When you fly, whether it be domestic or international, you come to expect to see a lot of similar things at each one. There are the newsstands, which carry food, drinks, and a large array of reading material ranging from magazines for those short jaunts to thick books for much longer journeys. Depending on the airport, travelers may have a large choice of food and beverages to eat before boarding – from fast food burgers to sushi to pizza – to one cafe stand that just has water and bagels. Other amenities include bank ATMs, shoe shine, self-serve kiosks from various retailers… and a dentist?
Yes, there are places around the world with airports that have dentists who have offices inside the actual airport. Should you feel so inclined, you could have a check-up while waiting for a layover. That way, you’ll have great teeth when you arrive at your destination. It’s not a bad idea to have an office there at all – it’s a heavily trafficked spot and surely there will be people with long waiting times who want to do something useful for themselves rather than pore through another book or potentially waste their phone’s battery life.
Another advantage for the dentist who is situated there: Airport workers can be repeat patients. Major airports like JFK, LaGuardia, Logan, and O’Hare, just to name a few, have a lot of workers on site. Accidents happen – a suitcase might fall off a conveyor as luggage is being loaded or unloaded and hit a worker in the mouth. Rather than have to worry about leaving the premises for a long time to go to a hospital, they could stay there any see a dentist. Flight attendants could be seen immediately if something happened in-flight.
Passengers could reap the benefits too… suppose someone bit too hard on a peanut and cracked a tooth. Aside from some discomfort during the rest of the flight, the passenger could be seen immediately by a dentist at the airport rather than having to worry about finding one in a potentially unfamiliar city, especially if they are visiting for a while.
One disadvantage would be if the airport didn’t do enough to promote that there was a dentist on-site. Walk-ins play a big part for someone practicing there – especially in the beginning. After that, a rappoport could be established, especially for people who are frequent fliers to that particular destination. If no one knows that they are there, then getting word-of-mouth is much more difficult. Ideally, the dentist would be in an area with one central hub, but that’s not always the case. Also, it would be best if they were not behind a security check-in, since that would limit the amount of people that they could see.
Dr. Robert Trager has been practicing as the JFK-LGA Dentist for several decades. He’s had a very successful business. He’s glad to help both airport workers and passengers alike. Flying the skies can be stressful – and he likes to give them a membership in the “Smile-High Club.”