Our Team

A Different Approach – People First

Today I saw a new patient, let’s call him Tom to protect his identity.  Tom has been seeing a dentist routinely for the past several years.  Nobody had pointed out any problems to him.  Tom was getting “regular” cleanings, which his insurance covered.  Now, after a thorough new patient exam, it is very clear that Tom has significant gum disease, the #1 reason for tooth loss!

If left untreated, Tom would most certainly loose many teeth not too long from now.  It is also important to note that Tom is in his 40’s and not aware of any problemsSeeing Tom every 6 months with his generalized gum disease is what I call “supervised neglect”.

This frustrates dentists like myself.  Had I seen Tom 5 years ago he would have a significantly better prognosis.  Now we need to quickly treat his gum disease to get it under control, then manage it for the rest of his life.  Even then, he has lost a lot of bone and will never have an easy time taking care of his teeth.  Tom already has multiple health issues that are exacerbated by periodontal (gum) disease.  Diabetes, heart disease, and many other killers are closely linked to gum disease.

We as dentists need to look at the person first.  Teeth are part of the person – you treat the whole body, not just the one hurting tooth.  Insurance companies limit what dentists can do in too many ways.  That is a whole different blog entry.  If you rely exclusively on your insurance company to cover what is needed, then you could end up like Tom.  If Tom decides to only do what the insurance company will cover at this point, then Tom will loose his teeth.  Does that sound fair?  I don’t think so.  You own your mouth, you own the gum disease, you loose the teeth and have to face the consequences.  Insurance companies do not care. 

At Ideal Dentistry you come first.  It does not matter who you are, you will receive the same treatment that I would choose for myself.  You deserve it.  Tom will be given the same options I would accept for myself if I was in his shoes.  Let’s see what happens…

How Do I Pick a Good Dentist?

Louisville has lots of “family dentists“, “cosmetic dentists“, “we cater to cowards dentists” and now even “advanced cosmetic dentists“.

Trying to work out who’s right for you is probably pretty confusing, especially when so many dentists are claiming to be experts.

Truth be known, “family dentistry” never was and never will be a speciality and, “cosmetic dentistry” is just about on any dental sign these days.  Who is not a cosmetic dentist?

So the question remains:

How do I pick a good dentist?

 Perhaps you already have a dentist that you are very happy with and would never change.  But, if you are looking for a dentist at the moment, here is what I have to offer.

A simple concept

My dental practice is based on a very simple and very old idea:

“Do unto others as you would have them do onto you”.  That’s right – The Golden Rule.   So, how does The Golden Rule translate into dentistry?  Please let me give you a few examples:

The office is state-of-the-art

When I have dental treatment done for myself I want it done as well as today’s technology will allow.  I want treatment that looks great, feels great and lasts as long as possible.  This cannot be achieved using 1970s, 1980s or even 1990s technology.  Dentistry is evolving fast and I invest time in keeping up so that whatever treatment I do, I know that it’s the best around.

I do not use amalgam (mercury) fillings

Having three children made me realize that I could never use amalgam.  I wouldn’t even consider putting amalgam in their teeth, so in good conscience I could not put it in any one else’s.  Quite simply – I believe amalgam is second-rate.

I recommend for you exactly the treatment I chose for myself.

Every treatment recommendation I make for you is what I would choose for myself.  That means I would never recommend a denture if there is a better alternative and I never recommend patch ups or short-term solutions.  What I do is look at your teeth and give you straight advice – the treatment I would choose for my family, my best friend or myself.

I only do treatment I can do very well

I am sure you have heard the expression “Jack of all trades, master of none”.  I decided that at Ideal Dentistry I would focus on things I do really well.  At Ideal Dentistry I only do adult restorative dentistry – that is I look after adults who want their teeth restored, enhanced and maintained.  I do not routinely see children less than 12 years of age, I do not extract wisdom teeth unless they are simple and I don’t do treatment I don’t believe in.

An adult environment with no waiting

When I go to a doctor I don’t want to be kept waiting an hour in a room, with tatty magazines to read and a crowd of people all around me.  So you’ll notice my client lounge is a little bit different.  It’s modern, sunny, and we have an espresso machine.  There are quality coffee table books to read.  But, nice as it is, you won’t spend long there because the chances are better than 95% that I’ll see you on time.

Personalized attention

Have you ever been to a dental office where the dentist was hopping around from room to room or, even worse, where you never knew which dentist you were seeing until they turned up?  That’s not what I would want.  So, at Ideal Dentistry, I am the only dentist and I set aside the time to focus 100% on you.  You’ll find you get your dentistry done in a lot less appointments this way.

Limited openings

Ideal Dentistry commenced in January 2006.  By the reaction and acceptance so far we are obviously filling a need in the area.  We are not a high volume office.

Please may I make a suggestion

If you decide that this is the kind of treatment you want, then here is what you do.  The first step is to have a thorough check-up and get any needed x-rays.  When you’ve had that done I’ll be able to tell you the full story about your teeth, give you clear, no-mucking around recommendations and an exact cost for any treatment you need.  Where you go from there is up to you, but if you like what you’ve read here I hope you stay around and bring your friends.

Ideal Dentistry New Patient Exam

So you decided that enough is enough. Waiting in the “waiting room” forever, only to be seated and rushed through a procedure you are not even sure you quite understand. Every time you see the hygienist the dentist comes in and finds more work that needs to be done. You are told sensitivity is “normal” and will eventually fade…you get the picture. Enough is enough. Time to upgrade to Ideal Dentistry.

