Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Think About It

We took our kids camping this last weekend. We have a camping trailer, so it was not the intense backpacking style of camping. We didn’t have any hookups, so my kids were “roughing it.”

We went to North Cascades National Park, right on a lake. It was spectacular. The trees were huge and numerous. We went fishing and hiking through the wilderness, crossed the river on a wooden bridge, and enjoyed the beauty of nature. One of the greatest things about it though was that there was no cell service. We didn't use our phones all weekend. (Except to take pictures, of course.)

The kids asked to play on the iPad or watch a movie the first day, but soon discovered that there was more to do out there than that. We played games together, and cooked and cleaned the campsite with the kids. The baby walked around and got really dirty. It was great! We connected as a family. I listened to the quiet of the forest, and cooked over the fire. I was reminded of what the most important things are. Or who they are.

This weekend helped me think about what things make me happy. I wondered if I am doing those things every day or just taking what comes my way. Am I being intentional in my work and in my recreation? Am I only treating patients in my practice that make me happy? Do I work with anyone that acts like a black cloud? There is no reason I have to spend all my time doing things I don't enjoy or with people I don't like.

Think about it. What makes you happy? Are you doing what makes you happy? Are you spending time with people that drag you down or uplift you?

Michael Lemme, DDS

Monday, July 29, 2013

Traditional Word of Mouth vs. Digital Marketing

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this topic.

What are your thoughts regarding traditional word of mouth versus digital marketing (including social media) to build your practice?

So, if you’ve read previous posts or if you follow me (@Social Media DDS), you already know that I think that digital marketing (including social media) is a powerful tool. When I speak to dentists, I am surprised by how many are still holding fast to the traditional word of mouth strategy. They are relying almost entirely on their patients for recommendations to build their business, without any hat tip to digital marketing at all. What confuses me is that many of these dentists have seen their new-patient numbers dramatically drop, yet they continue to hold onto that traditional word of mouth marketing raft, hoping it will save them in a sea of speeding social media marketing watercraft. Despite compelling statistics and a plethora of helpful information available to them, they still think that digital marketing is a fad and that it will go away.

Digital marketing and social media are not going away. So, why fight it? Why not work with it?

One of the ways that I hit home most effectively in my presentations to dental professionals is to demonstrate to them how social media actually IS the new word of mouth, just on a much larger scale. And, truth be told, having a much larger audience receiving our message is what it is all about!

By incorporating a digital marketing strategy, your office can run promotions that will reach far beyond your patient base. That said, tapping into the loyalty of your existing patient base is absolutely another way of extending your reach. Incentivizing your patients to recommend your office to their family and friends will increase your visibility and is the very best word of mouth out there. Taking that in-office promotion to the next tier, Facebook for example, will increase that visibility even further. It’s hard to say no to controlled exposure.

Here’s the thing. Let’s say you are perfectly content with your current patient base. Let’s say that if another new patient never walks into your front door, you will be fine. What about Dr. Prospective-Buyer in your future? Who is going to be more attractive to Dr. Prospective-Buyer: a dental business that has no marketing infrastructure and growth potential or your stagnant but satisfactory dental business with no digital infrastructure? My money is on the business with a digital marketing infrastructure.

Does it take work? Of course it does. But, then, anything worth having requires effort. And isn’t your business worth that effort? Aren’t the long term rewards worth putting in the sweat equity now?

What are your thoughts?

Claudia Anderson, DDS

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Hunt

This week is my official two year anniversary of being licensed in the state of New York. I know that’s not long at all, but it feels like a lifetime to me. When I first finished with residency and started looking for a way to make money with this degree, I had no idea what I was in for. Job hunting in dentistry is less formal and traditional than I ever thought it would be. There were few guidelines and no guarantees. I hope this post will provide you recent grads some helpful advice as you embark on your journey of seeking employment.

As a dental student, you cannot wait to be done. You dream about free time, the end of crazy patients (ha!), and most importantly, getting that hard-earned paycheck. This is it, after what feels like a million years of school. Finding a job should be a lot easier, right? Not so fast.

You know what? Let me give you some good news. Even in this economy, you WILL find a job. You may have to be willing to make compromises on location, but as far as I know, everyone finds employment eventually. I have friends and neighbors in various professional fields outside of dentistry that have been unemployed for months. You made the right decision to attend dental school. The bad news, however is that not all jobs in dentistry are created equal. How you start out initially may play a significant role in where and how you will practice for the rest of your career. You may not know what type of dentist you want to become yet, so now is time to figure it out.

