The older I get, the more I dislike going to the dentist. I don’t know if it has to do with the increasing number of root canals and crowns I’ve needed, or if it has to do with becoming more controlling as I age and feeling totally out of control in the dentist’s chair.
Regardless of my feelings about going to the dentist, I had a surprising customer service experience at my new dentist’s office recently. I had been putting off finding a new dentist since we moved to the big city over a year ago. It became urgent to find one when I started having a sensitive tooth that made me shriek (inwardly) every time I drank or ate something cold.
I did my research: asked people, went online to Yelp and tried to discover what I could about the local dentists. I also needed to find a dentist in my insurance network. I found the one that seemed to fit, called, made the appointment, and showed up at the appointed time after receiving a nice email reminder.
The receptionist greeted me, introduced herself and SHOOK MY HAND. I had barely sat down with my clipboard of forms to complete before the clinic door flew open and the dental assistant called me. She introduced herself and SHOOK MY HAND. She said we would deal with the paperwork as time allowed. She talked to me about x-rays, and asked if she could take new films and a dental impression. She asked about my former dentist in another state, and when I couldn’t remember his name, the receptionist returned with a page of names from the Internet and asked me if anything looked familiar.
The dentist came right in after the x-rays, surprisingly did not shake my hand, but proceeded to look in my mouth carefully, gently, and asked lots of questions. Then he discussed a tentative care plan with me, and when we agreed, he turned me back over to the assistant for some remedial gum care training. Magically, I completed my paperwork by the time I was done in the chair.
I stepped to the check-out desk feeling confident that my dental health was in very good hands. Then the receptionist (whom I found out later was the dentist’s wife) had some information for me about what the care plan would cost. She had called my insurance company and found out what my plan would cover and what I would be paying out of pocket. She explained it beautifully and I was so impressed I asked her for some advice about the financial counseling program I am starting in my practice. She had some interesting insights to share.
- Got positive feedback on dentist online.
- Was able to get an appointment within a week.
- Got an email reminder.
- Receptionist and dental assistant shook my hand.
- Dentist was gentle and talked things over with me.
- Receptionist explained my insurance plan clearly and what I would owe, and gave me choices for scheduling services.
- I felt cared for, respected, and that they were happy to have my business.