Quality: a Lifelong Endeavor of This Dentist
For most all my life quality has been a principle and a goal I have strived for. Ever since I could see over the handle bar of a lawnmower I have cut lawns. Never in my life did I ask for a lawnmowing job. You see, even at cutting lawns I realized that a quality job made the yard “pop”. Neighbors recognized the attention to detail, the cutting of the yard at a suitable height, the edging of the lawn, and the trimming around trees, bushes, and poles. By the time I was in high school I was cutting about 20 yards a season. I learned early that quality was recognized and was appreciated.
By the time I was in high school, I also matured to the degree of improving my study habits and taking my classes more seriously. You see, I knew since the age of four that I wanted to be a dentist. A strong resume would assist me in doing that. So I worked hard to improve the quality of my resume; I graduated in the Top 3% of my high school class, I voluntarily worked in hospitals, I got very involved with clubs and activities at Texas A&M, I graduated Cum Laude with a 3.7 GPA at Texas A&M, and I graduated in the Top 10% of my dental school class in San Antonio, making the Dean’s List.
As I began my practice I took this principle of quality as a foundation of my dental practice. Now 26 years later, I have been recognized by my patients, my referring doctors, and my suppliers as an extremely quality-oriented dentist. These days quality gets more difficult to find. In a more global economy many companies are being squeezed to decrease their expenses in order to compete. We have not followed suit. We feel very blessed to be able to provide extremely high quality care and service and still have a growing, thriving practice.
We discuss quality not at all to brag. We humbly, simply, want you to know that quality is a hallmark of this practice. If you, your family, your friends, or your coworkers are looking for an extremely quality-oriented dental practice, we invite you to contact us by calling (972) 250-2580.
The Corporate Model vs. Mine for Delivering Dental Care
We have seen the delivery of medical care change tremendously over the past couple of decades. The current national health care law is the biggest change yet; however, the delivery of dental care is slower to change but a newer corporate model of dental care delivery is gaining steam.
Under the corporate model, the nonclinical aspects of the dental practice are controlled by a corporate entity instead of by a dentist-owner. In the October 2012 issue of AGD Impact, a publication of the Academy of General Dentistry, the North Carolina AGD President Jerry W. Caudill, DMD, and the current Vice President of the AGD, W. Carter Brown, DMD, are interviewed. With the corporate model, the emphasis of dental practice changes, they suggest. There are expected production goals, incentive pay is often based on production, dentists are shielded from the financial responsibility for malpractice cases, many of the dentists are newly graduated from dental school and thus are less experienced, patients may experience corner-cutting techniques, dental restorations often are made by lower cost dental labs which may not be as quality-conscious, many dentists are pressured to work faster and to treat patients with a “one-size-fits-all mentality”, stockholders must be satisfied, dentists often feel there is not enough staff or supplies to provide quality care, and for some corporations the bottom line is profit alone. For all these points patient care is often compromised.
This article also indicates that some of these dental service organizations have “serious operational and ethical complaints”. The interviewees add there may be overtreatment in care provided and low-quality care.
While the cost of individual services may be lower, these corporate models often come up short in explaining treatment plans to patients, in connecting with patients, in providing a long-term staff, and in obtaining patient trust.
Our patients know my practice to be a traditional, quality-oriented one that humbly prides itself upon unmistakable personal care. Our patients very often recognize the traditional values of honesty, treating others as we would want to be treated, doing our best, and centering my dental practice on the patient. We are like that small town dental practice in a large city with the advantage of newer, proven technologies and care. We are very passionate about maintaining these traditional values and we focus upon quality care with that special personal touch. We invite you to experience what you may be missing; we invite you to call us at (972) 250-2580.
Cosmetic Dentistry with Bonding and Orthodontics
09-14-2012: Many patients think that cosmetic dentistry requires making an investment as in a very nice car. However, this needn’t be the case. While cosmetic veneers in some cases may be the best option, there are many cases in which cosmetic veneers may not be the best option. There may indeed be a better option that is lesser expensive and longer lasting.
In this case, this valued patient has several issues which were best managed with orthodontics. However, nearing completion, and planned from the beginning, there was going to be too much space available for the teeth. Moreover there was a tooth which was smaller than is normally found. With this discrepancy more care was required than just orthodontics.
