Saturday, December 24, 2016

"Affordable Luxury Is an Oxymoron"

Who said this?

Consumer Reports in the January issue discussing cars.

Whether most folks know it or not, the word 'affordable' is a marketers word for 'cheap' or 'poor quality.

"Quality" is a word describing excellence and excellence cannot be delivered for pennies...for anything.

There are commercials on TV for 'Affordable Quality Dentistry' or 'Fidelis (medical) care."

I have told you many times that overhead in a dental practice averages between 71% and 75%. What does 'overhead' in a dental practice include?

The rent of the office at 18 Division Street
The HOA fees
All Dental office supplies and equipment
Laboratory fees
Electricity and gas, telephone and internet
My valuable staff (The best trained and loyal staff in the Capital District)
All the Continuing Educations costs
New Carpeting in the office
New Painting of the office

So my personal income is (to keep the numbers easy but not necessarily accurate) 30% of collections.

But wait!

Government at all levels took ONE HALF of the 30% that was left or said another way: Government took more than 50% of the income that I earned.

So is it possible to have excellence in dental care delivered inexpensively????

Not possible...Again...NOT POSSIBLE.

Overhead is too high for dentistry to be both inexpensive and be excellent.

A patient can have cheap dentistry but it will be average or less.

A patient can demand excellence and the cost will be commensurate with the quality...

Consumer Reports told you what I have said for 20 years: Affordable Luxury is an Oxymoron.

Cheap dentistry is NOT quality dentistry; And "Affordable quality dentistry" is almost a dishonest statement.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Job is to Take Care of You

A patient who has been in my practice for 35 years called our office early this afternoon telling Tricia that she had a terrible toothache...On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most severe pain...the patient WAS a 10. We saw her immediately and determined that she had an infected tooth and required a root canal.

What would be the right thing to do??? It is 2 days before the Christmas Holiday and few professionals will be working tomorrow... We called Dr. Banchs at  Root Canal Experts and asked him if he would be so kind as to see my patient...

Now Dr. Banchs is no 'regular root canal guy.' He is one of the best in the world. We are going to get one of our long term patients an appointment with one of  best endodontists in the WORLD within ONE HOUR?

Yes!!!!!! Because that is how we try to take care of OUR patients.

Go ahead and try to get a Park Avenue physician in Manhattan to give  you an appointment just because you are in agony....Not going to happen unless you know someone who knows someone.

But YOU  do know someone...You are our patient and we will always try to do our best to take care of you.

When I left my office, I stopped at Dr. Banchs' office to see how my patient was doing...She was having a root canal by one of the best in the world...without experiencing a second of pain.

That's how we do it. (Thanks Dr. Banchs for making our office look good.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Just Incredible

I receive many Christmas and New Years cards from patients, friends and colleagues. The vast majority of my patients always include a personal message in their card.
I am so honored by your kind words telling us that we are more than 'just' your dentist.
Thank you so much .

(This person has been my patient for almost 20 years)

Monday, December 19, 2016

We Thank YOU

Our office thanks all of you for your caring and concern for Donna. As luck would have it, Donna had a toothache during her course of chemotherapy and needed a root canal and a new crown.  At the crown appointment, I asked Donna about her root canal and she said, "Dr. Banchs is amazing. I never felt a thing."

Donna looked well and she said that her current course of chemo is easier to tolerate than the last drug that was used. She still says that her treatments make her very tired.

We all thank you for your cards, notes and your expressions of concern for Donna and our office.

It is deeply appreciated.

International Week at Dr. Benjamin's Office

This is a pretty special week in our office. We will see three patients who will travel hundreds or thousands of miles to have dental care in our office.

We saw our new patient from Singapore today and probably every day this week. Also, a long time patient who dated one of our staff's sons. Her Mother lives in NYC and she lives in Japan. Every time she comes 'home' to her Mother, she drives up from The Bronx to have a dental appointment. I have treated this young lady for more than 10 years and she refuses to go to any other dental practice. Lastly we saw a young Lady from Toronto, Canada. Her Mother recently became our patient after she married a man that I have cared for for 30+ years. Her Mother insisted that she become our patient after learning that tooth decay was left under her new bonded fillings.

Someone just told me that our office was ME and that if and when I retire, the office will be 'just' a regular dental office.


OUR office isn't ME...Our office is a dental practice dedicated to excellence  and as long as the dentist in our office is continuing the legacy of excellence, our office will survive and prosper.

People are coming from all over the world to have care in our office because WE CARE...and we dedicate ourselves to taking care of YOU and YOUR Family.

That is our reason for being.

A Christmas Card

It is my belief that I have taken care of more patients for 25,30 and 35 years than virtually any other dentist in the Capital District. Last week we received a Holiday Card that said:

"Thank you for all you do for me and my family. I didn’t think I would get through my first appointment back some 30 years ago.
But here we are! I consider you one of my best friends!
Signed  “With Love” "

I am so honored and thrilled to receive cards and notes from my patients expressing their concern when I am injured, their appreciation to us for helping them keep their teeth  and lastly for  their expressions of love and friendship.

I know that we are 'only a dental office'  but we have taken care of people for sooooo long that we are a part of their family.

Thank you to everyone for your kind notes and cards now and throughout the year. It is a privilege and an honor to care for you.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


Tomorrow Dr. Banchs and I will treat a patient who is traveling to the Unites States from Singapore  to have dental treatment in our offices.

How can that be????????????????

There are many fine physicians and dentists around the world but the chance of receiving the best health care is still in the United States. Most  American citizens will NOT get fabulous health care for a variety of reasons:

1. They feel that all doctors are the same
2. They will only go to doctors that participate with their insurance
3. It is not important to them especially when teeth are involved (Just take it out)

I am so honored and so flattered that an individual would fly around the world to have dental treatment in our office. My new patient must see something that we are doing right.

Social Security...Here we go again (NOT political)

My Father paid about $15,000 into Social Security and between his Social Security monthly payments and Medicare he was given hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits...And I have NO problem  with that. Every generation pays for the generation that went before: brilliant!

In 2004, the first legislative act proposed by  President George W. Bush after his re-election was to attempt to privatize Social Security. That meant that you would be free to invest your own money in the Stock Market and you would no longer get a monthly benefit from the Government. It generally doesn't matter which party a voter belongs to, they don't want their Social Security touched. Mr. Bush's attempt to end Social Security failed miserably.

But that did not stop Sam Johnson of Texas who  just introduced a bill ( to slash monthly Social Security benefits except for the very poor.

Susan and I both worked more than 40 years and we have contributed much  more than $500,000 into Social Security and Medicare. It's OUR MONEY and not the Governments.

Do you really want YOUR benefits cut or YOUR Elderly Parent's benefits to be slashed?

Call your Congressman or woman and tell them how you feel. It is YOUR MONEY.