I have spent the last 27 years developing my abilities to restore patients to the dental health they desire. One of my favorite aspects of dentistry is creating a customized plan to help patients achieve their dental health goals, and I do this by hearing each patient’s story, so I not only see the care they need but know the person that needs it. I look forward to that challenge with every patient I see.
Let me share with you my routine for setting the stage at every dental visit for a successful interaction. As I come into the room, the patient is sitting up in the dental chair, and I sit down in front of them knee to knee. Then I say, “Tell me how you feel about today’s appointment,” or “Tell me what questions you have about what we are doing today.”
This does two things:
- It sets the stage for “I am here for you as your friend and doctor.”
- It prepares me to be present with them. I get to hear where they are before we start that appointment.
Once we establish what they are thinking and feeling, I ask their permission to lean back the chair. It signals that I am ready to initiate the procedure.
This routine gives them comfort, and when the procedure is done, I can sit them up and basically go through the same two questions: “How do you feel about today’s appointment? What questions do you have moving forward?”
Before and after every procedure, there is intentional time in which we are in relationship. I have found this to be very beneficial in how we move forward with patients. A very small amount of time and intention helps optimize each patient’s time with me, and I believe is a key to the success of my practice.