Practicing Dentistry As It Should Be

Do you remember when your family physician would visit your home with his or her little black bag, stethoscope around the neck, visiting in the late hours of the night to take care of you? A families doctor used to be a family friend, not just a doctor. The doc would know your kids’ names and what was going on in the family. He or she would spend the time necessary to really take care of you and get to know you. Getting to know you actually used to be an important part of taking care of you. Where did that type of medicine go? This beautiful medical service has shifted to a bloated, insurance driven, not-enough-time-to-chat mammoth of a problem.

Well…why is a dentist talking about this? Because dentistry is becoming the same thing. What used to be a beautiful, small private practice service industry, has now become an impersonal, large multi-doctor, insurance driven, and very expensive commodity business. Patients have become a means to paying off terribly high student loans and expensive offices and equipment. The future of my dental profession isn’t looking pretty. I think you know what I’m talking about.

We as dentists have done a disservice to you, the patient. Our mentality of treating our patients like our family has been erased by a mentality of seeing patients as a means for profits and luxury. Much of the dentistry done today doesn’t need to be done, but it is because insurance covers it. How do I know this? Because I used to practice this way, and I go to the dental meetings and talk with the local dentists as well as other dentists around the country and world. This is my profession- it’s my experience. But this experience has woken me up and I’ve changed the way I think and practice. I treat my patients based on THEIR needs, not mine, while not allowing a disinterested insurance company to dictate their diagnosis and treatment.

Why am I writing this? Because it’s up to us dentists to help shift the dental culture we’ve created, and get back to putting first, truly putting first, the interests and needs of our patients. Dentistry has been turned on its head and it’s up to us dentists to turn it back right.

We live in an AMAZING time of medical technological advancement! What we know now is going to help us cure dental diseases, I’m confident of that. But during dental disease creates a little conflict of interest for us dentists, right? That’s not how I see it. We are learning more and more about how the mouth is the gateway to the body, or how oral health affects our whole body health. I see us becoming a more integral part of comprehensive health care in the future. Did you know that bacteria from cavities and gum disease are also found in the blood clots that cause heart attacks and strokes? Did you know that a diabetic that takes care of their mouth has an easier time managing their diabetes? Did you know that braces can GREATLY decrease your risk for sleep apnea? We are at a very exciting time. And too many dentists just have their heads down drilling and filling away. Advanced dental education, far beyond what you get at dental school, helps me connect the dots and gives me the tools and training I need to advance with the changing technology and paradigm. We can turn dentistry back right again by helping our patients know that their mouth is directly linked to their body.

In our office we feel dentistry is practiced as it should be. You, the patient, are the focus. Yes we take insurance, but we don’t allow the insurance company to dictate your diagnosis or treatment. Disease dictates diagnosis, and the patient dictates whether or not to undergo treatment. Your authority to choose for yourself the best course of action is paramount to your health. We don’t hijack that authority. We view ourselves as friends that, if asked, can help you make decisions. I, as the doctor, am the referee- I call it as I see it. The ball is then in your court to decide how to proceed. I don’t employee pushy front desk personnel whose only job is to “close the deal.” You’ll never leave our office without knowing how much something is going to cost. And we spend the time needed to answer your questions about the treatment options you have.

We take all insurance. Most of our patients have some form for a dental benefit. But because I’m not a contracted dentist for most plans, the insurance can’t tell me or you what to do. PPO plans will still pay your entire yearly dental benefit, even if I’m not on the contracted list of dentists. Again, most of our patients use their dental benefit with us. But our goal is for you to not have to use your dental benefit, other than for routine cleanings and exams. So many patients are tired to having fillings done every year and crowns done every five years. They tired of root canals, extractions, and implants. I would be too. We feel we have the answers to get our patients healthy and stay healthy. That’s empowering to both you and me.

At our office you’ll feel a difference because our mentality has shifted back to where it should be- to the patient. Honesty, integrity, gentleness, and kindness is our mantra here. You’ll be greeted with a beautifully warm smile, and leave with your questions answered, empowered to make choices based on your needs and timing. Come see us!

Dr. Taylor

Speak Your Mind

*

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT:406.652.9204