In coordinating with our fine orthodontist, Dr. Jyoti Mann, we were able to correct the space and size issue by cosmetically bonding onto the side of the front lateral tooth. With this option we were able to address the space and size issue within an hour. Soon following this visit the orthodontic fixed appliances were removed and retainers were made to fit the corrected tooth. The result was quite an enhancement.
If you or someone you know is interested in a dentist who sincerely, honestly, and technically can provide a very nice cosmetic result which is planned individually for each patient, we invite you to contact us at (972) 250-2580.
Quality, Service, and Price: the “Unattainable Triangle” of Advertising and Marketing
08-14-2012: We have all heard the references to quality, service, and price. The sciences of advertising and marketing explain that it is impossible to provide all three at the same time. Let’s explore this a bit. Let’s look at McDonald’s for instance. McDonald’s provides fast food very quickly at a fairly reasonable price; based on this principle it may be the quality of the food that is less than the other two measures of service and price. A contrasting example could be Starbuck’s coffee. At Starbuck’s they known for high quality coffee drinks provided quickly and kindly; based on this triangle these drinks cannot be provided at a low fee. We all know many of the coffee drinks at Starbuck’s can easily exceed $3 per drink. To provide another contrasting example, some businessmen enjoy having custom dress shirts. These shirts are comparably expensive and are of very high quality; these shirts cannot be obtained quickly as a result. The speed of service is compromised when compared to purchasing ready-made shirts at a department store.
Now let’s look at how dental practices apply this triangle of quality, service, and price. There are some large dental practices that provide treatment to patients without an appointment who simply walk in, and that provide these services at a more reasonable fee. According to this triangle of marketing, it may be the quality of the care that is compromised. Quality can be compromised at a dental practice by having lesser experienced staff members, by providing lesser expensive filling materials like silver fillings, by utilizing cheaper metals for crowns which may cause allergic reactions or which may corrode over time, by having crowns and dentures made by lesser expensive laboratories utilizing lesser expensive materials and lesser trained technicians, by hiring inexperienced dentists, among other ways.
In my dental practice we have placed an emphasis on quality and service. While we cannot provide for these at a low fee, we do our best to provide quality and service at a very reasonable fee. We do strive to provide care which will decrease our patient’s lifetime investment in their teeth. We are honest and we are not aggressive in our plans of treatment. We also provide flexible options for patients to pay for their care, including accepting insurance payments towards our valued patient accounts. As difficult as it may be, we sincerely and genuinely attempt to fulfill all three measures of this “unattainable triangle” of quality, service, and price. Our patients deserve this effort. We really do try to deliver.
If you are interested in experiencing our unique philosophy of care we invite you to contact us for an appointment. We invite you to let your family, friends, and coworkers know about us. We can be reached at our north Dallas office by calling (972) 250-2580.
Xerostomia, Dry Mouth in Older Patients
06-06-2012: Many older patients in some way suffer from a dry mouth. A dry mouth makes it difficult to eat some foods. A dry mouth can be frustrating. A dry mouth can interfere with speaking as well. Other symptoms include a sore throat, a burning sensation, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and a dry nose.
There are several reasons why older patients may have a dry mouth. Some medical conditions may lead to a dry mouth. Some medications may as a side effect create a dry mouth; these medications may include antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics, high blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants, urinary incontinence medications, antidepressants, Parkinson’s Disease medications, and many others.
A dry mouth can lead to a number of problems obviously. As a dentist I can state that decay can become a huge problem for patients with a dry mouth. Saliva has a way of cleansing the teeth. Saliva neutralizes the acids that bacteria need to cause decay. In order to counter-act the dryness, patients often will drink fluids other than water or they may chew gum or use mints or candy that contain sugar. These complicate oral health by increasing the risk of decay. The dryness in the mouth also makes the oral tissues more susceptible to infection as well.
To properly manage a dry mouth, we recommend sugar-free gum or mints containing Xylitol. We also recommend the use of saliva substitute products like Biotene and oral rinses having the ADA seal. Without proper management, the health condition of the mouth and the teeth can decline very quickly. We invite all patients with xerostomia to visit with us if you are in need of a dentist. We would value your presence in our practice. We would enjoy caring for you.
