Making Positive Changes In Patients
Dr. Alan Ing loves being a dentist because he can transform smiles — and lives — in a short amount of time
Please tell us about your practice.
Kauai Dental Care provides general dentistry services for children and adults. Our hygienists provide professional dental cleanings and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and for whiter teeth and fresher breath. For those at high risk of tooth decay, we provide dental sealants to protect enamel and to seal out plaque, bacteria and food. We provide immediate treatment for patients who are experiencing pain, swelling or sensitivity, and we restore or replace teeth that need to be treated immediately.
Our services include fillings, root canals, extractions, crowns, bridges and dentures. We also offer a variety of cosmetic treatments such as tooth colored fillings, teeth whitening, veneers and full cosmetic makeovers.
What schools, including college, did you attend?
I graduated from Punahou School on Oahu and went to University of Washington in Seattle for both undergraduate studies and for my dental degree.
Where did you begin your career and at what point did you decide to open your own practice?
I graduated from dental school in 1993 and started working for a large group practice on Kauai. Moving to Kauai was easy because I had heard that fishing was great here. After a few years passed, I knew Kauai was my home. I had been fortunate to build a loyal patient base and in 2006, I decided to open my own practice. It was a smaller office than the one now, with three treatment rooms instead of seven. The first few years on my own, I had to learn a lot about running a business and how important it is to provide excellent customer service to patients.
What have you found most rewarding about your profession?
The single most-rewarding thing about dentistry for me is the ability to create positive change in someone’s life immediately. Whether it is fixing a broken tooth, giving someone a smile they’re proud of, or just getting them out of pain, dentistry can provide dramatic, long-lasting change in usually one or two visits.
What is the most challenging?
Probably the most challenging aspect of dentistry that I face in my practice is getting people to maintain good oral hygiene habits (especially flossing).
Second, which all dentists face, is getting in the 30 percent of the population who avoid routine dental care for treatment. No matter what your situation is now or what’s happened in the past, we’re here to help. We won’t make you feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed about coming.
What’s the No. 1 piece of advice you offer your patients?
One piece of advice I like to jokingly share with patients is something our instructors told us in dental school, “You only have to brush and floss the teeth you want to keep!” We also encourage our patients to take care of small, easy-to-fix problems now because those will usually get larger with time and become more difficult and costly to fix later.
What can patients expect when they come for a visit to your office?
When you come to our office, you can expect to be greeted warmly, like you are a guest in our home. Our office was designed to provide comfort for our patients. Our treatment room chairs are just like that cushy recliner you have at home, and provide a lower back massage feature to help you to relax.
What kind of insurance do you accept?
We accept all major dental insurances, both local and national plans. We do our best to be accessible and affordable to as many people as possible.
What makes you get up every day and go to work?
I go to work every day knowing that I am going to have a positive impact on every person I treat. For me, dentistry is fun. I enjoy getting to know my patients and I am grateful for the trust that they place in my team and me.
4400 Pahee St., Lihue