The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Best of Madison County 2014

February 25, 2014

McLaughlin and crew bring out the smile in you

ANDERSON, Ind. — Does anyone look forward to a visit to the dentist?

Maybe, especially if your dentist happens to be Dr. Carey McLaughlin in Anderson.

McLaughlin’s easygoing style, irrepressible sense of humor and skilled professionalism seem to put a smile on his patients’ faces. That, and a staff that’s all about making it a good experience.

“The care and concern and skill — that’s the thing,” said Bill Kutschera of Anderson. McLaughlin has been Kutschera’s dentist for 14 years. “You feel like you’re the only reason they came into the office that day.”

McLaughlin’s been taking care of teeth all around the Anderson area for 35 years.

“Patients — they’re friends, McLaughlin said. He’s got a wide-open style of office that makes communication easy, and it turns out it’s usually filled with plenty of laughter.

“We cut up a lot,” admitted McLaughlin.

“I would say it’s a laugh fest in there,” Kutschera said. “It’s professional, but it’s lighthearted.”

When it’s time to get down to business, McLaughlin gives his patients all of his attention.

“He sits there and he talks to you face to face, not standing above you,” said Susan Huffman, who manages the front office. “He has the best chair-side manner. He takes time with his patients.”

In addition to Huffman, McLaughlin has three other professionals on staff, including dental assistant Pam Teeters and hygienists Lynn Regan and Cathy Rowe.

“Everyone’s job is to make everything easy for me. I trust them. They know what they’re doing,” McLaughlin said. “I can just sit back and drill and fill.”

McLaughlin and his staff usually see about 20 to 30 patients each day. They have seen patients as young as six months and as old as 102 years.

“It starts at the front door,” McLaughlin said. “I’ve got a great staff. Patients who are uneasy — they help allay their fears.”

McLaughlin said that among patients who are uncomfortable, the big fear is usually the shot. His calming approach and patience often do the trick for folks.

“In the arm or the rump, it’s a lot worse than one in the mouth,” he quips.

McLaughlin was raised in Anderson, graduating from Madison Heights High School in 1970. He attended Indiana University in Bloomington, graduating in 1974.

McLaughlin finished up at the Indiana School of Dentistry in 1978, then started out as an associate in Peru, Ind. The following year, however, brought McLaughlin back to Anderson.

After Dr. Dean Hoppes, an Anderson dentist with a 25-year practice, was killed in a car accident, the family contacted McLaughlin about taking over his practice. With an established client base, it was key for McLaughlin to learn from the staff.

“Here I come in this young buck, fresh out of school. That was an education,” McLaughlin said.

Now a seasoned professional at age 62, McLaughlin is able to say, “Life is good.” He said he doesn’t know when he’ll retire. “It’s still fun.”

McLaughlin and his wife, Karen, just celebrated 40 years of marriage. The couple raised two sons, both now living in Florida. McLaughlin enjoys golf and working on old cars. He likes to read, with one of his favorite topics United States history.

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