Education and News

Is This a Dentist's Office or a Tooth Spa?

If a tooth ever needed liposuction, 21st Century Dental would be the first to offer it in DFW. That's because this practice is committed to providing the highest quality cosmetic dentistry in the most plush and relaxing of settings. Patients entering 21st Century Dental are instantly breezed by a calm and curiosity.

This effect happens by design. Dr. Kent Smith hired Jason Fallis with Structures and Interiors and the architecture firm of Sher Dye and Associates to craft a calming spa-like setting where the newest technology nestles among commissioned artwork with pleasant aromas and sounds.

In moments, it's easy to see that the doctors here are a bit obsessive... And, in this case, it's a good thing. OK, we are obsessive on comfort, quotes Dr. Kent Smith. We spare no expense in making our patients comfortable, and we provide the newest procedures to ensure a relaxing experience.

For example, DIAGNOdent -a laser-based diagnostic tool- has been recently approved by the FDA to spot tooth decay. It eliminates the sharp pick of yesteryear. Dentists used to have to ask, 'Is this a sticky spot?' This laser eliminates guesswork. We also use lasers as a time saver to the patient because they considerably reduce the curing time of a composite.

Digital radiography reduces radiation exposure from 80 to 90 percent over traditional X-ray imagery and provides a full-screen view as opposed to a tiny X-ray image.

What is the most pain-relieving aspect of modern dentistry? Air abrasion technology eliminates the drill with all its noise and discomfort, states Dr. Jeff Roy. Air abrasion uses aluminum oxide particles in tiny blasts that gently remove decay. This produces a micro-etching effect which is then laser-bonded with tooth matching composites.

Pleasure-based dentistry consists of more than great technology. Patients are pampered to the hilt with fresh Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, scented candles, a soothing saltwater reef aquarium and a visionary commissioned fresco that includes a dental puzzle within as well as an illustration of 21st Century Dental's vision. Only current publications stock their reading bins and patients can learn more about new cosmetic procedures via a high-resolution monitor.

After the patient is brought back to the treatment area, they are given many diversions to put them even more at ease-like massage chairs which the patients control themselves. They can also bring movies either on tape or DVD. Music is also provided with the patients using their own CDs or making choices from a selection.

But the best of all office settings won't make up for a staff that isn't happy. For that reason the staff are provided weekly massages and have perhaps the nicest lounge in the Metroplex. Pampering the pamperers is essential if we all are going to maintain the service levels we provide. It doesn't matter how nice our office looks and smells if people working here aren't happy, quips Dr. Smith. We want everyone to have the finest office experience available-both patients and staff.

This kind of management style really pays off in loyalty and output. Kelly Habben, our office administrator, is the backbone of our office and keeps me free to work with my patients. It's amazing what she has accomplished. Getting this new location built was difficult and she handled everything like a construction superintendent. This high-touch/high-tech approach to dentistry has been very successful.

Patient referrals are what make up the bulk of new clients, 21st Century Dental has approximately 400 Microsoft patients and about the same number of Verizon (GTE) patients. We are obsessive with being the best and that has led to fiercely loyal patients who refer their coworkers. The best always strive to be better, states Dr. Jeff Roy.

Why is 21st Century Dental so successful? Because a patient enters the foyer, is instantly relaxed by a peaceful, beautiful atmosphere and is escorted by a staff member who just received their weekly massage to a treatment room where their teeth are visible in color radiographic form on a television monitor. A massage chair is humming, cookies are baking, their favorite entertainment medium is playing and many of the procedures involve no drilling. And the coolest sci-fi imaging gadgets are employed to let the patient observe the current state of their mouth and how it could look after cosmetic dental treatment.

It's pretty simple, really. Patients come here because they know they will relax, have the most current high- tech treatments for basic and cosmetic dentistry and be treated like royalty. It really is a tooth spa.

Reprinted with permission: Doctor of Dentistry, September 2000.