They Love Your Smile

West Long Branch dentist opens her heart to the community

Imagine for a second that you’re 6-years-old, and you’re going to the dentist for the first time. Maybe you’re a little anxious, scared even.

You walk in with mom or dad, or whoever is there for you. You get in that big chair and you see the tray with all of the instruments on it. Some of them look sharp. There are devices with hoses on the end, too, and you’re thinking: What is all of that?

Then, the Pink Power Ranger walks in and everything changes. The mood lightens, and you might even crack a smile, which is exactly what Dr. Isabel Bastos wants to see.

“Nobody likes to come to the dentist,” Dr. Bastos said with a laugh. “We try to keep it as fun as possible while also keeping things as professional as possible.”

Now, just to be clear, every day isn’t a “character cleaning” at West Long Branch Dental. But that was the scene last February when Dr. Bastos and her staff participated in Give Kids A Smile Month, a free program that’s backed by the American Dental Association and has been embraced by Dr. Bastos. Oh, and Spider-Man was there, too.

"We do it to give back to the community,” she said. “There are a lot of kids that don't have access to dental care for multiple reasons."

The initiative was launched in 2002 by two St. Louis, Missouri, dentists and now has nearly 6,500 dentists participating nationwide, including at West Long Branch Dental, where they will host their Give Kids a Smile event on Feb. 2. 

“The procedures vary,” she said when describing what clients who register can expect. “We try to do what is the most urgent.”

The program is the kind of thing that Dr. Bastos had in mind when she opened her own office. “I felt like I could do more,” she said. It’s exactly what she did.

She studied in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and also at Rutgers, earning D.M.D. degrees in each country. She spent eight years at Monmouth Medical Family Health Center before opening her own practice at 879 Broadway, where patients of all ages are welcome. She takes a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care, and has curated a staff that is well-suited to serve a diverse community; several staff members are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, including Dr. Bastos herself. And the atmosphere is professional, but not stuffy. They have a vibrant Instagram page (@westlongbranchdental) that captures the overall vibe.

That thoughtfulness is at the center of the overall experience Dr. Bastos and her team try to deliver for patients, especially when it comes to the apprehension many people feel when it comes to visiting the dentist.

“I try to find out where that fear or anxiety is coming from, if they've had a bad experience before,” she said. “I try to work them through the entire procedure to make sure that nothing is a surprise. I always make sure people are comfortable before we do anything. I think the anxiety comes from people feeling like they're not in control.”

With an approach like that, who could say that they don't like going to the dentist?

West Long Branch Dental is located at 879 Broadway in West Long Branch. Call 732-795-6868 or visit You can follow them on Instagram @westlongbranchdental.

"We try to keep it as fun as possible"

Related Businesses

Bennett Eye Institute


Bennett Eye Institute

Kailua Kona, HI

Our mission is to help you enjoy life to the fullest by protecting, preserving and restoring the most precious gift-the gift...

Duben Holistic Chiropractic Center


Duben Holistic Chiropractic Center

Westlake Village, CA

Here at Duben Holistic Chiropractic Center, our chiropractors can treat auto accident injuries, workplace injuries, sports...

See More

Related Articles

See More