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African-American Las Vegas dentist thrives with personal touch – Las Vegas Review | Dentist Beverly Hills, Dentist Los Angeles
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African-American Las Vegas dentist thrives with personal hold – Las Vegas Review

Posted by Z Dental Group - February 25th, 2013

Had he seen a sketch of Dr. Greg Edwards beforehand, Christopher Chase Cripps admits he substantially wouldn’t have shown adult during a African-American dentist’s bureau in Las Vegas for puncture diagnosis of toothaches.

Apprehension over a opposite would have sent him elsewhere.

“Coming from where we did in Louisiana, we usually didn’t cruise of black people in that way,” a 31-year-old white construction workman pronounced a other day. “Black dentists were so singular we never unequivocally listened about them.”

America 2013. Black History Month. While blacks in a universe of politics became common adequate for a nation to elect an African-American president, many people in a United States still aren’t accustomed to black dentists and doctors. Given a numbers —- reduction than 4 percent of any contention is African-American —- that isn’t quite surprising.

And when we cruise that psychologists contend that when humans face a unknown, their primary instinct is to play it protected and dismay it, afterwards Cripps’ acknowledgment of looking elsewhere for a dentist had he seen Edwards’ pattern also isn’t surprising.

“Unfortunately, we was astounded by how good all went,” Cripps said. “And we know we shouldn’t have been.”

Today, no one sings a praises of a 64-year-old Edwards —- one of a initial 5 black dentists in Southern Nevada —- some-more than Cripps.

“Compared to my dentist behind in Louisiana, he’s most some-more minute and studious accessible in a approach he answers your questions,” he said. “I knew it was going to be a opposite believe when my call on a weekend went directly to his cellphone. And when we go to his office, we find he has members of his family concerned so we feel like you’ve turn prejudiced of a family. Going to him finished me comprehend that we can never generalize about who’s good during what. It’s all about a person.”

Edwards, a Los Angeles native, altered to Las Vegas in 1991 from Washington, D.C. He had used there after attending Howard University’s College of Dentistry in a nation’s capital.

Edwards says nonetheless he’s gifted injustice in his use – a few people have left his bureau once they saw he was black – a biggest reason since people infrequently dismay a attribute with him has some-more to do with his contention than his color.

“They’re distant some-more frightened of dentists in ubiquitous than me as a black person,” he pronounced with a giggle recently as he stood nearby an unoccupied dental chair in his Smiles Dental Group office. “When it comes to race, it’s been most improved here than we expected.”

On a new morning, Edwards, regulating magnification lenses, peered into a mouth of Bea Martinez, a late talk dilettante with Clark County Justice Court. Like Cripps and so many others, she initial met Edwards on a weekend when she had a dental puncture —- a specialty he has mostly dominated in Southern Nevada.

“We’ve got some work to do,” Edwards told Martinez, his voice muffled by a facade he wore.

Edwards discussed with Martinez what will have to be finished to her prejudiced image dentures. It is not news that she welcomed, though she appreciated how he delivered it.

“He takes time to explain all in terms we can understand,” she pronounced later. “I’m not usually a dollar pointer to him and rushed by like cattle. He tells we accurately how most things will cost. He doesn’t take a autocracy of going forward unless we contend so.”

That Edwards, one of 5 children, finished adult in dental propagandize wasn’t preordained.

“So many students we went to dental propagandize with had a father who was a dentist and they were following in his footsteps,” Edwards said. “That really wasn’t me.”

His father was a coiffeur and tailor, his mother, a bookkeeping clerk. Edwards, who scooped ice cream after propagandize to acquire money, pronounced he wasn’t a bad tyro in high school, though rather “an unfocused one.”

It wasn’t until he was 19 and prejudiced of an Urban League module in information estimate that he “realized we could do whatever we wanted if we put my mind to it. … Something in me usually clicked.”

For a tiny some-more than a year, he followed a grade in sociology during California State University, Northridge. He switched his vital to biology since he suspicion his pursuit prospects would be better. After graduation in a mid-1970s, he took a position with a curative firm, offered medication drugs to doctors and dentists.

“As we began to correlate with some-more dentists, we motionless that is what we should do,” he said. “I knew we had good hands for a work —- something we got from my father. Ironically, dentists used to be barbers, my father’s profession, so from a birthright and personal perspective, with my credentials in science, it usually felt right.”

Dentists he met as a curative deputy wrote him all-important recommendation letters to Howard University, a propagandize that had tender Edwards for a story in educating newly liberated slaves.

“Washington, D.C., was an extraordinary place to go to school,” he said. “You never knew who we were going to run into. One day I’m during a Florida Grill and finish adult articulate with Jesse Jackson.”

Upon graduation from dental school, he and a crony started a dental lab in California, focusing on prosthetics. When he sleepy of that after a integrate of years, he went behind to Washington, D.C., opening a use opposite from George Washington University. Not prolonged after he visited his mom in Las Vegas, where she altered from California, Edwards motionless to also make Southern Nevada home.

“The city was sepulchral in a early ’90s and there were usually something like 114 dentists,” he said. “It seemed like a ideal place to open a practice.”

Dr. James McMillan, whose attainment in Las Vegas in 1954 finished him a initial black dentist in Southern Nevada, shortly became Edwards’ mentor, assisting him with a business side of his practice. Edwards would after pass on that believe to another immature black dentist, Dr. Timothy Wilson.

Just as he had in Washington, D.C., Edwards finished himself straightforwardly accessible to puncture patients. He knew many dentists didn’t work on holidays or weekends. That helped him both financially and psychologically.

“It gives me such a clarity of compensation and accomplishment to make someone demeanour and feel better,” he said.

Dental partner Greg Freeman has been with Edwards during many dental emergencies on Christmas, New Year’s and Thanksgiving.

“If someone calls with a toothache, he doesn’t tell them to go to a puncture room,” he said. “He wants to make certain what he chose to do in life, dentistry, is finished a right way.”

After a matrimony soured when his dual daughters were still small, Edwards lifted them alone. Michele, 22, is now his bureau manager and shortly will attend her father’s alma mater, Howard University, doing connoisseur work in debate medicine. Quintana, 20, helps out with patients as she studies to turn a dental assistant. He remarried in 2007.

He common his adore for jazz with them, regaling them with stories about Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis.

“I forget that jazz festival we saw Miles at, though we saw them all live,” he pronounced as he walked by thespian black-and-white photos of jazz stars in his vital room.

Back in 2003, in and with Fitzgeralds casino, he promoted a initial Jazz Las Vegas Music Festival during Hillpointe Park in Summerlin. One of a good jazz trumpeters of all time, Freddie Hubbard, achieved during what became an annual event.

Jazz generally plays in a credentials as Edwards pursues another of his passions during home, conceptualizing websites. He now has some-more than 30 domains and websites, including www.jazzlasvegas.com, www.dentalemergenices.com and www.smilesdentalgrouplasvegas.com.

He’s taught good crony Steve Price how to do it.

“He also taught me how to pattern websites,” pronounced eldest daughter Michele.

Over a years, Edwards has talked to open propagandize students about going into dentistry.

“It’s a good profession,” he said. “There have been times when I’ve worked 8 to 10 hours true on a full mouth reformation and we felt improved than we ever have. How many people can contend they have taken people out of pain and given them something they haven’t had in years, a pleasing smile? I’ve altered lives and I’m unapproachable of that.”

Contact contributor Paul Harasim during pharasim@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2908.

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