Location is important. If you are flexible and do not necessarily have a preference for where you want to live and work, this will put you at a great advantage. You may find that there are better opportunities if you are willing to relocate, so keep an open mind. However, you want to stay in a specific place due to family or other personal obligations. By all means, do not let job saturation deter you from practicing in your dream location. You can make all the money in the world and still be unhappy if your personal life is suffering.

When I first started job hunting, I knew I wanted to stay in New York City. My husband had a great job here. We both grew up in the area, and all our friends and family are here. The challenge was that I was not the only person that loved this city. I trolled employment sites (mostly Craigslist), and found many job listings. I emailed resumes and went on many interviews. I tried to utilize what little connections I had, but it was tough. All the decent offices wanted experience, and all the others were not places I imagined myself working in. Eventually, I took the first job I could get. I could not afford to waste time sitting around waiting for my perfect job.

I learned a lot that first summer, working as a dentist. I learned that just because your employer promises you something does not mean that it will happen. I learned that no one is looking out for my best interests except me. I learned that performing root canal treatment without a rubber dam is not uncommon and that disinfection techniques were questionable at best at some of these places, This taught me to always inspect the office before making a commitment to treat patients!

Apparently, the first year of employment can be this way. Try to stay positive and think of every situation as a learning experience. I think I worked in eight or nine different offices that first year. Some for a few weeks, some for a few months. I never stopped looking for jobs because I was not happy where I was working, and this cycle continued for the duration of year one.

Aside from online classifieds, there are many great job resources out there; you just have to get creative. Networking is not just for people in the business world. The single most important thing in my opinion is to join your local dental society. As soon as I completed residency, I joined the New York County Dental Society, which is the one affiliated with dentists practicing in the borough of Manhattan. I attended their networking events, and it was there where I met the owner of the office I am currently working in. Since then, even though I am happy with my current job and have stopped looking for employment, I continue to meet new people. I constantly hear about all kinds of potential job opportunities, ones that are not likely to show up on Craigslist. If there is a dental-related networking event in your area and you are still on the hunt, make it an absolute priority to attend! Avoid the temptation to comfort yourself after a day of unruly patients with takeout and a bottle of wine. Put on some nice clothes and pull yourself together: you never know who you may meet.

Another great resource is dental sales reps. They know all the local dentists in the area and will know if someone is hiring for a potential associate. Do not be shy to put the word out there if you are looking. The more people you meet and talk to, the more chances you have with connecting to a link for what may be your potential dream job. Looking at myself and my classmates, everyone that managed to find a job opportunity in what is considered to be a good office did so through direct networking, as opposed to sending out resumes on the Internet.

The most important thing I can stress is do not give up. Do not stay at an office where you are unhappy. Keep looking for that next opportunity. If you cannot find it, it may be time to start your own practice on your own terms. Being an associate can have some great benefits like not worrying about managing a business, but you also give up a lot of creative control in how the practice runs. Stay away from negative people. I used to work in an office where the head dentist was always negatively talking about our profession and how the worst thing you can do is try to open a new practice. This is not a place that you will grow in professionally.

The thing that frustrated me the most was when I was asked about my experience on interviews. Clearly, I did not have much. I agree that when you have been practicing for a long time, you do learn to perform certain procedures more efficiently. But let’s be honest: if you compare a 30-year-old dentist to a 65-year-old, each will have certain strengths and weaknesses. It is important to acknowledge both.

Keep an open mind about offices and employers. Everyone has different preferences. I learned early on that I would much rather have an understanding boss and a supportive working environment than a brand new office where all they care about is production. It may take a few weeks or months to decide if you like working at the practice, so do not jump to sign any agreements or contracts. If possible, try to work at several different jobs. In case one does not work out, you still have a few days a week at which you will be employed until you find an office you are ready to commit to. Since I am in NYC, I do not know much about the corporate dental chains that are present in most other states. Their incentives and offers seem very enticing to a recent grad and they are aggressive! (At a recent meeting, a big dental chain was luring us in with a VIP lounge at the welcome reception). Remember that once you sign on, you may have a hard time getting out of that contract. If any of you have interviewed or worked at these places, please share your experience.

