Would you believe the best practice builder is throwing patients out?
The founder of POH, Robert Jones, DDS, had his own special method of motivating patients who did not follow his instructions to properly clean their teeth each night before bed. When Mrs Smith (aka, every non-compliant patient) presented with a filthy mouth for the third time, here is what they got.
Doc purchased a phase contrast microscope for his office, and he put it right by a dental chair. Seating the third strike patient, Doc would proceed to tell Mrs. Smith (and all patients like her) that she was not keeping her teeth clean and he could see the results of such neglect. Taking a probe and scooping a sample of plaque from Mrs. Smith’s mouth, Doc would mount it on a slide. After dialing the scope in, Doc would find an interesting little part of the secret little world. Then he would allow Mrs. Smith to see for herself what was causing her tooth decay and gum disease. Nothing really changes a patients view of their mouth more than actually seeing with their own two eyes what is going on in their mouth at a microscopic level. Especially when a relatively large organism would motor by, and Mrs. Smith would recoil from the sight. Plaque is more than a word. It is a world.
Doc Jones would patiently tell Mrs. Smith all about this secret little world, how all those little plants and animals live in our mouths, as a natural part of our world of life on Earth. Doc would go on and patiently explain how all those little critters are going about, working in their bug gardens, going to the bug market and generally going about their daily bug business. They have special bug grocery stores, where they get all their food, and a little bug town dump where all their waste goes. Left undisturbed, the bugs happily live on, going about their life cycles, eating and reproducing. Then, putting on his most Doctorly, Deep, Serious Voice, Doc would put down his instruments and say:
“This little world, and all the little bugs are causing most all the decay and gum disease you suffer from. Mrs. Smith, you are not disrupting and disorganizing the bacteria daily as I taught you. For me to take your hard earned money and watch the disease progress is something I personally cannot do. You have ignored my instructions and exhausted my skills as a Dentist. I am sorry but I can no longer in good faith be your Dentist. Goodbye.”
Astonished by this news, Mrs. Smith would inevitably beg Doc for just one more chance, now that she REALLY understands what he is talking about. Doc had great success in gaining patient compliance with this method.
Mrs. Smith would then go on to tell everyone about her Dentist, Dr. Jones, who cares more about the health of her teeth than his own pocketbook. Talk about a practice builder.
This aspect of preventive dentistry is lost on most clinicians. Dr. Jones and all his colleagues in the know saw their practices grow beyond their wildest dreams. Their workload was steady, existing patients grew healthy and more newly referred patients would show up for an appointment. The deep and abiding satisfaction this gave Dr. Jones carried him throughout his career. His patients were healthy. He was happy. =-=-=-=- If your office has never tried POH, here is your chance to see the difference. Today, even yet, the secret little world is still secret to most patients. We are not suggesting everyone emulate Dr. Jones, and go out and buy a phase contrast microscope.
However, If you want your patients to prevent the suffering and pain that comes with poor oral hygiene, call us today. 800.331.4645.
Dr. Jones was one of the first of his generation of Dentist's to make the pilgrimage to New Orleans. Dr. Bass was the reason he went.