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Not Your Typical Endodontist

How Dr. Brian Hall is Breaking Down the Stigma of Root Canals

Article by Arliss Veldhuizen

Photography by Empire Photography

Originally published in Frederick Lifestyle

If you’re like most people, when you think "root canal," you likely imagine a dreadfully painful procedure which you can hardly sit still through. That’s just what Dr. Brian D. Hall is on mission to change.

A Frederick native, Dr. Hall earned his doctorate from the University of Maryland Dental School, where he also completed his residency with a specialty in endodontics. He then opened his own practice in 2002, and soon after received a call from Dr. Mayhew.  “What are you doing with your patients?” he asked. Hall was understandably confused, but there was nothing wrong. In fact, it was quite the opposite. When his patients returned after having their root canals performed by Dr. Hall, they couldn’t stop raving about the experience. “...that question kind of steamed me. I said, okay, what am I doing? What is it that sets me apart?” he shared. After pondering the question, he realized that he was just being–well, himself.

Having always been a people person, Dr. Hall's natural knack for connecting with people was helping him ease patients through the stigmatized procedure. “It was the positivity that I was able to express towards the patient…” Hall explained. “...As soon as I walk in the room, I don’t talk about teeth. I just have a conversation…It breaks a little bit of a barrier and just makes them feel a little more comfortable by getting to know me–that I’m not this robot person who’s going to do this procedure. I’m actually just like them.” 

Continuing to lean into this strength to better calm his patients’ nerves, his business was thriving. But on May 2nd of 2009, things took a sudden and scary turn. A drunk driver lost control of his truck and drove into Dr. Hall's office. While it was quite a disaster, it turned out to be a catalyst that led Dr. Hall to his current location where he transformed his brand into what he's known for today.

“Realistically, I never would've moved my office if it weren’t for that life debacle happening.” Dr. Hall shared. “The lemonade out of lemons that you make with that is just that; that awful time allowed me to move here and to create this motif, which has become such a brand for me.” 

And it truly has. Nowadays, if you hear someone mention “the rock and roll dentist," they’re most definitely speaking of Dr. Hall. 

Though he comes from a family of professionals in various scientific fields, they are musically oriented as well. In fact, he, his brother and his father put together a garage band, and unexpectedly found themselves playing three to four months a summer for a few years. As he prepared to move into his new office, he realized that this love and passion for music might have a role in his business. 

Dr. Hall was determined to continue leaning into his strengths and passions to change his patients’ negative expectations. “...My thing is to take something that is so negative and throw it into a positive light, because positivity begets more positivity.” he said. While he knew he could help people relax by just interacting with them in the office, he wanted to change their mindset even before they even got to him. This is where the environment of his new office space would really shine.

One day as he sat in a local chain restaurant, he found himself entranced as he scanned their walls decked with a variety of antique objects and decor. He had the same experience in the Hard Rock Cafe, and his idea was set in motion. “There’s that saying: music soothes the soul. And when you look at music, there are studies out there that show the positive physiology and benefits that music has…” he shared. And so, in his own unique way, Dr. Hall set out to create a similar atmosphere in his new space with the goal of helping his patients forget the reluctance they felt about their trip to the endodontist.

Today, Dr. Hall’s office has just the effect he had hoped it would. Decked with his personally-curated collection of music memorabilia, from a “recording” to autographed guitars, it does not look like your average dental practice.

“I’ve had people walk in, take a step back out, and look at the name on the door to make sure that they’re in the right place.” Hall said.

It certainly has a calming effect, and it works in perfect combination with his friendly, laid-back personality and incredible skill. 

A root canal is a big deal, but thanks to Dr. Hall, it doesn’t have to be scary–nor does it have to be painful. Should you ever find yourself in need of a root canal, you know where to go! You’ll walk away with a great experience, healthier teeth, and probably a new friend. brianhall.com

“My thing is to take something that is so negative and throw it into a positive light, because positivity begets more positivity.” Dr. Brian D. Hall

“There’s that saying: music soothes the soul. And when you look at music, there are studies out there that show the positive physiology and benefits that music has…” Dr. Brian D. Hall

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