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We All Want a Little TLC

Issue: Fall 2009
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After all, the patient’s comfort and perception of the office keeps our waiting room filled with return patients and new referrals. Regarding our new electric handpieces, patients agreed on many aspects:

Question 1: New electric handpieces feel more comfortable and run at more uniform speed regardless of load, saving time, and increasing efficiency and functionality. This equipment actually shortens the time you spend in the dental chair. How do you feel about that?

Response: Although all of our patients enjoy a good visit to the dental office, they appreciated faster completion of their procedure, so they can go out and put their teeth to practical use, in the nearest restaurant to celebrate their beautiful smile.

Question 2: Higher quality bearings and tighter chucks keep the bur rotating more concentrically, reducing “chatter” and vibration in the mouth. Would you appreciate this during your visit?

Response: 100 percent of the respondents said that the only “chatter” they appreciate in the chair is the discussion of their dental health or their families.

Electric handpieces deliver enhanced performance and a more pleasant experience for doctor and patient

Question 3: Robust optics in the handpiece illuminate the mouth better, and hold up better under sterilization. Is this important to you?

Response: All our patients “saw the light” on this subject as well. When dentists are literally on the tooth’s “cutting edge,” patients want them to have the brightest view. They also don’t want the doctor to suffer from eyestrain, especially if they are the last patient of the day. They insist on the most rigorous sterilization—and these handpieces can take the heat.

Question 4: Electric handpieces expel water from multiple ports to cool the tooth, leading to increased comfort for the patient and providing protection for the tooth’s vital structures. How do you feel about that?

Response: 100-percent agreed that everyone in the office, including teeth, should keep cool.

Question 5: These new electric handpieces are considerably quieter… We didn’t even have to finish that question. The whir of the dental handpiece is just as grating to the dentist as it is to the patient. The quieter—the better. The office music should provide the ambiance, not the handpiece.

Dentists are also responding favorably to electric handpieces. Control panels allow us to adjust RPMs and torque, even for specialty applications. They are easy to control, durable, and also adaptable. Yet another plus for these new handpieces is their balance and ergonomic construction that reduces stress—the dentist’s wrist, hand, shoulders, and neck could use a little TLC. So, the survey results are in. The new electric handpieces are healthier for the doctor and the patient. They relieve stress and make our jobs easier. We like to discover patients’ opinions about our office—especially when we agree with them 100 percent!

Dr. Brad Durham has practiced for 25 years with an emphasis on head, neck, and facial pain treatment, dental cosmetics, and complex dental reconstruction. He is a clinical instructor at The Las Vegas Institute, and was the world’s first recipient of the LVI Mastership award for aesthetic reconstruction. He is the creator of “The Niche Practice” course series. He can be reached at drd@braddurhamdmd.com and www.nichepractice.com.