Dr. Lee Sheldon
Let me highlight some Google reviews that our office has received: “…no pressure to commit to everything they recommend.” “…they tell you what you need and won’t sell you on unnecessary things.” “The most honest and caring providers and staff!”
Why highlight this? Because honesty should be the hallmark of any business. If these patients made it a point to highlight our honesty, is that something that should be heralded? Or is it a sign of what may have occurred to those people in other offices, dental or not.
Unfortunately, high-pressure selling is more common in dentistry than we might think. The upsell at the hamburger place is “do you want fries with that?” The upsell in dentistry may be something else. Fluoride treatments, placement of antibiotic powders below the gumline for treatment of periodontal disease are two examples of procedures that are oversold. For the second time in a month, I saw people who were told that they needed to have all of their teeth removed due to periodontal disease and replaced with dental implants. I saw them and told them that they can save their teeth.
Is it honesty? Is it training? Is it not wanting to give up the patient? Is it not understanding when it is time to refer? Is it pressure from corporate to keep the patient? Is it quotas put onto the assistants? I’m not sure. But it does spell out a point. The patient must understand that there is a profit motive to a business and that business may look at profits first and the customer second. That can happen to any of us encountering any business including dentistry.
Our practice has been here for a long time. Over that period of time, we gained in experience, in technology, in quality of care. We know that we are considered to be a “high-end office.” Dr. Furtado is making three trips to Portugal over the next three months to bring home some new technology that will help our full-arch implant patients. We love bringing cutting-edge therapies to you. But we try just as hard as we can to give options to every patient, options that consider lower cost items as well as the fancy work we are known for.
It is up to you to find the dental practice that fits you. Far too many life-changing dental decisions are made too hastily with not enough information. Take the time to look carefully at your dental options. Ask why. Ask what can I expect. Participate in your dental solution. We’ll do everything that we can to assist you in the process.
Lee N. Sheldon, DMD
2223 Sarno Road
Melbourne, Florida 32935