I hope this post helps all you recent grads or dental students who are about to start job hunting. I have met dentists with decades of experience under their belt: there are those that absolutely love their jobs and some that hate them. The latter feel this way because they did not start practicing the way they wanted to and fell into a routine. For them, their job is a way to produce income and nothing more. The ones that love it practice on their own terms, and take pride in it. They get excited about the work that they do. This is who I am trying to model myself after. I hope that I can be as excited about dentistry in 20 years as I am today. If you are a more experienced practice owner reading this, don’t be afraid to take a chance on a recent grad. Keep an open mind: they just might be able to teach you some new things.

Have a great weekend!

Lilya Horowitz, DDS

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dentists and Umpires, Advocating Safety

What do you say to patients/friends who ask about recent headline news of infection control problems in the dental office? I think about two types of professionals—umpires and dentists—as I read recent stories about dentistry and infection control issues.

I tell my patients and neighbors that infection control in the dentist's office is like umpires in baseball: no one notices the umpires until they make a bad call. Then, all of a sudden, they are on the front page of the sports section. One or two umpires/dentists may make a bad call, and all of the umpires/dentists are put under a microscope.

News of questionable infection control procedures in a dental office in Tulsa, Okla., and here in Marana, make this an ideal time to talk about how you can educate your patients and friends about infection control and their safety.

As a dentist and delegate of the Arizona Dental Association, I can tell you that organized dentistry welcomes any and all questions that folks have concerning their dental health. They are a great resource in calming patient fears and explaining what standards they should expect.

Encourage your neighbors and patients to be their own advocate. If they think the office is dirty, go somewhere else. If they notice the dentist or staff not changing into new gloves or disinfecting or washing their hands, speak up immediately to the dentist or staff member.

I hope those who have read accounts of the incidents notice just how many organizations were involved in exposing the story. The County Health Department, OSHA and the news media are all part of keeping patients safe. Dentists must take infection control very seriously. The diseases we are talking about can become a larger problem, as they may not manifest themselves until much later.

As I tell my patients, every dentist in the U.S. is acutely aware that if they do not follow the rules, regulations and guidelines for infection control, they can expect repercussions. Dentists can face penalties such as suspension or loss of license if someone gets sick or is injured. Malpractice suits are always a possibility if the omissions are deemed egregious and restitution to the patient is ruled appropriate.

Our office is very close to the Mexican border. Patients in this area must realize that the strict guidelines and penalties for infection control in the U.S. do not exist in Mexico. Practitioners are not held to the same standards, penalties and transparency as we are here.

A poor dental restoration affects only one person, but a communicable disease can affect a family and a community.

With these talking points, we all should be confident and proud of how we keep our patients safe and the standards that we have in place in this country.

Enjoy the journey,

Bob Oro, DMD, MAGD

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In Honor of Hobbies

When I was a little girl, my parents stressed the importance of having hobbies. I wasn’t quite sure why I needed to have hobbies. After all, I had my friends. Maybe they were my hobbies. In my little girl naiveté, I pictured a hobby as something boring that one did as they got older once they were confined to a rocking chair. For some reason, knitting always came to mind. And knitting didn’t rock my boat, so it seemed I was doomed to a life without hobbies.

Of course, as I approached adulthood, I began to understand that my whole life couldn’t be consumed by hanging out with my friends. Down time with hobbies was something to cherish. And so my journey into “hobbydom” began. Back in the day, my go-to hobbies were playing guitar (I fancied myself the next Joan Baez) and reading. Okay, okay, I know that reading is the default hobby for everyone but, I truly adored reading. I would sometimes read two or three books in a week! Once it became clear to me that I was not, in fact, going to be the opening act for Joan Baez and that I had better pursue a more traditional vocation, my hobbies took a back seat and I focused on career.

But now?

Now I finally truly understand the value of hobbies. I treasure the time away from my long and sometimes stressful work days when I can pursue one of my three favorite hobbies.

First and foremost for me, there is photography. I am willing to bet that among the readers here, there are a lot of you that love photography as much as I do. It seems that the artistic aspect of dentistry lends itself to artistic flair outside of the oral cavity! I have quite a few dentist friends that are amazing photographers. Photography brings me serenity and—pardon the pun—focus. In my everyday hustle-and-bustle world, I often miss what is going on around me. With my camera in hand, I stop to focus, literally and figuratively, on the beauty that surrounds me every day. This is a hobby that brings me great joy.

