This week one of my very best friends came in to the office as a new patient. This can be a bit dicey. Here we have been friends for over six years, he has been seeing the same dentist for the entire time, and he made references to switching to see me ever since we became really good friends. So he finally made the move. So how is this going to go? Neither of us want this to adversely affect our friendship. We would much rather it enhance our friendship. So here is what happened….
We updated shall we say, Rocco’s x-rays. We performed our complete initial exam on Rocco. And Rocco was expecting a regular cleaning. After all, Rocco had been going to the same dentist every six months for over six years. This should go really smoothly, right? Well, it did not go smoothly.
You see, even though Rocco had been getting his teeth cleaned every six months for years with his favored dentist, there was tartar, or calculus, generally distributed throughout his mouth. Not only that but Rocco also had deeper pockets between his teeth and his gums. So here he was going to his appointments as he should but he had periodontal disease and did not know until he saw us. Now, as I indicated above, this can be a bit dicey. So what do we do?
Moreover, Rocco had been getting his teeth examined for over six years by his favored dentist. However, Rocco had severe wear on his teeth, many of his teeth were cracked, and some of these cracked teeth also had significant decay. My buddy Rocco came to his buddy’s dental office expecting to get a clean bill of health just as he always had at his favored dentist’s office. However, Rocco’s buddy found something very different. So what does Rocco’s buddy the dentist do?
Well, our friendship is based on trust, care, and loyalty. With that as our foundation I gently advised him of his true oral condition. We showed him his digital x-rays and we showed him the images we had taken of his teeth and gums. Rocco could easily see what our concerns were. However, he wondered why this all had not been explained to him before. He wondered if his favored dentist was perhaps a bit too conservative, too willing to “let things slide”. I honestly could not answer Rocco’s questions. All I knew was his current conditions. And we could not let things slide. Honestly discovered problems must be honestly shared with our valued patients.
There are times when dentists can be too conservative. There are times when dentists can be too aggressive. In my practice I tend towards conservatism. However, problems which are honestly present must be presented to the patients. Informed decisions must be made by our valued patients in the absence of pressure.
Finding the best dentist can be difficult. We find that direct referrals from friends work quite well. We have also found that online reviews are perhaps a better way to find the best dentist. Patients should be encouraged to do their research to find the best dentist that suits them….best.
We invite you to peruse our website. We invite you to peruse our reviews. We invite you to make an appointment by contacting us in any way you feel comfortable on this webpage.
I have not seen Rocco since his visit; I trust we are still very very good friends…..