The Merging of Dentistry with Technology
04-05-2012: Technology has affected most every aspect of our lives. In some ways this is good and in others this may be not as good. I have worked very hard to responsibly bring technology into my practice. I am personally involved in every decision involving introducing technology into my practice. I do humbly hope my patients can perceive the attention we pay to how technology is incorporated into my practice.
I do have some thoughts on what we have done recently involving technology. A few years ago we introduced a system which allows patients to choose if they want to receive confirmations of their dental appointments by either e-mail or by text. They can receive these notifications about a month prior to their appointments, a few days prior, and even a few hours prior to their scheduled visits. Many patients appreciate the simplicity of these notifications. They also value the ability to reply to these to confirm their appointments. Our aim is to minimize phone call interruptions for our patients and to assist them in keeping current with their care.
Another technology we introduced about ten years ago was that of being able to complete crowns and partial crowns within our office in two hours. With Cerec technology we can prevent the need for a temporary crown which can fall out at inopportune times, we can prevent the need for a second appointment for delivering the crown, and we can provide a very high quality restoration that can last for many years. Many of our patients value the time savings and the convenience. These Cerec restorations are amongst the most highly researched restorations in the world. We are very pleased to offer this service for our patients.
Another technological advance we introduced into our practice within the past few years was that of getting more of a presence on the Internet. We rolled out our own website, we created a Facebook community page, we opened a Twitter account, and we work hard to create fresh content for you and those you refer to our practice. Our intent is to educate and to maintain and enhance our relationship. We do hope you find our site to be informative, easy to use, and worthwhile. We value your comments on these efforts.
Over the years we have been very careful in introducing newer technologies and products involving your care. While newer technologies and products promise better results in some way, we want to make sure these enhancements have been proven as effective and long-lasting. Rest assured that we only make changes that we would want for ourselves and our families. We would never introduce a technology or new product solely for the sake of the appearance of being at the “cutting edge.” Marketing does not drive patient care for us.
We also use technology to assist our patients with their applicable insurance. We have the ability to obtain insurance information electronically, we can obtain eligibility information very quickly for many companies, we file our claims electronically, and we use technology to assist our patients with determining their co-payments.
As we have carefully introduced technology into our practice, we have exercised that same care in most every aspect of my practice to provide patients with superb care. And apart from this technology, we work very hard to provide an experience which is personal, empathetic, honest, attentive, respectful, honest, kind, and comfortable. We strive to provide our patients with a meaningful and memorable experience. We care that much. If you have an interest in our unique practice, we invite you to call us at (972) 250-2580.
Time to Spring Ahead for 2012, Seeing the Light
03-06-2012: This weekend marks the annual time when we “spring ahead” and set our clocks forward on Saturday night. Just as we were starting to drive to work in daylight we may be driving in the dark as I do at 6:15 am. However, as I enjoy, our evenings will be brighter longer. This time of year can resemble much of our lives as we start something being “in the dark” but then gain some understanding and “see the light” later.
I can compare this analogy to patients pursuing dental care. I have heard quite often the statistic that only half of the population seeks dental care in a given year. That may give some opportunity to think of reasons why that is. For some there is anxiety in pursuing dental care. For others it may be the financial aspects. Certainly there are other reasons patients may encounter to prevent them from pursuing care.
From my perspective, many patients may be “in the dark” when they do not obtain care. Based on my experience, in the long run patients may very well spend more money if they do not pursue regular dental care. In my office we assist patients in “seeing the light”. We show them what concerns we have on a large monitor. We educate them on treatment options to prevent more significant damage from occurring. We also show them the various ways we can assist them in paying for their care. Truthfully, dental care can be affordable, and pretty much every day we have that opportunity to assist patients in saving them money and to helping them to obtain their care more affordably. Many patients do “see the light”.
One of the most rewarding aspects of dental practice for me is working with patients to obtain their dental care in the time frame they have established. After the course of treatment is completed we can have a hard-working “regular” guy who has the mouth of a CEO. Over time dental care can be affordable and achievable. We can assist patients to have those great checkups that have escaped them for so long.
If we can assist you with this kind of care, if we can assist you in affordably obtaining care over a period of time, we invite you to contact us at (972) 250-2580. Many others already have!
