Jason A. Schermer D.D.S MARCH 2018

THE HEIGHTS SMILE Herald

March 2018

Jason A . Schermer , D . D . S & Noor Almuda l l a l , D .M. D COMPREHENS I VE RESTORAT I VE & ESTHET I C DENT I STRY

DENTISTRY WITHOUT ROLLER SKATES 5825 Lande r b rook Dr i ve , Su i t e 124 May f i e l d He i gh t s , OH 44124 ( 440 ) 483 - 1003

The Va l ue o f Re l a t i onsh i p - Based Den t i s t r y

Did you know the most snow ever recorded at one time in the state of Ohio was 47 inches? This record-setting measurement was taken on Nov. 14, 1996, in Chardon, and it hasn’t been broken since. However, some winters certainly feel like we could come close. This last year, we had our fair share of snow days. A couple of times, I would wake up early, check the driving conditions, and decide whether or not it was safe to ask my team and patients to come out to the practice that day.

I took over my practice from another dentist. When I came in, he said, “Jason, this is a special kind of practice you’re getting into. The patients you are inheriting expect a different level of service than you find at a typical practice. They expect white-glove treatment. Don’t go in with roller skates.” By roller skates, he was referring to how some dentists develop a habit of just running from room to room and never creating any real connection with patients. I have been to a lot of places where patients were offered cookie-cutter treatment. Dentists would claim, “If you have A, then you need B, and that’s all there is to it.” In reality, there can be a whole alphabet of options — with subletters! — depending on your unique circumstances. As dentists, we can’t forget that we’re not really working on teeth; we’re working on people. I believe it’s important for a dentist to go beyond just looking at a problem in their patient’s mouth and try to understand what’s going on in their life. Not to say patients have to spill their life story at every appointment, but dentists should be open to accepting that maybe a patient has a reason for not wanting to follow their recommendation, such as financial struggles, personal loss, or just uncertainty about treatment plans. As a dentist, it’s important to me that my office has a nonjudgmental environment, where patients feel comfortable sharing their

“The patients you are inheriting expect a different level of service than you find at a typical practice. They expect white-glove treatment. Don’t go in with roller skates.”

stories. Even if one of my patients doesn’t want to elaborate on the details, I want them to know they can make a decision and, whatever the reason, that decision will be respected in this office. If I suggest an implant, but a patient wants a bridge, or they need to wait a year, or they want to leave that space open, that’s fine. It’s their call. It’s not my job to tell you what to do. As your dentist, my job is to give you as much information as you need to make a decision that’s right for you and to help you get there.

We can’t practice dentistry from a ditch, and while we focus on teeth, I see us as stewards of our patients’ overall health. Even if we need to be open, I have an unwritten but well-established rule: If you don’t feel safe driving, stay home. Watching out for the well-being of my patients and my team is a high priority. It’s part of my drive to practice relationship- based dentistry — something I’ve aimed for since day one.

–-Jason A. Schermer

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