I also have rediscovered the healing effects of reading. I have also added audiobooks to my life to allow me to indulge in “reading” during my three hour daily commutes. Reading allows me to temporarily leave my world and see it through someone else’s eyes. New to me at this time in my life is that I am as apt to pick up and devour non-fiction book as I am fiction. After facing a day where things may have not gone as I had intended them to go, immersing myself in a great book is just what the doctor ordered.

And finally, although, to be clear, I am completely open to the addition of new hobbies, I love to hike. Sitting in a car for three hours a day gives a semi-permanent L-shape to my posture that definitely needs to be straightened out. Walking in the woods helps my physically and mentally. Problems don’t seem nearly so insurmountable when you are communing with nature.

Hobbies are not only fun. They are, as I have discovered with the wisdom of age, valuable. They allow us to regenerate and regroup. What are your hobbies? Do you take time in your day to indulge yourself in your hobby?

Here’s to finding the time to enjoy your hobbies!

Claudia Anderson, DDS

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

And Now, Introducing...

When I first became an associate at my current practice, patients who had been treated by my boss for years were extremely reluctant to be seen by me. Most of them were reasonably polite about it, expressing a perfectly understandable preference to be seen by the doctor who had been treating them since they first came in. But some patients had a more, let’s say, dramatic reaction.

“Dr. WHO? Absolutely NOT!”

“Where did she come from? How am I supposed to know if she’s even any good?”

“My teeth are SPECIAL and I won’t trust them to just ANYONE!”

“OK, well, I want the EXACT spelling of her name so I can look her up on the Internet before I say yes.”

Hey, I get it. I’m the same way about my hair. If I make an appointment with a master stylist at a salon for my usual highlights and cut, I’m not too thrilled when the shampoo girl runs her inexperienced hands through my tresses and suggests mixing it up with a new ‘do. After all, MY hair follicles are SPECIAL and they need an EXPERT tending to them.

After spending an inordinate amount of time on the phone reassuring our patients of record that I was a perfectly qualified and competent dentist, the office manager told my boss that it was time to introduce me to the world as the newest addition to the practice.

It was time to put me on the website.

I don’t know if older generations of dentists can appreciate the significance of being added to the practice website. Much like getting your name added to the front door or the sign out front, having your picture and biography added to a private practice’s website is a big milestone for new associates. It’s a visual confirmation that our careers are moving forward and in a positive direction. It validates your presence in the practice to patients who haven’t met you yet. And it’s something we can instantly show off to our mommies, daddies, families, buddies, enemies (and any other -ies you can think of) with a few clicks of a mouse.

Writing my bio for the office website wound up being a much more difficult task than I had anticipated. What to include? What to leave out? How do you summarize your career trajectory and present it in such a way that is interesting, informative, and—most importantly—convinces people that they can trust you to be their dentist? Does anyone really care what I do when I’m not at my day job?

I did a little recon work by checking out other dentists’ website profiles, starting first with my former classmates and professors. This turned out to be a hilarious endeavor. I won’t call out anyone in particular, but if those individuals happen to be reading this: COME ON, people. I know you don’t run marathons for charity in your spare time and enjoy perusing the latest scientific literature as a hobby. Who are you kidding? I guess “bar hopping” and “cyberstalking my significant other’s exes” may not be the sort of pastimes you want your patients to know about.

I then struggled to find an appropriate photograph of myself to display online. The last (only) time I had ever been photographed by a professional photographer was for my wedding. Those pictures came out beautifully, but none of them seemed like the right accompaniment to a narrative detailing my training and experience. IMHO, unless you’re walking down the aisle at Westminster Abbey en route to marrying the future king of England, being photographed wearing a tiara doesn’t do much to add to the credibility of your accomplishments.

Do I have photos of myself “in action” as a licensed dentist? Sure do! Here’s one of me as a resident, proudly representing the dental department after a week straight of call:

OK, maybe not practice website material, either. One more thing to add to the to-do list: get professional headshots taken.

For now, I’ll have to make do with the best I have. As of yesterday, my bio has officially gone live on the office website! I have my own little drop-down menu tab and everything! Check it out and let me know if I’ve left out anything that would help make me sound more legit. In the meantime, I’ll be perusing the latest scientific literature and training for my next marathon.

Diana Nguyen, DDS

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Best Years

I’ve owned my practice since 2004. In the middle of the Great Recession, 2010 was our best year up to that point. Last year, 2012 was our best year ever. Of course, I’ve spent time thinking about why those two years stood out.