Ways to Prevent Major Dental Problems
01-09-2012: I am sitting here before my laptop wondering how I should initiate my postings for this new year. While I may not know what is best I feel the need to discuss how I can assist you in preventing major dental problems. With this information I hope to eliminate significant dental problems and expense for patients.
Obviously proper oral hygiene procedures can go a long way in preventing problems. While many of you understand the importance of brushing and flossing, I want to provide a few different details that are important to mention based upon what I have seen in my practice. One of the details I want to include is that many patients put a lot of force into their brushing. They may use a medium or hard tooth brush, they may use a firm horizontal stroke as they brush, and they may use a more abrasive tooth paste. These kind of things cause recession of the gums, they cause tooth structure to be worn away at the gumline, and they cause loss of bone support for the teeth. These problems can then result in tooth sensitivity and the need for gum surgery to strengthen the attachment of the gum to the teeth. In this example patients are doing what they feel is best to care for their teeth yet it can lead to many problems. As a result we request that our wonderful patients use a soft tooth brush, a gentle tooth brushing action, a tooth paste having the ADA seal, and a brushing motion that is more circular or verticle in direction.
Another thing I would like to mention to prevent major dental problems is to assure that the teeth are not enduring a great amount of force. It is a statistical fact that over 40% of patients nationwide grind their teeth. There is visible evidence of this on the teeth. This grinding may occur while sitting in traffic driving, while sitting at a computer, and while sleeping. It may occur at other times as well. Patients admit they find themselves either clenching or grinding at times. Other patients may very much deny any chance of night time grinding; however, the teeth condition alone tells us if there is any clenching or grinding. The excessive forces from this activity can lead to cracks, decay, pain upon biting, tooth breakage, and to the failure of dental work in preventing decay. By far these forces contribute to the most common cause of dental problems in my practice. Treatment consists of becoming aware of when these activities occur so it can be managed. Treatment also consists of fitting patients with a precision-made night guard to protect the teeth and the jaw joint from these forces.
Other than clenching and grinding, other things may create excessive forces on the teeth. These may include chewing on ice, un-popped popcorn, or anything else that is quite hard. It is not uncommon for corners of teeth to break away due to eating these hard foods.
My intent is not to provide an exhaustive list of things that create problems. However, if these listed things are monitored and well-managed, I can honestly state that you would be significantly decreasing your risks for needing major dental care.
If we can assist you with the important services of regular preventive care, with a consultation on this content, or with an opinion on whether or not you would benefit from a night guard, we invite you to contact us at (972) 250-2580.
Last Call for Treatment Desired Prior to the Year’s End
12-12-2011: Over the past couple of months we have invited patients to make appointments for care they desired to obtain this calendar year. The reason for this is that many patients have either dental insurance benefits or flexible spending account monies that they want to utilize for care in 2011. Because so many patients did contact us over the past couple of months we do still have some precious appointment times available for care if you need for 2011. If you do need an appointment for this year please do contact us at (972) 250-2580.
For those of you who have a need for appointment times in 2012 in order to take advantage of a new calendar year of either insurance benefits or flexible spending account monies, we are making appointments for January 2012 and later. Please do contact us if you are interested.
We thank all of our patients for their trust and their loyalty. You make our work lives very enjoyable and meaningful. For over 25 years now I have had the privilege to care for the best patients in the world. Thank you so much for enriching my life in so many ways. We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Helping Patients to Save Money
11-15-2011: We are sincerely interested in saving our patients money. We do understand the financial difficulties that patients experience. I have five children myself; I do understand the pressures that patients experience in providing for their families. My dental practice is subject to downturns in the economy just the same as our patients are subject to the same downturns. We are sympathetic and we are empathetic.
As a result of our sensitivity to our patient’s hard-earned money, as a result of our fundamental principles including doing the right thing and treating others as we would want to be treated, we are careful in how we present recommendations to our patients. Never will we pressure patients to obtain cosmetic dental procedures they have not requested. Never will we offer spa services to our dental patients; how did that happen anyway? Never will we perform procedures that are unnecessary according to current dental science. Never will we “upsell” patients on care that is not truly needed. Certainly honesty plays a big part in how we do business. Honesty has been a virtue that has been taught to me at all times in my life. I am deeply committed to being honest with every patient.
