Skip to main content

Dentists and the service industry.

So now I have to get a crown (which I didn't realize was almost always necessary after a root canal--especially in a molar) and I have to decide whether I should go to my regular dentist or to my new dentist. This is my post on trying to figure out the pros and cons of either and it brings up an interesting point that relates to my job.

Part of what my company does is coach financial planners on how to get and retain high net worth clients (or any clients, for that matter), and we've had some speakers talk about presentation of office etc.

My old dentist, let us call him A, has a beautiful private office in the first floor of what was once a house outside of Davis Square in Somerville. This used to be relatively easy to access from my old address, but is somewhat harder now (it is where I learned to ride a bike). The waiting room has a TV, and a large array of magazines and some lovely art (because the dentist owns a share in an art gallery on Newbury St.). There are several hygienists and the rooms are relatively private. There's mouthwash and toothpaste available in the bathroom. There's always unobtrusive rock and roll playing. There are plants.

I generally see the hygienist and only see the dentist for cavities. He's nice and thorough, and the practice uses the most modern equipment including showing you a slide of the lovely bacteria in your mouth on a big screen. It also, IMO oversells. They like you to come in every three months. They've scaled both my teeth and my husbands, convinced us to buy a water pick and seem to end each session with some new product you should really try--special toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. Most I resist and if I do buy, I don't buy it from them but find a lower price elsewhere. I'm sure it's how he is able to have such a lovely office. Parking is on the street, but I've never really had a problem.

Dentist B, on the other hand is in Malden and were the weather permitting, I could easily walk there. There is a parking lot, but it's kind of tricky to get to. She's in an old office building. The office is spare and she has only one hygienist and privacy is a little less. She's Chinese, and didn't always understand me during small talk but always understood when I said I was still feeling pain or had other concerns. I don't think she was using the most modern techniques (but I don't' know since this was my first root canal), and even though she prescribed pain killers for me she spoke of her own belief in only holistic and homeopathic medicine.

Here's the thing. I don't think I really like Dentist A and I liked Dentist B, for all of the limitations. She seemed more concerned, even though Dentist A called me several times (I had left messages telling him of my problem) assuring me that he would fit me in to relieve the pain even though he was fully booked. He worked very hard to get my bite right from the filling--but this was the first time that I had ever had a problem with a bite and I don't know if that was him speeding through the filling or just a fluke and didn't charge me to redo his own work, but somehow she just seemed more gentle and more responsive. On the negative, both seem to have slightly ditzy assistants. Dentist B also seems a little disorganized, scrambling to get everything together, while Dentist A clearly has a system, with everything in it's place. Not something you want to worry about as you lay there with your mouth painfully open, and strange machines buzzing.

So I'm probably leaning towards switching dentists. So what do we make of the better office theory of our speakers. In the end, it's about concern and listening and not the showy office or expensive decorations. I'm not sure if most financial planners get that.


Popular posts from this blog

Driving in Boston

Inching along in a log jam of traffic yesterday on the Mass Pike I watched an Audi a few cars in front of me weave in and out of traffic determined to find the lane that was "moving" and yet for the whole half an hour that we sat there he ended up still only a few cars ahead of me. Sure there were times his lane pulled ahead, but then mine would catch up and he would switch back. The only thing he accomplished was to make the line that much slower. There was a great article that a friend sent me years ago on the physics of traffic and it has been determined that weaving in and out of tight traffic will really gain you nothing and in fact cause the very blockages that you believe you are defying. (Sidenote--an unfortunately side effect of so much of interest on the internet is that it is impossible to store all of the articles that interest you over the years in the vague belief that you will someday want to reference them to others) The article also pointed out that if all d…

Adapting a book--The Prestige

I was completely blown away by the movie of The Prestige, and I thought then about reading the novel, but it seemed too soon. So I carried the author's name around with me for over a year (Christopher Priest) and then, finally remembered to buy it through an odd sequence of events. We watched The Painted Veil based on the novel by Maugham starring Edward Norton, and while I decided I didn't want to read The Painted Veil because of it's differences from the film (which was more romantic and tragic) it reminded me that I had wanted to read Fight Club (the movie version of which starred Edward Norton) and that reminded me that I had wanted to read The Prestige (which did not star Edward Norton, but was up against The Illusionist which did). it's all Edward Norton's fault.

The Prestige is a very good novel, and yet, the movie differs from it considerably. And I am still trying to figure out what exactly that means. The central premise is the same, AND HER…

The end of Cloud Atlas

Feel I must write this--promised it to myself, can I finish before midnight (when I said I would go to bed at 11)?

Where was I?

Oh, yes, section 5, where it gets interesting--because it's the future, at least 25 years, hopefully more. I say hopefully, because I don't want to be living in this future. The section is called "An Orison of Sonmi-451." An Orison (I had to look it up, proving I don't remember my Shakespeare) is a prayer, but in this future world where language has taken as many turns as in Orwell's 1984, it is more a confession or final statement. Sonmi-451 is a clone (as the name might suggest). The section is not entirely original. It owes much to Brave New World and Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (made into the film Bladerunner). I find it interesting that 40 or so years ago--when Dick wrote his book he believed that future slaves would be Androids, replicants. Now we are much more likely to presume they will be clones,…