CommunicationPractice Management

On Providing a Fix vs an Experience: Part 1

What makes dental care a valued investment versus a fix patients choose begrudgingly? 

One morning I had an automobile breakdown in my “beater” weekend truck. We have all been there – filled with the inconvenience and anxiety of dealing with a problem that came up unexpectedly. I was hoping to find a place that could get me home that day.

I googled around until I found a reasonable looking repair shop close to the breakdown. They worked me into their schedule so I could get the old truck back on the road. It was pleasing to have the problem fixed, at least for that day, but I measured this against how I have experienced service at the shop that takes care of my daily driver car.

Dental Service Emergency vs Dental Relationship

There were many aspects of the breakdown with my old pickup truck that reminded me of a dental emergency. I found someone convenient and they had the best intentions to provide a fix.

It was a shop I didn’t have a relationship with. They were kind and helpful, but there were so many things missing that would have been unlikely to happen if I treated my old truck like I do the car I have been so much more diligent in taking care of.

The shop focused on the problem that was presented to them, not looking beyond a simple fix to get me back on the road. While I was appreciative, it is very unlikely that the next problem (or even the true cause of this one) was looked for. I did not leave with any feeling that I wouldn’t be in a similar situation as soon as the next problem arose.

I reflected on the years I have spent with the auto shop that takes care of my primary car. I have a valued relationship with them. They know me and know that I appreciate them taking the best care of the investment I have in the vehicle I drive every day.

When I take my car to an appointment, they look over everything. They tell me when to expect maintenance and repairs in the near future and throughout the life of the vehicle. I trust them and know that they have my best interest in mind. In return, I am very appreciative, expressing gratitude when I write them a check for their services. I have never broken down in the cars they take care of for me.

To be continued …

Will Kelly DMD

Dr. Will Kelly attended the North Carolina State University School of Design and received a BA in Communications. He went on to spend two additional years in post baccalaureate studies in Medical Sciences at both UNC Chapel Hill and Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Kelly graduated from the top ranked UNC School of Dentistry in 2004. His good hands and clinical abilities led to his being chosen as a teaching assistant to underclassmen in operative dentistry. In addition to clinical time in the dental school, Dr. Kelly had valuable experiences working in both the Durham VA Hospital and for the Indian Health Service in Wyoming. As a child, Dr. Kelly had the opportunity to assist his father on several dental mission trips in Haiti. After completing dental school, Dr. Kelly joined his father in private practice and served on the dental staff at Gaston Family Health Services, where he maintained a position on the board of directors. At this time Dr. Kelly also began his studies in advanced dentistry at the prestigious Pankey Institute in Miami, a continuing journey of learning that has shaped his philosophy and knowledge of the complexities of high-level dentistry. Today Dr. Kelly devotes over 100 hours a year studying with colleagues and mentors who are regarded as "Masters of Dentistry".

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