What makes you stay with your current dental office Part I?

What makes you stay with your current dental office Part I?

If you are a regular reader of my column circa 2004, you know we have hit the topic of “why did you leave your last dental office?” The other day I had “writer’s block” and was stumped for a topic. I asked my staff for some ideas, as many times they haver served as my muse, inspiring some pretty sweet pearls of dentistry, I must say.

I was inundated with their text responses while driving home one-night last week; I may have to stretch it out over a few columns, unless the Post gives me some extra space on the Pet’s for Sale page.

“Hey Dr J; why not do a topic on “what makes people stay with the same doctor for years? After all we have over 230, 5- star google reviews we must me doing something right?” I then asked my team: “So tell me; what are we doing right here at “chez Josephs” that makes patients want to stay?

  • A human being actually answers the phone with no menus: “Push one for this, push two for that…!”
  • Friendly staff making non-dental conversation, offering a beverage, a warm blanket, or simply opening the door for them with a warm greeting. Not: “Sit down and fill out these 23 forms; and give me my pen back when you’re done!”
  • Cleanliness and organization of the office. Waiting room chairs that don’t look like they are from the DMV or Tire Depot!
  • Not having to go to multiple outside specialty offices just to get your implants or root canals done. I once saw a person in their car at a red light biting on bloody gauze. He said he had all his upper teeth removed, and was driving to another office to have his denture inserted and adjusted. Too many cooks spoil the dinner; sometimes it is better for us to have a more holistic approach and control the direction of the case; charting the course on the same boat.
  • A true solo practice, having one doctor on the premises every day treating all patients, with the exception of our endodontist who only performs root canals in our office. The extractions, bone grafts, implants and the crowns, bridges or dentures are done by one doctor, ie. “moi” (shameless demonstration of my French language skills.)
  • We work one column on the schedule; the doctor is seeing one patient, in one operatory. Occasionally he leaves the room for a brief moment to examine a patient who is getting a check up and cleaning with the hygienist. We will never inject a patient in one room, run to another room to start a procedure, the run back to the first room and start drilling, and repeat. Have you ever heard of a general surgeon working two operating rooms at the same time: appendix in op #1, kidney in op #2, and going back and forth?!

Stay tuned next week for part II on why patients have loyalty to their favorite doctors’ offices.

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