2016 Winner, Dr. Erica Polk

2016’s Sedation Safety Dentist of the Year

In the age of the Internet and its many health review websites, patients can be harsh judges of any dentist who doesn’t dedicate himself or herself to superior service and comfort.

Patients seldom know how much commitment it takes for their dentists to remain up-to-date on the latest safety protocols, guidelines, and regulations. All they know is that they expect each visit to their dentist to be painless and result in better oral health and a sparkling smile.

The 2016 Sedation Safety Dentist of the Year, Erica Polk, DDS, delivers consistently on her promise of treating all of her patients with the strongest commitment to their safety, needs, and comfort. Her nomination for this year’s honor by her dentist peers — combined with her exceptional patient reviews — are a testament to the 18 years she’s dedicated to our profession.

More than anything, I just wanted the ability to help my community with oral health and hygiene, Dr. Polk says in explaining why she chose the dental profession in the first place. Dentistry is a big part of health care and yet underrepresented in the national dialog about health.

Based in Memphis, TN, Dr. Polk provides her loyal patients a wide variety of services, including crowns, implants, root canals, bridges, and TMJ treatments. One of the ways she alleviates the fear and anxiety that keeps many patients away from the dental office is by administering safe, effective oral sedation, following guidelines set by the American Dental Association and in compliance with Tennessee dental regulations.

Sedation dentistry is good for the patients because they’re typically overcoming a serious fear, she explains. They’re furthering their health and typically can get long-standing issues resolved in [only] one or two appointments.

Dr. Polk took her initial DOCS Education oral sedation course more than a dozen years ago. Since then she has regularly attended advanced sedation and safety courses, as well as refresher classes.

The key to practicing sedation dentistry with the highest level of safety, Dr. Polk says, is always to pay attention to patients and keep the focus on them Listen to your patient and make sure you understand, she says. That partâ’s important. Not only are you instantly aware if something is wrong, you tend to forge relationships that are going to endure the test of time. It’s not just about short-term relationships.

Dr. Polk attended dental school at University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and graduated in 1998. Her practice is staffed with friendly and experienced team members and draws patients not just from Memphis, but from surrounding communities as well.

You can trust your smile with us, Dr. Polk writes on her website. Our promise to you is that the fillings, crowns, and bridges we create will look as good or better than the teeth nature gave you.

Relying on continuous training, development, and superior quality dental services, Dr. Polk aims to become one of the leading dental practices in Greater Memphis.

Based on the reviews of her peers and patients, she is well along the path. Writes one patient on a review site: “Best dentist I’ve ever been to. I hope she never closes. I don’t know what I’ll do.

Lucky for that patient, and all of Dr. Polk’s other satisfied patients, she is not planning on going anywhere in the near future.

The type of dedication that Dr. Polk shows to her patients, their safety, and her ongoing education, make her an obvious choice for our 2016 Sedation Safety Dentist of the Year.

Congratulations Dr. Polk.