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About Dr. Simpson: The Importance of Getting to Know Your Provider

Have you ever noticed when you visit our practice that you simply don’t have to wait as long to be seen as you do at other providers? That’s not a coincidence - it’s because, as a dentist, in addition to providing the highest-quality care possible, Dr. Michele Simpson strives to create the most positive experience possible for every patient, every visit. She also loves to get to know her patients on a personal level. Getting to know the patient and finding common interests makes coming to work a lot more fun, but did you know that building a rapport with your medical practitioner can actually improve the quality of your medical care? Here’s how!

According to the Journal of Dental Education, in a study titled "Establishing a Good Dentist-Patient Relationship: Skills Defined from the Dental Faculty Perspective," because dentistry is one of the fields of medicine that causes the most anxiety in patients, it is crucial for dental practitioners and staff to build a good relationship with patients to help put them at ease. After all, when you know and can relate to your dentist, you can develop a feeling of mutual trust.

Trust goes far beyond just allowing us to examine your teeth, too. Imagine you’ve been coming to the same dental practice for the past five years. You know everyone who works there by name, from the receptionist to the office manager to the hygienists and the dentist herself. We’ll call her Dentist A. Your kids go there, your spouse, and you’ve even referred family, friends and neighbors. One day, your tooth starts hurting. The great news is, when you call to schedule your appointment, you are told you can be seen the same day. The bad news? You need a root canal.
Now, based on all the previous background information, how do you feel allowing your dentist to conduct this procedure? You know her, you know her staff. You trust her with your and your family’s health care. It should be an easy choice, right?

Now, imagine the opposite. Imagine you have a dentist you don’t know anything about, who isn’t personable, doesn’t take time to get to know his patients, rushes through each appointment, has high staff turnover, and has no signs of personality anywhere in his practice or on his website. We’ll call him Dentist B. How comfortable would you feel if he said you need a root canal? Would you trust his opinion, or would you seek a second opinion? Would you feel confident that he and his staff know how to properly perform the procedure? Probably not.

Here’s another scenario. Imagine you have a great rapport with Dentist A. You tell her about your golf lessons, about your teenager’s upcoming prom, and about how excited you are to start planting your spring garden. You tell her how you’re hoping that your neck and back will hold up for all that digging because you haven’t been sleeping well lately due to neck pain. Dentist A checks your jaw and neck, and notices when you open your mouth, there’s a little popping and clicking. After a few more tests, she diagnoses you with a TMJ disorder and comes up with a treatment plan that helps better align your jaw and gets you back to sleeping comfortably at night. What if you didn’t have that type of relationship with your dentist? What if you didn’t have the opportunity to share what to you seem like insignificant details about your daily life – details that could shed light on a problem that your dentist may be able to correct or refer you to someone else who can correct? That’s the power of building a strong doctor-patient bond.

When Dr. Simpson meets a new patient, she allows time to get to know that patient on a personal level, not only to put that patient at ease, but also to genuinely take an interest in who they are as a person. That’s because when you truly care about your patients, you take a holistic approach to their health. That means learning about their lifestyle, hobbies, activities and overall well-being. Now how’s that for building rapport!

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