Friday, November 13, 2009

Study models

Hey all,

I am feeling a little better today.
All in all it has been a real tough week outside of work. Work, however, is going pretty good.

I think our team is really settling in. It was tough after the 3 lay-offs and everyone was pretty down. But time is healing this wound and our team is working very well together. You can just feel it. And this really does change the feel of the office. And I know patients can feel it.

I finished my book Born to Run. It was about ultra marathoners. These are people that run more than marathons. Like 50-100 miles. And they race. Crazy people.
It was a pretty easy read. It was an okay book (sorry Chip).

I watched a movie called State of Play on Monday. Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck. I got to tell you, I think in real life I wouldn't like Russell Crowe but he is a really good actor. I like every one of his movies. This was no exception.

Baby David is getting bigger and is sleeping a little better. My wife is like a walking zombie, because when he does sleep you are worried something is wrong. He is sleeping like a baby and you jump out of bed thinking, "why haven't I heard from him?"

But I think we are almost out of the weeds. I will tell you what... with every kid the first two months are so hard. So if you are pregnant or wanting to get pregnant remember what I am telling you now. The first two months are tough. You continually want to put this thing back in the womb.

Okay enough trivia.

I am eating lunch and a front desk person comes to me and tells me there is a Dr. So And So on the phone and he wants to talk to you.

I say, "Do I know him?" and she says I didn't.

Damn, I hate getting interrupted at lunch for people I don't know.

Anyway, I get on the phone.

This dentist is on the phone, and he is kind of a fast talker.

From what I get he is a dentist in Illinois. He has a patient that lives in my town. He is going to be doing anterior esthetics on this patient sometime after Thanksgiving.

The dentist says he does a lot of work with DaVinci labs and that he got my name from DaVinci. (Now I have never in my life done anything with DaVinci, so I don't know how they got my name. Even though I am world famous. I had two people from Egypt read my blog last week. World conqueror, that's me)

He was wondering if I wouldn't mind taking study models and a bite registration on this patient for him.

He goes on to say that this patient is going to be looking for a dentist so after he is done with all his work so he promises to tell the guy to come to me (for those of you not paying attention this is called "blowing smoke up my @#$%@!).

So how does someone interpret this request? Well let me tell you how I interpreted it.

"Hi, I am a dentist so much better than you, I am this awesome cosmetic dentist somewhere other than your poe dunk town. I have this patient that lives in your poe dunk town that would rather spend zillions of dollars in my office flying back in forth than come to you as a dentist. But he lives in your poe dunk town so you can handle doing a cleaning can't you?"

Or something like that. This is how I felt. So as the dentist is talking to me this is what I am thinking.

I am kind of in shock. So I agree to help a brother out. I didn't think about it. I didn't question him. I didn't anything. I just was going to do it.

I was a little hurt, I was belittled a bit, but I didn't question.

We called this fella and set him up to take study models and a bite.

He comes in on Wednesday and I wasn't here (I had to leave early for the funeral) so my assistant did it.

She tells me about the appointment the next morning. She told me she sat him down and started to grill him about what all this is about.

Because I think she kind of felt the same way as me. I mean you have a guy in your town that does very nice work and you are flying half way across the country to get your work done. She wanted to know the scoop.

So she starts to get the 411. She tells me, "GET THIS!"

Turns out this patient HAS NEVER BEEN TO THIS GUYS OFFICE. Turns out that this dentist got some work done at this patients company and couldn't pay him.

So they decide to barter off the remaining debt by doing veneers.


Are you kidding me?

Yeah, so the patient is scheduled in Illinois for all of Monday after Thanksgiving, all day.

He has never had an exam. He has never had x-rays. He has never had his teeth cleaned.

He has never had an esthetic evaluation.


Now that I think about it, why would this guy be calling me for study models? Why would he have not already had photos, models, and all the stuff you need for anterior esthetics.

My assistant actually said this to this patient, "Are you crazy?"

"You haven't even had your teeth cleaned. Your gums are not healthy. You have discolored lower teeth that can be bleach to get an accurate color for the top."

And she started giving him the business (not over the top, but making him think about his teeth and about his dentist for the first time).

This is the craziest story. I mean is this kind of stuff happening to you too or is all this crazy stuff only happening to me?

Don't get me wrong. I don't have any problem with bartering. In fact, I love bartering with people.

But I barter tree trimmers. I barter painters.

Would I barter health or dental care? I don't think I would.

Do people think about dental care the way I think of tree trimming?

Do people think that all dentists are alike?

I recognize the fact that all painters are not the same. I realize there is probably a very wide range of quality of painters.

If I would get a quote to paint my house you could get a range of $2000-$8500.

Now are the $8500 guys just ripping you off?

No! They are doing the job $6500 better than the other guy. They are sandblasting off the old coat, they are priming, they are caulking, they are using superior paint, they are meticulous about the job. They are cleaning up after themselves. They are not getting high before or during the job.

But if you just want your house painted and you don't care about how long it lasts or if you don't care if water comes in your house after it rains or if you have to clean up paint cans when the painters are done then by all means go with the $2000 guy.

Is that what patients think of dentists?

Tell me they don't.

Tell me that when they are leaving a quality-oriented office to go to the dentist that is "on their insurance list" (not that some of these dentists are not quality) they recognize they are giving up stuff.

Tell me they don't think that all veneers are the same or all cleanings are the same or all fillings are the same.

Tell me people recognize the difference between dentists.

Every patient that walks in the door I ask them how they got here. How did you find out about us?

When they answer "Your office is just up the street from my house" I know I have so much more work to make this patient understand who we are.

I know he knows that he can get a paint job for $2000.

But when they leave and say, "That was the most thorough exam I have ever had." I know that I am on my way of impressing on this patient what we are all about.

How about when people call your office and ask how much you charge for a cleaning.

Do you say, "$85"?

Then they say, "Thank you" and hang up.

They are not comparing offices they are comparing prices.

Kind of like we do when we are getting tree trimmers.

This phone call has just given me an idea of another blog. We will get into this call later.

I can write a whole series on this phone call.

I have given you much to think about this weekend.

I am going to talk about the way I barter next week.

But I would like your thoughts if you have any before next week.

Have a great weekend.


First flag football game this weekend.
Marathon is two weeks from Sunday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would not get involved with anything like that. Would not touch it with a 10ft pole. Trouble.


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