We recently had a patient send us a survey comment questioning why his/her regular tooth cleaning appointment took longer than 30 minutes. “Everyone else I know gets it done in half an hour. I am always there OVER an hour.”
So – just what do we do in all that time and why do we do it? What is it about the care you receive at NHCCD? It’s a great question! We believe the WHY is the most important part because without that, WHAT we do has no reason for being.
A Healthy Mouth Impacts Your Total Health
We believe that when you come to us, you are trusting us with your health. For us, health is not only about the mouth – your mouth is an integrated part of your body and as such, it effects the rest of your body. And vice versa: what is going on in your body can effect the health of your mouth. We take time to explore all of this, starting with a blood pressure check and oral cancer screening. A good number of patients have thanked us for finding undiagnosed hypertension that they then followed up with their primary care physicians. Finding suspicious changes in the mouth, head and neck has also alerted patients to go for further diagnostic testing. Since our patients often see us more than their physicians, we consider it time well used and part of our comprehensive caring.
Your Dental Exam Helps You Make Choices
We believe that you have a right to know what is going on in your body and that teaching involves more than just telling. It would be easier and quicker to just do the exam and tell you what you need. That`s what the great majority of dentist offices do, so anything else feels different. Our process of co-discovery takes more time and involves you in exploring and really understanding what`s going on in your body. That understanding gives you better knowledge for making decisions for your care.
We believe that when you are knowledgeable about the health of your mouth, you can make informed decisions based on what you want. Not everyone wants the same thing. When we take our time to listen, the Dentist, Hygienist and Patient Advocate learn what`s important to you. And you can also learn from hearing your own answers to our exploring questions about what`s really important to you. Once you know that, and in partnership with the dentist, you can choose a path for care that suits you best. Who else should be making decisions regarding your health?
There’s More to Your Cleaning Appointment Than Cleaning
We believe that doing things right sometimes takes more time. Our minimal time for completing a regular tooth cleaning is 45 minutes. Add in another 15 minutes for blood pressure, tooth charting and the dentist exam. Sometimes we schedule 75 minutes for appointments with added services like x-rays or charting the depths of all your gum `pockets`. Time is always based on how much is needed to do it right.
Not every patient feels these things are important. They are to us. That`s WHY we do WHAT we do – exceptional comprehensive dental care. If you’re interested in the way we provide comprehensive care, please give us a call.