My Turn Being a Dental Implant Patient
Recently, I had the experience of being a dental implant patient. Sure, I’ve had regular prophies over the years but have not needed any restorative treatment for some time.
Many years ago I had an asymptomatic periapical lesion involving tooth #23. Endo was done and all was fine until about 6 months ago. I started to experience a slight tenderness over the apex. I went to my endodontist friend and after his evaluation we agreed that the endo was failing and subsequently, he did an apicoectomy. This didn’t solve the problem. I began to experience tenderness to biting pressure and developed a deep lingual pocket. Our suspicions shifted to a cracked tooth which was confirmed by CAT scan.
I went to my periodontist friend and he extracted #23 (which confirmed the root fracture), grafted the socket and augmented the soft tissue in preparation for an implant. The implant was placed about 3 months following and I am now about 3 weeks post implant placement.
I must say my recent journey through dentistry was an enlightening experience. The professionals involved in my care were caring, competent, confident and very professional. Sure we joked and laughed but when they got down to business, they got down to business! They changed from friend to professional. Then did their job well and I was impressed.
So, what impresses our patients? When I look at my implant I say, “it’s perfectly placed in the arch”. Your non-dental patient looks and says, “wow, that didn’t hurt. When two individuals are talking about their dentist, the conversation usually goes like this. “I love my dentist, he (she) is painless, they are always on time, I barely feel the injections, Sally at the front desk is wonderful,” and so on. There is never a mention of the quality of care. It’s not that they don’t care about this. They just don’t realize all that’s necessary to deliver excellent care.
I’m certainly not advocating good PR at the expense of quality. Get to know your patients AND deliver excellent care – you how your reputation develops around town.