Our office philosophy is a result of the way I was taught. A treatment plan is written out after a thorough exam, full series of radiographs, and prophylaxis. (Of course, if a patient presents due to an emergency, this is treated first.) A consultation is scheduled with the patient except for minor procedures which informs what will be done, how long it will take, and approximate fee. Restorative is accomplished as I was instructed. Injections are done slowly and very carefully as described by a world renowned dentist, Dr. Cliff Sturdevant. Rubber dams are placed for “everything;” we can use it to protect the patient and increase longevity of dentistry by many years. We continue to use a lot of gold, porcelain fused to gold, and all-ceramic, tooth-colored materials fabricated under a microscope.
Patients are pampered during treatment using pillows, warm blankets, hot water bottles, milkshakes, and soup baskets to take home, which are prepared by a member of the staff following extensive dentistry on a given day. It is not uncommon for us to see someone for an entire day. Nighty-eight percent of all teeth are built-up using amalgam or composite to provide proper retention/resistance form prior to crowning. No crown in our office has been cemented aware of using non-precious metals. When a dentist delivers a filling, crown, or bridge, knowingly leaving caries or creating an improper fit, he or she is just as guilty of stealing money from that patient as if they had removed it from the patient’s wallet – maybe more so due to health detriment.
Most people trust the healthcare providers who serve them, even in this cynical age, and dentists are still among the most trusted of professionals. The principal realities of dental practice remain what they have always been: that dentists have the knowledge and skill needed to serve their patients’ oral health needs and are professionally committed to acting by a certain set of standards to use this expertise properly.
A wood sign, nicely constructed and lettered, in our office states, “The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” This quote came from Dr. Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia. Spiritual issues were the object of the statement, but can certainly be transferred to dentistry or any other profession.