March 16, 2010
It used to be that comforts in a dental office were few and far between. Thankfully, that
has changed. Gone is the cold, sterile environment with drills buzzing in the background,
muffled only by perhaps some elevator music. We now have televisions with DVD players
in our treatment rooms, and have since 1998. This provides a distraction to patients and
improves their overall comfort and well being. Perhaps more importantly, we provide
almost painless dentistry by providing Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), IV sedation and
the Wand. The Wand is an instrument that allows for comfortable novacaine administration,
and is usually painless. Patients love it. Another huge step forward, is that we can eliminate
the many appointments necessary for a crown. We provide CAD-CAM crowns that can
complete the job in just one visit. Amazingly, teeth can be moved without braces through
a system called Invisalign. As you can see, dentistry has ultimately become less painful
and more predictable, with a greater emphasis on patient comfort.
Oddly, some dental practices have taken patient services in a bizarre direction (i.e.
providing pedicures, paraffin waxes, fresh baked bread and cookies). This can
confuse the question of what you really want from your dentist. Great customer service
is a term overused today. It means different things to different people. My team
interprets customer service as doing exactly what we say we are going to do, and
treating patients with the caring, honesty and consistency with which we would like
to be treated.
I am concerned that some of these over-the-top ideas, often promoted by “institutes
and marketing groups could be perceived by the general population as a lack of sincere
focus in dentistry as a whole. In my practice, we focus everything we have on providing
the best dental care and attention to detail as possible, Ultimately, I believe quality of
care and service is best expressed by demonstrating it- rather than just saying it, or
pretending to be something we are not (i.e. a spa or bakery).
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