Friday, July 29, 2016

"Thank You! You Changed My Life"

Many times I see a patient with worn, broken or chipped teeth. And many times a patient complains about headaches. My first reaction is that the patient's teeth are not lined up correctly and teeth are colliding.

I strongly suggest that a patient consider an occlusal equilibration or bite adjustment. The cost is $400. I explain what the treatment is and why I recommend it. But understandably, some patients, especially new patients, are reluctant to have the bite adjustment.

I met a new patient 2 months ago on a new patient exam and after chatting with the patient suggested a bite adjustment. As usual, the patient resisted but ultimately decided to follow my recommendation.
A month ago, the patient had an occlusal equilibration and last week she had a cleaning with the hygienist, Trish. After the patient left, Trish told me that the occlusal equilibration had changed her life by eliminating her headaches and she asked Trish to tell me how grateful she was.

I called the patient a few days later to thank her for her kind remarks. First she thanked me for the phone call and then she told me how thrilled she was with what I had done for her...

This is not the first time that a patient has told me how much better they feel after a bite adjustment. Why don't other dental practices offer this??? I don't know but I will  tell you t hat it is one of the most  significant treatment options that we offer.

My job is to take care of you and your family the best that I can. Having my patient's trust is the MOST important aspect of patient care. I will do my very best never to abuse your trust.

Don't Tell Me What I Said

Someone told me today that they referred a patient to me but when they read my blog the discovered that I did not support the Second Amendment to the Constitution. For those who did not read the original blog, I will repeat it here:

 We Tried It This Way

We have tried having a 2nd Amendment with no restrictions.

And how has this worked for modern America?

From my standpoint: miserably.

The unlimited access to assault weapons, designed for rapidly killing the enemy by the military, is unworkable.

Perhaps if all 350 people in the PULSE Nightclub had been slaughtered, we would see some change in our laws on assault weapons.

Perhaps if 1000 children had been murdered in the Newtown School we might think differently.

There is no unlimited, unrestricted right in our Constitution EXCEPT the 2nd Amendment. Even our right to practice our religion is not unlimited. The Supreme Court has ruled that marijuana is not acceptable for use in religious ceremonies. The Court has also limited the use of  'magic mushrooms' during American Indian celebrations.

This also reminds me of the stop light that was installed in 'downtown' Cropseyville, NY.  Cropseyville was a farming community in the middle of no where (but where my office was for 10 years before moving to 'Uptown' Cropseyville). Unfortunately, three downstate residents died in car accidents at the junction of Rt. 2 and 278. Nobody wanted a stop light installed but that didn't matter because the reality was that more people would die if a light wasn't installed. The reality must always dictate what our reactions should be.

We have tried the 2nd Amendment without limits. Now reasonability must prevail.

Teeth are very important to me but so is human life.

Speech is regulated and the freedom of religion has limitations. And what I ASKED is after 240 years of having no limits on the Second Amendment, might it be time to limit automatic weapons? It seems that not everyone is responsible in the use of military style weapons.
Now did I say that I opposed the right of American Citizens to bear arms???? Not one word.
Reading is fundamental.
There are many reasons to select my office for your dental treatment. The only valid reason is that you want quality restorative dentistry.  If you don't like the fact that I wear a red tie every day, then please find another office for your care.
Our office exists to provide the best possible dental care that we can....And when I am working, that is the ONLY thing that concerns me.
I apologize for my rant.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

How Sad

I recently spoke with two older gentlemen who have been retired for 13 years and 9 years respectively and each was thrilled to be done with work.

How sad...

As someone who has always loved their job, I cannot understand how or why someone would stop working by choice...Do they have another 'calling' in their lives like music, art, philanthropy or teaching that they did not have time for while employed? Or did they spend  3 or more decades working at a job that they did not enjoy or worse.....hated?

Many of my colleagues view dentistry as just a job which enables them to do or buy what they really want to have. Dentistry "done right" is interesting, exciting and never boring. For me, it is about trying to use all of my knowledge (6200 hours of post dental school education) and all of my skills attained over a 4 decade career to produce the finest level of dentistry that I can. Dentistry would be boring if it was only about 'doing another bonded posterior direct resin.' It is ALWAYS about trying to do the BEST possible bonded posterior direct resin that has ever been done in the history of the world. That is the goal despite the fact that the goal is virtually unattainable.

