Family-Style Dentistry
Dr. Deena Rassenfoss Focuses on Smiles

Not many kids like the dentist. But long before she even entered the dentistry field, Dr. Deena Rassenfoss knew she had a funny fascination with teeth. “From the time I was a kid,” she says, “I always loved going to the dentist.”

Before graduating from University of Kentucky’s College of Dentistry, Rassenfoss thought about becoming a pediatric dentist, but then realized she could have the best of both worlds if she focused on general dentistry. The Burlington native worked as an associate at a private practice in Erlanger before opening up her own business.

“I love seeing someone come in who thinks their general health is just hopeless, and then be able to take them from that state to a point where they can smile,” she says about her work.

Patients of All Ages

Rassenfoss says she’s truly a “family dentist,” because her patients include kids from two years old to patients who are 90.

“I decided to become a general dentist because then I could see adults, as well as children,” she says. “We have a really good mix with our staff. When parents come in, I think they like that their entire family can be treated by one doctor.”

Rassenfoss suggests that dental treatment should start around age two. And to help those children who are scared of the dentist, she enforces the idea of “show, touch, do,” giving young patients the opportunity to come into the office, play with the instruments and explore the room before getting their teeth checked.

“That usually warms them up so that they’ll jump into the chair and be ready to have work done on them.”

Even before that first appointment though, Rassenfoss says parents should teach their children about dental care.

“The main thing is that from the moment they are born, parents need to make sure babies’ mouths are clean. They need to take an active role,” she says.

Role Models

From that point on, that means giving children a toothbrush to examine and play with, not letting them eat too many refined sugars, and making sure children over the age of two aren’t walking around with bottles or pacifiers in their mouths.

“Parents need to be role models,” Rassenfoss says, drawing from her own experience as a parent with her husband of 15 years, Scott, of their two kids, Nik, 10, and Ally, 6. They have really good teeth… “for now,” she jokes.

Other than working with kids, Rassenfoss really enjoys the familial atmosphere of her practice.

“You have to realize that you’re working on a person who is coming in with fear.

“They may have not had a positive experience in the past. It’s about talking to them and assuring them,” she says.

“We talk to our patients and get them to relax.” ■