Expanding Dental Services – Ben Geisler, DMD

It was 2008 and Ben Geisler, a recent graduate of Boston College, was unsure about his next move.

So, while living at home with his parents in Cortlandt Manor, he spent a year as a dental assistant at Open Door’s nearby Ossining site.

It proved to be time well spent.  Except for the years back in Boston to attend dental school at Boston University, he never left Open Door (which included spending summer vacations while in dental school and doing a one-year residency there).  Today, Dr. Geisler serves as dental site director in Ossining, where he practices general dentistry and oversees the patient care provided by a team of five dentists.  He balances this with one day a week at the Brewster site teaching dental residents.

That post-graduate year at Open Door, he says, solidified his decision both to become a dentist and to spend his career in community health.  While many of his fellow dental school graduates chose the greater financial rewards of private practice, Dr. Geisler saw the critical need for quality dental care among those less fortunate.  And working in a federally qualified health care center, he found, gave him an enormous sense of personal satisfaction.

“Private practice was not the life for me,” he says.  “I’ve found the people in community health care to be more appreciative.  They are very thankful.  While the focus at Open Door is on preventive care, there are also more emergency visits because those without insurance are more likely to avoid dental visits until they have pain.  We see many more acute cases than you would see in a private office.”

Dr. Geisler spent several years at Open Door working on a state-of-the-art mobile dental van that was parked outside school-based health centers at schools in Ossining and Port Chester.  He believes that the van, which was forced to cease operations during the pandemic, will resume service shortly.

“The kids enjoyed visiting the dentist while at school,” he says.  “The fear factor wasn’t there when they saw the dentist with their friends, rather than their parents.”

Plans call for an expansion of dental services at Open Door in Ossining, which presently has eight dental chairs.  This will further provide the much-needed dental care that he says is so essential to an underserved community.

“I love the day-to-day interactions,” says Dr. Geisler.  “We’re highly efficient and we work together very well as a family.  I feel we really make a difference.”

About Open Door Family Medical Center and Foundation
Open Door Family Medical Center provides health care and wellness programs to individuals and families in need throughout Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster Counties. A pioneer Federally Qualified Health Center, Open Door provides more than 300,000 patient visits annually and serves 63,000 individual patients who might not otherwise have access. Open Door offers integrated services and a holistic approach to building healthier communities. Primary medical care, dental care, integrated behavioral health care, clinical nutrition, wellness programs, and chronic disease management are the foundation of its clinical programs. Founded as a free clinic in 1972, Open Door’s mission of building healthier communities through accessible, equitable, culturally competent health care has led to site and service expansions. Today, Open Door operates centers in Brewster, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Ossining, Port Chester, and Sleepy Hollow, in addition to nine School-Based Health Centers in the Port Chester, Webutuck, and Ossining School Districts, a mobile dental van in Mount Kisco, and a dental practice in Saugerties, NY. Open Door is accredited by the Joint Commission and is recognized by the National Committee on Quality Assurance as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. Open Door achieves clinical results that consistently surpass national benchmarks for patient outcomes. For additional information, please contact Elisabeth Gilbert, Senior Director of Development, at 914-502-1417.

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