A relatively slow day today….
Today, I had a patient return to my practice after leaving back in 2008. She said, “I foolishly looked at just the money and went to another office. That was a big mistake.” I won’t repeat the nickname by which she referred to the other dentist! Back in 2008, at her only visit with me (as a new patient), I had treatment planned a few restorative procedures. She went somewhere cheaper. Oddly enough, her husband, father-in-law, and mother-in-law continued as patients. Now she’s back complaining of sensitivity in the restorations done by the other office. She’s back, and she has asked that I do whatever I think is necessary to help her have a healthy, pain-free mouth. At your service! :-) New treatment plan: five crowns, one implant, a few posterior composites, and an NTI night guard.
At any rate, it’s nice to get that occasional reassurance that we’re doing something right, isn’t it? When a patient leaves our practice because of a change in “insurance,” or that we’re “too expensive,” we have a few choices on how we react. We may just shrug our shoulders and think, “Next!” We could try to stammer out a justification for our higher fees. Or we may pat ourselves on the back and say, “She’ll be back (after she experiences what else is out there).” Or we may start to get introspective and wonder if we’re NOT doing something (or everything) right.
And, I’ve been through all those emotional reactions at one time or another. Ultimately, I think it’s imperative that you are confident in your abilities and the VALUE of your services. And, accordingly, so should your team. You MUST believe in what you do, how you do it, and what fees you charge for doing it. You must also realize that your practice cannot possibly appeal to everyone. So, when this happens now, I understand that not every patient will find my practice suitable for them. And, some of them DO come back.
Know who you are. Know what you stand for. Be even a proud contrarian if you are an outlier. Stick to your guns, Dental Warriors!
Another affirmation of my purpose and achievement in my daily practice happened today. I removed the braces from one of my Six Month Smiles short term ortho patients. His case was a very dramatic one. When he sat in the chair today, he said, “This is the greatest day in my life.” And, that’s fairly profound considering he wasn’t being facetious. He was serious.
When I finished removing the residual bracket cement, I sat him up and handed him a mirror. In his other hand I placed the pre-op model of his very crooked teeth. He looked in the mirror and said, “Holy shit!” A direct quote. He is SO happy! And, later I’ll update this post with some quick before & after photos. You’ll see why his proclamation of it being the greatest day was not far-fetched or an exaggeration. OK.. here they are!
Life-changing cosmetic dentistry is simply a blast. Life is too short not to enjoy what you spend most days doing. Choose to love your work, Dental Warriors!