Twenty years ago, they laughed and quietly called him “Dr. Patch Adams” when he was outside of earshot. He was as predictable as the morning sun.
He kept his eye on so much dentistry and disease that his patients mouths were abysmal, not to mention the effects on their overall health.
We knew the minute a patient brought up a rough spot on a big filling or a brown spot from a little bit of decay , or sensitivity from the brown along their crown margin he could repair it and it “wouldn’t cost very much”. And boy did the patients love him.
He never had the money to upgrade his office. He drove an old Subaru and feared the day his children were of college age. “Don’t know how I’m gonna swing that one!”, he would say, as he patched another crown margin. The man could un-sell anything his team recommended leaving them both exasperated and deflated.
One would like to assume that in today’s world this doesn’t happen. With all of the technologies at our fingertips and the knowledge base of clinical teams it is safe to say this type of dentistry is not OK. Yet it happens. Still.
But for just a moment, let’s stop and ask ourselves when or why we give options at all? Wouldn’t you want the best dentistry in your own mouth?
Or in the mouths of your loved ones? Wouldn’t you want to be given the option of the best dentistry rather than someone assuming your biggest
concern is saving money? Don’t you deserve to be able to ask the question, “Are there any other options Doctor” if you want to know?
Share with your entire team…write these down and stick them on the wall in the break room:
Don’t assume what is in someone’s wallet. Simply because it sounds expensive is not an excuse to omit best treatment option.
You’re not delivering bad news. You are providing your patients with the information they are paying and trusting you to provide.
Don’t diminish the situation. If the tooth needs a crown…say it. If the patient has periodontal disease…say it. That is why the patient is in the dental chair.
Band Aids may be inexpensive, but they sure don’t last very long.
Think of it this way…When the patient’s teeth are held together with patches and Band Aids, so is the health of your dental business.
Set a goal to stop watching and patching and start treating your patients with the dentistry they need and deserve.
Watch for my next blog, “The Dental Law of Diminishing Returns”
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