A New Year: Our Practice Philosophy
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable time ringing in the New Year and new decade. Around here we took some time off to spend with family and friends. My family was able to travel to Louisiana to spend time with my brother’s family and meet our one month old niece. My girls really enjoyed getting to spend time with their cousins!
Every New Year affords the ideal time to evaluate our practice in order to assure we are continuing to maintain a healthy practice philosophy. Here’s just a little peek into the kinds of conversations we’ve been having around the office:
First, we take pride in putting our patients’ best interest in the forefront. Because it is so central, this is an ever-evolving process in constant need of assessment. As a dentist, I’m trained to diagnose a condition and discern the most direct and effective way to treat that condition. However, with many patients there may be unexpected constraints such as time, finances, or anxiety that stand in the way of treatment. Additionally, with a constant flow of new technologies in the world of dentistry, there are often multiple treatment options available to help a person achieve their oral health goals. Over the past few years we’ve worked hard to become more co-diagnostic with our patients. This approach allows our patients not only to see problems with their own eyes through digital photography and x-rays, but also to have an informed conversation about the pros and cons of various treatment options. Co-diagnosing simply allows our patients to take more ownership over their own oral health. We look forward to finding new opportunities in the coming year to continually improve on this critically centric philosophy.
Second, we are committed to comprehensive, ongoing education. Our world is in constant flux and the practice of dentistry is no different. New procedures, techniques, and technologies are rapidly developing at an accelerating pace. In this environment, taking the time to thoughtfully discern what is most informative for our patients is something we believe is a worthwhile undertaking. This is especially true in our ever growing and sometimes overwhelming digital world. Our goal is to keep up to date on important changes, but only implement ones we believe most benefit our patients. One exciting new education opportunity we have added this year is partnering with Spear Education. This well-respected continuing dental education program provides high-end online training and customized practice evaluation. In addition to this, in 2020 our entire office staff will be attending a 3 day hands-on training course at Spear's headquarters in Arizona. I will also continue to be part of a traditional “study club”, a local group made up of my peers who review and evaluate real-life dental treatment cases. It’s exciting that 2020 is shaping up to be one of our most vigorous years of continuing education!
Third, we emphasize oral health as a part of overall, systemic health. It seems like almost every day new research is being published uncovering the link between dental health and whole body health. We’re realizing more and more how the body’s systems are not in fact so isolated from one another. As we work with our patients, we want to make sure we consider a person’s whole health when treating and diagnosing oral health. Healthy living is something we also emphasize with our office staff as well. It’s been noticeable over the last year how many of our staff has made conscientious decisions about increasing exercise and changing dietary habits. It’s been a joy to see, especially when our staff members encourage one another. We look forward to continuing this trend and hearing what other people are doing in 2020.
We have been continually reviewing and updating these philosophies every year since 1982. We look forward to extending this trend in 2020 and beyond. All of us here wish you a Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2020!