High quality home care – $97
Dental cleaning and exam – $140
Small preventive filling – $200
Never having a vacation, important meeting, or your weekend ruined with costly and inconvenient dental emergencies – PRICELESS!!
My wife, Meridith, and I just returned from a wonderful vacation, we were on a cycling trip with the adventure travel company Backroads. While we love adventure travel, one of the biggest challenges for my wife and me, is that being small business owners it is tough to take that time away. Riding a bike or hiking all day makes it nearly impossible to stay in touch, so we both make sure we have colleagues we trust and can depend on to care for my patient’s and my wife’s clients.
This year, we chose a trip that began in Prague and ended in Vienna, an amazing opportunity that required us to be out of pocket for about ten days. That means no cell phone, no text and very little access to email. As soon as we landed back in Charlotte, NC, I immediately picked up my cell phone expecting to check my messages and have at least a few patients who had some challenges or concerns while I was gone. At least a message from one of my team members letting me know which of my patients had emergencies that needed to be referred to the dentist I had taking my call. If nothing else I was sure there would at least be a message from my colleague and friend, the dentist who covered for me, giving me an update on which patients he had seen.
But when I checked my messages, there was nothing, not one message, not one voice mail from a patient, my team or my colleague. I could not believe it. At first I thought there was something wrong with my phone, but when I checked with my team turns out there were no issues, no emergencies and no problems while I was gone. Now that is amazing for any dental practice, but also remember, I have been in practice for more than 35 years, and I remember when dental emergencies were common place, and almost standard procedure.
So what has changed? Two things: First, the new technology, materials, and procedures that we can offer today are amazing at creating dental work that is both healthier for our patients, and stronger and longer lasting. Second, patients are waking up and getting serious about proactively taking care of their teeth, handling small problems before they become dental emergencies.
To ensure that you limit your chances of ever having a dental emergencies follow these five tips to save money, time and spend less time with the dentist.
1. VIP List – make sure you are a patient of record, and that we have your current contact information, and most recent cell phone and email, pharmacies you use, and updated medical records. All are critically important in the event that you do have a dental emergency.
2. Visit Often – we want to see you, we like you and we value you as a patient. But more importantly than that, two to three visits a year to see the hygienist and get a routine dental exam will go a long way in preventing or spotting issues early on, long before they become a problem.
3. Get ‘er Done! – speaking of small problems, why wait? There are so many great reasons to handle them now as handling problems early saves time, money, and embarrassing situations if you wait to long. I had a patient, years ago, that we diagnosed early a problem he had with his front tooth. We would talk to him every time he came in about getting it fixed now, getting it fixed early. He chose not to, and then on the night before he was scheduled to talk at a conference, in front of 1000 people he lost that front tooth. The price: stress, fear, and four hours in the dental chair. All of which resulted in more expense, more stress, and more time, than it had to.
4. Demand Technology – remember you are the patient, and you are in control of your dental health. So ask what technology, processes and materials are being used in your dental care. Demand the latest and most up-to-date materials. Dentistry has radically changed in the last five to ten years, and the advancements are amazing. They have revolutionized the profession and the level of care we can provide our patients. So, don’t hold back, make sure you are getting that level of care!
5. Stay In Touch – Okay, I will admit, even if you do it all. Even if you do everything right there is a chance you may still have a dental emergency. If you do, you will want to make sure you have all of our contact information, our office, emergency line, email and by all means have my (the dentist) cell phone number. Dental emergencies are no fun, and having that contact information will make sure that you can track me down, and we can put you on the road to recovery as soon as possible!
For more information about how to save money and time, and make sure that you have a strong, healthy, white smile that lasts a life time, spend some time on our website, visit our office, or give us a call!