Source: News-Journal, November 9, 2011
Croner Enjoys 35 Years of Dentistry in North
By Briana Bass, News Journal Intern
Dr. Daniel Croner is celebrating 35 years of dentistry in North Manchester.
Originally from the region, Croner attended dental school in Indianapolis. Living near or in larger cities had its perks, like the civic theatre to which Croner and his wife Marsha belonged. Settling permanently in a large city, however, was not what the couple wanted. "I didn't want to live in a big city," Croner said. "We really enjoy the outdoors and wanted a smaller community. We were tired of city life."
Just before graduating from dental school, Croner began looking for somewhere to establish his practice. "I met some people in Wabash who said they were looking for a dentist in North Manchester, " Croner said. That was in 1976. 35 years later, Croner remains a member of the North Manchester community.
"One reason we chose North Manchester is we heard it didn't change very quickly," Croner said. "I grew up in St. John, which was gobbled up by suburbia. I was looking for a place things didn't change so rapidly."
One are of Croner's life that has experienced change is dentistry. "Back in the 1970s dentistry was a cottage industry," Croner said. "Now kids come out of dental school with debt and it's so competitive. There's more business associated with it than there was when I came out of school. Now we have corporations solely focused on the bottom line."
Croner says that what makes his practice different from those being established today is the focus on the patient. "We're kind of a throwback," he said. "I think it's safe to say there's a conflict between the business end of dentistry and the health care end. We feel comfortable being 'old school.' We work with the patient. We educate the patient, do a good job diagnosing them and explaining their options. Then we let them decide what they want to do."
One of the biggest challenges Croner faces is how quickly and often information changes. "I'm reading journals and taking classes trying to keep up," he said. "I want to be aware and know what is possible."
Croner's relationship with his patients is not limited to providing information. He works with patients to establish a plan of action. "I work for the patient," he said. "Patients should be their own advocates. Don't settle. Ask questions. We figure out the problem and what the patient wants and needs and we help accomplish that goal."
As Croner prepares for many more years in North Manchester he reflects on how he has reacted to the changes in his profession. "Health sciences have changed," he said. "You have to think outside th box. We're taught to treat the patient to optimum health but most people only want a certain aspect. I learn what the patient wants and I keep them healthy. It may not be optimum but it may work just as good for them."