LeBon Temps Rouler
Getting and keeping clients is the overriding goal of any business, so imagine running a business that triggers pit-in-the-stomach fear in some of the very clients you are trying to reach.
It has been estimated that 12 percent of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear. But for 41 years, dentist Brian LeBon has been gently easing all that apprehension and angst.
His office — which sees on average 40 to 50 clients a day — is often hectic but always full of laughter, joyful banter and a seemingly endless supply of warm friendly hugs.
“I want my patients to feel as though they’re in my living room or den,” he says. “I want them to be relaxed and comfortable as I get them out of pain and keep their teeth healthy. Interacting with people is what I enjoy most about my job. My clients often become my friends and feel just like family.”
Malia, the LeBon’s wife of 34 years, also works as the practice’s office manager. She says she’s constantly amazed at her husband’s comprehensive memory.
“He remembers everyone and always asks about their families or what’s going on in their lives,” she says.
LeBon started practicing dentistry in 1978 with his father in a downtown office on Baronne and Gravier. In the early 1980s, when he moved LeBon Dental to Metairie, his father chose not to follow.
“He said he didn’t want to work in the country,” LeBon says with a chuckle. “That’s what he thought of Metairie back then.”
LeBon says the biggest challenge he encounters as a businessman, besides dealing with insurance companies, is hiring and keeping good staff. He says he looks for employees who are in line with his philosophy, which is quite simple.
“Like any successful business, we want to provide quality services at reasonable prices,” he says. “We also need to be efficient with our time. I want to try our hardest not to keep patients waiting. Every patient is special and when I am with them, they are my only patient, they are my only focus.”
LeBon Dental has five operatories (small rooms where patients receive treatment), and six employees, four of whom are hygienists.
The business prides itself on being a family dentistry treating children, teens, adults and seniors. The practice will also soon be a third-generation business — LeBon’s son, Conner, will join the office next year. Conner’s fiancé, Staci Love, is already practicing at the office.
Of some note and acclaim, LeBon has something few dentists in the country own, a diamond-encrusted Super Bowl ring.
For the past 20 years, he’s been the official dentist for the New Orleans Saints. He’s on the field for all home games.
“I’m there just in case of dental emergencies, like a player suffering a broken jaw, a knocked-out tooth or if he has pain from a toothache the day of a game, I can help with that.”
Many Saints players, and some Pelicans too, also come to his office as private clients.
With his inside knowledge, LeBon says he thinks the Saints have an excellent chance this year.
“We’ve got Drew and we have a lot of depth this year,” he says. “There’s no doubt that we are one of the top-five teams in the country.”