YES, different dentists are different, it is in human nature to be different. BUT, what qualities in a dentist make a difference in the care that a patient receives?
When looking for the best dentist look for information that tell you if the dentist’s heart is in the right place. Is the dentist compassionate? Does the dentist act with integrity?
1. COMPASSION is the Most Important Quality of the Best Dentist
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines COMPASSION as:
“sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it”
Compassion at the highest level is the love that a parent feels towards their own child.
The desire to help others needs to be central to all healthcare providers. In fact, it should be central to all people. Imagine a world where all human actions would be guided by the Golden Rule, a rule that appears in every religion:
“One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”
Just like any other human quality, some people are more compassionate and some people are less compassionate. This is the same with doctors and dentist as there is no compassion test before entering medical/ dental school and there is no compassion training in medical/ dental school.
So what does Compassion have to do with the best dentist?
- the more compassionate the dentist the more your best interests will be at the centre of your dental care leading to better patient satisfaction
- compassion allows the dentist to more fully understand the patient’s situation leading to improved diagnosis
- compassion lowers patient’s anxiety and distress
- compassion significantly improves clinical outcomes
Compassion generates trust between the patient and the dentist. Compassion leads to trust, it is the main reason why if you had a friend who was a dentist you would see them as the best dentist because you know they will have your best interests in mind. A dentist having their heart in the right place is only one part, albeit the most important part, of the puzzle in the qualities of the best dentist.
When looking for the best dentist look for signs of the level of compassion in the dentist you are considering, it is good for your health and it makes for a more enjoyable experience! When you meet the best dentist pay attention to the feelings of compassion within the dentist and dental team.
AND HERE COMES THE MIND BLOWING PART:
As the Dalai Lama said “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
The first part of Dalai Lama’s statement is obvious, if you show compassionate love to someone they will benefit from it. The second part contradicts the widely held belief that my happiness is best accomplished by focusing on my own interests. However, science of happiness ( yes, happiness is a widely studied subject by scientists!) agrees with the Dalai Lama. As it turns out compassion for others and oneself are one and the same thing. So being compassionate towards others grows one’s ability to be more compassionate towards the self. Self-compassion is the ability to feel the love of a parent without the parent.
Here is the point: Compassion from the dentist and dental team makes patients happy and healthy, the happiness in the patients returns to make a happier dentist and dental team which returns back to happier patients.... it is a continuous circle of growing compassion that takes on a snowball effect that leads to astonishing results: Dental Clinic with the Most 5 STAR REVIEWS. Above all, patients remember what they felt and when they get treated way beyond what they expected they leave a review.
2. INTEGRITY is the Principle that Always Guides the Actions of the Best Dentist
“Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.”- C.S. Lewis
Compassion leads to integrity. Integrity is the second most important quality of the best dentist.
The best dentist always acts in the best interest of the patient.
TOO MANY DENTISTS AND CORPORATE AMERICA OWNING DENTAL OFFICES has created two types of dentists: Doctor Dentists and Business Dentists.
The Doctor Dentist carefully weights the advantages and disadvantages of each option available for a particular issue you may be having, including the option of doing nothing, and helps guide you in making the right choice for you. Doctor Dentist is the best dentist and results in the ideal amount and type of dental work at the right time. The best dentist is clearly aware of the advantages and disadvantages of all treatment options, similar to the best medical doctor being aware of the effects and side effects of medications.
The Business Dentist is not the best dentist. Like Corporate America on the surface it may seem appealing and the actions may seem genuine and kind-hearted, but underneath the motivation is not compassion it is greed. A Business Dentist will over-diagnose and over-treat in as short period of time as possible, leaving you poorer and less healthy. Business Dentists under-estimate their ability to do harm and over-estimate their ability to heal.
3.Can you tell the difference between the Best Doctor Dentist and Business Dentist?
A) Avoid a Business Dentist by asking who owns the dental office: Corporation or Dentist?
The problem is not Corporate America. The problem is our relationship with Corporate America. Corporate America is about making money any way it can, no matter what. IT IS UP TO YOU to realize this and BE SMART ABOUT YOUR CHOICES. Look below the surface. Don’t fall for: it looks good and it feels good so it must be good.
Ultimately it is the patient choices that drive the dental market place: If you believe that a corporate dental office is not good for your dental health ask who owns the dental office before booking an appointment. Some hints that a dentist clinic may be a Corporation:
- multiple locations
- frequent change of dentists
- high turn over of staff
- dentist name is NOT on the door ( high dentist turn over makes it inconvenient to replace)
- heavy marketing and advertising
- over-emphasis on appealing to your senses eg. a WOW beautiful office
- over-emphasis on convenience: THE DOWNSIDE OF CONVENIENCE IS ALWAYS HIGH! but most people do not look below the surface to see the downside. For example, fast food is convenient but the downside is that the food is unhealthy. We have given up our health for convenience!
B) Avoid unethical dentists
If a dentist is willing to commit insurance fraud (a criminal offence) like not collecting deductibles or billing for procedures never done, what other unethical behaviour is happening in the office behind the scenes that impacts your health without you knowing it?
Another example of illegal behaviour would be offering a discount for cash payments.
Furthermore, you may be on the hook as well for illegal activities if you are a patient at such an office.
C) Avoid the “business dentist”
Signs of a “Business Dentist”:
- over emphasis on the advantages of doing treatment and downplaying the disadvantages
- not discussing the pros and cons of doing nothing
- more interested in your insurance than you
- a slick sales person that sees you as a customer, not as a patient and a human being
- trying to scare you or excite you in order to sell you services e.g. cancer screening
- a dentist that has ever replaced silver fillings because they are old/ worn out or hazardous to your health
- Do I really need this X-ray, treatment or procedure?
- What happens if I do nothing?
- What are the downsides and the benefits?
- Are there simpler, safer options?
D) SEEK OUT THE BEST DENTIST, a dentist with Compassionate Integrity
During your search look for signs of Compassion and Integrity in the dentist:
In the best interest of your health and well-being,