How Do Dentists Choose A Dentist
I used to drive to Scottsdale whenever I needed dental treatment to visit Rob, my ex-partner whom I trusted completely. Frankly as much as I loved and trusted Rob, the drive became a pain in the butt. So I decided to find someone closer who I could depend on for the occasional dental work that even dentists need. Not totally confident with the few dentists I knew, I decided to start from scratch. I called the best dental laboratory in Tucson, probably in Arizona… and asked them who the most demanding dentist they worked with was. That would tell me he was careful with his crowns, and I needed one. Calling his office, I asked three questions: Did he use a rubber barrier (a dam) when removing old silver-mercury fillings? Did he use magnification and wear an LED light while grinding away? And finally did he restore teeth with white, mercury-free composite?
I wanted to avoid being poisoned by mercury grindings going down my throat. And, I wanted my new dentist to see my tooth lit up and magnified larger than life. Attention to these tiny, seemingly insignificant details is the difference-maker between a successful tooth restoration or future problems. I didn’t really care about where he went to school because, frankly, all Dental Colleges in America are pound for pound the best in the world. Nor did even ask if he belonged to the increasingly political ADA; it didn’t matter.
In America, Sterilization AND Safety protocols are strictly regulated for every practicing dentist: OSHA, The CDC, ANNUAL X-RAY RE-CERTIFICATION, and three days minimum CONTIUING EDUCATION annually, are the LAW in the USA. So, without asking, I knew he had all that covered. I knew that all his instruments were autoclaved, that is heat and pressure sterilized. Like us, he probably uses an independent calibration service to make sure his autoclaved is killing all bacteria and viruses. We test ours twice a month. I knew sterile water would be used for surgical procedures and needles are only allowed to be used once. And finally, I knew his staff had to be immunized against transmittable diseases such as Hepatitis C to ensure their and my safety. This is also a legal requirement for dentists in America. So that wasn’t a concern either.
And that’s how I found my dentist. But if you’re the average patient, most of the above is not at all what you’re concerned about. So let’s talk about the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.
Patients know Dentistry can be VERY INVASIVE. Essentially, you are allowing a stranger, at least initially, to operate in the center of your face with instruments vaguely similar to those used during the Spanish Inquisition. The fear of HOW WE HANDLE the center of your face is at least as important as the mechanical skill we bring to the procedure; and probably more so. As for me, the creation of a totally Patient-Centered, gentle environment is paramount. We offer our patients a quality of care as if they were our own family. With our staff fully tuned in, our aim is to eliminate discomfort and fear. We don’t upsell; that is suggesting treatment you really don’t need. We do, however, emphasize Continuing Care: i.e. getting your teeth cleaned. That one single service is the best insurance policy your money can buy. I tell the guys it’s like changing the oil in the pickup; your engine lasts a lot longer when you keep it maintained. Some folks treat their mouth like Demolition Derby; it falls apart way before its time. Sad but true. I often wonder, considering today’s economy, why some folks squander the free money most insurance companies pay for their two “oil changes” A year.
Finally, I consider your treatment a failure if I cause discomfort during your treatment. I hate hurting my patients. It’s that simple. When I was a kid, my dentist hurt me! I thought it was normal. It’s not! It’s the 21st century; no one has to experience pain or fear. Together we discover, before we start, the best way to deal with your special needs. We take the time necessary for each individual procedure and, more importantly, for each individual patient. Some folks just require more time and more TLC than others. We spend the time and our TLC is delivered by the truckload.
Sure this is a blatant invitation to come visit us. We think we ARE the best; and if we don’t think we can handle your problem safely we’ll recommend someone who can. After all it’s how I expect to be
treated. It’s how I treat my kids and grandkids. It’s how we treat our family of patients at Sunshine Dentistry AZ. We invite you to a $1 New Patient Exam, a $150 value including digital x-rays.
Stay well…Dr. Bill Ardito DDS – Sunshine Dentistry AZ
PS: I was surprised recently to hear gossip that I had retired; I’ve actually been retired for the last 15 years. I mean, come on, I take Friday, Saturday , Sunday and Monday off; and frankly I can’t wait till Tuesday rolls around and I can get back to my true love, practicing dentistry. This past February we expanded the office, adding two more treatment rooms, enlarged the waiting room and business office, added two more great staff members and made my landlords very happy by extending my lease. Sorry, but it looks like I’m here to stay. Retirement, you know, is a government concept passed in 1935 when our life expectancy was 58 years. Our leaders cleverly set retirement age at 65 expecting to reap the untapped dough we left behind. But I’m not very politically correct…I’m into longevity…and happily plan on being here for quite some time.