Constructive Criticism

I’m always amazed when people come to me after going to other offices and tell me of their poor experiences.  And, I’m always appreciative when people give me constructive criticism. It’s how we get even better and the reason we have so many 5-star reviews, which we really appreciate.

Recently, a patient told us that they felt that their visit with the hygienist was “different” than previous visits. They didn’t feel their teeth were as “clean” as in prior visits because it didn’t hurt as much. Another felt that a hygienist was too chatty.

As for these particular critiques, I realize that each hygienist (and doctor) has a unique personality and “touch.” I’m told, for instance, that my touch is extraordinarily light.  That’s a natural gift; something that cannot be learned or taught. Believe me, while at Columbia teaching the course on giving anesthetics, I tried.

Just because it doesn’t hurt, doesn’t mean it wasn’t thorough! We strive to keep you thoroughly comfortable and have some new techniques and equipment to do so..

A previous hygienist might have had a different touch than a new one. And, I urge our hygienists to get to know the people they care for. That’s important if we are to care for you as a complete person and not just a set of teeth and gums.

We’re always amazed when people are asked about their health and tell us everything is fine, only to find out by further “chatting” that there are medical issues they didn’t think we’re relevant to their oral health.

Any hygienist in our practice is thorough, and is someone that I and my family would happily see. In fact, every staff person at MDH gets their teeth cared for at MDH. We practice what we preach and we know that’s the level of care that sets MDH apart.

Hygiene visits are the most important long-term preventive visits you can have. Making sure your gums, teeth and overall health are headed in the right direction is something we take very seriously. It’s one of the reasons finding Hygienists who are the right fit for MDH takes a while. Our bar is not just high, it’s in an entirely different zip code than most other practices.

People are often more concerned with the skill and care of the dentist. I think that it’s the hygienists that are where most dental practices miss the boat. Once your mouth is restored, it’s your care at home and the periodic care of the hygienist that helps ensure that it stays healthy and that the investment you’ve made pays off.

I’ve had people say that they’d like to save money by going to their “plan” dental office for “cleanings.” Personally, I think that’s exactly the wrong place to skimp.  Thorough and regular hygiene visit are perhaps the most important part of the MDH experience and a great investment in your overall health.

Yes, the care and skill of the dentist is important.  And, I thank you for your trust and confidence. The hygiene team we currently have of Sandra, Dushan and Dr. Gamzeh are extraordinary. They are each blessed with a soft and gentle touch and they are fully in-synch with the preventive philosophy that has kept our patients healthy and happy for 40 years. It’s that perspective that has reinforced the importance of properly timed visits with the Hygienist and the unique risk assessment system we have put into place.

This July, I will be celebrating 40 years of being in practice. I know that people who are seen regularly experience fewer problems and are healthier. I hope that your experiences at MDH are all pleasant. Yet, I know that we’re human and that I don’t hear, cannot see nor experience everything that happens. I make mistakes, too. Should you ever have anything less than a stellar experience, I would like to know.

I thank you for your support and for giving me the privilege to be a part of your life. It is indeed an honor to know and serve you.

To everyone’s excellent health and wellness,

P.S.  I’ve written a Special Report on Preventive Dentistry. If you’d like it, or would like to send it to someone, please respond to this email. And, if you ever have any constructive critique, I would appreciate hearing about it. For that, please use my personal email at