Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dentistry from the Heart 09 (con't)

Oh my gosh, my five year old makes us laugh.
At our house sometimes we have dessert after dinner.
If you eat all your food on your plate you can participate in the dessert festivities.
So Noah brings mom a pixie stick. Now we never buy our kids candy but because of Valentine's Day there is candy laying around.
So the conversation ensues. "Mom, I want this."
"Son this is a pixie stick. All it is is sugar in a straw."
"That's fine."
"You don't want this, it will rot out your teeth."
And he said like it was nothing, "I don't care."
Isn't that hilarious. He doesn't care that his teeth will rot.
I am sitting here laughing just writing this.
We laughed for a straight ten minutes at the dinner table. It just struck me so funny.
I guess you had to be there.

Okay,
Dentistry From the Heart
So far what I have told you was that a lot of preparation has gone into this.
So we came in on Friday and our parking was mobbed. The first person got to the office at 9pm the night before. Can you imagine waiting 10 hours in a parking lot to get a tooth pulled?
Well this is why we do it.
So when my staff got to the office at 5am, there was 60 people in line.
They started to triage patients at 6:15am.
(this was daybreak)
The first doctor, besides me, got to the office at about 6:45am.
We set him up, told him to put on a T-shirt and he got going.
So my job along with doing some triaging was making sure all the dentists were getting here. I was making sure they didn't need anything specific. I made sure the left handed guys got into the left handed rooms. I made sure they and their assistants knew how to get a hold of a runner and got them started.
(after triage, the people already numbed up would wait in our reception area)
The morning was crazy.
One dentist just didn't show up. Even though we confirmed everyone the day before.
But luckily we planned for this. You know, poop happens and you just have be prepared for it.
This year the patients were different.
Let me explain. Last year some people would get nasty with my staff outside.
Can you imagine people being rude so someone giving something away?
Can you imagine someone cutting in line? Can you imagine people lying to get seen sooner?
Well this was the last three years.
I thought about making a sign that said, "Mean people will be extracted."
But my dad nixed this idea.
But it turns out we didn't need it. The people were so nice.
You can't imagine how many people said thank you. People that were not even being treated said thank you.
People in the line that we could not see because we ran out of time said "thank you."
My patients called me on the phone to tell us what a great thing we did.
What an out pouring of gratitude...it was awesome.
(Dr. David Edwards working in the afternoon)
As the day goes on you meet so many people. You meet so many people in so many different situations. All the stories are hard to tell.
Last year we had a couple of situations that we would have loved to saved this person's tooth.
Lets say it is 12 year old that has one 1st molar bombed out. The other teeth are great but this one needs a root canal. But because we were not set up for this sometime we would have to extract it.
I did a couple of pulpectomies and told them to come back.
But this year I had two endodontist "on call". Both guys were holding spots open so if we had a situation that called for a root canal we would send them over to their office and they would get a Root Canal for free.
Isn't this awesome.
Like I saw a 23 year old with perfect teeth. History of orthodontics and perfect teeth.
He had an occlusal amalgam on #3 and a fistula.
He was perfect for this.
He went over and got it done. He will come back to my office next week and I will do the access filling.
So this year 5 people got root canals for free.
Every year we bring in an oral surgeon. For two reasons. One being to take out as many teeth as he can in a four hour period. And two to help all the general dentists who get into trouble with a tough extraction.
He was possessed this year. We set him up in two rooms so he could go back and forth. He was here from 7am to 1:30pm. He took out 50 teeth. That is like 10 teeth an hour.
He was taking out impacted wisdom teeth. He was taking out root tips. Amazing. He would have a crowd of dentist in his room watching how he did things.
He said he did $13,800 worth of dentistry on Friday.
We had a DJ come at about 10am and set up outside. And he entertained for about 6 hours.
We had a church set up a table and hand out water bottles. We had a Medicaid table so people could sign up for Medicaid without going to the offices.
In the middle of the day the manager from the 7-11 across the street, came over and handed everyone a coupon for a free hot dog and drink.
The outpouring of generosity was unbelievable.
The dentists brought their staff.
One hygienist heard our deal on the radio and called. She said she just wanted to help.
We signed her up. So she doesn't know a soul here and starts working and helping.
Awesome.
I told you the news media read the paper and were here.
When I got here at 6:15am, the news guys had already set up.
We have five local stations in Orlando and four of them where here throughout the day.
The Orlando Sentinel was here and the Apopka Chief was here.
So there was never a time during the day when a dentist or a patient was not being interviewed or a dentist was working and being filmed at the same time.
I can't tell you what this day meant.
The Lord was definitely smiling down on us this day.
And you know what is funny. I usually will see all the post operative issues at my office the next week. Guess how many people I saw this week. ONE.
His stitches were bothering him so all I had to do was trim them down.
I can't tell you how I felt this week.
My staff and my father and I are still numb with joy. The office is still electric.
We are a better team because of this. I think I am a better dentist because of this. I am a better person because of this.
Our patients are calling and just telling us how awesome it was to read the paper and see their dentist.
They called to just say thanks for taking care of people.
We have received a bunch of email from patients weeping while they were writing because of how grateful they were.
That is what it is about.
Have a great week,
john
PS MY FORTIETH BIRTHDAY IS FRIDAY (say it ain't so)....NO BLOG...But I will take all Birthday wishes.





1 comment:

Kristine Horton said...

Dude ... now you are as old as me! Have a great birthday!

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