Speaking of honesty, I realize many people are always looking for someone they can trust to fix their cars, to provide home repairs, or to babysit. I am here to tell you that we are that kind of a business. We can be trusted. Our patients do feel very comfortable with us and our honesty. It is ever-present. It does not matter who you are or who you know. We are always honest.
In saving patients money, our aim is to provide care that minimizes a patient’s potential for problems in the future. We have heard way too many times from patients who say that every time they visit a dentist that they need more dental care. For many patients the chain never seems to break; their mouths seem to always be in need of repair. This may result from poor care from the patients themselves. However, it can also result from dental care that is not done extremely well or from dental diagnosis that is not completely considering all factors contributing to the problems. So, to assist our wonderful patients we show them how to best care for their teeth and we take our time to do this. Our appointments are not rushed nor are they double-booked. We care too much for our patients to run the office that way.
I must humbly state that our care is meticulously done. Another fundamental principle within me is doing things right the first time. I realize that inadequate dental treatment leads to further expenditure for patients. I do want to save our patients money, time, and aggravation. I assure you that our dental care is very carefully delivered with quality and personal service always in mind. This is a hallmark of my dental practice. Moreover, we take the time to examine for other factors that may be contributing to frequent dental problems. Many times over we have been able to break that chain. There are times when patients can feel confident about their dental health and can experience preventive visits regularly with very good check up reports.
We do very much want to save our patients money. We deeply care about our patients and we are happy to help them in this way. We do have the best patients in the world. If you are interested in our kind of a dental office, we invite you to contact us to make an appointment!
Gum Line Sensitivity and Notches
11-07-2011: It is not uncommon for patients to be concerned about sensitivity near the gum line. It is also not uncommon for patients to be concerned about notches in the teeth at the gum line. These notches resemble what the trunk of a tree would look like if someone was in the process of cutting the tree down. These notched areas can be a problem.
The reason why these notched areas can be a problem is because these areas can become sensitive, these areas can retain food and plaque, and these areas can get too close to the nerve of the teeth. If no treatment is pursued the problems that can develop include decalcification, decay, tooth breakage, or damage to the nerve. As a result, when these notches are significantly deep, we recommend filling these in with a tooth-colored material. The advantage to filling these areas in include improving the esthetic appearance, decreasing sensitivity, removing the potential for decalcification and decay, and protecting the nerve of the teeth.
By far the most common cause of these notches is aggressive tooth brushing. This can be more directly attributed to a tooth brush firmer than a soft brush, a coarse tooth paste, or from aggressive brushing either by using too much force or by brushing in a reciprocating horizontal stroking motion. Proper brushing includes using a soft brush, using a tooth paste carrying the American Dental Association seal, using a gentle force during brushing, and by using an up and down or circular motion for brushing.
If you have an interest in the quality of care and the genuine concern we have for our patients and their teeth, we invite you to contact us at (972) 250-2580, or by messaging us through this site.
Utilizing Insurance Benefits and Flexible Spending Account Benefits Prior to Year’s End
10-16-2011: Many patients have assistance in paying for their dental services. Some examples of these include dental insurance benefits as well as flexible spending account benefits. Most dental insurance plans have annual benefits that apply to a calendar year. If you or a family member have need for dental care and dental insurance dollars are still available for the current year, then this would be a good time to schedule to have that care done. This calendar year will be ending sooner than we may realize. The benefits are provided as a part of your compensation package. These benefits are meant to be utilized for assistance in the event that dental care is needed. In our office we do allow these insurance checks to be accepted as payment towards our patients account balances. If you are interested in getting needed care done as described above we invite you to contact my office at (972) 250-2580 so that we can assist you in getting this needed care done properly. These dental insurance dollars are a wonderful way to maximize your compensation package. They also allow patients to obtain the dental care that is very much needed.
Another assistance to paying for dental service includes flexible spending accounts. The FSAs are also a part of many employee compensation packages. These accounts are tax free vehicles funded from employee paychecks that allow for payment of dental services, among other things. Again, these FSAs are another way to assist patients in paying for their needed dental care. If you or a family member has dental needs that have yet to be addressed and if FSA monies are available, we do recommend obtaining the needed dental care. Not only is obtaining this care financially prudent; obtaining needed care also provides dental health benefits and provides for prevention of future dental problems. If we can assist you in obtaining needed care with your FSA monies please do contact us at (972) 250-2580.
