Jan. 26, 2021
As a pediatrician in a hospital pediatric intensive care unit, Dr. Corey Chartan cares for some of Houston’s most medically fragile children. Outside of his medical practice, he keeps up with two small kids at home, too. That schedule doesn’t leave him a lot of time for self-care.
When Corey realized the impact of his childhood braces had slipped, and his smile wasn’t where he needed it, he wanted a fix. Corey lives with Brian, his partner of 10 years, and has two children, Brandon, 7, and Zoey, 6. He wanted his kids, and the children he treated in the hospital, could see his welcoming grin and his confidence.
Even beneath a mask, smiling with confidence lights up his face, a key boost when connecting with his small patients, many of whom are recovering from the effects of COVID-19. Many can only have one parent with them due to current hospital restrictions on visitors. It’s a frightening time for adults and for children, who are also coping with grave illnesses in addition to the pandemic.
“They know me as the person who always has a big smile and cares about my teeth. It’s a warming attribute,” he says, referring to the ability to smile warmly. He wanted to make sure he cared for his own smile as well as he cares for his patients.
“You’re an important member of their family, someone that the parents can confide in and the patient, the kids themselves, confide in,” he says. A warm, confident practice that puts young patients and their caregivers at ease is more important than ever.
Corey practices at the Texas Children’s hospital, which U.S. News & World Report has ranked as one of the top five hospitals nationwide.
Corey found SmileDirectClub via the internet and was quickly sold on the idea by the ease of the process. He could take impressions himself at home—and a dental expert would review his records and create his personalized plan—all without him having to schedule an appointment in person.
In his case, he only had to wear his aligners at night. He didn’t have to worry about visiting an office again or swapping out gear mid-shift.
With Nighttime Aligners™, Smile Direct Club customers wear aligners for 10 hours while they sleep, instead of 22 hours during the day. SmileDirectClub 22-hour wear aligners must be removed before every meal, then cleaned and put back onto the teeth afterward. That’s tough for a doctor constantly on the go throughout his waking hours, with little time for breaks.
“The fact that you can do your impressions at home, get your updates at home, have your entire box come to you at once and have it all lined up and ready for you, to continue on your path to get the straight teeth that you want—this is definitely a great company and one that I would recommend,” he says. “I already have recommended SmileDirectClub to friends.”
Not all Smile Direct Club clients qualify for Nighttime Aligners™, since they are mostly for mild to moderate straightening needs, and plans are so personalized. But for Corey, it was the best option.
He has a specialty in pediatric pulmonary hypertension, which examines elevated pressure in children’s lungs. It’s a rare specialty but one particularly valuable during a pandemic that can cripple the lungs. He is often called on to review records from patients who don’t even live in his state, and the value of telemedicine and telehealth treatment suddenly feels more real, and also very reliable. He appreciates SmileDirectClub’s ability to conduct reviews of all patient records remotely.
“If you asked me about this six months ago, I might have had a different answer,” about teledentistry. “But I feel like this is almost the new way of practicing certain types of medicine—and potentially dentistry and orthodontics,” he says.
And for all Corey’s concern about his patients, the power of a proud smile is personal for him, too.
“I like a big smile with pretty, perfect teeth,” he says. “That’s something that always has been important to me. It kind of translates from work to home, smiling like that, feeling good about yourself and life and that sort of positivity.”
He sees that translating to the attitude of his children as well.
“I think having a big smile, and a warm smile, is important, but especially with my kids and my family.”