Several weeks ago I saw an advertisement for McDonald’s Egg McMuffins. While I am not a fan of Egg McMuffins, I really liked the ad. The point of the advertisement is that Egg McMuffins are so incredibly good that they are the standard by which other elements in one’s life should be evaluated, even relationships. Not long after I saw the advertisement, I retired my Blackberry started using an iPhone. As with any new electronic devise, I had a significant learning curve to feel comfortable with my iPhone but the more I use it and it’s multitude of applications, the more I like it. In fact I like it so much that it has become my evaluation standard. As CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs was relentless in his demands for new products. He insisted that they provide an end to end user friendly experience; create superior customer value; be artistically pleasing; be of the highest technological standards; be easily interfaced with other Apple products and even be “playful.” While some would fault Jobs for his inter-personal skills, there can be no argument about the superior quality of his innovative products. No doubt if Jobs has chosen dentistry as a profession he would have created a superior practice because the same standards that he relentlessly pursued for his products would create a superior practice as well. Patients are seeking dentists who are at the forefront of technology, are meticulous in providing excellent care, provide an end to end “patient friendly” experience, and be even if not playful at least friendly and compassionate. I am not sure that I would want to be known as the “Egg McMuffin” of dentists, but being the “iPhone” of dentists would is a goal worth pursuing.
One of the wonderful opportunities that dentistry provides is the opportunity to give back. The needs in our local communities are increasing. In recently published data it was reported that in 2009, nearly 50 percent of children ages 2-17, without health insurance had not seen a dentist in the past year, and more than one in five needed dental care, but did not receive it because they could not afford the cost. Untreated oral diseases can lead to problems in eating, speaking, and sleeping. Poor oral health among children has been tied to poor performance in school and poor social relationships. For example, children with chronic dental pain may have difficulty concentrating, poor self-image, and problems completing schoolwork. Children with early childhood dental problems also often weigh less. Seven percent of children ages two to 17 had unmet dental needs, meaning they did not receive dental care in the past year due to financial constraints.
Many of us regularly take the opportunity to travel to third world countries to donate dental services to the disadvantaged. Sometimes we forget the needs right here at home. One of the highlights of my years of private practice was the annual day we donated free dentistry to the community. I had a great sense of gratitude for the support that my practice received from our community so it always felt good to give back. This year I was able to carry on the tradition of giving back by donating a day of free dentistry in the rural community where I work with a non-profit health care organization. With the help of three staff member who donated their time we were able to donate over $6000 worth of dentistry. It felt good!
If you want to pull off a successful free dental day, contact me and I can help.