By Rosaland Tyler
New Journal and Guide
If Dr. Bruce Haggerty, Jr. had not grown up wanting to be a pastor and a dentist, you probably would not immediately notice that the atmosphere is serene and professional in his new practice at 7870 Tidewater Dr.
Haggerty launched Leisure Dental in Norfolk in January after practicing dentistry for six years in two states. In addition to providing a comfortable waiting room that includes soft seats, Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube, his office also offers free whitening, weekend hours, and closes at 7 p.m. You can even watch a movie during a procedure.
“I wanted to be a pastor and a dentist as a child,” said Haggerty who was born in Germany when his father was serving in the military. “My interest in dentistry developed as my mom, Dionne Haggerty, who is still a dental assistant would come home and tell me about things she saw at work, like how they helped a patient get out of pain. I learned a lot from my mom and it inspired me to want to help others.”
Enrolling in a pre-college summer program called Pre Medical Concepts Institutions at Prairie View A&M University, Haggerty knew that he definitely wanted to be a dentist. He graduated in 2009 from Prairie View, which is located in Prairie View, Texas, about 47 miles from Houston. He enrolled in Baylor College of Dentistry and graduated in 2013.
“I still talk to the friends I met in the summer program that started before my freshman year at Prairie View A&M,” Haggerty said. “In that program I met many people who are now doctors and engineers. It was a great experience and such a blessing. In that program I was surrounded by people who wanted me to succeed and wanted to obtain the same success I wanted.”
Although studies show that about 85 percent of all patients dread a trip to the dentist or avoid a trip fearful of receiving bad news, Haggerty aims to help his patients always have a favorable experience.
“Patients are raving over the office, the attention and respect they receive upon entering the door is unmatched,” said Haggerty who runs the practice with his wife, Jennifer Haggerty, a U.S. Navy veteran, who manages the finances and growth of the office.
“The procedures are pain free,” he added. “We also have laughing gas available to help calm our anxious patients. Regularly scheduled appointments should be every six months. At Leisure Dental, this appointment consists of a comprehensive exam in which we evaluate all the teeth and mouth. We also capture brand new X-rays, clean your teeth, and give free take home whitening kits (for PPO insurance only).”
His practice offers other services including same day extractions, exceptional prices, and serene professional care. “A lot of anxiety comes from fear of the unknown, especially at the dentist,” he said. “We communicate and gently walk patients through our procedures. When it comes to price, Leisure Dental cannot be beat.”
Good oral health begins with brushing twice a day, flossing every night, and periodic visits typically every six months, he said. “We cater to what may be needed to help our patients overcome fear or anxiety in the dental office. We do this because we care about our patients, appreciate them, and want them to have a beautiful smile.”