For New Jersey children, Smile Central is an invaluable ally in the fight against caries [VIDEO]

May 21, 2014

It’s truly amazing what a difference one person can make. One person with a positive attitude, a vision and a desire to serve others can inspire a whole team of people to do great things. At Smile Central Dental P.C. in Paterson, N.J., Cecilia Mescain is that person. She is not only the COO, she’s a visionary who inspired one dentist to leave the practice they both worked at to open Smile Central together in 2004.   

It’s truly amazing what a difference one person can make. One person with a positive attitude, a vision and a desire to serve others can inspire a whole team of people to do great things. At Smile Central Dental P.C. in Paterson, N.J., Cecilia Mescain is that person. She is not only the COO, she’s a visionary who inspired one dentist to leave the practice they both worked at to open Smile Central together in 2004.   

They began treating patients between the ages of 1-17 years and because Smile Central accepts all kinds of insurance, including Medicaid, they treat many children and teens who otherwise would not have access to dental care. “We do this from our hearts,” said Mescain. “Our mission is to help people. I think everyone knows that it’s genuine. We are really here for the community and that’s why we have a loyal following.”   That loyal following inspired the opening of three additional locations, including an orthodontics office, in order to fulfill the needs of the community. At the four locations, all within a 10-mile radius, Smile Central is providing dental care for underserved kids, educating them about the importance of oral health and providing an experience that shows kids that going to the dentist doesn’t have to be scary.    For the kids whom Smile Central doesn’t reach through one of the four office locations, a dental health education outreach program is delivered from a vintage fire truck retrofitted with a dental operatory. The truck is driven to Head Start programs, schools and daycares in the area, providing treatment, educational puppet shows and a chance for kids to explore the inside of an old-fashioned fire truck.

Watch the video below to learn more about Smile Central

In addition to running the outreach program, Mescain manages more than 80 staff members between all offices while handling responsibilities including payroll, billing, accounting, training, marketing and compliance issues. While her background in finance and economics has helped her handle the finances at Smile Central, she is currently completing an MBA, which has helped improve her leadership skills, decision making skills and strategies for creating a competitive advantage at the practice.

For the support she needs specifically for her role as office manager, Mescain has been a member of the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM) since 2008. She describes the organization as a “fellowship” that makes her feel that whatever challenge she might face, she is not alone. “It’s a great resource for all office managers because we can consult with each other. It helps us become better at what we do,” she said.   In 2013 Mescain attended the 2013 AADOM conference on a scholarship from Patterson Dental after her Patterson representative took notice of her hard work and wrote a letter nominating her. “I was very humbled and honored by the letter he wrote and that he felt I deserved to receive the scholarship,” said Mescain. “It’s great to get that support − as a Diamond Sponsor of AADOM, Patterson Dental is very much involved in supporting what the office managers do.”     Mescain makes a difference in the lives of children every day and inspires a staff of more than 80 people to do the same. “We have such a wonderful group of people,” said Mescain. “If it wasn’t for them showing up every day and doing their very best we wouldn’t be Smile Central. The team is so valuable, every person that works with Smile Central deserves to be recognized.”   When asked about the future, Mescain says she is envisioning two new office locations in areas where they’re needed as they continue on their mission to take care of the community, one cavity at a time.