Catherine A. Hebert, Endodontics
My Toughest Case: Patients with Medical Issues
Craig Mulcahy Photographs
Dim lighting, soft music, water fountains, aromatherapy – walking into the office of Dr. Catherine A. Hebert feels more like you’re going in for a massage than a root canal.
“Most of the patients that come in are very anxious,” Hebert says. “So we’ve created a very spa-like environment.”
Patients are first greeted at the Endodontic Center in Mandeville with a cup of tea to help calm the nerves. Before any procedure, they’re offered a blanket and pillow and even headphones, anything to help put them at ease.
Hebert is all about catering to the patient – a job she began at the tender age of 12 while working in Lake Charles as an assistant for her father, the first board-certified orthodontist in Louisiana.
“My job was to seat the patient, get them a cup of water and put the napkin around their neck,” laughed Hebert.
Hebert grew up to follow in her father’s dental footprints, becoming an endodontist.
“An endodontist is basically a root canal specialist,” she says. “We deal with tooth infections and inflammations, problems associated with the inside of the tooth.”
Thanks to Hebert’s extensive training in sedation, hospital and implant dentistry, she often gets the tough cases.
“I commonly work with medically compromised patients,” Hebert says. “For instance, I’m treating someone now who has a rare condition called Methemoglobinemia.”
This particular patient was referred to Hebert from central Florida because their blood disorder means they cannot have any local anesthetic.
“I’m going to have to take the patient to the operating room to do the root canal and multiple fillings,” Hebert explains.
A Louisiana girl through and through, Hebert honors her Cajun heritage by sharing her love of cooking with her patients.
“My whole life people around me have enjoyed cooking and so of course I do too,” she says. It’s so much fun to share this passion with my patients, and they share it with me too,” Hebert says, noting that one of her patients recently brought her a cookbook to add to her collection. “It’s a book of Creole crockpot recipes called In a While Crockodile. I just love it!”
Hebert doesn’t just share recipes with her patients; she cooks for them as well. Before any patient leaves the Endodontic Center they’re offered the choice of either a minestrone soup or a protein shake.
“It’s just a little something to get them started with a soft diet that’s conducive to the healing process,” Hebert says. “Of course I’m happy to share recipes for great, healthy soft meals. Most, of course, with that great New Orleans style.”
4600 Highway 22, Suite 4, Mandeville
33 years practicing as a dentist;
B.S. from McNeese State University
DDS from Louisiana State University School of Dentistry
Native of Lake Charles