Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How was your day?

Hey all,

I was listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio yesterday and someone was calling about spending money on her daughter. It reminded me of Dr. Scott's Monday blog. This single mother has an only child, a 10 year old girl. And she LOVES to ice skate. Oh, did I tell you she is TEN? This woman spends... wait for it... TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS on ice skating lessons.

Dave starts to probe this woman, and she ends up telling him that she makes $85,000 a year. Not bad, but she is spending a good chunk of her income to teach a 10 year old to ice skate. Come on, lady.

About 20 people every four years make it to the Olympics in ice skating (and that is guessing high). Take that $25,000 a year and put it in a savings account. You can buy her an awesome house after she graduates from college. Oh, yeah college. You know, the place where people in the real world go to get jobs. Put her in a great school and give her aspirations of becoming a doctor, a dentist (I had to say that), or a veterinarian. $25,000 a year for a 10 year old. Come on, lady.

Anyway, about a month ago, I heard about all the movies up for Best Picture. I put them all on my queue. This week I watched The Kids Are All Right. It had a great cast and I have to be honest - they were very good. I thought the acting was fantastic. Man, is this one for the critics. It had everything they like. Alternative lifestyles, sex, unfaithfulness, conflict. For me, all this was okay but I just didn't think the movie was that good.

I had a great day at work yesterday. I had something else to talk about but this trumps my original topic. I went home just happy as can be because of the day that I had. Let me preface by saying that I pride myself on being happy all the time. Regardless of the circumstances, I try to be at least pleasant. But I don't think I am doing a very good job lately.

My kids are calling me on the phone on my way home and asking me how my day was. I think they are trying to gauge how the evening is going to go. If they don't get me on the phone, they will ask when I come home. "How was your day?"

So I ask you guys, "How was your day?" That is such a loaded question to people like us. What are we really asking? Did you have a good production day? Were you able to pay all the bills today? Do you have a cushion for the bad week coming next week? Did any of your equipment break today? Did you staff get along today? Did your staff give you any grief today? How were your patients? Did they show up? Were you able to get everyone numb without a huge struggle? Is the schedule looking good this week and next week?

For me, there is one thing that makes my day great - my patients. Yesterday, I had great patients. I had a man that broke a tooth and we did a crown. He was a very pleasant man that seemed to like us a lot. My assistant and I banter usually through most appointments. He was totally getting into it. He was laughing, and at every break he would interject with more funny stuff.

The next patient was a woman that had some aesthetic issues and some decay. She kind of got the run-around from her last dentist, and she "just wanted to be able to smile again." I love it when people say that. We did some facials on the upper anteriors and some restorative in the back. But again, she was thrilled to be at my office and she told me so a number of times. And she was so thrilled with the work. Like I like to say, "She was picking up what we were laying down." She liked the way we did things.

I worked on a woman who was dental phobic. I love dental phobics. It is such an opportunity to really change someone's attitude toward dentistry. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But when it does work - you know, turning on the charm, trying to be as painless as possible and doing great work - it is really rewarding. And it worked yesterday. She did great and I think she is on her way to liking it here.

Don't forget to double click on the image to get a full-size image.

I heard a lot of laughing yesterday. In my room, in the hygiene rooms, in the staff lounge. It kind of reminds me what I am trying to do here.

And last but not least, I think I did some pretty nice work yesterday. Lately, it seems that the people that come do so because they HAVE to, not because they want to.
Tooth is broken, tooth is hurting; I have to go to the dentist. Not, "I care about my teeth and I like my dentist, so I should get over there."

So what makes my day good? Nice patients that like me. Laughing. Good work and a little money to pay the bills with. That's it. Sometimes I have nice patients that don't have any money. Is it a nice day? If I made tons of money on really mean people, I think this is an empty day. It is not that satisfying. You are not building. You are making money once. You know that patient is kind of lukewarm about you. They may or may not come back in and they sure are not going to talk to their neighbors about you. It is kind of empty. That is the only word I can think of.

But let's not dwell on the negative, because yesterday, I got it all. All my dental moons were aligned. It was really nice. I might not even have to have a great day today because I am riding this high for a couple of more days. I hope this continues, because I finally got to tell my kids that no one was getting a whoopin' today. It was so good I was even ready to give my wife some lovin' last night (too bad she wasn't more receptive to the idea. I know, TMI).

Have a great Wednesday. See you Friday.


Anonymous said...

i agree, "the kids are all right" was just OK. i was so surprised it got so many oscar nominations. and yes, TMI LOL!!!! love reading your blog, you make me laugh out loud every time, so thank you.

gatordmd said...

No thank you for reading.
You made my week.
See you Friday,

Anonymous said...

Why did you change the occlusal amalgam to a composite resin on the first premolar?

gatordmd said...

Great question.

A couple reasons...
1) she expressed a desire to remove all her old amalgams.
but it was more than that.
The fillings does not look that bad.
BUT, all her fillings were done at the same time on the upper right side. You see that #4 is a mess and #3 is also failing; dark gray around the ling filling and the occlusal is cracked.
What makes me think that #5 is not right behind the two of them?

But without her desire, I probably would have left that one alone. But probably would have talked to the patient about the above.


Kallie said...

beautiful job and even better that she is not as scared/phobic!!


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