THE 2006 NEWSLETTER
I hope you had a great year 2006. We had the company of my sister from Toronto, my sister-in-law of Montreal and my brother-in-law living in Québec City. They all need the heat of the South sometimes and they like to get a sunburn as a souvenir before they go back to Canada. Our children are still living in Orlando. Sarah started her career in Marketing Research at Florida Hospital and Simon is achieving his bachelor in Graphic Design.
By now you probably know my new hobby… hunting! Of course, shooting is part of it and I am seriously beginning to get addicted to “trap” and “skeet”, or just about all sporting clay shooting. I invite you to consider joining the Port-Malabar club on Sundays. Hunting allows me to escape the urban life. The quiet sunrise and sunsets are really enjoyable in the wild. Mom is particularly pleased when I can visit her while hunting back home. Over there, I have my favorite outfitter which I recommend very much for the experience of the wild, but with modern facilities and proximity to the city of Quebec. It will be my pleasure to get you in touch with them and get organized for the spring black bear season or the deer, beaver and moose in fall.
Enough of myself, let me tell you what’s new in the practice. Actually, before I get into the details of technology, you know what lasts longer than the equipment itself? The staff! My two hygienists Erin and Barbara add 54 years of experience to the practice while my trained assistants Michelle, Lida, and Martha total 74 years between the three of them. Including myself, this is 150 years of professional service. And Patti and Sylvie’s added front office experience helps the office continue to run smoothly. I am proud of all of my girls. WOW!
Even I am surprised how fast things change in dentistry. After the initial investment in the high technology, some might think you can sit on it. Wrong! For the third time in ten years, we’re having to replace the computers with the latest, including a new system with new software, connections, printers, and X-ray sensors: the whole family of products that cannot deal with the good “old“ ones! It can be frustrating to go through the bugs of the update, but we can’t stop the progress.
Kodak has been a major company in the dental industry with its X-ray processing chemicals and more recently with the anesthetic solutions. The company finally got into the digital imaging and office management softwares. Kodak bought both of the companies I have been dealing with from the beginning so the transition was rather natural (even if it seemed pretty tough at first). We now have a new tool to better evaluate those cavities inbetween teeth. Thanks to the “Logicon” software, you will clearly visualize the extent of the decay hiding from your eyes, right on the screen in front of you.
Soon, I will replace the heavy TV monitors in each room with more mobile flat LCD monitors so that you can comfortably watch satellite TV or play Nintendo in any position we put the chair.
THE BIRD FLU
It is a real threat. It has already gotten the attention of the entire world community but it has not yet been reported in the Americas. We know how harmful this flu can be, but we can stay away from it by avoiding contact with infected birds and by observing the usual prevention tips for colds. Authorities worry about the possibility of the influenza spreading from human to human, which could allow the virus to gain strength through mutation and become a pandemic.
As a precaution, you will see the bottles of water-free hand wash in my office. I encourage you to use it to disinfect your hands at all times because it is the most common way to get the flu… no more hand shakes! For now, this practice is not an obligation but I would like to start making it a habit before we find out the hard way. In case of a pandemic scenario, for your own safety, just like you would prepare for a hurricane, you should plan for some extra money, gas, food and get “squared” with anything unsettled such as medical conditions (including cavities, cracks, and wisdom teeth), wills, paper work and planning.
The word I find the most often in my brochure and newsletters: PREVENTION. It can’t be said enough!
When we offer you services such as fluoride topical application (even for adults), sealants for grooves, gum probing and oral cancer screenings with Vizilite and Oral CDx, we mean real prevention. It is up to you to decide if you would like the treatment or not, especially when your insurance does not always pay for the items you expect them to cover. The insurances would certainly pay for it if they had a long term contract on your policy or were responsible for the treatment of cancer (your health insurance’s responsibility). For example, some patients need cleanings more than twice a year to control their gum disease, and they have to decide if they wait to please their insurance or take advantage of the benefits of getting the good care.
In fact, as my patient, you get a lot of prevention at no charge. My office has air filters and purifiers, a waterline treatment (ozone), uses a pre-op rinse, and we could take your blood pressure. With prevention in mind, I invested in digital X-ray to further reduce the radiation of the already very low levels on our high tech machines. Besides, we stay safe with top of the line sterilization and latex-free materials.
Since you received this letter, I know you follow your maintenance appointments at the pace your periodontal condition needs. When you refer a patient to our practice, make sure they understand the commitment you have made to your own teeth. Just like exercising your muscles is a healthy habit we recommend to all, new patients will be expected to schedule for regular care for their teeth.
I want to thank my regular patients for your attendance. Dentistry is expensive, there’s no way out. However, missed appointments make it worse for my office. Our schedule is organized by respecting every appointment’s time. The plan is to avoid spoiling your reserved time, while the staff and I are all available, when someone else in need could have had treatment done. The common solution in many industries is to overbook, but I will never accept to neglect or rush a patient because of another one waiting. We always appreciate early cancellations, as many days before the appointment as possible, rather than last minute call or the worst…a “no show”. In case of short or no notice, there will be no re-scheduling. You will be asked to call back the day you are available so that we can check if there is an opening at the last minute for you. Chances are that one will fit your immediate availability so you can come in right then.
WISH YOU GREAT HOLIDAYS
The girls, Lida, Michelle, Martha, Erin, Barbara, Patti and Sylvie join me in wishing everyone a great holiday and a happy New Year. We hope you will enjoy the 2007 calendar with the card. You will also find a couple of the practice brochures. Please feel free to give them to friends or co-workers so they can see for themselves the purple office, where you go to take care of your teeth. I always believed that great patients refer other great patients to the practice. It’s the word of mouth. Thank you for your confidence and see you soon.