Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pacific Northwest Dental Conference

It's off to the annual pilgrimmage tomorrow ... the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference, where I, my staff, and several thousand of my closest friends convene to learn about all things dental.  It really is very cool.  Lectures are given in morning and afternoon sessions on myriad new techniques, materials, and equipment.  Immediately after hearing the lectures, we have the opportunity to go down to the exhibition hall and actually get to work with these materials and equipment in a hands-on environment.  It's a wonderful way to screen the wheat (really great advancements) from the chaff (well-marketed products of dubious utility and quality.)

In addition there are discussions and presentations on issues of ethics, politics, and economy. Like it or not these discussions are as much a part of the delivery of healthcare as the technology, especially in these trying economic times.  It is incumbent on a prudent and caring dentist to screen not only products of dubious value, but to find ways to make the delivery of excellent care as affordable and safe as possible.  Above all, the quality of care must remain our paramount focus.

I will be out of the office these few days but as always you can reach me for emergencies on the number given on our outgoing message at 206-842-7100.

I am thrilled to have this opportunity to learn in this positive environment, and to be able to bring that learning back to benefit you, my loyal patients!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Monthly "newsletter" to my patients for June 2011:  Thank you SO much for your enthusiastic response to our surveys.  If you missed it, we sent surveys out last month, soliciting your opinions and advice on how we’re doing and what we might do differently to create the best imaginable dental experience for you.  Most of you have been overwhelmingly complimentary, for which I’m both humbled and grateful.  By now I think most of you appreciate that for myself, Joy, Sheila, and even Kim, our “boutique” lab technician, this practice is so much more than a business to be “grown,”  a profit center, or whatever.  Daily our mailbox is filled with solicitations from marketers and manufacturers on how we can use their product or service to make our practice easier, more profitable, or just plain bigger. 
We want only to make it better.  As a cherished dental school professor told me over 30 years ago, “if you take care of your patients, they’ll take care of your business.”  We exist, and continue to provide quality care, ONLY because of your support … your referrals of friends and relatives are the lifeblood of this practice, and the highest form of compliment.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for this continued vote of confidence!
Lest you think all the survey comments were shining compliments, we also received some very constructive criticism, which we have taken to heart.  Expect to see some changes in the next several months in response to your requests, I think you’ll like what you see. 
If you didn’t receive a survey, or have additional input … complimentary or critical … please feel welcome to comment directly via  And please don’t hold back if you have a request or a complaint. I am most sincere when I say I want to make this practice a profoundly superior dental experience.  Let me know how I might do that for YOU.
One comment on a survey was that we haven’t made a statement on the WDS controversy.  As we remain WDS providers, we are contractually limited by them as to what we can say.  What you need to know for now is that nothing has changed.  I will have more to say soon as soon as the legalities of my comments become clear.