Many of you out there apparently have Amazing Spidey-senses.
It is sad and shocking how often people come in and have their suspicions confirmed that maybe the treatment they were being offered, sold or even ‘pushed-on’ them wasn’t really what they needed or, more importantly, WANTED.
I take great solace and sanctuary in the idea that as a dentist it is not my place to tell someone what they have to get done. My job is to listen, examine and get to understand each patient’s unique dental situation and then impart the pertinent wisdom upon them.
Ultimately, this will come to explaining what their options are with the associated advantages, liabilities, time and costs necessary to achieve the objectives.
And then we stop, listen and answer questions again.
So, what am I hearing from patients that made them question the dentists they were seeing before.
Triggers frequently will be told that they have to get older work redone without really saying anything that might be wrong with the fillings or crowns that they have. This is a big red flag.
In my opinion, a crown or filling that has been around for a few years is proving itself to be a winner most often. Certainly, if there is decay around it, it is severely worn or broken there is a good reason to replace it. Unfortunately, too often we have people come in here and have us examine them (sometimes with NO backstory for context) and we find nothing wrong with them.
Most of us are pretty good at determining when we are being “Sold” something. It can come in subtle or more outrageous forms.
One of the worst examples of this was when our team when to a “Team Building” retreat, designed to make the office run more smoothly, with less stress and there was even a promise of increasing production in the office.
We took the bait and then realized what we were getting ourselves into with their system.
Whereas, there were some vital gems to be found; most of the effort was focused on effective sales techniques.
OK, we run a business and to make sure that we are running it effectively is important. I get that.
But, when the presenter said that “No” didn’t mean ‘no’, until they’ve said it 15 times in response to a dental treatment plan proposal, we just started packing our things. We knew that the landscape was changing in dentistry.
During my career, Gallup polls have had dentists fall from the top professionals in integrity to the bottom quartile.
This saddens and infuriates me.
So, how do you know if you are being overtreated and sold excessive treatment.
Don’t be afraid to be shown things on X-rays and have them explained to you. It is true, however, that only about a third of cavities will have a true, discernable radiographic representation.
Most of the other cavities will either be able to be seen with direct vision or felt with a dental instrument that will ‘fall’ into the cavity. All dental offices that are equipped with the most current technology have scanners that should take very high-resolution images that can let you see every tooth from about every angle. Once again, don’t be afraid to ask.
Most importantly, trust that you are part super-hero and trust your instincts. There are many of us ethical dentists in bryn mawr out there that care about you and want you to be partners in deciding what work you would like to, OR NOT TO get done.
I would like to offer my services for anyone looking for a comprehensive exam and discussion about potential dental work in a no-pressure, warm environment.
Just call Joanne at Dillon Family Dentistry at: 610-525-5497
Dr. David M Dillon, DMD
Dr. Dillon is a 3rd generation dentist, his family has been serving the Bryn Mawr area in dentistry for over 50 years.