Experienced has shown us how dental care can get considerably more expensive if needed care is not obtained in a prudent and methodical manner. Please do contact us for obtaining your needed care.
Tooth Bonding: A Quick Repair for Chipped or Broken Teeth
09-14-2011: Yesterday we had a patient of over 20 years come visit us with a broken front tooth. Naturally he wanted the tooth fixed. In this case he wanted a quick repair that could last for at least a few years. He was not looking to spend a significant amount of money on the repair. After evaluating the tooth we found that a section of the tooth had broken away adjacent to a previously placed filling. Although a porcelain veneer would be a stronger repair he wanted something that would be quick to repair and would be less of an investment than a veneer.
As a result we performed a bonding procedure. In this procedure the tooth structure is minimally prepared and a portion of the existing filling was removed to create a fresh surface on which to bond. No anesthesia or numbing was required for this procedure. Within 45 minutes the patient was able to leave the office with this newly repaired tooth. We placed a resin or plastic tooth colored filling material. We shaped and polished it and our patient left the office very pleased. While this was not the strongest repair it was a repair that looked very nice and may last for quite a long time. This patient does wear a night guard nightly. As a result this repair will be better protected and has a better chance to last a longer period of time.
If you or someone you know would benefit from a procedure like this we invite you to contact us at (972) 250-2580. We would be glad to assist you with any questions and appointments. Thank you for your interest in our website. We are constantly working with it to keep it updated with new information.
Dental Bonding and Zoom! Whitening
08-18-2011: For those with yellower teeth with some gaps between some teeth, Zoom! whitening followed later by dental bonding can be just the right fix. This patient had completed orthodontic treatment. However, not all the problems could be corrected by orthodontics. There are times when whitening, recontouring of teeth, bonding, or dental laminates may be needed to improve the results of orthodontic care.
In this example, the lateral incisors were smaller in relation to how they normally would be. The teeth were also yellower than the patient would have wanted. As a result, following a thorough dental cleaning, the teeth were whitened with Zoom! whitening. After a couple of weeks to allow for home whitening and to allow the color of the teeth to settle in, we provided dental bonding to enlarge the smaller lateral incisors. We illustrate here the final results on one side.
In other cases when there are more gaps or when more teeth need to be enlarged or lengthened, porcelain veneers would have been a better option. However, for this case, dental bonding was the best option and it was accomplished in less than 90 minutes.
If we can assist you with cosmetic results like this, we invite you to contact us.
Dental Bonding Changes Smiles Beautifully
08-07-2011: Last week we had the amazing opportunity to change a young man’s life. For over a year he had a broken front tooth. He is interested in changing his life. He wants to get a new job. For over a year he has smiled in a way to hide his broken front tooth. It affects his personality. It affects his confidence. He was embarrassed to come to the office. He was not sure he could afford to get treatment done.
Within a day we were fortunate enough to be in a position to change his life in some way. We advised him of his treatment options. He selected the option which suited his current needs. He decided to pursue dental bonding. With bonding, we are able to remove minimal tooth structure, we can get a life-like end result, and we can accomplish this within an hour. Bonding is also less expensive than a crown and a porcelain veneer or laminate.
After we completed our 60 minutes of care we allowed our new patient to view the result. He was amazed. He could not stop smiling. He was so excited. He realizes he will have to re-learn to smile so he can show the attractive smile he once had and has now again. He is confident and ready to pursue a new career opportunity. This appointment was one of the most impactful ones we have had in my office.
This patient has a wonderful personality. He encountered difficult times. He wants to create more opportunities for himself. We were able to assist him with that. Dentistry is such a wonderful career for so many reasons. God has blessed me with skills to be able to be a dentist and to be a very good and humble one. We all have opportunities in our lives to deeply impact people. Opportunities exist daily to positively impact others, to brighten their day, to offer hope to those who are down, to encourage those feeling inadequate, to provide a caring gesture to those who believe the world does not care, and to deeply affect the direction of someone’s life with a random act of kindness. We all have the capacity to do this. All we need to do is to be open to seeing those who are in need and to respond to them in a sincere and empathetic way. We can make this world a better place.
If you or someone you know is seeking cosmetic dental care, we would love the ability to help. Please contact us by calling (972) 250-2580.