Every business has a philosophy, or mission statement, formulated by its owner or founder, that is essential to its success, even one as small as a dental office. My philosophy since I started private practice has been to first try the most conservative, least invasive treatment for the patient that will work. Sometimes this may be no treatment at all, if doing nothing works as well as doing something, but in any event, the concept “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it but if it is broken try, if possible, to fix it right,” has proved to be extremely successful for me over my entire professional career and I have found that this approach to dental care has worked better than any other. We take as long as is necessary to explain our patient’s problems to them so when they leave they can make the decisions that are right for them. This is especially so in the treatment of problems such as jaw pain (TMD/TMJ; see pg. 4). We additionally make every attempt to run as closely to schedule as possible as I feel that the patient’s time is as valuable to them as my time is to me; we never double book to get more patients in, and we take great pride in the fact that we have the best magazine selection in McLean but give you the least time to read them. We also take great pride in giving patients an honest diagnosis of what their real dental needs are, for both the short and the long term, even though this approach seems to have become increasingly rare. Finally, we never try to “sell” anyone anything,
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have found over the years that running a dental practice this way is highly satisfying, both professionally and financially for me and everyone else concerned. I have tried to communicate this approach to as many others in our profession as I been able to reach, but unfortunately my success in this effort has been minimal. I know that the costs of dental education and the economics of setting up a modern dental office make it increasingly difficult to practice my way, but I will continue to advocate for this approach as long as I can, in the hope that someday other dentists will finally understand what I have been trying to accomplish and will go and do likewise.