Now that you are ready to switch to a more peaceful and personalized type of dentistry, Ideal Dentistry, I want to give you a heads up on how your first visit will go.

Our reception area is designed to be peaceful, open and clean.  Although you will not be “waiting” you are more than welcome to have a coffee, espresso or bottle of spring water.  Lori will greet you and make sure you were able to complete your new patient paperwork.  We either send this to you or you can download it from the website.  Should you have misplaced it, no problem, we can give you a new set to complete.  No rush.

If you are here for a consultation we will escort you into our consult room.  This room has no dental equipment, only a large flat screen TV and computer so that we can look at pictures.  I will meet you there, introduce myself and listen to you.  Yes, listen to you!  I work for you – you chose me to help you.  It is my responsibility to find out how I can serve you best.  What is your personal goal with your smile?  What do like and not like about a dental visit?  How can I solve your problems?  Everybody is different, everybody is unique.  Everybody at Ideal Dentistry is treated as an individual.

This quick look consult takes about 1 hour.  Sometimes we take digital photographs and put them on the computer to look at and discuss.  The goal of this consult is to find out what type of dentistry you are ready for – meaning, do you want to just fix the one problem that is bothering you or are you looking to fix your mouth and keep it from breaking down any further.  OR, are you ready to have the smile you always dreamt of.  You decide what is best for you.  You leave this appointment knowing what type of new patient appointment would be best for you.

If you are here for a new patient exam, then we will bring you back into one of our beautiful operatories.  We will explain exactly what will be done today, which usually includes low radiation digital radiographs, digital photographs, oral cancer and TMJ screening, as well as dental charting.

We won’t make you wait, and it may even be fun!  Once we have collected all the information necessary we schedule a consult appointment in the consult room with me, to go over everything we found in great detail, giving you all all your options.  Together we create a plan of attack that fits your life best.  You will know exactly where you stand, what is going on in your mouth, and why it is happening!

We can couple the new patient exam with a dental cleaning, if you so desire.  There are many different types of cleanings.  Your hygienist will evaluate your personal situation and make appropriate recommendations for you.

Needless to say, if you have an emergency then we will promptly address your concern that day first!

So, regardless of what type of appointment you decide on, you will not be rushed or pushed into treatment!  Everything is explained in great detail and all the options are presented prior to making any decisions.  You own your mouth and are the only one that can make the right decision for yourself!

We look forward to serving you!

Insurance Questions

I will try to answer questions from my patients as they arise.  Today I want to answer one of the most common ones:  Why are you not “in network” with my insurance?

The answer goes back several years to the point when I had to make a decision: What type of dentistry did I want to provide to my patients?  Well, about 10 years ago I chose to provide only the type of dentistry to my patients that I would accept for my myself or my family.  It was not an easy decision.  Providing top quality dentistry comes with its own challenges.

First, you must have the skills and education to provide that type of dentistry.

Second, insurance companies are in the business to “not” provide dental benefits.  If every insurance company paid for dentistry on their members then they would be broke (or are they already – AIG?).  Seriously though, insurance companies try to pay as little for as little as possible.

So, 10 years ago I became an “out of network” provider for all insurance companies for the benefit of my patients.  It was a tough move at first, but my practice grew tremendously because I focused on my patients and their needs instead of what the insurance would cover.  Over the past 10 years I have been following my patients and am now able to point out a few tremendous benefits of top quality dentistry:

  1. LESS Emergencies – Yes, I have nearly zero emergencies with my patients!  A thorough new patient exam coupled with a complete exam annually virtually eliminated emergencies for my existing patients!  What a great benefit.  All my patients know exactly where they stand with their oral health.  Everything is outlined after their consultation.  There are no surprises.
  2. LESS Root Canal Treatments – Yes, I do very few root canal treatments on exiting patients!  Root canal treatments are due to accidents, severe decay or poor dentistry.  Accidents are accidents and will happen.  Severe decay should never happen as a dentist needs to find the initial warning signs way before it gets that bad.  And poor dentistry, well, that we just don’t have here.  That being said, I think it is very sad to see holes in crowns (caps) that were placed by other dentists.  This usually means the cap was cemented and required a root canal treatment afterwards.  I can’t remember the last time I had to do a root canal on a tooth after cementing the final crown.
  3.  LESS Dentistry– The best benefit of all, top quality dentistry and meticulous exams result in less dentistry over the patient’s lifetime.  I address dental problems when they just begin to appear, hopefully preventing the need for more invasive dentistry down the line.  Quality dentistry lasts longer, fits better and functions correctly.  This is not as common as you might think.  These factor together result in less visits to the dentist, less redoes, less pain.  You actually will save money in the long run by choosing top quality dentistry!  Not to mention the increased comfort, better function and beautiful aesthetics.

The difference between exceptional dentistry and average dentistry, financially, at first, is not as much as you might think.  Most insurance companies will pay towards dental treatment even if you are out of network.  Even if you are in network, they might reduce your benefit to something smaller and make you fight for your money.  It is a game they play.  With a practice like mine we exclusively focus on you and your needs.  As a benefit to you we will file your insurance information and fight to get you your benefits, but we will never have a dental insurance company tell us what we can and can’t do for you! 

The ONLY reason I am not in network with insurance companies is to be able to provide quality care for my patients.  Period.

I hope this helps.  Most of the patients in my practice understand this answer perfectly and would not go anywhere else regardless of insurance.  I invite you to stop by and see the difference for yourself!