Our vision at BSDA is to be the best, most talented friend to everyone who wants to keep the teeth they have. If you break down that statement, first, you may be thinking, why on earth would we want to be friends with our patients? When hunting for a dentist, it’s an obvious assumption that you want them to be talented. No one wants to go to a practice called ‘OK Dentistry’ where multiple malpractice suits have been filed. You want the assurance that the dentist with a drill in their hand is qualified to be using it on your teeth— but friends? Why should that even be a consideration?
What are friends for?
To give a little insight into why we use the word ‘friend,’ let the reader consider the words of what a wise man once said: “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” Think of it this way: boiled potatoes are edible and you can get all your starches and calories by eating them plain and boiled; but don’t you want to add salt, butter, cream, and garlic to it? It’s the same with friendship: you can live your entire life surviving day to day without friends, but your life will be as functional and sterile as a boiled potato.
But let’s think a bit about what we mean by ‘friend’ in the context of a dental relationship. First off, we don’t necessarily mean that we’re going to get beers with you after work, attend your daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, or be at your wedding party. All of those things are potentially possible, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Secondly, we’re not forcing a friendship with any of our clients. We’re not a group of lonely dental professionals trying to lure people into our doors under the pretense of doing dental work, only to trick unsuspecting patients into being our friends (Think of Michael Scott from “The Office”: “I want a hundred kids so I can have a hundred friends and no one can say no to being my friend”).
We think of friends as two parties aligned with the same vision: that vision is to keep the teeth you have, because the best teeth you’ll ever have, are the ones you have in your mouth right now. What we do is dentistry, but what we really do is help people in this lifelong battle against time, aging, wear, and decay. Within that vision, there is a symbiosis, a mutually beneficial relationship that exists, and one that we hope is long-term. We know there’s a tendency with people looking for quality dental care to have a string of one-night stands with dental agencies because they’re looking for ‘the one.’ Maybe you’ve had a change in insurance, but likely you left because you were dissatisfied. You might have felt like you were being hustled by a used car salesman, or the dentist was aloof, impersonal, and didn’t care as much about your teeth as you do. At BSDA we think that the only way to maintain a long-term dental relationship is if both parties have the same goal: keeping and maintaining the teeth you have. That also implies that we care about your teeth as much as you do… and we do.
It’s About More Than Teeth
However, being friends in a dental relationship goes beyond merely sharing the same vision for the future of your teeth. All of us at BSDA, to a person, from the front of house to the back, care as much for the people who own the teeth as the teeth themselves. That means, while the relationship is professional on our part, (after all, we are professionals), that doesn’t mean that we’re stiff and formal. When you walk through the doors of our office, we want you to have the freedom of being yourself around all of our staff.
We could just do the dental work and send patients out the door with a bill, and call the following number on the list, but we’re dealing with humans, not cattle or machines. Humans need to be seen, heard, and understood while receiving the best dental care available. The friendship aspect of the work we do is what makes this job meaningful: it’s the sauce on your pasta, the butter, and jam on your toast. We want to break through the barrier of a strictly formal Dr./patient relationship and get to know the person we’re working on. It’s never something we’ll force on our patients, but think about it: you may see your dentist only 3 hours a year, but multiply that over 25 years, and that’s 75 hours. That’s a substantial amount of time to spend with someone. It could be spent in uncomfortable silence, with only the whirl of drills and scraping sounds of scalers as background noise for company, or it could be spent with friendly banter and laughter. And who knows, maybe we will get a beer with you after work someday.