I just bought four new tires for my car, had a lube and oil change and paid $49.95 for a wheel alignment. My mechanic tested the front end and said I needed an alignment. What do I know?
Quite a lot, actually. I've learned a lot: four years of college, four years attaining a dental degree, and a year of hospital residency. I have over a quarter century's experience in each of the following: marriage, parenthood and the practice of general dentistry.
What do I know about cars? I know enough to believe my trusted auto mechanic. If he says the car needs an alignment, it needs an alignment.
Truth be told, I did not run a tab on my credit card for tires, motor oil and an alignment. I invested in the safety of my car. What I paid for was advice, service and trust -- most importantly, trust. After all, my life, and the well-being of those for whom I care the most, is on the line -- every time I start the engine. I want the best.
More than once a day, I or a staff member suggests that a patient have a recall dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, every three or four months. For some, it's every two months. Along with patient education, it's a fundamental component of preventive dentistry. We advise it because in the long run it will improve your dental health.
That's the purpose of your dental visit. You are not buying products. You are paying for service and professional advice. Take it.
That's why I had my car's front end aligned. I have been going to the same tire shop for many years. I trust them -- they earned it. The first time I drove in was because my previous shop changed managers. The new manager insisted on high speed, ultimate performance tires. That did not seem right for a driver who never exceeds the speed limit. He prescribed for the car, not the customer.
I got a much-needed second opinion. My new mechanic asked about my driving habits, my interest in cars and my family. He spent time and showed interest. Then he matched the right tires with his new customer. That was fifteen years ago. George has since retired. I made it a point to introduce myself to Dan, and the relationship continues.
Finding a good dentist, someone in whom you place your trust, is easier than finding a good mechanic. Ever wonder why someone would drive across town for his dental care? He likely found a dentist who treats him as if he were a member of the family.
Most dental patients are savvy consumers. They know a "best buy" when they see one. Other folks need a bit of convincing.
Dental insurance companies, whether indemnity or HMO, are in the business of selling insurance. They do not sell dental health. Remember, an insurance company makes money when you don't go to the dentist. Do they make more money when you practice preventive dentistry? You bet. Are regular cleanings beneficial to your dental health? Of course. Then why don't insurance companies pay for more than two cleanings a year?
It's true, insurance companies make money when you practice preventive dentistry. But they make even more money when you don't go to the dentist -- lots more. In fact, if patients never went to the dentist, insurance companies would make an absolute fortune.
If you are going to the dentist for cleanings, fillings or dental crowns, you are going for all the wrong reasons. Stop buying "dental products." Life expectancies are in the eighties. There's no reason you shouldn't have dental health in your golden years. Your visit to the dentist and hygienist should be considered an investment, not a purchase. You are buying advice. Listen when your hygienist discusses prevention and reviews home care with you. That is truly a "best buy."
Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.