Among my guilty pleasures is recording “The View” every day. At my convenience, I sit down with a cup of coffee and my remote control and take in the provocative and free flowing “Hot Topics” conversation among these intelligent and diverse women. The topics range from politics, to pop culture, to sex – and recently to dentistry.
Whoopi Goldberg missed two days of the show because of dental problems. They talked about how she showed up for work one morning with her face horribly swollen, and she could barely talk. When she returned, she admitted she had not gone to the dentist for many years. She ended up with a terrible infection that could have been life-threatening. She was told she would lose most of her teeth.
You have to wonder why this intelligent and very public person would not have been to the dentist in years. It certainly wasn’t because she couldn’t afford it. She probably also has great insurance coverage. It wasn’t because she lives in a remote area without competent dentistry. With a short cab ride or walk, she could visit one of the 63 Trojan clients that are close to where she goes to work each day. The single obstacle, she confessed, was FEAR. Her early experiences with dentistry had been filled with pain.
She’d never had the benefit of good preventive dentistry or the pain-free dentistry of today.
This time, her experience was far different. She was amazed at the great and gentle care she received and embarrassed she had waited so long. She has become an advocate for everyone to get to the dentist. All of us who are involved in dentistry need to do a better job of getting the message out that dentistry is not to be feared… that dental health relates directly to overall physical health … that regular visits to the dentist can actually be pleasant. I look forward to my regular cleaning appointments when I get an update on my hygienist’s kids. I’ve followed their swimming accomplishments and college choices and always love the opportunity to share the latest photos of my grandkids. It’s like visiting a friend. (I also like to peruse the old issues of People magazine in the reception room– another guilty pleasure.) My positive experiences are a reflection not only of competent dentistry but also of an atmosphere in the practice that is personal and welcoming.
Does your practice have an effective way of communicating the positive aspects of dentistry? Do you have ideas of innovative ways others can do this? We’d love to hear from you and share your success with our readers. (Email: NikkiM@trojanonline.com) This is not an easy challenge. It means changing attitudes and beliefs that are decades old. We will be stronger if we unite. When one of us succeeds, it raises the entire industry.
Ingrid Kidd Goldfarb has served as President of Trojan Professional Services since the death of her husband and Trojan founder, Charlie Kidd, in May of 1990. Ingrid spends more time with family now, as well as indulging in her guilty pleasure of day time talk shows alongside husband and dog.