Dental clinic that ‘caters to cowards’ coming to Boutte
One of the largest group dental practices in southeast Louisiana is currently building a new facility in Boutte to serve St. Charles Parish.
The Louisiana Dental Center already has seven locations in the surrounding area, including Bogalusa, Raceland, New Orleans, Metairie, Covington, Hammond and Slidell. The practice caters to the “average” resident and takes most dental plans, Aaron Etzkin, director of operations for the company, said.
Louisiana Dental Center is currently constructing a shopping center on Highway 90 in Boutte (across the street from the Herald-Guide) that will house the practice and other businesses. The center probably won’t be completed until next year, but a dental clinic will see patients in five trailers starting May 1.
“We’ve experienced success in setting up a temporary clinic first to really get the ball rolling,” Etzkin said. “Then, it’s an easy transition for everyone when we open up the new center.”
The center offers dental services such as preventive care, fillings, root canal therapy, crowns, extractions, braces, teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. The center will also offer dentures, which are manufactured just up the road at the Raceland clinic.
Dr. Joseph Lacoste began the practice in 1980 when he set up a small dental office in the Ninth Ward. He opened his practice up to everyone, even those with lower-paying dental plans.
“We Cater to Cowards” and “We’ll See You…Today!” became the calling cards for Louisiana Dental Center and still remain so today.
“We want to make ourselves available to everyone. We accept walk-ins and emergencies, and though you might have to wait, we will see you,” Etzkin said. “A lot of dentists are booked for up to two weeks or more, but because we have such a large network of centers, we can avoid that.”
The organization has blossomed into a successful group dental practice with centers all across southeast Louisiana. But it was Dr. H. Joseph Le, one of the Raceland practice owners, who was responsible for getting the center to open up shop in Boutte.
“He saw a need there and really pushed to get a dental clinic opened in St. Charles Parish,” Etzkin said.
Le is from Saigon, but fled the country as a 9-year-old orphan to escape the oppressive North Vietnamese government. He was adopted by a Cajun family near Eunice, but still returns to Vietnam to work on the teeth of children at three orphanages.
“He really has a passion for it and he actually just returned,” Etzkin said. “We offer him any assistance we can to help him on his mission.”
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