But I am ENGAGED in what I am doing for you.

If someone doesn't like their job...move on...If their job is boring, find a way to make it exciting...
But not enjoying going to work??? Very sad.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

8 1/2 Years and 800 Blogs Later

I just checked  to see when my blog started...2008.

Back in the day, 2 or 3 people would read my blogs; today 25 people read each of my postings.

My 'best' blog was read by 51 people and several are read by 30+ readers.

Sometimes a new patient will tell me that they have been reading my blogs for a while before they decided to switch dentists. They became a patient in our office because they liked our office and the kind of people that we are.

I don't know of any other dentists who have been blogging for as long as I have. The vast majority of dentists who blog actually pay a company to produce a 'canned' blog that many dentists purchase....And they only talk about teeth and nothing about the people who 'own' those teeth.

I doubt that my blog will last another 8 years but then again, who knows...Dr. Ronald Goldstein of Team Atlanta and one of my earliest mentors is 83 years old, works 2 days a week and still produces world class dentistry.

We will aim for another 400 and see where it takes us.

Not Everyone who Is Doing the Job Should be Doing the Job

Tom Fuentes, former Assistant Director of the FBI and currently a Homeland Security analyst for CNN was asked about the shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. What he said was, "Not everyone who has a uniform and has a gun should be wearing a uniform and having a gun."

200 teachers in NYC sit in the 'Rubber Room" and receive their full pay despite the fact that they have been deemed unfit to teach...And they get summers off like all teachers...The cost to NYC? $20 million.

Many physicians and dentists refuse to study, have minimal skills and hate what they are doing but continue to show up for work.

Three examples of three different professions and yet the indifferent and the inept continue to do what they are doing?

Why do we continue to tolerate this as a society? This is not a problem like cancer...This IS fixable.

Is it time to reconsider who protects, the public, teaches our children and provides our health care?

That is for you to decide.

Have We Lost Our Reasonability?

We have to come to an agreement on something.

If a policeman pulls someone over for a broken taillight, he should run a report to see if the person has an outstanding warrant for his arrest. If not, a pre-printed ticket should be handed to the driver and the policeman should say, "Please get your light repaired and have a good day."


End of Story.

If a policeman pulls ME over, that is exactly what I would EXPECT  to happen...No lecture, no sarcasm, no harassment.

Be civil...give me the ticket and get back in your car and do your job.

Do you really think that this is what happened in Minnesota?

Either the policeman had an 'attitude' or the driver had one. Doesn't matter...someone became unreasonable.

Monday, July 4, 2016

"The Best Thing That Happend Was When I Lost My Dental Insurance."

I have been treating a patient for 7 or 8 years and she recently remarried. Her new husband was told that he needed 4 or 5 crowns and his wife told him that perhaps it was time to visit her dentist in Saratoga.

As is usual, I disagreed with my colleagues about when it is NECESSARY to place a crown on a tooth. Prior to 1992, a back tooth with a large mercury filling or a large new cavity was deemed to be a weak tooth and required either a crown or an onlay. I observed these rules for the first 15 years of my career. In 1992, we learned how to bond to the inside layer of a tooth, dentin, and that meant that we no longer had weakened teeth that required protection of a crown. I was not the smartest guy in the my dental school class but I clearly recognized  that dentinal bonding was a game changer and would save many teeth from being destroyed for crown placement.

That was a QUARTER CENTURY ago and I have been proven correct. My patients have fewer crowns placed on their teeth than any dental office that I know.

When my patient's husband presented to my office, I did agree that his 25-35 year old mercury fillings did, indeed, require replacement but my recommendation was to restore the teeth with a direct resin restoration (a white filling) placed under a rubber dam. My new patient accepted my recommendation and last week I completed the replacement of his old mercury fillings. When my patient got up from my chair, he told me how grateful he was to be my patient and that "the best thing that ever happened was when he lost his dental insurance because he would have stayed with his old dentist."

I am always honored when a  (new)  patient recognizes that our reason for being is to take care of you and that we will always place your best care above our own (financial) well being.