In 2010, my wife and I traveled to China to adopt our daughter. China required us to stay in the country for three weeks. That, of course, meant that I would be out of the office for three weeks straight. If you include the week we close every year for vacation and the Christmas break, I was out of the office for at least a month and a half. Yet, up to that point, 2010 turned out to be our best year ever.

In 2012, our daughter spent a total of two weeks in the hospital due to a rare condition. Additionally, I was out sick for one week. Those three weeks plus the same weeks off in August and Christmas meant that I was once again out of the office for about a month and a half. Yet, 2012 turned out to be our best year EVER.

As you may know, I do not have the luxury of having an associate fill in during my absences. Interestingly, the years when I have spent the LEAST amount of time in the office turned out to be our best years. As my staff likes to point out, we have identified the weak link in our organization.

Have you ever had days when production actually goes up when you are NOT there? I certainly have. If we know ahead of time that I’ll be out, we schedule procedures that staff can complete. It may vary by state, but they can do sealants, some impressions (like whitening trays), and hygiene can see most of their patients without my presence. When I come back to see how the day went, I usually end up thinking wondering if they really need me around here.

Since these concepts have become clear, it has become easier to take the occasional day off. It is a lot easier to schedule my week-long vacation when I know that my patients, my staff, my office, and the world in general have survived my three-week long absences.

I have learned not to turn down invitations or opportunities just because “I have to work.” Some of those invitations may include attending events at my daughter’s school or joining family and friends from at the amusement park. Maybe my wife just wishes to have a long weekend in wine country. I have learned to say, “Yes.”

When I was writing this, I was preparing to leave for Rome, Italy, to attend my cousin’s destination wedding. When asked if I could attend, admittedly, my first thought was that I would miss at least a week of work. But, upon further reflection, my answer was, “YES, we’ll be there.”

If I am correct, my office, my patients, and my practice will all survive my absence.

Andy Alas, DDS

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Future of Dentistry

I was reading the Winter 2013 edition of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry (Vol. 28, Issue 4) the other day when I came across a conversation with “cosmetic legend” Dr. David Garber about the effects of technology on dentistry. Reading the questions and answers took me back to undergrad.

I have always had an interest in the fine arts and have always been an artist wannabe. There is something so fascinating and amusing about creating a pleasant visual. Right after college, I decided to pursue my interest in arts and was about to start a graduate program in architecture when my life took a turn. A year later, I found myself in a pre-doctoral dental clinic in San Francisco, producing a different kind of art and enjoying the amazing diversity in the artistic culture of the city.

I went deeper in my thoughts to imagine how my life would have been had I graduated an architect. The architecture that I know and love is sitting behind a draft table with my fine point pencils, sketching my ideas and drafting the structures. The joy in being creative to me is not just in having a creative imagination, but also in the skills that enable me to execute it hands-on. As an architect now however, I would be sitting behind a computer screen and using my mouse. I would drag and drop the lines and with only a few clicks, my imagination would take existence. While it would still be an amazing opportunity to show my creativity, I would miss my pencils greatly. This once again reassured me that I had chosen the right path in a career that will never replace my hands-on work with computer software. Or will it?

What is the future of dentistry and where are we headed? Will I soon be sitting behind a computer screen with a scan of my patient’s mouth, programming a robot to perform the treatment? Maybe not to that extent, but it sure seems like we are headed in that direction.

Take a minute to recap how far we have come in dentistry with respect to new gadgets and technologies. It’s unbelievable. Electronic records software can do about 80% of what an administrative assistant would do. Digital radiography eliminates the necessity of an assistant developing films. Auto-fill obturator units eliminate the need for a dentist to condense laterally or vertically. Lasers give everyone the skillful hands that once only a trained surgeon would have had. CAD/CAM technology may one day fully replace the skills of a ceramist!

There are many ideas that are circling around dentistry that may not be yet functional. But imagine a day when they all develop to work just as beautifully as a human hand. How unreal is the work of tomorrow to the limited capacity or our current minds. Just as in the medical field surgeries are being done remotely with robots, I see a day in the future of our field where a programmed intra-oral robot may take over my chairside time and I would only have to endorse the treatment plan! It would be much easier on my back, but for some reason I question whether I want to be around when it actually becomes mainstream!

Mona Goodarzi, DDS

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vacation Time—Is It More Stress Than It’s Worth?

