Friday, June 3, 2016

Just Push the Reset Button

All right, admit it! Who else grew up in the world of Nintendo 64 like me and, when angry about losing to a brother, friend, or neighbor, just pulled the game out or pushed the power button on the console?!

Man, was I the king of doing that!

If you don’t get my reference, pushing the power button is different than hitting a pause button to slow things down. Doing this literally stops in its tracks whatever game is playing (and the players, for that matter). The screen goes blank, erasing all history of previous game play. There is no record of how bad you lost in GoldenEye multiplayer (still my all-time favorite) or Madden. A total refresh.

… and then you run away because your brother is likely to hit you with the controller because now he’s ticked.

Why in the world would I pull out a N64 reference, might you ask? Simple: My message to my peers (you all get the upper hand because you’re actually reading this) is to reset the idea of what a dental visit is. For generations and decades, just the word “dentist” has brought negative, even painful, connotations to mind for most everyone. Going to the dentist was not a positive experience for most. Dentists were old, gray, and unhappy, and some even smoked cigars while working on patients!

Today is different. I cannot even begin to express to people I see socially, professionally, or outside the office how much of a 180 it is in my practice today compared to what they’ve experienced in the past. It’s incomprehensible, really. You have to see if for yourself, I tell them. It makes me smile a bit (on the inside) when I hear people’s idea of what going to the dentist is like. I graciously put my arm around them and pass them a business card.

Come experience what going to a dentist is
supposed to be like.

Until robots take over our profession or humans stop growing teeth (hey, anything’s possible), we’ll be needed. Even with all those oral-hygiene speeches your hygienists give to your teen and adult patients, not much is changing with oral home care. And the only way a lot of these patients will come in and get the work they need done is if we — as a profession — hit the reset button on the console of dentistry. And I don’t mean coming in once, having a tooth pulled, and not seeing a dentist for another decade. That’s not a win for anybody. We need to convert those patients to ones who come to the office every six months. Problems are easier to fix when they’re small; we know that, but some patients still don’t see it. This is where “pulling the game out” comes in.

Get a coffee machine for the waiting room, buy a TV for your operatory, get trained in sedation, or improve your minimally invasive or cosmetic restorative techniques. Literally do any and everything to make people stop in their tracks and think, “Wow, this isn’t at all what I remember a dental visit to be.” Because if you don’t, we’ll never grab the large sector of the public that literally has nightmares about the last time they went in and had a tooth pulled.

Forget the pause. Let’s hit the reset button on dental visits. Our patients need it — and deserve it.

Donald Murry III, DMD


Unknown said...

Wow! Simply awesome! Thank you so much for the details discussed! We also provide all kinds of dental treatment like RCT and braces treatment at our Super Specialty dental clinic in north Delhi

Lawrence Spindel DDS said...

I am an older, gray dentist and I have a coffee machine and play music! My patients say they enjoy coming to our office.I have never witnessed a dentist smoking a cigar while working on a patient. Don't be prejudiced!


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