3330 Kingman Street, Suite 6, Metairie 504-888-2092, DrMyrnaLCollado.com
27 years in practice; DDS from Louisiana State University School of Dentistry; Native of Puerto Rico