Why my dental practice is the way it is:
My slogan at the practice is Dentistry with Care. That is designed to reflect how I want my office to help people. The most significant thing that I can give patients is my time and CARE. I want their experience to be better than the experiences that I had when I was young. This quest for me has been for over 30 years now to try to give patients that come to see us the kind of experience at the dentist that I would like to have myself.
I was in pain with the way my dentist gave injections, and they weren’t effective at making my lower teeth numb. So, I give injections slowly and carefully and encourage my patients to give me feedback if they’re uncomfortable. I also took classes and learned additional nerve block techniques and have purchased special syringes to work at getting even the most stubborn teeth numb. It takes time and is more costly to do, but it is how I would want to be treated, so it is what we do.
I was hurt when my dentist tried to work on me. When they tried to drill on me I would get jolts of absolutely intolerable pain. It was obvious to me that he didn’t really care about the pain, didn’t know how to fix it and that I was being annoying to him and the staff, as I was having a problem keeping still and ruining their schedule. This happened to me about six times or so and ended up leaving me with a lot of residual anxiety about going to the dentist. In creating my dental practice I wanted to create a place where patients like me can go to have the kind of treatment that I would want myself. So I spent a fair amount of time and investing money into creating a place where my office can manage patients like myself. I hope that this comes through if you decide to use us to take care of you. First, I have private rooms and walls at the office for a reason. If I’m anxious about an injection or procedure I really don’t want somebody else witnessing that thank you, so you won’t either—we have walls. I never liked just sitting in that chair and counting the ceiling tiles while listening to the drill, that I came to fear. So, I bought headphones and televisions on expanding arms so that there is noise blockade and you have something else to do than sit there and focus on us. The distraction helps.
I still have the memory of the old painful experiences ingrained in my mind. Enough so that going to the dentist for me is still extremely nerve racking. I can’t seem to get over that feeling that something awful is about to happen at any second. When I have dental procedures done I have sedation done to minimize the anxiety about the procedure. So to take care of patients like me, I have trained for years in sedation and have invested a lot of time and money into equipment to provide nitrous oxide, oral sedation and Intravenous sedation (only 4% of general dentists provide this service). Also, I sometimes bring an anesthesiologist into the office and have them provide a similar service to going to sleep for an operation in the hospital. The goal is that no matter how tense our patients are about a procedure we can tailor a method for them, be it minor or strong, to manage that tension about having the procedure done. That feeling of dread can be eliminated. We can handle it, no matter how great it is.
Quality of work performed: My fillings in my teeth didn’t last and I came to find out that the crowns done in that practice, on my parents were not done very well either. They didn’t fit the teeth very well and this led to early failures and a lot of work that needed re-done. What I want when I go to the dentist is the best that can be done as I really don’t want to be there in the first place and I want to be there to have it re-done even less. I do not want assembly line type, mediocre to poor technical quality work, that fails early. That has driven the technical training and substantial investment that I have made in training in comprehensive care. I have taken courses in reconstructive and comprehensive care since the early 90’s. I have trained at the Kois Center and am a Clinical Instructor there as I believe that it offered the most advanced post-doctoral curriculum available. I use Kois Center partner Dental Laboratories, as the fit and esthetics of the work that they produce is far above any that I have ever seen. I have equipment and training to take care of almost all procedures with-in the walls of my office. But more than anything else I take the time to sit down and work at really trying to get it right. All of this is designed to provide the very best of care in all facets of what we do. It takes a lot more time and care and cost but again it is what I want when I go to a dentist.
So this is why our practice is designed the way it is. We are not a “discount practice”, as I know that I am not going to be able to be a comfortable patient in that type of dental facility where they don’t have time for personal attention and attention to technical excellence. I would be a comfortable patient in my practice and that has been our driving force since 1990.