Prevention I tell every patient that "I'm more interested in them learning to care for themselves and in keeping their teeth for a life-time, than I am in fixing their teeth." …. and I ask "are they interested in becoming healthy, inexpensively?" Dentistry has been on the wrong path for a long time. The government and insurance companies compound the problem when they pay only for repair; and nothing for prevention. There is not enough time or money to get back in control, if we don't start creating relationships to effect the lives and health of patients dependent on our care….and our caring. The dental practice should be truly preventively-oriented. If your preventive approach does not truly come from your heart, you can expect underwhelming results. You can't sell an idea to anybody unless you truly believe in it yourself. The Patient Our practice really is all about the patient. The patient is the reason we exist. It amazes me how most dentists haven't figured this out, and probably never will. Those offices are typically talking patients into treatment. Our new patient exam is designed to revolve around you. We as doctors have learned we must be genuine, open, non-manipulative, and without any agenda to push or sell you anything. We accept you as you are, and respect your values and opinions, and we will try to listen intently to what your hopes and desires are for your mouth. In trying to be very empathetic, a climate of trust results that promotes intelligent thinking and fosters good decision-making. We strive to be viewed as a trusted advisor so we can move forward together, making wise decisions. My mother told me that "the Lord gave me two ears and one mouth for a reason." I must learn what you, the patient, wants. I regularly say "I can educate and teach you many things, and perhaps even sell you a fair amount of dentistry….but if it's not in a perspective of where you're going, it isn't so meaningful. What would you really like to have?" Relationships An obvious measure of the health of your practice would be the health of your patients, but the health of the relationship with your patients may be even more important than the health of your patients; because of if you fail to establish, or worse yet, violate that relationship, the patient will not let you treat them even if you're one of the finest dentists in the community. Many dentists have not made relationships with patients a priority, because you can repair teeth without relating. To create health requires a relationship, to treat disease does not. As you decide in your mind and your heart that you are safe in our hands, a relationship will blossom and grow, leading to trust which is an essential trait in creating the "people taking care of people" practice.Read more
I started my practice in Muscle Shoals in 1977. While not a native of the...Read more
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