November 9 2012

Listen and Record

Listen to every patient’s concern, record it and then follow up to see if you have successfully dealt with the issue. If you don’t, this is what happens when the patient gets to me.

“Can you send me to someone who does esthetic dentistry? I don’t think my dentist does it.”

“I couldn’t wear the dentist’s night guard because it hurts to wear it. I just can’t get through the night with it.”

“Do you know of any good dentist’s in the area?”

“I asked the dentist about the click in my jaw and he said that it’s normal and will probably go away in time.”

I am not making this up.

My first response is always, “Have you spoken to your dentist about your concerns?”

The patient’s response is always “No”.

OK, what’s happening here!

• A lack of communication, for one thing.
• A dental practice that appears too busy for the patient to feel that their concerns are being met.
• A dental procedure that has been performed but not followed up to see if it has been successful.

I’m not going to tell anyone how to manage his or her dental practice. However, I’m happy to tell you what I do in my practice and my life. In addition to recording every conversation that I have with my patients, I try to sensitize myself to receiving messages.

Every morning I wake up early enough to do a Yoga Sun Salutation and spend five minutes praying. Here is what I pray for. I thank G-D for what I have. I pray for my family, I pray for the sick people that I know, I pray for my staff who work for me and I pray for my patients.

I ask the angels to help me listen to my patients, to help me know what they are saying and to help me know what to do. Believe it or not, it works. If you ask for something, you get it!

When my patients talk to me, I have tremendous patience to listen to what they are saying. If I don’t get it right away, I ask them to repeat it until I really understand them. If the answer doesn’t come to me right away (which, by the way it usually does) I let them know I’ll get back to them after I consider what they have said. Then I record the conversation in the computer’s record to prove that I heard them and so I can follow up at the next appointment.

I have been treating a second-generation of orthodontic patients for many years. I hope to be practicing long enough to treat a third-generation. This kind of trust speaks to this issue. I must be doing something right.

Let’s talk about finding an exercise that you can do.

Start by using your fingers. In Google type “easy exercises to start with”. You are going to get some marvelous stuff. How about this one; “Easy exercises for couch potatoes.”

See if you can find something that grabs you. If you find it yourself, you might make it your own.

Or…

Start real easy by trying to touch your toes very slowly and carefully. Just once or twice on the first day. Bend side to side a couple of times, really slow to engage your muscles.

Try a deep knee bend. Go slowly from a standing position with your hands on your hips to a crouched position while sticking your bum out behind you. Can you get back up?

Notice that you are breathing harder. Good job!

Now, do that little bit every day. Count how many times you do it and slowly increase the number to a reasonable amount. When you are ready, go back to the finger exercise on the computer and find an exercise program in Google that you want to make your own.

Baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style
Here is a recipe that our hygienist Jasmin discovered and it is fantastic!

Original recipe makes 6 servings
1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (14 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 cube vegetable bouillon
black pepper to taste
1 (15 ounce) can black olives, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with a thin layer of cooking spray. Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet.
2. Bake squash 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife can be easily inserted. Remove from oven, and cool.
3. Meanwhile, spray a non-stick saucepan with cooking spray. Over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic until golden brown. Stir in tomatoes, basil, bouillon cube, and black pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until you have a medium thick sauce.
4. Remove squash strands with a fork, reserving the shells. Layer each half with a spoonful of the sauce, a layer of spaghetti squash strands, olives, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until shells are full, or until all of the ingredients are used. Top with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until Parmesan cheese melts.

You are special.

Remember, there is a reason you are here.

You are special. And you are loved.

That’s all and it is plenty.

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