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.
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?"
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.
I started my practice in Muscle Shoals in 1977. While not a native of the Shoals, I have chosen to live here and have committed myself to the area. My wife Lisa spends most of her time caring for our garden and animals. My older daughters, Amanda, Monica and Heather, have continued their lives in other cities after leaving the nest, and my youngest daughter, Isabella, attends The University of Alabama. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Alabama in 1967. This was followed by a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry Degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1971. Prior to coming to Muscle Shoals, I served six years in the U.S. Army Dental Corps, four of them in Germany.
On the subject of continuing education, I've always said that as a member of the American Dental Association, my staff and I routinely exceed the number of continuing education hours required annually. Far beyond these guidelines, I am committed to the special effort and considerable expense necessary to stay on the cutting edge of dentistry, both technically and managerially. Though not a popular topic, I have learned that the "business of dentistry" is inseparably linked to the "delivery of fine dentistry."
I believe that the success of my dental office can be attributed to my dedication to my preventively-oriented, relationship-based, and patient-centered philosophy. In judging the success of our office we feel that the health of our practice is determined by the health of our patients.? If you're already on the road to health and keeping your teeth for a lifetime, congratulations. Continue your journey with us. If not, then now may be the time to begin. We are ready when you are.
You can read more about me and my philosophy on my website listed here on my page. Or, you can call us at (256) 381-2100. Thank you.