Personal expressions of appreciation and confidence can come in many different forms. They can be spoken, written or physically demonstrated. As a cosmetic and restorative dentist, a gesture of gratitude for a job well done is a “day-maker” (as in “it makes my day!”)When a patient refers a friend or family member to my practice, I feel elated by what I view as the ultimate professional compliment. My happiest patients come from my happiest patients and word-of-mouth is still my greatest source of new patients.Home-baked goodies are a favorite expression of thanks. (What can I say? I’m a dentist with a sweet tooth!) My patients Jackie, Rosalie and Lynn make awesome Christmas cookies; and Frank does an outrageous cheesecake. Jose makes delicious flan and Annie has graced us with scrumptious cheese Danish. My practice is blessed with some very generous and talented bakers and I have the waistline to prove it. See “Making Room for the New”Of course the penultimate vote of confidence is when a patient falls asleep during treatment. Believe it or not, root canal therapy is the most slumber-inducing procedure in my office. When a patient feels so comfortable that they can allow themselves to relax to the point of somnolence, I rejoice in their trust and sense of well being.In the past two days, I have enjoyed the types of patient interactions that I have just described. A new patient (I met her three weeks ago) referred to me her husband with great concerns for his dental and oral health; he’s a smoker. He’s a very nice man who needed some urgent care, and yesterday, I was able to accommodate his very busy schedule. Just this morning as I was opening the office, his wife stopped by on her way to work to drop off a lovely Bundt cake with a warm note of thanks. What a perfect way to start the day!Next, I had a patient who, during her two-hour dental appointment fell into a deep sleep. Headphones on, listening to classical music, she slept while I was “drilling”. When the procedure was completed, my assistant and I paused and smiled at her peaceful countenance before waking her. She marveled at how fast the time had passedTo touch and be touched by people on a personal level is the essence of rapport and an essential component of quality care.It’s not the cake, but rather the gesture that means so much.
DISCLAIMER: The advice I offer in response to your questions is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. Namely, I am in no way offering a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. My intent is solely educational and my responses to your actual questions serve as springboard to discussion of a variety of dental topics that come up in day-to-day dental practice. Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.