Doctors….Help Us Understand!
Like a main artery running through the body, there is a swath of dentists who seem to prefer to NOT treat. Even those who hire professionals to help their offices and hygienists learn to provide comprehensive dental assessments find themselves falling back into the “let’s watch it” mode. I have been asked to “Put it out there” by a frustrated office manager.
Fresh on my mind is yesterday’s call from a front office lady who, each month, is asked why their numbers so low. His hygienist had come to her exasperated and said, “After all of the training we have invested in, Doctor said, “if the tooth isn’t hurting, let’s wait” She then proceeded to show her an intra oral photo of a lower bicuspid with an old leaking, cracked amalgam, separated from the lingual cusp with two fracture lines which disappeared into the gum line. LETS WAIT???
This is the same doctor who called our offices, frustrated and asking if we could help him with some hygiene and office training. He was ready to make a change, because he was barely making ends meet and needed to take some steps to correct this. His team did extremely well and were integrating the training right out of the gate.
Rewind to last week. A hygienist called my office in the same exasperated frame of mind. She said, “I had my patient prepared to schedule $10,000 in restorative dentistry and doctor came in and said, “Let’s get this preauthorized”. One can imagine her frustration when dealing with these roadblocks.
So here are two examples of the scroll’s worth of examples I can give. So I have been asked to go directly to the source. The first dentist told his front desk lady he didn’t want to seem like one of those “factory” dentists! The second one told his hygienist “it is hard for the front desk to deal with the patient when the insurance doesn’t pay their percentage and then we have to chase it down”
This we know: When the bicuspid decides to fall apart, it may be beyond saving. And when insurance is submitted for $10,000 worth of dentistry, it will pay no more than its maximum contribution. Period. Why are we allowing these knowns to prevent us from providing our patients with the care they need and deserve? Why are you willing to have a dental business that sputters along month to month? Help your exasperated teams understand…
This breeds generations of “chat & polish” hygienists, lackadaisical teams and patched up patients.