It’s that time of year when we picture ourselves lying on a sandy beach holding a fancy drink with an umbrella, catching up on our reading. Or perhaps you envision yourself hiking through Yellowstone Park with a Nikon DSLR camera slung casually around your neck, ready to capture nature at her best. Or maybe it’s a golfing vacation. Whatever rocks your boat when it comes to escaping the day-to-day stresses of work, summer is the time that we most often associate with vacations.

I used to think that the anticipation of a vacation was half of the fun. That was before I was a business owner. Now, the planning and scheduling and rescheduling that needs to be done at the office in order to take time off can take some of the fun out of the anticipation. About three weeks ago, my husband and I started talking about where we wanted to go for vacation this summer. It started out with much enthusiasm and excitement.

And then the reality set in. What does taking time off mean for the office?

As business owners, we don’t get vacation pay. In most situations, when we aren’t working, we aren’t earning. Then there’s the guilt that we deal with when we take vacations. We often struggle with feeling that we are abandoning our patients and, to some extent, even our staff. We are sure that they can’t live without us (really?). How can we take that fun and relaxing vacation that we so surely deserve without stress? Here are a couple of suggestions that I’ve learned over the years.

Start a vacation fund for yourself and put a designated amount of money into it at regularly scheduled times. This will allow you to have that vacation pay without feeling like you are tapping into your savings.

Schedule vacation time. Plan the time that you want to take off as far ahead as possible. This allows for staff accommodations and, of course, patient accommodations.

Plan patient coverage. If you are fortunate enough to have other dentists working with or for you, discuss far in advance your vacation plans and work out a mutually agreed upon coverage for your emergency patients. If you are a solo practitioner, connect with one of your local colleagues and set up a mutual coverage agreement that allows each of you to take time off with the peace of mind that your colleague will cover your emergencies.

Plan front desk coverage. Work with your front desk staff to arrange phone coverage and handling of office-related issues. Phones that aren’t being answered over an extended period of time make the office look less professional. Having your front desk staff work for a few hours each day processing payments, answering phones and handling issues creates a sense of reliability with your current and potential patients.

And so, because I’ve taken some of my own advice (at least this time) I am eagerly planning our summer adventure this year. That doesn’t mean that it will all go without a hitch, but, I do feel good about the pre-planning that I have put in place to make our vacation as stress free as possible.

Now, if only I could control the weather!

Claudia Anderson, DDS

Monday, July 1, 2013

Abnormalities, Volume I


I have decided to give back to dentistry today. For several years, I have run across certain patient conditions that I couldn’t seem to find in the text books. So, as a gift to my fellow dentists, I am going to share my data and findings with you. This will save you all years of research.

You’re welcome.

Monoswallow Phobia
The fear of swallowing your own saliva. These patients need to hold the saliva ejector themselves to immediately suction the first drop of saliva.

Cranial-Position Unawareness
Patients that have this problem can’t seem to put their heads in the center of the head rest. You need to grab the head very gently, and slowly move it to the center for them.

Immedia-P Syndrome
Having to use the restroom immediately when called back.

Ba-Dum-Bump Condition
Everything they say is a one-liner from a comedy club. “Hey Doc, what time is it? Tooth hurty?” Ba-dum-bump.

False Groanification Illness
Involves groaning for no apparent reason. When these patients are asked if something hurts, they say no.

Communication Acknowledgment Denier
Also known as CAD. This patient acknowledges all facets of treatment while in the operatory, but denies knowing anything when at the front desk.

Dento-Podiatry Substitution Disorder
These people get confused about where they are, and take their shoes off to get dental work done.

Directional Proprioceptive Hyperactivity Syndrome
It only takes the slightest touch on either side of the mouth, and their head cranks 90 degrees in that direction. “Listen, I am going to be pulling on your cheek, but I want you to keep your head straight.”

Intermittent Financial Obligation Amnesia
Seems to strike only when the patient is expected to pay after treatment is completed. Wallets and purses were mysteriously left at home on appointment day.

Delay-P Syndrome
Similar to Immedia-P, except they wait until they reach the dental chair before they have to use the restroom.

Delusional Relationship Disorder
Patients who inappropriately address the doctor by their first name to insinuate a closer personal relationship than they have. Some people who suffer from this actually have a memory of growing up with the doctor.

I certainly hope this first volume of maladies makes it easier for you to interact with your patients.

Have a great week,

Scott Jackson, DMD, MAGD


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