This is fundamental because if a dentist (or any medical professional) puts themselves up on a pedestal, no amount of awesome technology in their office can make up for this foundational mistake of the human ego.
We want you to find a dentist who recognizes that you (not the dentist) are the most important person involved with creating or destroying your own oral health. While it seems obvious, I’m sure many of us have stories where we have been in a dental office and felt small, uninformed and essentially helpless to make an educated decision.
I’ll give you an example…
We have a dream dentist. When I first met him in his office, he walked into the room, stuck out his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Steve” (not even Dr Steve). He then sat down and answered every single question I had.
There was never any sense of “Another question? turbine air compressor!? I have another patient waiting in the other room!” He patiently addressed every question I had and after we had exhausted my extensive list, he asked if I felt comfortable with him taking a look inside my mouth. He even seemed to appreciate the extensive questions I asked.
He met me on my level.
He didn’t ever make me feel uneducated or in any way provoked me to feel disempowered water picker. In fact, he would answer my questions at great length with increasing technical detail, all the while sensitive whether he was getting ‘over my head’ with the level of technical sophistication he used to answer my questions.
Rather than an “I know and you don’t” hierarchical/superior point of view, he met me where I was and together we walked forward. We are very grateful to have access to Dr Steve Hubert as one of our expert resources when we feel the need to pass an idea by an aware, honest dental professional.
They only work on one patient at a time
Now this one is going to be tougher to find and definitely falls into the ‘dream zone’ for a dentist, as it requires that the dentist has redefined their business model. You see, most dentists have bought into the mainstream dental business model that suggests having more than one patient in the office at a time.
Although a bit of a negative term, this model is like ‘rotating chairs’ or a ‘revolving door’ where the dentist hops from one patient to another while the dental assistant or hygienist does various other aspects of the patient’s treatment.
While we get that the office can see more patients this way, every time I’ve been the patient in that situation, I have never felt like my needs were being sufficiently addressed.
If you think about it, dentistry doesn’t have simple, ‘slam dunk’ procedures. Once a dentist opens up an area, they really don’t know what they are going to find in there or how long it’s going to take to restore it to their best ability.
So, back to our friend, Steve. He has redefined his business model. Most dentists bill for the number of fillings/procedures they do on your visit. Rather than bill ‘by the filling’, Steve bills for his time and materials.
Comparing the financial cost of a filling from Steve with another dentist, it would seem on the surface that Steve’s work is more expensive.
But is it really? He takes more time to prep a filling surface and apply the filling materials. Why?
Because he knows that if he takes awesome care of you, that filling will last you many times longer than a conventional filling placed at another office. By doing this, you are much more likely to refer other business to him.
(That’s not to say that there aren’t excellent dentists who can successfully juggle more than one patient at a time. We have simply come to really appreciate the personalized attention that any dentist can give when you are the only patient in their office.)
Let’s keep in mind the real cost… The cost in the amount of tissue loss in your mouth.
Yes, money is important, but once tissue is removed from a tooth, it’s gone forever. By only working on one patient at a time and billing for time rather than by the filling, a dream dentist can do the very best job and remove the least amount of tissue necessary to optimally take care of our dental needs. dental handpiece